We have all heard of monster standing throws. Recently, Joe Kovacs even mentioned seeing Ryan Crouser take standing throws close to 21 meters while Joe has thrown well over 20 meters with his standing throws. The question pops into every single shot putter on the planet.
Do I need a big stand? Would my standing throw scare off my competition in warm-ups? Would my standing throw finally get people to like me more? Ok, maybe that last question is a bit of a reach, but let’s dive into whether a monster standing throw is absolutely necessary!
What is Needed?
It’s important to get a quick grasp of standing throws. For starters, what is absolutely necessary to execute a BIG stand? It’s easy to say we want a big standing throw but it’s important to actually have a firm comprehension behind what it takes to throw freaking far with a standing throw.
With both the glide and the rotational technique, the principle elements remain the same! There has to be a rapid rate of force production, there must be a grounded finish to optimize the period of acceleration and there absolutely needs to be a transfer of the movement to the full throw!
1. Rapid Rate of Force Development
The period to accelerate the shot is very short with the standing throw. This means to throw it FAR from a stand, the thrower needs to be WIRED and able to apply and coordinate at a very high rate. To do this, the shot putter needs to be mobile, explosive, and strong. Coaches can develop this quality by varying the weight of the implement and having very specific cues to enable the body to recruit as rapidly as possible.
2. Grounded Finish
To ensure the thrower can accelerate the shot as LONG as possible, they MUST keep their feet grounded over a longer period. Consistently, we see throwers jumping to the moon and blowing out of the front of the circle while lunging at the shot. Not only does this fail in regards to transfer to the full throw, it also negates an acceleration period. By cueing the shot putter to USE the ground as long as possible, they are able to have a longer period of acceleration which ultimately will lead to a bigger toss.
3. Transfer to Full Throw
The standing throw should have a transfer to the full throw! Many throwers take standing throws that have nearly no resemblance to the finish on their full throw. This negates transfer and doesn’t help with sport-specific applications! It’s important to find the position the thrower should hit from the full throw and then utilize that to cultivate a strong standing throw position!
Does it Freaking Matter?
Standing throws can establish an excellent feeling for a shot putter. It serves as an excellent warm-up, it teaches the thrower how to rapidly improve their force development, and for spinners, it enhances rotational strength tremendously. All of these reasons are important for long term development of the shot putter. Feelings and strength transfer well to full throws but isn’t there more to the movement?
Absolutely. It’s important to acknowledge that a big stand can be very important...for some people. For others, it does not matter at all.
During my time training with Dylan Armstrong and Justin Rodhe, in some sessions we would only take 2-3 stands. In many sessions, Dylan and Justin would never take a standing throw! Instead, they’d get into the circle and take 3-4 easy full throws, establishing a feeling of the movement and finding the dynamic position at the front from a full throw.
This concept is very important for all shot putters. Recognizing the dynamic aspect of the movement is HUGE! By warming up with full throws and bypassing standing throws may seem unorthodox but there is a point to this madness.
If a thrower is at a major championship where they lack a lot of warm-up attempts, it makes sense to warm up with just full throws. The full throw is how they will compete, the standing throw is literally just a warm-up. When world-class throwers only get two throws to warm up, you better believe it is optimal to hit those two warm-ups with full throws over standing throws.
More Schools Of Thought
Even with short warm-ups in mind, some coaches have found their athletes do well KNOWING they have a massive standing throw in their back pocket. By having a big stand, throwers can rely on nice easy warm-ups, hit solid positions, and still light up the finish. This can improve their mental edge when pressure is at an all-time high and ultimately improve their odds of success.
This is something I found with Rachel Fatherly. Rachel has a personal best of 18.48, when we pushed her standing throw to 17 meters, she had a tremendous amount of confidence heading into competition. She would take one BIG stand after a dynamic warm-up, then hit two easy full throws and attack the competition. That set her up in a positive manner to compete with some of the best women in the US!
What about the glide?
I can feel the grumblings through the internet while I am typing this blog. You MUST have a big standing throw to hit a big throw with the glide! You MUST! Right?!?!!?
Not necessarily. Let’s use Lucas Warning as an example. Lucas is 6’2 265lbs. Not the typical size for an elite glider. He has a PR of 19.91, just over 65’. Lucas has one of the worst standing throws I have ever seen. The day he threw 19.91, his standing throw MIGHT have been around 16 meters, likely around 15.50. That means he added nearly 4 meters to his standing throw.
That tells us that Lucas has a very impressive transfer to his full competitive movement. Now, I would be a liar if I pretended that I don’t want his standing throw to improve. I 100% want his standing throw to improve but there are two reasons behind this. I want his standing throw to improve by virtue of improvement in his speed-strength and from a technical improvement in his right side. If his stand improves from a technical perspective, I do believe Lucas will also improve his personal best glide!
The standing throw discussion is much deeper than saying, “We need a big stand.” There needs to be a firm understanding of WHY a specific athlete would need a bigger stand or why they don’t necessarily need a monstrous stand. Every thrower has a different personality, they have different rates of recruitment and they have different feelings for the throw. Analyze what each specific thrower needs and then apply that to their training and overall long term development to optimize their success!
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