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Four Keys to the Glide Finish

You have been improving your glide technique, your throws feel better, you are faster across the circle but something still isn’t clicking. When you warm up, you are able to take massive standing throws, the shot flies off your hand and your standing throws land further than most throwers full throws, but something still seems off!

Every movement is linear through the circle. Your drive out of the back is solid, your left leg hits an optimal position, the right leg moves rapidly. There is still some sense of a disconnect. When you take a full glide, you fall to the left and end up spinning around like a top. There is something wrong with you glide finish and you need to fix it, ASAP!

The Set-Up…Move PROPERLY

The glide needs to be linear. Period. The start needs to optimize energy to ensure a ton of energy is being created and utilized throughout the entire movement. That means using a dynamic start out of the back, the left leg stays linear and drives in a straight pattern across the circle. The hips stay facing the back of the circle UNTIL the right foot exits the back of the circle. When the right foot exits the back of the circle, it will rapidly move to the middle of the circle and will ground just before the left foot grounds. This linear movement establishes a ton of energy that is then transferred effectively into the shot put...IF, the glide is done properly!

Body Part Focus: Left Arm/Right Shoulder

The left arm triggers the beginning of the finish of the glide. The left arm should open just prior to the left foot grounding, triggering a transfer forward. The glider should feel a big stretch from the left pec, across the chest into the right shoulder. This opening will enable the body to transfer forward on the finish into the toeboard. When the left arm is used, the right shoulder will then have a BIG push forward as well to initiate a long final position over the toeboard.

Simple keys:

  1. Open the left arm before the left foot grounds.

  2. Feel a stretch across the chest from the left arm opening.

  3. The right shoulder will push forward on the finish!

Body Part Focus: Legs

The position and holding angles of the legs is VERY important for proper energy transfer. Many coaches teach an extension of the knees and that leads to poor positioning on the finish. The right knee needs to be FLEXED while the right ankle is also plantar flexed. The left knee should hold SEMI-bent, not fully extended. This semi-bent position allows the energy to transfer forward into the left side for a monster finish. DO NOT extend the knees until the very end of the finish! That is when the left knee will extend and contribute to deceleration of the body to enable the thrower to save the throw.

Body Part Focus: The Dominant Side Heel

Oftentimes gliders reverse and they don’t make contact with their right heel on the toeboard. This shows a lack of linear energy usage and a poor finish. When the glider lands in the power position, they should be able to draw a line from their dominant foot, forward to the toeboard to display the proper location of where they should reverse with their dominant foot. The right heel should hit and HOLD on the toeboard. This will ignite the glute medius and glute max to contribute to holding the finish and preventing the thrower from fouling.

Body Part Focus: EYES!

Many throwers are confused by what they should do with their eyes, their head, their means of motor control. Should they stare at the implement on the finish or should they rotate slightly around for a long push!?!? The key aspect behind the keys is to allow the eyes to rotate toward the back with the right shoulder. Gliders need to think of the finish in a sequential pattern. The eyes will contribute to the linear finish by rotating to the back of the circle, enabling the heel to hit the toeboard and the throw to be saved!

  1. Open the left arm just prior to the grounding of the left foot.

  2. Feel the right shoulder rotate forward from a big stretch in the pecs caused by the left arm.

  3. Hold a bent right knee and plantar flexed right ankle with a semi-bent left leg.

  4. Make sure the right heel transfers forward INTO the toeboard to hold on the big finish.

  5. The eyes will rotate and look at the back of the circle after the monster finish.


Understand and comprehend the five key points behind the glide finish. Recognize that the glide finish is not the same as the rotational shot put finish. Instead, the movement is very linear with a HANG on the toeboard. That is a key point behind the proper finish to fully embrace all of the energy and power that can go into the shot during the glide technique.


"Our aim is to provide concise and concrete education and training on the throws, helping coaches and athletes learn what they need to do to succeed and become champions."

- Dane and Trevor

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Like the article except the part saying when you land in the center of the circle [power position ] your left heel should hit the toe board. I must disagree. have that left foot anywhere in contact with the board will make the finish more difficult. if the heel is into the toe board it locks up that foot making it hard to get up and over it into a reverse. We have never taught that and if you checkout outstanding glide throwers you will see that they want stay clear of the board so you can pivot on the ball of the foot up and into the throw.Now we taught the extension of the legs the delivery point an…

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