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How to Hold a Shot Put

Hand placement on the shot can be the difference between first place and third place. Do you find yourself missing that big hit on the finish? Does your elbow drop and the shot roll off your hands? Are you struggling to find tension in your upper back while preparing to hit that monster throw? We can’t forget that big throws all start with proprioception and they all end with that big FLICK off the hand. By holding the shot properly, each thrower can add serious distance to their throw!


World of Confusion




For years, throwers have been taught to hold the shot various different ways. Go to any high school track meet and you can see throwers placing the shot on the back of their head, under their throat, and even on their cheek!


The importance of placement and positioning in the shot put is just as important as grip width in sports like Olympic weightlifting and powerlifting. The proper placement can lead to greater tension and overall greater feeling throughout the throw. This improved feeling will lead to better confidence in the throws and gradually grow into a huge standing throw and full throw.


So what are the key elements?


Element #1: Comfort


As coaches and throwers, it’s imperative to recognize the importance of comfort. If an athlete is comfortable setting up for their throw, they will not be distracted by negative feelings. Instead, they will be able to focus on the task at hand and build their movement patterns to execute the throw effectively.