5 Keys to Improving Shot Put Performance

1. Choose a ‘theme’ for your training session
The shot put is a technical event with several moving parts. Working on a single area of focus at a time helps the coach organize his/her training more effectively and allows the athlete to maintain focus.

2. Dedicate a portion of the training session to multiple attempts with little or no feedback
Often times constant feedback after each effort leads to information overload and the athlete is thinking about too many things at once. This can lead to poor performance. An athlete must be able to receive feedback to improve, but they must also be able to execute technique fluidly without much thought. This is a skill that must be rehearsed and information overload is a big hindrance to developing this skill.

3. Focus on the little things, and make them consistent
Where an athlete enters the ring, how the shot is placed on the neck, pre-throw rituals/mannerisms—these all matter for the athlete’s success. Make the athlete aware of these things and make sure they are done the same way every time. For those athletes who are wildly inconsistent, help them develop a consistent routine. There are many distractions at meets and even in training sessions. Having a consistent routine will help the athlete improve focus on technique and help block out distractions

4. Articulate simple concepts to athletes
Coaches can often name several things going on during a throw. How many things are your athletes aware of? Do they really understand what you are talking about? Many athletes struggle with fancy technical terms and working on multiple things at once. Articulating basic concepts help simplify movements in the athlete’s mind and can cover multiple technical points.

5. Focus on and provide positive feedback for what your athletes do well
Typically, there is something an athlete fails to execute in every attempt. Doing things wrong every single attempt in a training session or meet is discouraging to both coaches and athletes, but there will be things they do well that stand out. Be sure to praise them and provide that positive feedback to help foster an environment that is productive and positive.

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