Schottenbauer Publishing

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Effects of Technique in Shot Put Throws

Correct technique is essential to success in track and field events, but the reasoning behind the skills may not always be obvious to students. For example, consider the following two graphs, comparing shot put throw techniques. The graphs are excerpted from The Science of Track & Field, Volume 3 from Schottenbauer Publishing. Both graphs show a throw from standing position, but the first graph includes a proper launching technique upwards and outwards from the shoulder, while the second graph shows a throw consisting almost entirely of horizontal rotation. Both throws include minimal turning at the waist.

Discussion Questions
  1. For each graph, make a table with the following (x, y) coordinates: (a) initial position, (b) furthest point of recoil, (c) approximate point of release, (d) apex of trajectory, (e) end of trajectory. Mark points (b) and (c) with a horizontal line on the graphs, for visual reference.
  2. Calculate the following and add them to the table: (a) horizontal length of active throw, (b) horizontal length of trajectory, (c) vertical height of trajectory to apex, (d) vertical height of trajectory from apex to ground, (e) time of trajectory from release to ground, (f) average horizontal speed of the throw, (g) average vertical speed of the throw, (h) average horizontal speed of the trajectory.
  3. Which throw involves a faster horizontal speed of throw?
  4. Which throw results in a higher apex of trajectory, as measured from point of release? As measured from apex to end point?
  5. Which throw is more successful? Why?
  6. Why does the red line go down in the first graph, and up in the second graph? 
  7. Redraw the graphs so that the approximate furthest point of recoil begins at (0,0), and both throws are in the same direction, from left to right.

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