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Analysis of Shotput Essay

This assignment will give the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge of biomechanical principles and their impact of sporting performance.

Analysis of shot-put – provide the requirements of the shot putt, with specific reference to the musculo-skeletal system. Provide comparisons to the discuss and hammers throws.

According to (rose 2011) various stone- or weight-throwing events date back more than 2000 years in the British Isles. The first known events resembling the modern shot put likely occurred in the Middle Ages when soldiers held competitions in which they hurled cannon balls. Events such as the stone put of the Scottish Highland games and the Steinstossen native to Switzerland are precursors of the shot put. Shot put competitions were recorded in early 19th Century and were also part of the British Amateur Championships beginning in 1866. Shot put was an original modern Olympic event; with American Robert Garrett winning in 1896 it has been an event in every Summer Olympic Games since then.

A shot put is performed inside of a 2.14 meters circle with a 10 cm toe board at the front edge (kleeman 2007). Distance is measured from the inside of the circle’s circumference to the closest disturbance of soil caused by the shot. The shot may be made of brass or any heavier metal, though brass and iron are most common. Regulation weights are 7.26 kilograms for men and 4 kilograms for women (kleeman 2007). Each competitor typically has six throws, and the best single throw is the winner. The shot put athlete must step into the front half of the circle but must not leave the circle during the throw.

The weight must be thrown from the shoulder and pushed off the fingertips, not thrown like a baseball. Using improper form is cause for disqualification. Muscles provide the forces needed to make movement possible; they transmit their forces to tendons, whose forces in turn cause rotation of the bones about the joints. Muscles, however, are not simple force generators: the force developed by a muscle depends not only on the level of neural excitation provided by the central nervous system, but also on the length and speed at which the muscle is contracting. These muscles are the interface between the neuromuscular system and musculoskeletal systems. These two systems interact to produce coordinated movement.

When shot putt is performed the athlete should be trying to generate the greatest amount of force, in order for this to happen the athlete needs to be able to get into the best technical positions to generate this power and explosiveness, this force then needs to be delivered in the direction of the throw.

There are two techniques in which an athlete can propel the shot putt; these are rotational and glide; the first important factor of rotational shot putt is the long sweeping free leg, the further an athlete can increase the radius of the swing leg while still maintaining balance the better, this is because it increase the angular momentum on the vertical axis, this would have a similar affect on a figure skater as there drawing there arms in as they go through the turn, a long sweeping action of the swing leg increases the angular momentum at take off, this helps to increase the angular velocity when the thrower makes the rear foot touch down and brings the leg in closer to the body.

The second important factor is the greater vertical displacement of the centre of mass during flight, the primary benefit of greater vertical displacement of centre of mass during flight is to plyometrically load the lower extremities for a more powerful delivery of the implement, this is so that a more powerful and forceful contraction can be made and a faster delivery will result, athletes with less eccentric strength qualities may not be able to control the weight on the back leg.

Novice or athletes with less eccentric strength qualities may not benefit to the same degree as athletes who are highly elastic or extremely explosive. Another important factor is greater rear leg knee flexion at rear foot touch down, the best athletes make rear foot touch down with a greatly flexed rear knee and grind the foot causing the athlete to both turn and lift while in single support. The optimal degree of the knee flexion is highly dependant on an athlete’s strength level; stronger athletes can easily use and benefit from greater knee flexion. The best rotational throwers make rear foot touch down between 105° and 115° of knee flexion.

The important factors of the glide techniques start with The upper body is bent slightly over the right leg, the left foot starts in the middle of the ring, and the legs are brought together at the knees as the upper body is dropped down slightly. Then the lower body unseats and left leg is either stretched or aggressively driven to the toe board, depending on the thrower’s skill level. The right heel leaves the rear of the ring after the left leg is extended. The shot being raised over the head; the wrist is bent facing upward, the ball rest at the base of the fingers. The shot is then placed on the neck, under the jaw with the thumb touching the collarbone. The ideal path of the shot is straight as possible from starting position to the release, with a gradual increase in the height of the ball from the start of the glide.

Most of the force to get across the ring is generated by unseating and driving the left leg to the toe board. The right leg is picked up and place near the centre of the ring. The upper body remains passive and back, for most throwers the left arm will remain back and over the right leg. Once the athlete starts the glide across the ring, the thrower must keep the ball and body moving toward the throw. Shot-putters need to increase the speed of the throw during this movement and set up a proper throwing position. The shot-putter lands on the ball of the right leg, the left foot touches down after the right foot, the feet will have a right heel to left toe relationship, so the hips can open during the putting phase. The throwing stance varies in width depending on the technique employed by the athlete.

The long-short technique has a narrow base, with the left foot landing on or past of the mid-line of the circle at a 90-degree angle from the throw. The short-long style utilizes a wider throwing stance, generally behind the middle of the circle with the right foot turned slightly from the starting position in the back of the ring, approximately 100-140 degrees from the throwing area. The shot remains over the right leg, the upper body is still passive, and however, some athletes actively open the left arm as the athlete reaches the power position, but the shot is always kept back over the right foot with good technical throwers.

The shot put should down, the right elbow below the right hip when looking at a side view. The lower the ball, the greater the pull and the longer the path to apply force on the shot. The longer base has an advantage because of the wider base of the power position, there is a longer increase in the acceleration path of the shot will travel when the athlete applies muscular force. However, the longer path of acceleration must be over a short period of time because the velocity of release is such critical factor for the shot putter.


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