The first eight throws innovations are reviewed below:
This number 2 innovation may be viewed as a cheat by me, since really it encompasses two major technical advances to the sport of shot put. The first technical enhancement to shot put was the inclusion of a glide before the release of the shot put. Introduced by Parry O’Brien in the 1950s, he was the first the first person to begin the throw facing the back of the circle. Using this technique, Parry broke the world record numerous times, and was the first person to throw the shot over 60 feet (18.29 m). The glide technique has maintained its popularity, with many of the world’s top marks in the last decade coming from this technique.
In the 50s and 60s we saw the development of the rotational throw as well. Again, earlier throwers with this technique (Chandler, Ward, Malek, Oldfield and so on) achieved outstanding results with this technique (Bartonietz). The biomechanics behind this technique are generally accepted to be more complex than that of the glide, and so learning this technique requires a more complex set of instructions to athletes (Bartonietz).
Also, the introduction of two unique techniques has created a sub-plot to world-class competitions. Undoubtedly, at every competition you will have members of the unofficial ‘glide team’ competing against the ‘rotational team’. Furthermore, if you talk to enough coaches, you will find people who love one technique over the other, and will get into debates about which technique is superior. Finally, it is easy for the general public to decipher the difference between the two techniques…and to choose a favorite technique to cheer for. Because these two very different techniques, produced around the same time, are able to both produce world championship winning throws, the shot put techniques are the number 2 throwing innovation.