How the USA adapted in the Shot Put post-1995 and Why We Didn't Adapt in the Discus

  • So, we have one training group in the middle of the dustbowl run by Oscar the Grouch that takes a smalls and drops her in the world rankings in two *[f-----g] events and sniffing 200' in the discus. *edited by Throwholics



    So, we have the US-of-America Training Center in SoCal who STATE they need cookie cutter bodies to do something approaching this, anything else is the definition of insanity.


    We need a @John Smith sized straight jacket; I'm sure Putin will send over a Russian KGB model, they hate that "сукин сын [sic]".


    I'm sooo glad we're on our way back to the podium; the Eastern Europeans are pissing their pants with worry . . .



    . . . or not.

  • I have no idea what Handball players get paid but the tall athletic discus types translate to left tackles in the NFL and the average salary ranges from 5 million to 11 million a year. They are right below quarterbacks. So whether they get to that level or not that is what they are shooting for.

  • Top Handball players in Europe earn about the equivalence of 200 000 - 600 000 dollars a year. This is more then twice the average european salary outside sports. So it's less then NFL players but still high enough to attract a lot of athletic guys. But still money is not everything to an athlete, especially not in Europe, and the fact that it is a very popular olympic sport with plenty of national heroes makes it even more attractive.


    A big difference, however, is that Handball clubs don't go out of their way to recruit guys who have very limited Handball experience. It is a sport which requires a lot of sport specific skill rather then mostly raw athleticism.

  • Mar 10, 2014
    While I agree with all the training points about variable weight implements and non reverse throwing, I think another factor may also be the body types needed and the lure of football. I’ve been a throws coach and football coach for 30 years.


    You can be successful on a world level as a shot putter being 5′ 11 to 6′ 2 ( Reese Hoffa, Adam Nelson, etc) and at that height you are far less desirable to football programs. You can be a great athlete and usually be ignored by college [American] football coaches.


    On the other hand, almost all world class discus throwers are 6′ 5 and up, way up to 6′ 9. That athlete is extremely desirable to football coaches. Look at the NFL drooling over Margus Hunt last year. Even if you are a mediocre athlete, colleges will take a chance on you because they think you have a big upside. In short, the talent pool of shorter throwers is much greater than the talent pool of taller throwers. Plus the options for that type of athlete in Europe where most of the best throwers come from is limited to basketball and the heavier tall man doesn’t even have that option.

    Mar 11, 2014
    To Bill Pendleton : Yes, football is not a big sport in Europe even though it’s growing and recruiting tall, athletic guys, but there are other sports for those guys. Handball is a huge professional and Olympic sport in Europe and is usually more popular then track and field. If there was no Handball then Europe would probably have even more discus throwers and be even more dominant at the global championships.


    If Robert Harting was not a thrower he could very well have been an elite Handball player. Volleyball is another big sport for the tallest guys, to mention another sport.

    Mar 12, 2014
    I have no idea what Handball players get paid but the tall athletic discus types translate to left tackles in the NFL and the average salary ranges from 5 million to 11 million a year. They are right below quarterbacks. So whether they get to that level or not that is what they are shooting for.

    Mar 12, 2014
    Top Handball players in Europe earn about the equivalence of 200 000 – 600 000 dollars a year. This is more then twice the average European salary outside sports. So it’s less then NFL players but still high enough to attract a lot of athletic guys. But still money is not everything to an athlete, especially not in Europe, and the fact that it is a very popular Olympic sport with plenty of national heroes makes it even more attractive.


    A big difference, however, is that Handball clubs don’t go out of their way to recruit guys who have very limited Handball experience. It is a sport which requires a lot of sport specific skill rather than mostly raw athleticism.

  • I do think part of this development on the men's side is our rotational shot putters and discus throwers throw the same way.....like rotational shot putters. There are not that many discus specialists around these days. With our development system, throwers are encouraged to throw both shot and discus to earn points in high school and scholarships so they can stay in our development system (which is in the college ranks). This causes these doublers to throw either the discus like a shot or a shot like a discus. In this case, the shot usually wins out. Two of the best performers in majors for the US since 2000 were Mike Robertson and Casey Malone (both discus specialists). They are a rare breed, I agree with what John Smith says in what we need to do for training, but when most head coaches are running coaches that demand that they get the most "bang for their buck" out of a thrower, you will have very few discus specialists in a position to do what they need to do to be the best.

  • @Rutger Smith

    Both the spin and the glide requires superior physiology and athleticism; and I bet most US spinners are stronger than the European gliders (also because the gliders are a bit taller). Because coaches don't have much time to work with their athletes here in the US making them strong fast is an solution. Which works in shot. You can throw that ball far with a bunch of adrenaline and power. When you have a decent technique. Only thats why discus stays 'behind' the last years here. Too much power throwers. But thats another topic

  • Do u think its just heavier implements? Its a lot more.
    And please tell me: which style of technic won the last olympic golds in SP :)?
    2012 Slide
    2008 Slide


    Just to answer that europeans did not adapt in Shot Put....

  • The elite American Discus Throwers are playing Power Forward for lower level universities. IF we could get those 6'6" power forwards to throw discus instead of playing basketball the we would be better. Imagine Labron James in the Discus circle!

  • I feel that there are some very valid points here by all. The conversation which I feel that gets too much consideration in America is talent selection. Because of NCAA and recruiting and the vast array of coaches and programs. All we want to talk about is recruits and talent/ talent pools. WE MUST NOT FORGET, that the USA has 300million+ people we are one of the larger countries height wise in the world on average. We have some of the best basic development of athletes in youth and junior in the whole world. We expose many people to the events.


    Sekenia stated that we should find the 6'6 forwards from lower universities. I have worked heavily in athlete development and the #1 sport which gets too much recognition for athleticism is Basketball. The average 6'6 player will be a lesser athlete than the average 6ft athlete. When talking about world class throwing or top NCAA class throwing for that matter, you cannot sacrifice only a large body for good athleticism to win. The comparison of Lebron James is way over the top. Let’s find another NBA Player in history that competed at 6'8" 270lb and was the dominant force on any part of the court?
    Let’s imagine Lebron doing football, lebron doing handball, Lebron doing triple jump etc. there are few very few athletes who are near the capacities of athleticism of lebron James at his height and weight. A Lance brook is a great example of an outlier.. He is tall can support a large amount of weight, very explosive.. He is not a fantastic NBA level basketball player but the image of basketball makes you think everyone who is 6'6 and plays basketball is as athletic as Lance brooks... Total Bullshit. To find someone like him that can hold his fit weight, with low injury rate, do 40" vertical jump in the NBA is uncommon. It is more so in lower level collegiate basketball ranks. NCAA Div has best overall selection of athlete talents but to think that we will find a plethora of them in lower level ranks??
    I feel that this issue overshadows the reason why we are not throwing well. I am 6'1 and was a very good athlete in multiple sports. In high school where everyone does multiple sports in Texas, I was beating those basketball athletes, those 6’5 NFL linemen, and I had no coach and didn’t start to throw until 16 year old. I also played other sports and was good; I was dunking basketball at age 13. We will not solve the problem of getting medals in the USA by only being tall. We have much bigger problems that inhibit our development for elites.


    When Wilkins, Powell, Oerter, Silvester threw, the Europeans were also on average taller and bigger from selection, but at that time we still where competitive and the NBA and NFL still existed. I don’t buy it. The state where I am from has 26 million people. My metroplex (Dallas Fort Worth) where I went to high school has 6 million. More than Estonia, more than Jamaicans whole country by 3 fold.


    Today in Jamaica we see 4 very good discus throwers 67, 67, 66.75, 64 all from the same high school, 3rd world country, poor facilities, good coaching and serious about track and FIELD. They are kicking our asses here in the USA at the University age and junior age in men’s discus. None of these guys are 6'6 basketball types? Of course they are great athletes but we are missing the boat. Even our top level high school throws talents are throwing more frequently. Ryan Crouser and Mason Finley for instance, but in the grand scheme of NCAA competition I believe that it is much easier for a very talented athlete in America to pursue shot-put no matter the size, athletic ability etc. Development age to elite is shorter and technical translation of momentum to the implement is more simplified. Power is important and the best NCAA systems provide that quickly for these athletes and the translation is high. I know right now in NCAA 3-5 very good candidates for elite discus based on their high school performances, college performances with limited practice from doing multiple events and they are all good body types and good athleticism. More than likely they will all advance in shot-put faster but will still rest near the top of the NCAA for discus throwing. I saw the same thing with female athletes. I trained a young lady who threw just under 18m shot-put, never threw discus fall or winter and could throw 57m discus in season with little practice, using shot-put technique. She was phenomenal athlete but was only 5’6. Her potential was huge in both events, stopped throwing before senior season was up with shoulder issues. We have so many athletes in America that we don’t know what to do with them!

  • Mar 14, 2014
    I do think part of this development on the men’s side is our rotational shot putters and discus throwers throw the same way. . . like rotational shot putters. There are not that many discus specialists around these days.


    With our development system, throwers are encouraged to throw both shot and discus to earn points in high school and scholarships so they can stay in our development system (which is in the college ranks). This causes these doublers to throw either the discus like a shot or a shot like a discus. In this case, the shot usually wins out.


    Two of the best performers in majors for the US since 2000 were Mike Robertson and Casey Malone (both discus specialists). They are a rare breed, I agree with what John Smith says in what we need to do for training, but when most head coaches are running coaches that demand that they get the most “bang for their buck” out of a thrower, you will have very few discus specialists in a position to do what they need to do to be the best.

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