On Saturday we had a practice session for the upcoming track and field event I signed up for as part of this year's Corporate Challenge. We are lucky to have someone who has many years of shot put under his belt and is a patient teacher - Thanks Luke!. 4 of us met at a local park which actually had a ring and toe block so we could learn a little something about how to put the shot.
In my mind I figured - "no problem!" I'm a big guy so I should be able to do this. No big deal. Well, this is where the mind outstrips the body's abilities. Luke showed up proper form and in my mind I was doing it exactly as he was, but obviously that wasn't the case. My throws were much shorter and I just couldn't get any rotation to go with the throw. After about 30 throws I realized that with all of the time it was taking I wasn't improving much, if any plus my shoulder was starting to feel it.
At that point I stopped practicing as I realized the amount of time available between now and Saturday was insufficient for any real improvement. How far did I throw? I don't know as we didn't have a tape measure there. If I had to guess I would say in the 20 to 24 ft range. I hope to do better on Saturday, but not holding my breath.
What was really bad was attempting to throw the softball after the shot put. I was terribly uncoordinated. I was throwing line drives and sinkers like I was throwing out a runner sliding in to home plate as opposed to getting loft on the ball for distance. The softball was too light after the shot put. I was expecting more resistance and just couldn't get it right. Add to that my back was tightening up and after 10 throws I was done.
The good news is that the softball throw is first on Saturday so I am going lighter to heavier and I hope that will improve the situation. I have to focus on form and technique and worry a bit less about power.
So I am practicing the motions without the shot - Elbow up, thumb down. Shot tight to the face. Use the opposite arm to pull your through to open up and then push the shot up and out with a finish flick of the fingers. Reset. Repeat. I have no idea if this will help but figure it can't hurt.