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How to score in shot put

Updated April 17, 2017

Shot put is a sporting event in which the athlete "puts" a heavy ball (usually made of steel) as far as possible. Participants stand in an outlined circle that is seven feet in diameter and must stay in the circle after they throw. The measurement is taken from the circle to where the shot put lands. If the ball rolls after landing, the extra length from the roll does not count toward the measurement. Shot put is a track and field event that's practised at the high school, college, professional and Olympic levels.

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  1. Stand in the circle and hold the shot at the base of the fingers--not in the palm of your hand. Slightly spread the fingers apart and use the thumb for support. Cock the hand back at the wrist, just as a server would to carry a tray.

  2. Raise the shot above your head, lower your arm, and place the shot under your jaw. Press it against your neck, and raise your elbow. By now, the palm should be facing out so you can push the shot.

  3. Stand sideways depending on which hand you throw with. A right-handed person will stand with his left side facing the throwing area (where the shot will land). Use the power position to maximise strength behind the throw. Place 80 per cent of your weight on the right leg if you are right-handed (left if you are left-handed).

  4. Bend your knees slightly and turn your body toward the back of the circle by pivoting on your feet. Pivot back around in a swift motion, and shuffle sideways twice. At the end of the second shuffle, spring the legs upward until the feet are in tiptoe position, and push the shot using the ball of the hand. The strength in your legs will aid in driving the shot forward.

  5. Stop the motion of the left side (or the right, if you're left-handed) of your body when pushing the shot forward. This will aid the right side during the quick burst of the push. Be careful to not step outside the ring. If you do, your throw will be disqualified.

  6. Tip

    Do not take too many practice throws. This will cause your arm to weaken. Run and stretch to warm up. Dress in athletic clothing and shoes before practicing shot put to prevent injury.


    Do not attempt to throw shot put without consulting a coach first. Never throw a shot like a baseball. Practice proper technique to avoid injury.

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Things You'll Need

  • Shot put
  • Outdoor space to practice or a shot put ring at a track
  • Athletic clothes
  • Athletic shoes

About the Author

Melissa Chichester

Melissa Chichester has been an active writer since 2003. Her work has appeared in "Red Weather Literary Magazine" and online at Skirt.com, LongStoryShort.net and PankMagazine.com. Chichester holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Minnesota State University and a Bachelor of Science in English from Northern Michigan University.

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