General Purpose: To inform the audience on the sport of shotput
Specific Purpose: To present the history of shotput, including how it began, its role as a competitive sport, and to demonstrate shotput technique.
Thesis: The sport of shotput, which involves throwing a ball as far as one can, has a historic tradition beginning in the Middle Ages, and today remains a popular track and field Olympic event.
I. History of Shotput
A. Shotput is a sport that began in the Middle Ages in Scotland. Shotput involves throwing a ball as far as one can, although the thrower must begin with a spinning motion in order to generate momentum and speed.
B. The first records of shotput involved throwing stones or hammers. In the 1500s, King Henry VIII was famous for his hammer throwing ability during court competitions.
C. The first modern version of shotput involved throwing cannonballs. These competitions were held in Scotland in the 1800s, with the first Championship competition taking place in 1866.
II. Competitive Shotput
A. The first modern Olympics, in 1896, included Shotput as a men’s track and field event. This was one of two events that involved throwing objects, with the other event being Discus.
B. In 1948, women’s shotput was included as an event for the first time.
C. The first winner of the shotput gold medal was an American named Robert Garret, in 1896. Americans have long been dominant in the sport, despite it having originated in Europe. Since 1896, there have been 28 different Summer Olympic Games, and Americans have won gold medals in all but 10 of these events. However, since the event began as a women’s track and field event in 1948, American women have not fared nearly as well. In the 2016 games, the first American woman won a gold medal in shotput.
D. The current record for Men’s shot put is 23.12 meters, or seventy-five feet and ten inches. The current record for Women’s shot put is 22.66 meters, or seventy-four feet and three inches.
III. Competition Regulations
A. Competitive shot put involves a seven foot circle, with each contestant being required to remain entirely inside the circle during his or her throw. The throwing motion involves a couple of quick spins before the ball is released.
B. Competitors are not allowed to wear gloves or any kind of tape on the hands or fingers.
C. The shot can only be thrown with one hand, and must be held high near the neck.
D. The ball thrown must be a competition regulated ball. Modern shotputs are made of materials such as iron, steel, sand, and even some synthetic components such as polyvinyl. The weight of the ball can differ depending on the specific competition.
E. Any failure to successfully complete the above rules will result in a foul shot. If the thrower commits multiple fouls, he or she may be disqualified from the competition.
IV. Shotput Skills
A. Shotput requires considerable upper body strength. Although the throw begins with a spinning motion, only one arm can be used to throw the ball, with the distance being determined by both the angle and the strength used to throw the ball.
B. Competitive shotput athletes train much in the same way that weightlifters train, as a larger upper body mass usually results in further throws.
C. Shotputters generally will rely on one of two techniques. One technique begins with the thrower facing toward the pitch, although another technique that appeared in 1951 involves a spinning motion that begins with the thrower facing backwards.
D. And now, I will demonstrate the shotput technique!
- Silvester, L. Complete book of throws. Human Kinetics, 2003.