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The Case Against 3 In A Row in High School Shot and Disc

April 05, 2011 | Comments: 0 | Views: 103

In the state of Wisconsin, it is common for high school throwers to take all three of their attempts in the prelim or final in succession. I am not sure if this practice is common in other states as well or not, but I am in support of the growing movement in the state to move away from this. It is common for collegiate and international competitions as well as the high school state meet, to work through the flight order with each athlete taking one attempt per round. This seems to be a much more efficient way to run a competition as well as creating a more competitive atmosphere for the athletes.

Based on my interpretation of the NFHS rules, the games committee has the ability to determine how athletes take their throws. Some meets will require athletes to take their first two throws in succession and then may choose whether to "hold" their third throw. Other meets may allow athletes to "hold" after each attempt. Still other meets require athletes to take all three throws at once. While every meet is different and has unique circumstances and may need some flexibility based on the number of athletes, facilities, weather conditions, workers, etc, there should be an accepted standard that remains fairly consistent from meet to meet. At the collegiate level, the standard is to take one throw at a time, and if there is a conflict where the athlete must check out, the event judge has the discretion to allow the athlete to take his or her preliminary throws in succession and then continue the remainder of the flight with each athlete taking one attempt.

Having observed both methods, I have found the collegiate method to be superior in many ways. First is meet management. If an athlete takes multiple throws at once, he is called up, completes the attempt, then waits for someone to bring his implement back to him. Sometimes this is done in the time that it takes to measure the throw, and sometimes not. This results in big variations in the time it takes to complete each flight. I have been a part of hosting many meets at the college level, and we can consistently plan on the short events (shot put and weight throw) to take thirty minutes per flight, and the longer events (discus and hammer) about 45 minutes per flight including warm-up time.

Second, it creates a more competitive environment for the athletes. Knowing this in advance allows for better communication and planning when setting up the meet and allows athletes to know how to plan warm-up and when to expect to be ready to compete. Athletes are also forced to stay engaged in the competition for at least the duration of their flight. I have seen athletes lay around all day, warm-up to throw, take their three throws, and then go back to laying around for the remainder of the meet.

Third, there has been a move to make the competition setting more consistent between high school and international competitions so that American high school athletes are better prepared for international youth competitions. While many high school athletes may not go on to compete at the international or collegiate levels, competing the same way gives those athletes more of a perspective about the sport, and promotes more of a connection, knowing that they are doing some of the same things that the elite athletes are doing.

I believe that the majority of the resistance against taking throws one at a time simply comes from coaches having not seen it in action, or fearing change. We host one of the largest high school indoor meets in the state of Wisconsin each year, the Nelson-Daniels Invite. Over the last 5 years or so we have implemented the one throw at a time method. It has worked great, and we have gotten little to no negative feedback about it.

For more information, articles, videos, and drills, be sure to check out http://www.coachthethrows.com.

Source: EzineArticles
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