Proper Cleaning and Storage of Throwing Implements
By Rob Lasorsa M-F Athletic, National Throws Coaches Association
1) Fully clean each implement. Probably the best product to use is CLR, especially if you are dealing with some rust spots. WD-40 is also a fairly good cleaning agent, specifically on discus plates.
2) After the implements are fully dried, lightly spray them with WD-40. If you have hammers, put extra around the swivel areas and don't forget about the wires and handles.
3) Next apply a layer of Olive Oil - yes Olive Oil (this is not a joke), around the entire surfaces of the implements. At one time we used very light motor oil, but that gets too messy, and even the lightest motor oil is too heavy for such purposes. Believe it or not, through all of our years of experimentation with this, I have actually found that Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil works the best.
4) Implements should always be kept in a dry spot (not outdoors where constant sunlight could have an effect). If using an outdoor shed, it would be wise to add another layer of WD-40 and Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil after a few months.
5) Under no circumstances, store Indoor Shot Puts and Indoor Throwing Weights in a cold area. Exposing indoor implements to cold weather, even for a short period of time, will completely ruin them.
6) With regard to javelins, the same cleaning process is used BUT do not get any cleaning agents or oil on the cords. Once cleaned and ready for storage, protect the cords by wrapping a heavy plastic bag around each cord and seal off with rubber bands or tape. Ideally, javelins are stored horizontally and off of the floor. For example, some type of shelving or bracket system works fine, but do not "pile" javelins on top of each other. The absolute WORSE way to store javelins is vertically, leaning against a wall, with the point (or tail) on the floor.
7) Ideally, Hammers should be hung against a wall without allowing the ball to hit the floor.
8) Do not place shots, discus' and hammers in a storage bin. Try to treat each implement as a separate entity and store each individually without having them come in contact with each other.
9) Place a large bucket of water in the shed or storage spot. This will allow for an adequate level of humidity within the immediate area. Change the water at least once a week.
10) The best way to take care of implements is NOT TO STORE THEM AT ALL - KEEP THROWING THEM!
Rob Lasorsa currently works at M-F Athletic and is ithe president and co-founder of the National Throws Coaches Association. Since 1994, he has served as chair of men’s shot development for USA Track and Field. One of the most respected and knowledgeable throws coaches in the sport, he has held coaching stints at several universities, including North Carolina State University, United States Military Academy, and Kent State University. He and his wife, Mary, currently reside in Palm Desert, California.