Feet Alignment in the Power Position of the Shot Put
by Gary Aldrich, Carnegie Mellon University
Using a right handed thrower as a reference, the left foot's big toe (which is closest to the toeboard) will align with the right foot's instep or heel (which is in the center of the circle). Whether to place the foot in a Toe-Heel or Toe-Instep is commonly determined by the size of the athlete.
Taller, larger, wider hip athletes usually feel more comfortable in the Toe-Heel relationship. The reason this alignment is the most advantageous is because of the following:
1) If the feet are in a closed position where the left foot's heel is aligned with the right foot's big toe, as you pivot your feet to initiate the throw your hips will stop prior to them facing the middle of the sector. The left leg will stop the hip rotation. The hips will stop resulting in facing down the right hand sector and thus the throw will go down the right sector line. This causes a short push on the shot.
2) If the feet are in a open position where the left foot's big toe is aligned with nothing on the right foot, your hips will blow pass the release point and face the left sector. The reason this happens is there is no initial blocking action occurring. Thus throwing down the left sector. This will cause a weak push and missing the proper point of release.
Therefore the proper feet alignment is Toe-Heel or Toe-Instep. This will allow the hips to face up to the middle of the sector and keep all the force lines in alignment. Resulting in hitting a strong release position and a summation of forces, which will generate the best possible results. Therefore resulting in the best possible feet position is the Toe-Heel or Toe-Instep Position.