The javelin throw has been sort of an underdog when it comes to events at the Olympics. There is not much glamor attached to it. Rather, it is not as closely followed as perhaps gymnastics or other track and field events. However, I think javelin throw is a tough event to excel at. It needs precision and loads of practice. In case you are planning to emulate some of the greats in this sport, here are some tips that will help you out.
- The way an athlete holds the javelin is vital to how far it would eventually land. So, we will start with the grip. The crux of the method of gripping the javelin is to turn the palm upwards. This helps is maintaining the weight of the javelin securely and comfortably. See which amongst the 3 styles of holding the javelin cord suits you. Is it the American style, Fork style, or the Finnish style?
- Taking it ahead from there, let me elaborate the throwing style in context of the grip. As far as the American style is concerned, it is the most commonly used one, with the cord held between the thumb and the index finger, In the fork style, the player grips the cord between the index and the middle finger. In the Finnish style, the javelin is held between the middle finger and the thumb.
- Just as a run-up is important for throwing the javelin, throwing it without running and standing still is essential too while practicing. Basically, if you can improve on the distance you can cover with a standstill javelin throw, it will add to the distance you cover during a running throw. Focusing on that for a few minutes in every training session will help a lot.
- Okay, the core of javelin throwing cannot be ignored, so, we have to emphasize on the run-up more. A well-poised run always goes a long way in ensuring that the javelin reaches the maximum distance. The run-up has to start with the non-dominant foot. It helps the thrower build up speed and enough kinetic force to throw the javelin.
- The release point and the throw are the climax, and very important. At the point of release, the javelin has to be ideally thrown over the non-dominant foot. The throwing hand needs to be raised as high as possible at the exact point of release.
This is the core of javelin throwing. At the end of the day, javelin throwing is all about the proper grip, proper stance which involves keeping your body upright, and focusing on the throw. All this for getting the javelin to travel the optimum possible distance.