Javelin throwing is an unbelievably technical affair. Unlike our hammer, discus and shot putting counterparts, we don’t rely so much on strength and muscle as excellent coordination and rhythm! It’s the combination of many many little things that makes the Javelin go farther! Despite that ANYBODY can throw the javelin if they have the perfect information.
The purpose of Throwing Javelin:
The entire point of throwing Javelin is to see who can throw it the farthest from the throw line, without crossing the throw line and ensuring the point lands prior to the tail. The point doesn’t need to stick into the ground – the front end simply needs to hit the floor before the rear end.
Clearly to be a javelin thrower you will need a javelin. You also should look into getting yourself a set of heel spikes.
JAVELIN: If you’re only starting out, you should check with your regional athletics teams. Being able to use a club’s Javelin not only saves you forking out for your own but will also enable you to get started quicker and get a feel for the event.
When Selecting a Javelin to use there are two major factors:
- The right weight for your age group/gender. The standard weight for women is 600grammes and for Men is 800grammes. Javelins are also generally available in 400, 500 and 700gram weights too. Some stockists have special children’s sizes and foam training aids which (look a bit like 3 foot rockets but) can be used INDOORS!
- International standards. The principal concern here is centre of gravity. Some older versions of Javelin are not approved for competition. Always check the contest rules.
Javelin SPIKES: These are vital to be able to prevent slipping and to generate the thrust you need when placing your foot. Without spikes in the heel you risk slipping which can be very dangerous with sufficient momentum behind you and particularly if there has been any rain. Some equipment stockists sell a heel clip like below, which you can attach to normal running spikes. This is a really economical solution in case you already have a pair of spikes.
- Hold the Javelin in the palm of the hand between your index and middle finger. Your finger tips of both of these fingers should be contrary to the top of the cord grip.
- Hold the Javelin at the palm of you hand with you index finger against the surface of the cord grip.
- Hold the Javelin at the palm of your hand with your middle finger against the surface of the cord grip and your index finger straight along the Javelin itself.
See which one feels most comfortable to you!
For CHILDREN I would advise the first one as it provides greater stability for holding the javelin and helps keep the throw directly on discharge.
For ADULTS, however, I’d advise the remaining two. When you release a javelin through a throw, there is a spinning motion which helps propel the javelin through the atmosphere. This is best achieved with less obstruction from the fingers.
The Javelin Throw:
The whole point is that it’s a javelin throw, not a bowl, not a throw, not a heave. A throw!
As such your momentum comes not out of your arm or your hands but from your TOES! That is right from your toes through your foot, your ankle, your knee, Round Rock Wildlife Removal, your HIP, your chest, your shoulder and then your arm, hand and ultimately your fingers!
It’s a whole body workout!
The best way to understand the throw positioning is to begin from the bottom up:
FEET: Stand sideways to the throw line with your left foot nearest the line (for right-hand throwers, left-hand throwers do opposite) and feet shoulder width apart. Face your BODY to the side while your HEAD is turned to face the casting direction.
ARMS: Place your left arm out to your side at shoulder level virtually pointing at the direction of the throw. Hold the javelin in your right hand and lift your hand out to your side until it is just above head height. The purpose of the javelin should be at your eye level. Your whole body is in a straight line!
From this starting position, lean back in your right foot and have a step forward with your left foot turning it so that your feet are facing the throw direction. Keep your weight on your right foot. Then lift your right heel and begin to turn on your right toes – your ankle will turn then your knee will follow, then through your hip. You’ll get to a stage where your hips are both facing the throw direction but all the while you need to attempt to keep your upper body posture, i.e. your right arm is still straight out behind you and chest facing sideways. Firstly, you allow your shoulder to come forward and then your elbow will come through. Inevitably it will bend but attempt to minimise this by allowing it to come through around head height and ensure that it faces forward.
Finally your hand comes into play and at launch enable the javelin to rotate out of your hand. What I mean is that as you throw your hand uncurls and the last part of your body to touch the javelin is the top of your index finger!
During this motion, your left arm remains out in front. Its purpose is to act like a block. Remember you need to stop before the throw line and your left side stays firm to prevent you falling forward excessively.