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October 11, 2011

10*11*11 Q&A Throwing Open Stone

I am looking to improve my Open stone.  Should I change glide to Spin?  Tips for learning the spin?  South African Vs. Full Spin?


I spent a lot of time last year working on my open stone.  Again the one key thing to improving the throws is taking tons of throws, I'm talking 4 days a week 3 events a day.  Some days I take as many as 20 throws per event.  This volume is something you will have to work up to.  Other than tons of throws are quality throws.  Remember throwing far is a side effect of doing things correctly.

Glide to Spin?  Well I have thrown with both, glide during college and spin now.  I throw further spinning than I did gliding.  The spin is a much harder technical throw than the glide.  Typically body type has a lot to do with what technique is going to work better for you.  If you are 6'5"+  the glide should work just fine.  around the 6' mark I like the spin.  It really depends on what your strengths are.  Glide is also going to work better for a less technically sound athlete with less body awareness.  Spin is going to benefit a speed thrower who can get into the positions.  Both ways have been successful for a long time. The last Olympic gold medal was won by a glider, just FYI.

Tips for learning the spin.  I seriously recommend watching a ton of You tube clips.  Here is one of my favorites below.  This is a great slow HD video of some of the top guys.  They are all doing the spin but each throw varies quite a bit from athlete to athlete.  For the beginner (if you did not throw  at the collegiate level, you are a beginner) working on the glide I would watch the Werner Gunthor video series.  This is going to be great in establishing a lot of the basic key points.   Any thing you can find from college coaches like Don Babbit or Jud Logan.  There are more out there these are two of my favorite.

South African vs. Full Spin?  Lots of highland games guys throw with a Modified South African (MSA).  This is a much easier to learn for most people than the Full Spin or a correct glide.  For me personally I can't get much more out of the MSA than I can a standing throw.  I see lots of problems with this Technique for the highland games.  For example the line of power from the back of the ring to the toe board changes direction.  This works for most all of the throwers because they don't throw very well.  All of the power in the spin is generated in leaving the right leg long out of the back and kicking it through to start the hips moving.  This part of the throw is eliminated in the MSA.  Learning the full spin is much more difficult and takes lots of time.  (I am still pretty bad at it.  I threw 60'+ but in the grand scheme of throwing this is just above avg.)  I think learning a proper glide will benefit most throwers more than the MSA, but again it is harder to learn and you have 8 other events.

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