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November 27, 2011

Article: Open Stone technical break down.

Article: Technical Break down of Open Stone.

            There are many different ways to throw the open stone.  I am going to attempt to show some insight and some keys for the rotational style of throwing.  Personally I throw with a more traditional full spin approach.  This has been a natural fit for me with the years of Discus and shot put training.  Many throwers find this to be too difficult to pick up and figure out on their own.  Instead they use the Modified South African style.  This is where the throw is started with one foot is outside the trig and one foot in while facing the sector. 
            Here are a couple of simple things to get you on the same page as me.  Understanding these simple concepts will help understanding what I am talking about. Here are all of the things that I will reference.  Please ignore my crude reference made in paint.  This is nothing but a visual aid. 

Ok here is a step by step.
1.  You are going to start with one foot slightly ahead of the other in the back of the trig.  I Think having the right foot turned a bit toward 90* will help with making the turn feel more natural.
2.      With left arm extended and chest up.  Knees slightly bent.  Eyes up and on the horizon toward the throwing area.
3.  First move is getting weight on to the left foot and kicking the right foot through to the center of the trig.            
a.      Left leg is going to drive you toward the center.  The right leg is going to be used to start to get the hips turning.
b.      Left arm should still be long and pointing toward the throwing area. 
c.       Start turning the right foot as much as possible in the air.  As though you are trying to kick a soccer ball on the way to the center of the trig. 
                                                              i.      However for the Right foot to land in proper position you need to think about trying to kick through with outside of the foot leading.
                                                            ii.      Upper body should try and remain facing the throwing area for as long as possible.  Try and focus on something for as long as you can.
4.      Right foot should touchdown in center of the trig.   
a.      Right foot should come down with toes pointing between 6 and 3 o’clock.
b.      Left shoulder should be as close to over the right leg as possible.  This is your torque.  This torque is what launches the shot.  Arm should still be long and loose.
c.       Right foot should be continuing to turn.  This about the right heel driving around and pushing the knee in. 
                                                              i.      The closer that this foot can come down to 12 o’clock the more torque it will create.

Right foot down and left shoulder back over right foot.
5.    Left foot is going to come down slightly behind the right foot.        
a.      Left should come down somewhere between 11 and 12 o’clock.
                                                              i.      Too far over past 12 and you will block your hips off and not be able to finish the throw.
                                                            ii.      Too far past 11 and you will blow past the block position. The weight has to shift onto the left leg again allowing for a block.(will get to this just know you have to get this foot down.)

Power Position.  Left leg down and shoulders back.

6.      POWER POSITION- After the left foot lands right foot should be moving quickly towards 12 o’clock turning the hips with it.
a.      Upper body should still be back with left arm long.  Right hip in front of the stone.
b.      The longer you can stay back and let the legs work the farther it will go.
c.       This is the same position you should be trying to get in for a standing throw to start that throw.
Right foot turning still in front of right shoulder.
7.  BLOCK-  Everything is going to start to fire here and all the force is going into the shot.
a.      Left leg is going to extend pushing the left hip back.
                                                              i.      This is going to accelerate the right hip.  Out towards the throwing area.
b.      Left arm is going to come around and pull the chest open. 
                                                              i.      The arm is going to pull in and accelerate the right shoulder.  Think about this arm being long the entire throw and pulling in.  Same idea for an ice skater spinning with arms out then pulling them in.  This speed gain will help with creating that whip to the right side.
c.       Now that the left side is firm.  All the way from the left shoulder, side, hip, and leg.  This should be in a straight line. 
                                                              i.      This block is stopping your momentum and transferring it into the implement.
d.      Right leg should drive around the left side and extend the arm.
                                                              i.      These two things should happen in sequence.
1.      Right hip finishing around left side up and out.
2.      Right foot should be done pushing and off the ground.  Left leg pushes up to start the reverse.
3.      Right hand is starting to push the stone out toward the throwing area.
4.      Arm should extend fully out over the trig all the way through the hand.
a.      Flipping the stone off of the fingers is the last push.  This final flip and push is the last bit of push. 
                                                                                                                                      i.      The stone should roll off your hand like a basketball.
8.      Left foot and right foot are going to change positions and the left leg will swing out over the trig pulling you back into the trig.
a.      This reverse will help you save the throw. 
I have included some pictures as well.  By no means is my throw prefect and it probably will never be.  However these are the things that I am trying to accomplish.  The more I get to doing things closer to these steps the better it will be.

Left side block, Right hip still in front of stone.

Right hip extended and finishing through the hand

Full extension final push off fingers.



  1. really useful breakdown, matso. thank you for this. for better or worse as i have ventured into this sport, i have decided to cop your style and start learning the full spin. im 6'2" and normally go around 215-220 so i feel like im kind of on the border of spinning vs. gliding.

    i still get more distance out of the glide - maybe since im a noob and dont really know the spin yet. i feel like a full spin will pay more dividends down the road than gliding or MSA though. what are your thoughts?

  2. Mike personally I think the glide is easier to learn for a complete novice. But I think with sometime and a little effort the spin will be better. It generates a lot more force and will definitely help in the end.

    There is no reason to not be able to do both though. I think you will do fine in the spin. The videos you have posted are very solid and you will get there. What stuff by Jacko Gill, it is a smooth spin with lots of power at the end.

  3. Thanks man, I will most definitely check out more of Gill's stuff.

    Reporting back after doing some footwork tonight after lifting: The breakdown you gave above was enormously helpful. Sections 4 and 5 especially because they demonstrate the positions you should hit. I spent the most effort trying to get to the position in section 4 after the first turn.

    I also added in the "bring the arm in" at launch and WOW did that change the feel for the better.

  4. Mike-

    Glad it helped. Please feel free to hit me up with anything I cam help with.


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