Throwing Events in Track & Field for College Athletes

Throwing in high school is completely different from throwing in college. In college, there are multiple events added that you are expected to master within a couple years of learning them. Javelin, hammer, and weight throw are all new events to most throwers going in. This is because in high school these events are illegal in most states because they are dangerous. However, on the west coast there are some schools who allow these events. This is where a new challenge comes in: you have some throwers in college who have been doing these events their entire lives and others who are just learning them. However, do not let this hold you back because with the proper training you can have these events close to mastered within a couple years.

Javelin is kind of a “special” event because if you are built for all the other throwing events it is most likely that you are not built for javelin. Javelin requires speed and agility along with extreme flexibility to the point where they almost dislocate their shoulders every time they throw. So, while most throwers are going to be bulky and muscular, you will find that javelin throwers are still muscular but their bodies are built more for endurance than anything else so they are going to have a lot more lean muscle.

Hammer and weight are the same in a lot of ways. Hammer is for outdoor season and weight throw is for indoor. They use the same steps and technique, however, feel completely different because they use different weights. For women, the hammer weighs four kilograms and the weight weighs 20 pounds. Along with this the ball of the hammer is placed on the end of a wire that is three feet 11 inches long and the ball of the weight is placed directly on the handle so your center of gravity changes drastically from hammer to weight throw. “Even when you think you have mastered it, it is only just the beginning,” says Keely Knobbe, junior thrower for Marquette University.

Along with new events comes an entirely new intensity. A lot of times throwers in high school barely lift and use practice for more of a social event than anything else. In college, this completely changes. With pre-season comes conditioning and practicing twice a day. During conditioning there is a lot of abs and med ball training which takes a toll on your body after a couple of days. Lifting is entirely new to some people coming in and because of this it is just one more thing you have to learn. Because throwing has so much to do with body strength, lifting is an essential part that must be mastered and consistently improved upon. This should not stop you from wanting to excel in these incredible events. They are a lot of fun to watch and even more exciting to learn and watch yourself improve upon over time.

Here is an example video of the weight throw: