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Eight common mistakes in the shoulder throw.

Perfection can only be achieved through mastery of the basic techniques

The shoulder throw is one of the most common moves in wrestling. It can be executed in many ways, though the key mechanics remain the same.

Since the mechanics are difficult to execute in the match setting, coaches have to keep a sharp lookout for mistakes. The eight most commonly observed mistakes are as follows:

1 Grip not tight enough, causing misthrows. There's nothing worse than having your hand slip just as you appear ready for a good throw. Misthrows can become habit-forming, and bad habits are usually difficult to correct.

The most common way to grip the opponent and prepare him for the throw is shown in the accompanying photo. The thrower clamps his right arm over the opponent's right arm and brings it tight against his (thrower's) body.

2 Improper footwork can reduce the wrestler's power and misdirect the throw. The wrestler must align his feet in the direction of the intended throw. Though the width of the feet may vary, the classical position has the feet set inside the opponent's feet, as shown in the photo.

3 Burying the shoulder. Although the shoulder may be buried in the opponent's armpit in various ways, this will reduce the generation of control and power. The thrower should place his biceps, not his shoulder, into the opponent's armpit.

4 Thrower doesn't change levels. In biomechanical terms, this means that the hips (fulcrum) should be set under the opponent's hips (center of gravity) to facilitate lift with the legs. If the thrower is too high, he may not be able to generate the lift needed for the throw.

The thrower must start changing levels as soon as he starts his throw. Even if he is shorter than the opponent, with a lower center of gravity, he must still bend his knees to generate the leg power for the lifting action. (Check photo.)

5 Not enough contact. A lack of contact between the thrower's back and the opponent's chest area creates a gap that makes it harder for the thrower to generate power. The proper back-chest fit - proper body position - is critical to ensure an effective throw. (Check photo.)

6 Not enough lift. Not using the legs and hips effectively in the total body action caused by focusing too much on the upper body in order to make the throw. Hip and leg power is needed for the lift to ensure the rotation into the throw.

7 Staying upright too long. Many throws become ineffective when the thrower extends himself out of position and drops his head toward the mat. This is often done before any lift can be obtained, and causes the wrestler to pull his opponent down without effecting any rotation.

8 Thrower doesn't use any twist. A slight turn in needed to generate more power in the throwing action and the follow-through. For example, when you throw a ball, the shoulders turn - they don't stay square while the body flexes. By eliminating the turn, the athlete reduces his power and control during the rotational action.

It is difficult to execute a perfect shoulder throw, especially in a match setting. The only way to achieve success is through mastery of the mechanics through constant drilling.

Once the techniques have been mastered, they can be polished through repetitive drilling in both the stationary and moving positions.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Wrestling
Author:Takahashi, Ray
Publication:Coach and Athletic Director
Date:Mar 1, 1999
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Next Article:A six-station tackling circuit.

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