The Complete Book of Throws by Jay Silvester is one of the best books for beginner throwers and coaches. As the name implies, the book covers technique for all the track and field throwing events as well as training concepts for the throws. You can read my review of the book below.
There are six main chapters of the book. The first 2 chapters focus on general concepts that apply to all the throws. The final 4 chapters cover each of the individual events and discus their techniques as well as how to train and develop athletes for those events.
Silvester writes the chapters on Biomechanics for Throwing Techniques, Strength and Power Development for the Throws, and Discus himself. As a 4-time Olympian in the discus throw, with personal best of 70.38 meters in the discus and 20.01 meters in the shot put, he is certainly qualified.
The chapter on biomechanics helps to explain how force is generated. These concepts of developing momentum and transferring energy are universal for all the throwing events. You might actually be surprised how similar the shot put and javelin are, for example, from a scientific standpoint.
The strength and power chapter is where the weight room concepts are introduced. Silvester introduces the main lifts that throwers should focus on to get the most out of their time in the weight room. This includes how to setup a program and period for success, while taking into account what event(s) the athlete participates in. There is also great information in there for high school athletes who can’t throw year-round and participate in other sports.
Each throw’s chapter goes into incredible detail about the techniques used. The shot put chapter even covers both the glide and spin techniques. These come with illustrations and text explanations so you can understand what is going on throughout the throw.
The throw’s chapters also goes into great detail about how to train for the event. This includes how to plan a throwing session and perform drill work, as well as what to focus on in the weight room and what specific strength exercises need performed.
The Shot Put chapter is written by Kent and Ramona Pagel. Kent is a long-time throws coach who has had plenty of success coaching. His wife Ramona was one of his athletes. Ramona Pagel made 4 Olympic teams and had the Women’s American Record in the shot put for 25 years.
The Javelin chapter is written by Jeff Gorski and the hammer chapter is written by Don Babbitt, who coaches at the University of Georgia.
Overall, this book is invaluable in understanding the daunting task of planning how to work with a thrower. You should absolutely consider purchasing this book if you need any help designing a throwing program or taking it to the next level. In review, the Complete Book of Throws is absolutely recommended for any beginner who wants to learn more about the events, their techniques, and how to train for them.