Simplified Rotational Shot Put: Start to Finish

by Texas Track & Field Coaches Association
Simplified Rotational Shot Put: Start to Finish


The rotational shot put can be one of the most difficult events to coach and can be very intimidating to get started with as an athlete. Coach Justin St. Clair has proven to be a highly skilled coach in developing rotational shot putters. His work with Payton Otterdahl is highlighed in this course. 

Multiple aspects of each of the followig are covered in detail...

Technical Model 
Teaching Progression 
6 Stages of Rotational Technique 
Drills and Video 


The Coach

Justin St. Clair was named the associate head coach and throws coach for the Huskers in the summer of 2021.

St. Clair came to Nebraska after 10 years as arguably the nation's best throws coach while at North Dakota State. He has been voted the USTFCCCA Midwest Region Assistant Coach of the Year nine times since 2016 - five times indoors and four times outdoors. In 2019, St. Clair was voted the National Assistant Coach of the Year for men's indoor track and field, and he followed that up by being one of three national finalists for the women's award in 2020. He was promoted to associate director of the Bison track and field program in August of 2020. 

St. Clair coached NDSU's Payton Otterdahl to the 2021 Olympic Games, NCAA titles in the indoor shot put and weight throw in 2019, becoming only the second man ever to sweep the NCAA titles in the indoor throwing events. Otterdahl set the all-time collegiate record in the indoor shot put on his way to becoming a semifinalist for The Bowerman. During the 2021 indoor season, St. Clair was named the USTFCCCA Midwest Region Assistant Coach of the Year for the eighth time after guiding five NDSU throwers to first-team All-America honors at the NCAA Indoor Championships. 

NDSU tied for the national lead with six entries in the men's throwing events at the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Championships, and Alex Talley and Kristoffer Thomsen earned All-America honors for the 2020 indoor season with national top-10 performances. On the women's side in 2019, the Bison had four different throwers combine to earn five All-America honors at the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships -- Bailey Retzlaff (indoor shot put, hammer throw), Akealy Moton (outdoor shot put), Shelby Gunnells (indoor shot put), and Maddy Nilles (weight throw). Following the season, USA Track & Field named St. Clair the throws coach for its Team USA vs. Europe meet in Belarus in September 2019.

For the abbreviated 2020 season, St. Clair coached Moton, Gunnells and Nilles to return trips to the NCAA Championships, and the Bison women were dominant at the Summit League Indoor Championships. NDSU scored 66 of a possible 78 team points in the two throwing events, finishing 1-2-3-4-5-7 in the shot put and 1-2-3-5-7-8 in the weight throw.

In 2016, 2017 and 2018, the NDSU men and women combined to lead the nation in entries in the throwing events at the NCAA Preliminary Round. Under St. Clair, the Bison had a remarkable 25 throwing entries at the NCAA Preliminary Round in 2016, while no other school in the country had more than 14.

Statistically, the Bison throws program was declared the top squad in the nation across all divisions for three straight years from 2016-18. In 2018, the Bison were the only squad in the country with four men over 59 feet in the shot put and four men over 60 meters in the hammer.

On the women's side, NDSU scored 120 of a possible 156 points in the throwing events at the 2018 Summit League Championships. Six different Bison women finished the season ranked among the NCAA's top 50 in throwing events, and NDSU became the only team in the nation with five women over 15 meters in the shot put.

St. Clair's athletes were also highly regarded on the national scene in 2018, with Payton Otterdahl owning the nation's top collegiate shot put mark and Alyssa Olin ranking second in the NCAA in the javelin. In addition to Olin and Otterdahl, St. Clair guided Maddy Nilles (hammer), Matti Mortimore (javelin) and Alex Renner (shot put) to top-10 finishes at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in 2018 and 2019.

The Bison men and women broke nine of a possible 12 school records in the throws in the 2016 season alone – and every school record on the books was re-broken since January 2016. 

In 2015, St. Clair coached Mortimore to a seventh-place finish in the javelin and freshman Austin Schmidt to 16th in the javelin at the NCAA Outdoor Championships -- at the time, the two highest NCAA Outdoor finishes in NDSU's Division I era. On the women's side, he directed Sierra Rosenau to the first Division I national meet appearance by a Bison woman in a throwing event.

The 2015 season was also an extremely successful one for St. Clair's athletes on the national and international track & field scene. St. Clair coached NDSU freshman Payton Otterdahl to a USA Junior national championship and a Pan American Junior title in the discus, and he also directed NDSU alum Riley Dolezal to his second World Championships appearance in the javelin for Team USA. St. Clair was the throws coach for Team USA at the World University Games held in South Korea.

Along with directing the historic success of the NDSU student-athletes, St. Clair re-entered the international track & field scene as the coach for 2013 USATF javelin champion Riley Dolezal, a 2009 NDSU graduate. Dolezal won the national title in the javelin at the USA Outdoor Championships in June 2013 with a mark of 273-11 (83.50m) – the best throw by an American in four years and enough to rank Dolezal eighth in American history. St. Clair was also named the throws coach of the Team USA Under-23 squad in the summer of 2014.

St. Clair made an immediate impact for the Bison in 2012, directing his student-athletes to 17 performances that ranked among the school's all-time top 10, including two new school records. 

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Course Info

Rating: (0)
Caterory: Track and Field/Shot Put
Bookings: 39
Videos: 28