A pre-turned foot in the Braemar?

braemar, highland games, mckim, Stone throw -

A pre-turned foot in the Braemar?

On paper, and on film, the Braemar stone throw should be the easiest of the events to master. Yet, for as simple as it looks, there are a few things to remember if you want to pop out a big stone throw. For starters, let's look at rhe set up.

(Again, I'm writing this as if I'm coaching a right- handed thrower.  So, you lefties will just need to translate/convert this in your head.)

For starters, set your feet up in a heel to toe relationship, meaning, your left foot shouldn't be in an equal stance with your right foot; your left foot should be a little behind your right foot. Now, I don't mean in a choo-choo train type of set up with your feet touching, I mean if you're feet are spaced like you're about to jump in the air).

From there, widen that stance a bit. Now, exactly how wide depends on you and your comfort (and size). But the idea is to have a wider than shoulder-width stance on this throw. Since this event doesn't allow an approach, a narrow base does little to help you transfer weight from your right leg into the throw. Now, you'll want to play around a bit with this stance and find the right distance for you, but try widening out that stance and really start working that right foot and hips.

With your feet in this orientation, rotate your upper body to the right and "coil up" as lea back over that right foot. Bend that knee! Now, here's a little tidbit I've used through the years you might try; pre-turn that right foot.

A critical key to any stone throw is getting your hips into the throw. Pushing and driving with lower half: feet to legs to hips. Since grass makes it so tough to turn that foot, give it some help and pre-turn that foot a bit and make it that much quicker of a push into the stone and out into the field.

The Braemar Stone throw is not strictly an upper body event - get that lower half involved!


  • Brian Randell

    Since coming back late last year, I developed a really bad habit, no leg drive. I am throwing all arm. Gotta break that down and get the body moving the stone

  • Daniel McKim

    Honored, Larry! Means a lot coming from a coach like you!

  • Larrr Satchwell

    Great point Dan. The biggest mistake I see throwers make is to move the stone first instead of the hips and legs, keeping the stone as low and back as long as possible. Moving the stone first takes the lower body out of the throw.

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