SPEED! TECHNIQUE! SPEED! These are the three basic requirements for obtaining a maximum distance javelin throw. And the word "throw" is not really correct in the classic definition of the word. The javelin is "flung", and, assuming that you have initiated it on the correct trajectory, the faster it is going when you fling it, the farther it will go. This event has much more to do with speed than it has to do with strength. After the athlete has mastered the proper mechanics, the thrower must work to develop increased approach and delivery speed.
THE RUN-UP: The reason for the run-up is to develop a large horizontal velocity that is ultimately transferred to the javelin. The athlete should strive for maximum controllable speed that can be transferred through the cross-over steps and up through the wrist.
THE CROSS-OVER: Proper cross-over step rhythm must be maintained in order to achieve optimum final block and release positions. The basic sequencing through the cross-over (C-O) is left foot strike which begins the C-O, the left foot takeoff, the right foot strike, the right foot takeoff, the final foot strike (left) and then the release of the javelin.
During the C-O, every effort must be made to keep the foot/ground contact time to a minimum. Extending the foot contact time slows the body speed and will ultimately slow the delivery speed of the javelin.
Some javelin throwers use a technique where they extend the amount of time off the ground during the cross-over stride by jumping off with the left leg. There is no data to support that this action will result in a longer throw. This action will also tend to cause a premature start to the throwing action and
RIGHT FOOT STRIKE TO TAKEOFF: This is the delivery stride and the most critical point. The right elbow should be fully extended from right foot strike through to release. The left knee should be fully extended at this point. Keeping the knee extended will cause a higher rate of deceleration of the COM (center of mass) resulting in a better transfer of momentum to the trunk and right arm. The hip and shoulder axis should be closed through this stride.
LEFT FOOT STRIKE TO RELEASE: Every effort should be directed at getting the left foot planted as quickly as possible after the right foot has touched the ground. With the extended left knee, this will provide the pivot point for the left hip and facilitate the transfer of momentum to the upper body.
As the right leg comes forward, the right hip should rotate around the left hip. This will cause the trunk to rotate to the left and begin the delivery sequence. The right elbow is kept fully extended upward, trying to hold the javelin as far from the body as possible.
YAW AND RELEASE ANGLES: The release angle should be close to 40 degrees. All other conditions being equal a 40-degree throw will travel farther than a throw at 37 degrees. Yaw, the difference in the direction of the javelin and the direction of the grip at release, will impact distance. Effort should be made to ensure that the javelin is pointed in the same direction as the movement of the wrist.
THE FLAIL: The throwing action of the arm is a flailing/lashing action by the arm. There are three "levers" involved in this action. These are the shoulder, the elbow and the wrist. Each pivot point of these "levers" must be as high above the other as possible. This action is started by driving the deltoid/shoulder up into the ear and then continuing this upward motion through the elbow and wrist. Very simply, the longer this lever, the faster and more powerful the force of the throw.
KEY ACTIONS: The transfer of momentum from the lower to upper body and the length of the throwing levers are the key ingredients to a successful throw.
A detailed "BIO-MECHANICAL ANALYSIS" was performed on some of the best javelin throws at the 1995 World Championships with the following conclusions--
The elements of good throwing technique include:
SOME RECENT IMPLEMENT WEIGHT CHANGES
WAVA/USATF have recently revised the weight for the javelin in the following age/sex groups:
W50/59 500 GRAM
M50/59 700 GRAM
M70/79 500 GRAM
M80+ 400 GRAM