Types of Swings in Petanque

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Petanque is not an easy sport to play. People that are watching from the outside would think that it only takes throwing the ball at the right place. But it is much more than that. You have to determine and master the swing properly in order to get the best results.

So let’s define the types of swings that are used in petanque and describe the essentials.

Arm Extension


Perhaps the most important part of throwing the ball in petanque is having a straight and consistent swing. The idea is to reach away from your shoulder while keeping your arm straight at all times. The arm acts as a pendulum while your shoulder is the axis which it revolves around. Thus, the line between your shoulder and the target you are intending to hit should be straight.

First of all, ground yourself and bend your knees. Keep your arm extended all the way through the back swing and towards the forward swing. When releasing make sure to hit the imaginary top of the arch between you and the target you are going for. The lower part of your body should be down and your head straight.

The Pull Back

The pull back part represents the pinnacle of your back swing before going forward. A nice pull back is necessary so the strain is eliminated from your shot and to get the most amount of energy resulting in you being able to concentrate on your shot.

Here is also important to have an image of the line between your shoulder and the target spot. As the shooter takes his arm back along this imaginary line the arm needs to go as far back in order not to twist the wrist or straining the arm in any way. An important part to note is also the posture and the more you are able to bend your knees the further you can pull back your swing.

The Reach and the Follow Through

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The last part of the entire process is the reach. If one has a good forward reach it will immensely improve any shot. After the pull back as you swing forward one needs to concentrate on tracing the imaginary line all the way until the release. At the very end, reach forward but make sure that you are grounded at all times. One should feel the extension in one’s arm and a deep in the shoulder part.

The best piece of advice would be to visualize the arc before every shot and release. If you have that piece of information embedded in your head it will make every throw that much easier. It helps the shooter to get an idea about when to release the ball and how fast to throw it. The rest that one needs to do is simply reach forward up in the line of the imaginary arc.

It also helps that you keep your arm extended in front of you even after you release the ball. This is called the follow through and many athletes, especially basketball players, do this after making a shot. This method is actually very useful as it helps you learn from your shots. You can determine exactly what you did well or where you made a mistake. So you can fix everything on the next try.