By Kevin Fitzpatrick - Last updated: Sunday, May 1, 2016
University of Buffalo assistant coach and 30 year high school coaching veteran, Jim Garnham, presents the proper way to hold a discus. The ultimate success of an athlete’s throws begin with their grip, making the way they grab the discus of utmost importance before beginning their motion.
Holding the Discus
Drill Summary: Coach Garnham says holding the discus at your side should be like carrying a suitcase in your hand. The discus should rest in your hand on the first knuckles on your fingers and your palm should be somewhere in the middle of the ring. You’ll know you’re holding the discus right if you can move it around with you hand on top of it and the centrifugal force keeps it in your hand.
By Kevin Fitzpatrick - Last updated: Friday, January 1, 2016
An innovative approach to teaching the discus throw is through the use of discus balls and bowling pins. Jim Garnham, University of Buffalo assistant coach, believes that throwing a bowling pin can create muscle memory for throwers and promote the proper mechanics for the discus event.
Discus Balls & Bowling Pins
Drill Summary: The athlete takes a discus ball and executes a wheel drill to throw the ball. After doing a few reps with the discus ball, switch to using a bowling pin. The bowling pin will keep the thrower’s arm extended and help them turn their lower body into the throw.
Keys to the Drill:
1) Work the lower body into the throw.
2) Don’t lift up on the throw.
3) Finish extended.
4) Body should face forward after rotating.
By Kevin Fitzpatrick - Last updated: Thursday, October 1, 2015
John Ridgway, Central Michigan University throws coach, uses the “Rotation Drill” to work on the balance of his discus throwers. By staying on the ball of their feet and having their body move as one unit, athletes will learn how to set up a solid base for every time they launch the discuss.
Drill Summary: Athletes progress from a quarter turn, to a half turn, to a 360 degree turn, to a 450 degree turn in this drill progression. In all four turns, the proper technique includes beginning in a balanced position with weight evenly distributed over both legs. Next, turn the left leg and have it lead the turn before transferring balance onto it. As the athlete starts to turn, their left side should be locked in and their body should move as a unit.
Keys to the Drill:
2) Chest up.
3) Shoulders level.
4) Move as a unit.
By Kevin Fitzpatrick - Last updated: Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Want to get the most out of every throw without putting too much stress on the body? Check out this posture and alignment drill from University of Nebraska throws coach Carrie Lane that will teach your discus throwers correct form.
Posture & Alignment Drill
Drill Summary: For this drill, athletes need a pole and a line to stand on. To begin, the athlete puts the pole on (and parallel to) their shoulders. Next, they set up in the stand throw position with their back foot on the line and their lead foot just off it. When taking their initial position, it is important for the athlete to line the pole up exactly perpendicular to the line on the ground. The next step is to rotate the lower body while keeping the pole in the same position. Coach Lane teaches her throwers “Tony Hip”, or toe-knee-hip. If the thrower moves their body in that order, they’ll execute better throws. The last step of the drill is to rotate the body to the target and finish with the pole over the athlete’s head.
Keys to the Drill:
1) Rotate the right foot on the initial movement.
2) “Tony Hip”
3) Keep the pole perpendicular to the line on the ground.
4) Finish with good balance.
By dustin.moscoso - Last updated: Thursday, January 1, 2015
Nationally recognized throwing coach Larry Judge has an athlete demonstrate the full throwing movement with the reverse at the end of the throw where the rear foot swings through to the front. Coach Judge then shows you the “Dynamic Reverse” where the athlete reverses the legs and feet and continues on a spin to maintain balance and stay within the circle.
Full Throw with Reverse and Dynamic Reverse
Coach Judge emphasizes that the athlete always stay in the ring during practice.