NOTE: This is written for a right handed thrower. Lefties should reverse left and right.
Written by: Doug Medernach, UofS
/ STFC Throws Coach
Last edited: Nov.12/99
-> place your throwing hand on the discus botom hand beneath
-> the inside of the first knuckle on the fingers should rest on the rim
-> if you remove the bottom hand, the discus should fall to the ground
-> it is the swinging motion that keeps the discus in your hand
-> discus may be released off the index or middle finger
-> the discus is released with a flat hand and by bringing (rotating) the fingers towards the body
-> have younger kids practice bowling the discus, stressing a flat hand and bringing the fingers closer to the
3) "Arm Swing"
-> good warm up drill for the shoulder
-> stand with hips and upper body perpendicular to the direction of the throw
-> swing the arm at shoulder height, back once then swing forward, remembering to keep the arm fully extened
4) "Stand Throw"
-> start with feet wider than shoulder width, perpendicular to the direction of the throw
"foot allignment" -. heel-toe (back foot-front foot)
-> back leg bent, front leg straight
-> start with discus at the front, non-throwing hand underneath
-> swing your throwing arm back, allowing your shoulders to turn, until your upper body is facing the cack of the
circle in the T-position
-> start the throw by swinging the arm forward, while simultaneously slamming your hip thru so that your hips and
torso face forward
-> the discus is released with your arm directly out from your shoulder, pointing towards the side of the circle
"follow thru" -> the arm continues travelling forward and upward, shoulder fully extends, elbow bends and hand
comes in front like its reaching for the other shoulder
"blocked" -> front foot is to the right of the back foot (right handed)
"in the bucket" -> front foot is to the left of the back foot (right handed)
5) South Africans
--> Start by facing 90 deg. from the direction of the throw, with your left foot just inside the circle at the middle of
the back, while your right foot is just outside the circle, about shoulder with apart, even foot alignment, and
knees slightly bent.
--> preliminary swings with the arms, on your toes, allow your trunk to twist as you swing the arms. BE
--> coming out of the 2nd and last swing, rotate you body on your toes so that you are facing the diection of the
--> pick up your right foot and DRIVE ACROSS THE CIRCLE, linearly
--> left foot leaves the ground, start rotating your lower body around
--> right foot lands in the centre of the circle...rotation finishes...left foot lands...you are now in the POWER
POSITION and can finish the throw. All of this should take a fraction of a second.
--> finish up tall, and reverse only if necessary
6) Full Throw
--> Similar to the South Africans, except you start facing the back, feet in the circle, shoulder width, knees bent,
on toes, preliminary swings with body rotation
--> on second and last swing, right foot leves the ground as you rotate on the left foot until you are facing the
direction of the throw
--> DRIVE ACROSS THE CIRCLE, POWER POSITION, THROW
--> Some people have a hard time making the transition from the South African (1/2 turn) to the full throw.
--> Start as in the full throw, except, you bring the left foot back about a foot from the back of the circle
--> this lessens the amount of rotation and serves as a transition between S.A. and full throw
1) "Scooping" the discus
This is when an athlete throws the discus from a place around their hip, leading to an exaggerated upward trajectory.
This can be caused by dropping the left shoulder during the turn across the circle which leads to a loss of balance
which can cause the athlete to look up and away from the discus quickly. Make sure the thrower's shoulders are
square during the throw.
2) Premature turning of the head.
When the athlete loses sight of the discus aka turning their heads, it leads to a pull on the discus in a different direction
than the thrower intended. Make sure the athlete keeps their eye on the discus until they have released it. This also
gives them a "focal point".
3) Improper flight of the discus
This is when a discus wobbles and is often the result of the thrower tilting the hand during the throw and not getting a
smooth, relatively flat hand on release. Ephasise a stedy hand while throwing.
4) "Gopher Hunting"
This is a popular phrase in my group refering to low throws. It could happen if the athlete doesn't "throw thru the point".
By this I mean their arm is moving at the correct angle for relase but the thrower's follow thru doesn't continue on the
same upward path. If the follow through is downward then the discus will not achieve its desired height. It is possible
that the athlete isn't achieving the proper throwing angle (~45 deg.).
5) Narrow base in power position
In the power position feet should be wider than shoulder width, bach leg bent and front leg straight. Having a narrow
base can lead to scooping, prematurejumping and even fouling. It also results in a loss of leg drive or "hip whip", as
their is less time for the leg to generate force for the throw.
6) Too many prelim. swings
This just wastes power and time and it costs distance, need I say more.
7) Athlete dips left shoulder during the drive across the circle
This often puts the athlete off balance and leads to problems like scooping. Have the athlete keep up tall during the
8) Blocked / in the bucket
blocked --> prevents the hips from opening up when you throw which lessens your power
bucket --> prevents you from achivening max. distance by taking force away from the direction of the throw
Do plenty of phantom (throwing without the implement) throws/jump-turns until they hit it right and then do some more.
9) Late left foot
During the jump-turn, it is important to get the left foot down ASAP. You can't leave the power position with any amount
of force until the block leg is down. Work on the quickness of your jump-turns (esp. phantoms!) and put the
empahasis getting the left leg around and down.
10) Not finishing up tall
Athletes sometimes have a problem bending over at release. This is due to the failure of the athlete to contract their
11) Weight shifts forward
Sometimes the thrower will shift his weight forward and off his right leg, thus reducing the amount of force they can
generate. Here I recommend stop and go throwing. Have the athlete jump-turn into the power position and stop. Adjust
if necessary. Then do a standing throw.