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Discus

To achieve maximum distance in the Discus the athlete will have to balance three components - speed, technique and strength. The information on this page is for a right handed thrower.

The hold

  • Place the left hand under the discus for support
  • Place the right hand on top of the discus
  • Spread the fingers evenly but not stretched
  • The first joint of the fingers curling over the rim of the discus
  • Do not to grip the discus
  • Allow the discus to rest on the first joint of the fingers with the tips of the fingers over the rim.
The Hold

Throwing Technique

Discus Technique

  • Figures 1 & 2
    • Adopt a shoulder width stance and perform preliminary swings
    • Keep everything very long to provide maximum possible radius on the discus
    • Body weight in the middle of the stance
    • Aim for chin over knee over toe on the left leg
  • Figures 3 & 4
    • As the right foot leaves the ground the weight must be over the left leg
    • Discus kept high and relaxed, trailing behind the hips
    • Swing the right foot wide of the left foot into the centre of the circle
  • Figure 5
    • On grounding the right foot pivots on the ball of the foot
    • Keep the left foot low and fast

Discus Technique

  • Figure 6
    • Discus held high and back
    • Keep the shoulders level and balanced
    • As the right foot lands aim for a chin over knee over toe on the right leg
    • Keep the left foot low and fast
  • Figure 7
    • Real power position is at the moment the left foot makes contact with the ground
    • Left arm points in direction of the throw
    • Right foot pivots
    • Left side of the body is braced
    • Drive the right hip forward
  • Figure 8
    • Right hip has been driven forward - note the "bow" position
    • The right arm is long and relaxed ready to strike
    • Left side kept firm and braced
  • Figure 9
    • The right arm comes through fast and last
    • The release angle (angle between the horizontal and the right arm) for the discus has to take into consideration aerodynamic lift and drag.
    • Left foot is kept grounded until well after the discus is released
    • Check right thumb is pointing forward and in line with the arm

Optimum Distance

The distance achieved in the discus is dependent on 3 parameters:

  • height of release of the discus
  • angle of release of the discus
  • speed of release of the discus

The parameter that has the greatest effect on the potential distance is the speed of release of the discus.

To obtain an estimate of the potential distance achievable when throwing the discus enter the angle of release, height of release, speed of release of the discus and then select the 'Calculate' button.

Angle of release degrees
Height of release metres
Speed of release m/sec
Distance metres

Optimum Release Angle

With ballistics, the same initial speed is applied to the projectile regardless of the angle of projection. Research (Bartonietz 1995)[2] has shown that the athlete cannot throw at the same speed for all angles of projection, as the angle increase so the speed decreases. This decrease in speed is a result of two factors:

  • As the angle increases the athlete must expend more energy in overcoming the weight of the shot and so less effort is available to develop the release speed of the shot
  • The structure of the body favours a throw in the horizontal direction

Each athlete has a unique combination of release velocity and release angle that depends on their size, strength, and throwing technique which means that each athlete has their own specific optimum release angle.

Each athlete has a unique combination of release velocity and release angle that depends on their size, strength, and throwing technique which means that each athlete has their own specific optimum release angle. Knicker (1997)[1] identifies that the optimum release angle for a world-class discus thrower may be 35°± 8°.

Specifications

The weight specification for the discus depends on gender and age.

Gender\Age 11-12 13-14 15-16 17-19 20-34
Male 1 kg 1.25 kg 1.5 kg 1.75 kg 2 kg
Female 0.75 kg 1 kg 1 kg 1 kg 1 kg

Gender\Age 35-49 50-59 60-69 70-79 80+
Male 2 kg 1.5 kg 1 kg 1 kg 1 kg

Gender\Age 35-49 50-59 60-69 70-75 75+
Female 1 kg 1 kg 1 kg 1 kg 0.75 kg

Training Programs

A training program has to be developed to meet the individual needs of the athlete and take into consideration many factors: gender, age, strengths, weaknesses, objectives, training facilities etc. As all athletes have different needs a single program suitable for all athletes is not possible.

Training Pathway

Pyramid

Athletes in the Event Group stage

The following is a basic annual training program suitable for athletes in the Event Group development stage:

Athletes in the Event stage

The following is an example of a specific annual training programs suitable for athletes in the Event development stage:

Evaluation Tests

The following evaluation tests can be used to monitor the athlete's development:

Rules of Competition

The competition rules for this event can be obtained from:

References

  1. KNICKER, A. (1997) Biomechanical analysis of the throwing events. In: BRUGGEMANN, D. et al. (1997) Biomechanical Research Project Athens 1997, final Report. Oxford, Meyer and Meyer Sport
  2. BARTONIETZ, K. & BARTONIETZ, A. (1995) The throwing events at the World Championships in Athletics 1995, Goteborg - Technique of the world's best athletes, Part 1:shot pit and hammer throw. New Studies in Athletics, 10 (4), pp. 43-63

Page Reference

The reference for this page is:

  • MACKENZIE, B. (2002) Discus [WWW] Available from: http://www.brianmac.co.uk/dicus/index.htm [Accessed

Associated Pages

The following Sports Coach pages should be read in conjunction with this page:

Associated Books

The following books provide more information related to this topic:

  • JONES, M. (1986) How to Teach the Throws. England, British Amateur Athletic Board