THE HOLD: The fingers should be barely over the edge of the discus and not wrapped around the discus. The discus is not held in the hand by wrapping the fingers around the edge. It is held in by the centrifugal force created by the swing. If held stationary at arms length with the discus facing down, the discus should fall out of the hand.
THE RELEASE: The discus comes out of the front and not the back of the hand. At release, the angle of the hand/wrist is changed with the little finger coming back toward the elbow. The wrist is "flicked" and the discus is in effect pushed out by the last two fingers. (see drills section)
THE FOOT POSITION: Regardless of throwing style (i.e.: standing or rotational), having the hips "open" during the release phase is critical. To accomplish this, the feet must be properly aligned.
At the start of release phase, the feet must be placed so that the toe of the front foot (left) is aligned with the heel of the rear (right) foot. While standing at the front of the ring, with a line through the shoulders pointing in the direction of the throw, the rear foot heal should be aligned with the front foot toe. When in this position, you should be able to rise on the toes, pivot/rotate the body so that the chest faces the front on the ring and then be able to take a step forward with the rear (right) foot.
THE STANDING THROW
DRIVE TO RELEASE: At the drive position, for either a standing or a rotational throw, the COM (center of mass) of the body must be over the rear foot. The body must be balanced so that the front foot could be lifted from the ring without loss of balance.
Rotation starts at the rear foot and progresses up through the leg to the hip. The rear hip must be fully rotated so that the waist faces the front of the ring. The motion then continues up through the trunk to the shoulders and lastly to the throwing arm.
As the drive to release starts, the discus should be behind the throwing shoulder and the location should be between the waist and shoulder. Both arms should be fully extended. As the discus comes around, the lead (left) arm is collapsed, the elbow bent and the thumb brought back to the upper chest area.
At release, it is critical that the body is standing tall, the throwing arm fully extended, the knees locked and the hips rotated such that they are ahead of the throwing shoulder.
THE SPIN OR ROTATIONAL THROW
As was noted earlier, the learning progression is from the end of the throw backwards. Prior to trying to learn to spin, you must have learned the end of the throw using the standing throw form. If you haven't done that, then it should be done now if you want to improve your PR.
To learn to spin, start by standing at the rear of the ring facing the front of the ring without a discus or other item in the throwing hand. A taller person will probably be standing just outside of the ring, while the shorter person will be standing inside. From this position, extend the throwing side leg (right) forward, planting the ball of the foot in the center of the remaining portion of the ring. Push off or drive with the other (left) foot, shifting the body's position so that the COM (center of mass) is directly above planted (right) foot. Continue the rotation or spin so that the push-off foot (left) lands at the front of the ring with proper alignment with the rear foot (toe of front foot to heel of rear foot).
During the spin, the arms should be extended in the normal position and the head should be turned toward the non-throwing (left) arm and the eyes should be focused on wrist of that arm. Do not look at the feet. Looking down will cause a slow down in rotational speed. After learning the basic spin movement, start holding a knotted towel and use this as the throwing implement.
The next step in the learning progression is to replicate the full spin. To do this, start by standing while facing the rear of the ring. Again, the actual front to rear position in the ring will be governed by the size of the steps taken in the spin. The start location should be adjusted to ensure that at release the front foot is near the inner edge of the front of the ring.
In the starting position, the toes, knees and shoulders should be in line with the knees slightly bent. The back should be flat, the body bent slightly at the waist. The arms are fully extended to the front, the discus gripped by the upper (right) hand while being supported by the lower hand.
In one continuous motion, the arms are spread with the discus being drawn back to the right side and the weight shifted over the right foot. The body is the pushed or driven to the left with the weight shifting to the left foot. In this "swing step", the swinging foot (right) should be kept relatively low, from 6 to 12 inches above the ring. This is a driven step and not a hop. The body/shoulders should be held level with the COM remaining low.
The landing is on the ball of the left foot in the center of the ring with the COM directly over the foot. The arms are fully extended with the discus located behind the shoulder and midway between the belt line and the shoulders. The angle of the discus should be at the release angle of about 36 degrees.
THE RELEASE OR THROW: The front/left leg is extended and serves as the brake in the throw. The end of the throw is the same in both the spin and the standing throw. The action starts at the rear foot and moves up as the hip is rotated. It progresses into the trunk and shoulders. To increase rotational speed, the lead arm is collapsed with the thumb being brought back to upper chest area. The release point is beyond the shoulder axis.
The head should be turned in the direction of the spin and the eyes fixed on the lead hand/wrist through the entire spin and release.
DISCUS THROW FORM ANALYSIS
LOWER BODY: LOW CENTER OF MASS--KNEES BENT
UPPER BODY: TOES, KNEES, SHOULDERS IN LINE--FLAT BACK--DISCUS BETWEEN SHOULDER & WAIST--FLEXIBILITY AT WAIST--FULL EXTENSION OF ARMS--FULL RANGE OF MOTION--DISCUS ANGLE--TRANSFER OF WEIGHT
LOWER BODY: WEIGHT OVER RIGHT FOOT--LEFT KNEE AND FOOT OPEN--KNEES REMAIN BENT --LOW CENTER OF GRAVITY
UPPER BODY: TOES, KNEES, SHOULDERS IN LINE--ARMS EXTENDED--DISCUS BEHIND THE THROWING SHOULDER--DISCUS ANGLE
LOWER BODY: WEIGHT OVER LEFT FOOT--RIGHT LEG STRAIGHT--FOOT 6" TO 12' OFF THE GROUND
--SWING TO THROWING DIRECTION--BODY REMAINS LEVEL--CENTER OF GRAVITY REMAINS LOW --RIGHT FOOT LANDS IN CENTER OF RING--LAND ON BALL OF RIGHT FOOT--LAND ACTIVELY & READY FOR THE DRIVE STEP
UPPER BODY: FULL EXTENSION OF THE ARMS--DISCUS BEHIND THROWING SHOULDER--DISCUS BETWEEN SHOULDER AND WAIST--DISCUS ANGLE
LOWER BODY: ON BALL OF RIGHT FOOT--DRIVE LEFT LEG TO 5:OO O'CLOCK POSITION--KNEES BRUSH--LEFT KNEE FACES THROWING DIRECTION--CENTER OF MASS REMAINS LOW
UPPER BODY: INCREASE TORQUE--BODY ABOVE RIGHT LEG--DISCUS BETWEEN SHOULDER AND WAIST--DISCUS BEHIND THROWING SHOULDER ARMS EXTENDED--DISCUS ANGLE--SHOULDERS PERPENDICULAR TO THE THROWING AREA
LOWER BODY: TURN FROM RIGHT LEG, FOOT, KNEE, HIP, SHOULDER AND ARM--LEFT LEG EXTENDED FOR BRACE & BRAKE--POP THE HIP
UPPER BODY: LEAN INTO THROW--DISCUS ANGLE--DISCUS BETWEEN SHOULDER AND WAIST --LEFT ARM COMES ACROSS LEFT THUMB COMES BACK TO LEFT SHOULDER--RELEASE BEYOND SHOULDER AXIS--RELEASE ANGLE 35 TO 37 DEGREES
TRANSFER ENERGY BACK TO CENTER OF RING--FOOT REVERSAL--LOOK BACK TO CENTER OF RING
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