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Teaching and Coaching the Discus Throw

Teaching and Coaching the Discus Throw

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Get 15 drills that will improve your discus throwers' PR.
  • Discover drills for correcting common errors, teaching proper techniques and adding distance to throws
  • Use a variety of drills and their progressions to teach athletes to spin comfortably with power and control
  • Develop a complete conditioning program for your discus throwers, including warm-up routines and strength-building programs
  • Learn drills that improve angle of release and length of the throwing radius

with Jim Garnham,
University of Buffalo Assistant Coach/Throws;
Coach of 2015 NCAA National Champion Jon Jones (shot put);
3x USTFCCCA Northeast Regional Coach of the Year; 30 years as a high school coach, finishing with at least one state champion each year during his final 10 years coaching (1992-2001).

The discus throw is one of the most challenging field events. University of Buffalo throws coach, Jim Garnham, provides basic instruction in teaching the progressions of the discus throw that will benefit all throws coaches.

Coach Garham demonstrates a series of 15 drills that can be used as a tool to develop an effective discus program. These drills cover everything from developing an event-specific warm up, to proper release positions that will help an athlete "sling" the discus more powerfully to drastically improve their throws. Coach Garnham, breaks down the major aspects of the event, from grip and release, to driving from the back of the circle; providing drills, instructions, and personal insights on the importance of each segment of the throw.

Active Warm-Up Routine and Strength Training

Learn the importance of properly warming up and how to design a routine to improve flexibility and mobility in your throwers. Coach Garnham provides the routines and training techniques that have helped him develop multiple nationally-recognized high school and college throwers. He identifies the major elements of a progressive warm up, which includes hurdle mobility drills designed to improve hip flexibility to a variety of band stretches and dynamically activate the upper body.

Teaching the Spin

In the discus, the ability to spin powerfully while maintaining control can lead to significant improvements in the event. To teach proper spin mechanics, Coach Garnham outlines a variety of activities, beginning with Continuous 180's, which are designed to teach athletes the basics of rotation. He progresses through a series of more challenging drills, building up to full throws. Throughout the progression, Coach Garnham discusses body position and shares valuable insights on subtle cues that can drastically improve stability and rotation, such as squeezing the knees, or dorsi-flexing the foot to improve knee bend during the turn.

Coach Garnham also provides simple, easy-to-use, helpful drills that will add those few extra feet to your athletes' best throw. Notable drills include the Wheel Drill, South African Drill and Bowling Pin Drill.

Identify and Correct Common Throwing Errors

You will learn several common mistakes that throwers make and how to identify their main causes. Using one of his current throwers to demonstrate both the error and corrective exercise, Coach Garnham outlines coaching cues and simple drills to fix each error from the ground up, providing drills that can be used both in and out of the circle to improve performance. Even experienced throwers will benefit from Coach Garnham's insights.

Coach Garnham is an engaging instructor who breaks the discus throw into easy-to-understand steps and progressions that all throwing coaches will benefit from. Keeping a simple, positive approach seems to be the secret to his athletes' successes.

54 minutes. 2016.