We explain the basics of discus throwing technique as well as number of practice drills which break the skill down into smaller managable parts which are easier to learn and perfect. Four sets of related drills created by throws coach John Painter can be performed pretty much anywhere and build technique and strength.

A good way to support the development and retention of throwing skills and technique is through the use of practices. Practices break down the skill learning into much more manageable chunks and allow the athlete to perform them many times more than if they were just throwing.

All the D-ball drills can be done inside a throwing cage and be thrown into the net so they can be practiced many times in a short period. A D-ball is a medicine ball that has had a handle cut into one side. Depending on the size of the throwing cage 3 to 4 athletes can throw safely at any one time. For adolescent athletes, keep the weight of the D-ball to around 1kg – 1.5kg, and no more than 2kg for senior athletes.

The following four drills use a towel instead of a medicine ball and work on perfecting footwork and rotational tachnique and include standing throw with towel, 180 degree turn with and run through with towel.

Discus drills practice set 3 works on rotating with a towel for very light resistance. They build up progressively through to a full turn and aim to develop core movement and technique. Each drill should be performed 3 to 5 times.

These drills use shuttle runs where the skill is repeated over and over in a straight line. They can be performed pretty much anywhere with the minimum of equipment.

The discus event we know today evolved from the ancient Olympic Pentathlon where the athlete was required to long jump, throw the discus and javelin, as well as run and wrestle. The following sequence explaining how to throw a discus is written for a right-handed thrower which means that they will be entering the throw by turning to the left (anti-clockwise). Note in the examples, 12 o’clock is the back of the circle, so the front is 6 and the athlete will turn towards 9 on entry.

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