Use This Analogy When Coaching Young Athletes
Making a “discus sandwich” is a very simple way to describe an effective starting position for a young beginner discus thrower who is using a standing throw. The “discus sandwich” describes the hand and discus position prior to the start of a throw.
Whilst standing side-on to the direction of the throw, with the feet in the ready position, the discus is held up horizontally in front of the eyes (or near the mouth “ready to eat”). The throwing hand is on top of the discus, the non-throwing hand underneath the discus to provide support, thus making a “discus sandwich”.
If the young throwers are being taught pre-delivery swings they can simply “unmake the sandwich” by swinging the discus back, then swing their arm forward again the “re-make the sandwich”.
Novice discus throwers, not being confident of their ability to grip the discus without the aid of the bottom supporting hand, tend to rotate the top hand during the forward or backward swings so that the discus becomes vertical. This, of course, will not result in the desired flight on release. As a reminder to keep the “sandwich” horizontal, tell the throwers that they risk the ingredients of the sandwich falling on the ground if they hold the discus vertically.
Once taught, the coach or teacher can simply tell the group to “Make a sandwich” as the group prepares to throw.
What analogies do you use?
I would love to hear about any analogies that you have successfully used with young athletes. Let me know by making a comment.
Darren Wensor is a sports development professional, coach educator, specialist coach of young athletes and founder of the blog coachingyoungathletes.com. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin , Anchor or via email.