Try This Fun Way to Coach Kids to Release a Flat-Spinning Discus
Using a spaceship or flying saucer analogy is a fun way to describe the flat, controlled flight of a discus with which beginners so often have difficulties.
Tell your group that the discus is a “spaceship”, “flying saucer” or “UFO” and that inside that spaceship are little “aliens” or “astronauts”. Explain that if the spaceship (discus) flies flat, the aliens will have a nice, enjoyable, comfortable ride. Ask the group to imagine what is happening to the “poor aliens” inside the spaceship if it is fluttering, wobbling or flipping end-over-end in the air (the result achieved by many beginners!) After a few laughs, the answers usually include that the aliens will fall out of their seats, hit their heads on the roof, etc. Also tell the group that the aliens much prefer a smooth landing (sliding flat to a stop) rather than a crash landing on the edge of their space ship.
Asking the group to try to give their “aliens” a smooth ride can set the group an enjoyable challenge and give them a bit of a laugh as they imagine what is happening inside the “space ship” when their throw doesn’t quite result in the discus flight intended!
Young groups particularly enjoy when the coach or teacher keeps with the theme by using a throwing command such as: “Squadron 1 ready! Mission control countdown: 10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1…BLAST OFF!!!” and a retrieval command such as: “Search and rescue: go out and bring back your spaceships!”
What are some of your favourite athletics teaching analogies?
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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 or via email.