How to Teach the Discus Grip to Young Athletes

The Dos & Don’ts of Holding a Discus

In this article I explain:

  1. The basics of a good discus grip for beginners.
  2. How to make your explanation memorable for young athletes.
  3. Common discus grip errors made by young athletes.

How to Grip the Discus:

When gripping the discus, a young athlete should:

  • Hold the discus flat against their palm.
  • Sit the edge of the discus on the pads of their fingers, next to their first finger joints.
  • Rest their thumb on the back of the discus.

The discus should “rest” or “sit” in the hand, rather than be held firmly. (It should fall out of the hand if the hand is turned over with the palm facing down).

A collage showing the discus grip from three angles

The Discus Grip

How to Explain the Discus Grip to Young Athletes:

  • Ask the athletes to hold the discus flat on their palm.
  • Tell the athletes to imagine that their fingers and thumb are “little people”.
  • The fingers are “shy little people” people but are curious to see what is going on, so they stick their heads up above the top of the discus and rest their chins on the edge.
  • The thumb is VERY shy and “hides” behind the discus.

Common Mistakes Made by Beginners:

Because they fear dropping the discus, novice discus throwers will often:

  • Place their thumb over the edge of the discus.

Image showing discus incorrectly gripped with the thumb over the edge

  • Wrap their fingers too far over the edge of the discus.

Image showing discus gripped with fingers too far over edge

  • Hold the discus in with their wrist.

Image showing discus incorrectly held in with wrist

Have you ever had to explain the discus grip to young athletes?

I would love to hear if you have any thoughts on how the discus grip can be described or taught to young athletes. Let me know by leaving a comment.

Further reading

5 Tips for Teaching Discus to Beginners

20150614_154020-1Darren Wensor is a sports development professional, coach educator, specialist coach of young athletes and founder of the blog Learn more about him here and connect with him on TwitterFacebookLinkedinInstagram, Anchor or via email.

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