4 Reasons Why Young Athletes Should Avoid Spinning the Discus Out of the Back of Their Hand
If you ask a group of kids whether it is better to release the discus out of the front or the back of the hand, most are under the impression that it it should come out of the back of the hand. They are often amazed when I announce that it is in fact better for the discus to spin out of the front of the hand.
Whereas there is no rule governing how the discus is released from the hand, it is far more effective to spin the implement over and off the index finger. Therefore, a right-handed thrower will release the discus so that it spins in a clockwise direction when viewed from above. A left-handed thrower will spin the discus in an anti-clockwise direction, when it is viewed from above.
Reasons why it is better to release the discus out of the front of the hand include:
1. You can keep a longer arm
A front-of-hand release allows the throwing arm to be kept in an extended position until the discus is released. This creates a long lever and more momentum at the end of that lever (the discus). Releasing the discus out of the back of the hand necessitates a bent arm, causing a shortened lever and less momentum on the implement.
2. You can apply force for longer
With a front-of-hand release, the hand is kept behind the discus for longer, meaning that the force is applied to the discus for a greater length of time.
3. You can give the discus a final push
With the hand kept behind the discus, the thrower can “flick” the wrist and provide a final push to the discus. This is not achievable if the discus spins out the back of the hand.
4. You can fully follow-through
A front-of-hand release encourages a full follow-through; a back-of-hand release can lead to a shortened follow through.
Can you add to the above list?
Can you think of any other reasons why it is preferable to release the discus out of the front of the hand? I would love to hear them. You can let me know by leaving a reply/comment or by using the below contact details.
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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. Check out Coaching Young Athletes on YouTube, the Coaching Young Athletes podcast, and the Coaching Young Athletes E-Book Series.