The Non-Throwing Arm Position in Discus Rotation
Further to my recent post How to Best Use the Non-Throwing Arm in Athletics, for those of you who wanted to dig a bit deeper, below is a really useful YouTube video that further explains the use of the non-throwing arm, with a focus on rotational discus.
This excellent instructional video goes way beyond what my post covered, as it focuses on technique points for older, more advanced athletes.
Video: “Non-Throwing Arm Position in Discus and Rotational Shot Put” published on YouTube by EliteThrowsCoaching
My main takeaways were (referring to a right-handed thrower):
- The left arm stays behind left knee; at no point should the left arm swing in front of the left knee.
- Keep the discus behind the right knee.
- Lots of problems are caused when the non-throwing arm leads the movement.
The coaching cue that stuck with me after watching this video was to keep the left arm between the legs for as long as you can. It’s simple and effective.
When To Teach These Skills
The skills described in the video are not for beginners, so avoid trying to introduce such skills to a novice thrower. If, however, you are coaching a young athlete who has a solid, reliable standing discus throw, and is ready to learn the rotation, it is worth introducing them to a correct non-throwing arm position right from the start.
Now Try Teaching It
Start with left and right foot pivot drills, keeping the non-throwing arm locked in place i.e. between the legs and behind the left knee (for a right-handed thrower). Try 90 degree turns, then 180 degrees, then 270 degrees and finally 360 degree turns, pivoting on the ball of the foot.
If you coach or parent a young athlete who already rotates in the discus, have look at what their non-throwing arm is doing through the rotation. If it is leading the movement, try cueing them to keep the arm between the legs for as long as possible. I would love to hear if it helps. Let me know by leaving a comment/reply or by using the contact details listed below.
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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, Anchor or via email.