What you need to know before starting the ESSENTIALS course

Before going futher in to the course, it is essential as a coach that you understand the following:

How to hold the discus

We have all carried shopping bags across the creases in our fingers right? Well gripping the discus is not too dissimilar! The thumb acts as a support for the implement whilst the discus rests across the creases in our dominant hand on the 4 fingers. Essentially, as the athlete starts to move, the fingers act to stop the discus sliding out of the hand and centrifugal force prevents it from dropping.

Key things to remember:

  • Do not grip too tighly and spread the fingers evenly across the implement
  • Use the thump to “steer” the discus into flight
  • The discus shall leave the index finger LAST setting the implement flying clockwise into the air

A basic understanding of the rules

It is very common in the throwing community to allow bad habits and patterns to develop in training. For example, walking out of the front of the circle after a throw! The issue with these kinds of patterns is that they are incredibly difficult to change when competing.

When coaching, set a standard for acceptable practice that aligns with the rules that govern competition. Some examples may include:

  • Exit the circle from the rear in a controlled manner.
  • Do not use aids that are not available or legal during competition eg. adhesives other than chalk
  • What constitutes a legal and illegal throw

Appropriate training equipment

It is not essential to have the latest, most expensive training equipment to begin training or coaching the discus. We have compiled a lists of need to have, and good to have for both athlete and coach.


Need to have

  • Some training implements
  • Throwing shoes or shoes with minimal sole (second hand ones are perfect and a good budget option) Brand is a matter of personal preference and budget.
  • Running shoes for warm up and other activities
  • A towel to dry or clean your implements with

Good to have

  • A foam roller or trigger point ball
  • Implements of different weight. Overweight and underweight
  • Theraband or stretch band
  • Magnesium for grip


Need to have

  • A tape measure
  • Chalk or something to mark concrete
  • A sense of humour
  • A notepad

Good to have

  • Medballs
  • Access to club equipment eg. hurdles, shot puts etc
  • A smartphone with coaches eye (free version is fine)
  • Markers