All the D-ball drills can be done inside a throwing cage and be thrown into the net so they can be practiced many times in a short period. A D-ball is a medicine ball that has had a handle cut into one side. Depending on the size of the throwing cage 3 to 4 athletes can throw safely at any one time. For adolescent athletes, keep the weight of the D-ball to around 1kg – 1.5kg, and no more than 2kg for senior athletes.

As a rule of thumb stick to the same weight of discus the athlete would throw in competition. The reason why a light D-ball is used for this type of training is because the emphasis is on the technique (skill development) not throwing the D-ball, i.e. high volume, low intensity.

Practice set one

The following drills are demonstrated by Michael Painter at age 14. They were filmed a number of years ago. Michael went on to throw over 65m in the Hammer and 47m in the Discus.

Standing throw with D ball

Aim: To develop core movement and basic technique.

Description:

  • Make sure feet are at least shoulder width apart
  • As the athlete goes into the swing back, body weight should be over the back foot
  • Ensure the back foot (power) turns and pushes throughout the throw
  • Left arm/elbow should be pulled towards body on delivery to maintain core movement
  • Athlete should finish in a controlled position
  • Repeat 3-5 times each set

Coaching points:

  • Make sure the athlete gets the correct low and high points

180 with D ball

Aim: To develop core movement and basic technique.

Description:

  • Start with foot in the center of the circle (for a right-handed thrower this will be the right foot)
  • Pivot around the right foot into the delivery position and release as in drill 1.1
  • Ensure the back foot (power) turns and pushes throughout the throw
  • Athlete should finish in a controlled position
  • Repeat 3-5 times each set

Coaching points

  • Make sure the athlete gets the correct low and high points

Run through with D ball

Aim: To develop core movement and basic technique

Description:

  • Start with one foot inside the circle (for a right-handed thrower this will be the left foot)
  • Step forward placing the right foot in the center of circle and then pivot around the right foot into the delivery position and release as in drill 1.1
  • Ensure the back foot (power) turns and pushes throughout the throw
  • Athlete should finish in a controlled position
  • Repeat 3-5 times each set

Coaching points:

  • Make sure the athlete gets the correct low and high points

More Athletics: