If you were to cross a frozen pond or stream where the ice was thick near the edges but thin in the middle, you would tread carefully, wouldn't you? In fact, you would step lightly and quickly to get to the other side.
Let's pretend that the discus circle is like this frozen pond. You could jump up and down as much as you wanted where the ice is thick, but you would be sure to be light on your feet on your way to the other side so as not to crack the thin ice in the middle of the circle.
But, you say, you spin as you cross the discus circle. How can you spin across the circle and still be light and quick on your feet?
Let's say you are a right-handed discus thrower. You start at the back of the circle (on thick ice) facing away from the throwing area, spin counter-clockwise one and a half times across the circle, and release the discus at the front of the circle (on thick ice) facing the throwing area.
There are three things you can do with your right leg and three things you can do with your left leg to help you be light and quick as you spin across the middle of the circle. (Remember, that's where the thin ice is.)
The three things you can do with your right leg are:
- Land in the center of the circle on the ball of your foot,
- Land with your foot pointing toward the back of the circle
- Keep the knee turning to the front. You can spin faster on the ball of your foot, have less distance to rotate if your foot points to the back of the circle, and keeping your knee turning will help you face the front quicker.
Two of the three things you can do with your left leg to stay light and quick across the middle of the circle are:
- Pull it quickly down the left sector line (to the thick ice at the front of the circle)
- Point your foot in the direction of the throw.
The third thing you can do is to keep your knees close together while you spin. Just as a figure skater spins faster and faster when he/she pulls her arms and legs in tight to her body, so too will you spin faster when your knees pass close together.
Combining these movements of your lower body will make you light in the middle and allow you to cross the circle quickly.
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