Lars and Franka: the finish

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So there it is.

Both have cranked their right heel/knee/hip hard into the throw, which is great, but both have pulled away with their head, which is not so great.

I suspect that the pulling away of the head can be traced back to the beginning of the throw, when both seemed to lead into the middle of the ring with their upper body and then sort of chase their head through the rest of the throw.

As previously mentioned, Lars and Franka share eight World Championship golds between them, so I don’t mean to suggest that they have lousy form.

But, if Torsten Schmidt is correct, they both use a style of throwing that is most suitable to very strong women throwing a very light disc.

The fact that Lars was able to effectively use such a technique with the 2k shows what an amazing athlete he is.

2 thoughts on “Lars and Franka: the finish”

  1. Great articles. I was wondering if you found out anything about the right foot leaving the ground at the back of the ring. I’ve always wondered are they just keeping contact with the ground until the their left foot has pivoted past 9:00. Are they trying to raise their right heel up, lift the right knee, lift the right hip?

    1. Torsten said that the first priority is to shift the left hip way left. When it shifts, the thrower should aggressively turn the left foot and push off with the right. He demonstrated the right foot pushing off forward–as is often taught here in the US–as a way of sending it out on a wide, sweeping path before pulling it back in to the center of the ring.

      I feel like the emphasis on getting the hip way left and sending the right foot on a wide sweep are very similar to what we teach here. The difference is that we tend to advocate an early liftoff of the right foot as a means of achieving a balanced entry position whereas the Germans advocate keeping the right foot down as long as possible to achieve this balanced position. I believe this is because they do not want the thrower picking up the right foot before the hip has shifted all the way to the left. Doing so could prevent the hip from completing this shift.

      We often worry that leaving the right foot down will cause the upper body to get ahead and lead the lower body through the ring, but Torsten emphasized keeping the head calm and neutral as the hip shifts left.

      This is something that he has worked on a lot with Harting. He tends to be too active with his head out of the back, but still manages to throw far because he is athletic enough to find a balanced power position and strong enough to knock the crap out of it. It doesn’t hurt that he invariably comes through in pressure situations. Torsten said that Harting’s practice PR is maybe 71 meters and that he can throw in the mid 60-meter range in practice leading up to a big meet and then go 68-69 in the competition.

      I feel like a mistake I made over the years in trying to figure out the German style was to watch film of Lars. It never dawned on me that Lars was using a technique designed for female throwers and that he was not an ideal technical model for most males. The way he yanks his head and tilts his shoulders out of the back is not something that most throwers should emulate.

      I asked Torsten who he watches film of, and he said that in 1999 Jurgen Schult had great technique–although he and Torsten disagree about the violent turning of the left foot out of the back.

      Torsten said that he thought Franz Kruger had excellent technique, and I feel like Franz displays all the technical points that Torsten talked about, so I am inclined to use him with my guys.

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