Seymour senior thrower excels in shot put, discus

Derek Couch was throwing the shot put and discus in physical education classes at Seymour High School.

One day, he decided he wanted to take it a step further.

He joined the SHS track and field team his sophomore year and has been competing in those events ever since.

“At first it was just for P.E. credits,” he said. “Then I realized I actually enjoyed throwing. I became good friends with a lot of people on the team, and it just kind of grew through bonds.”

Couch said he enjoys throwing the shot put more than the discus. 

“It’s simpler to me,” he said. “In discus, you have to turn, you have to make sure all your footing is right. In the shot put it’s just you and the shot.”

He likes to glide across the ring, and said his best throw has been 39-feet.

“You’ve got to make sure you use your legs, and not just your upper body,” Couch said. ” You want to use all the momentum in your body to get the ball going, and make sure you get your hip in that, because if you don’t use your hip, then you’re not going to get the full momentum.

“I start out low, and I try to stay low through the middle, then at the end I want to lift up and try to go out with it. You hold it in your fingers and you push up. You don’t want to go too high, though, because then it just falls flat.”

Couch said he enjoys throwing on the new shot put facility at Bulleit Stadium.

“They’re real nice,” he said. “They still take some getting used to because they’re smoother than the ones we had. I like the home meets because you don’t have to worry about getting home real late. The home meets are a lot easier.”

Couch talked about practice.

“First I work on my power, which is just getting a flick in, and trying to make sure my arm is all warmed up,” Couch said. “Then I work on my stance, just work on getting down so that way I can get the momentum in my legs, and then I go into my glides.

“You just go out there trying to do your best, trying to see how well you can do. It gives you something better to do than just sit at home.”

Couch said his best throw as a junior was 37-feet and he attributed the increased distance to hard work at practice.

The senior has also concentrated on getting better in discus.

 “In practice I’ve been getting in the 100s, but in meets I’ve only been getting 94s” Couch said. “In discus, I try to make sure I turn my hip around. That way I can get the rotation. I try to make sure my feet land fast. That way I don’t hesitate and lose momentum.

“With discus you’ve got to focus on your feet, you’ve got to do your hips, you’ve got to make sure your knees go. Everything has to function just right to get that good throw.

He said he has enjoyed attending SHS.

“I’ve had bigger classes and gotten to know more people,” Couch said. “It’s nice to be able to experience some things. It’s been great having the coaches that we have. They’re always pushing is to do our best. It’s been fun. Graduation is going to be a whole lot of emotion.”

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Name: Derek Couch

School: Seymour High School

Parents: Tammy and Darrell Couch

Siblings: Zach, Haley

Sports: track and field 3 years

Athletic highlights: 2017 sectional champions

Plans after high school: attend Indiana University Purdue University Columbus

Favorite food: snow crab

Favorite musicians: Logic

Favorite movie: Waterboy