In cooperation with Outdoor Research, the American Mountain Guides Association has made several videos for beginning level climbers.
In this video, AMGA Instructor Team Member, Jeff Ward, demonstrates several techniques for throwing ropes down a pitch for a rappel.
In his first demonstration, Jeff shows a technique wherein you stack the rope carefully and then wrap up an end. You throw this end down and it pulls the rest of the pile down with it.
Mark Twight referred to the second technique as "staging" in his book Extreme Alpinism. In other words you throw the rope down in separate stages. In the video, Jeff throws the rope down in two stages, starting from the middle. This often allows the rope to get down further and to get hung up on less items.
And finally Jeff demonstrated the Saddlebag technique. This is the technique where you lap coil the rope and then hang it off of slings on either side of your body. The rope then feeds out from the slings. This allows you to rappel into the wind or to avoid dropping a rope on top of someone.
--Jason D. Martin