I can has forehand!

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I can has forehand!

Postby SkaBob » Mon Sep 01, 2008 8:13 pm

So forehand usually hurts to throw...Today I was out with Sleepy and having just put 150 Flicks back in my bag after having some fun with them at the state championships I remembered how when my wrist hurt throwing 150 class helped a lot.

So I pulled out the Flicks and proceeded to play most of the round with them forehand. There's still a small amount of pain if I try to crank them out, but it's in a different spot (the back of my shoulder, as opposed to the right side of my spine) and isn't as intense.

I figure it's a form issue, and since I still had my camera in the bag we took some videos.

These two are with flicks:
http://bob.werena.com/drives/forehand/FILE0018.MOV
http://bob.werena.com/drives/forehand/FILE0019.MOV

These are surges (yellow, orange) and a tsunami (green) - these felt like I needed to muscle them more than the flicks):
http://bob.werena.com/drives/forehand/FILE0022.MOV
http://bob.werena.com/drives/forehand/FILE0021.MOV
http://bob.werena.com/drives/forehand/FILE0020.MOV

So, forehand guys... a few questions beyond the usual point out what I'm doing wrong stuff:

a) Most of these shots went high and hyzer - sounds like nose angle, but when I was throwing them flat and a few times after filming, it felt like the force of the throw was coming from a spot more towards the tips of my fingers, where normally I'm pressing against the rim with about half of my middle finger. Is there something I can try to keep in mind that will help me to not only understand what I'm doing there, but how to do it every time? The shots were definitely longer and straighter, even with the flick I tuned to be pig stable.

b) The pain I was feeling was from the back of my shoulder, but wasn't an every throw thing, and didn't last more than about a minute each time I felt it. What part of my motion is being mean to my shoulder? My back? My elbow? My wrist?

c) How much should I really be putting force into snapping my wrist around? Now, I'm giving it some, but only about as much as you'd need to say...close car door.

d) I've had better consistency and success with keeping the throws low and flat with a very gentle grip. Is this going to hurt me in the long run, or am I OK as long as I still have enough holding the disc to keep it level?
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Postby MDR_3000 » Mon Sep 01, 2008 8:27 pm

try keeping your elbow in towards your body more. And lead more with your elbow.

to keep them from going high and hyzer, try throwing them at a spot 150 feet in front of you...into the ground. it sounds weird, but it helps to not roll your wrist up like you would flicking a lid.
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Postby WraithMe » Mon Sep 01, 2008 9:56 pm

One thing that I notice is that you are leaning back at the point the disc ejects off your finger. Like a backhand you want to be leaning into throw. This will add some power and also help keep the disc level for entire flight.

You also have a big reach back and use a lot of arm in first half of the throw. This is generally not a great way to learn because it doesn't let you focus on the finish which is much more important. If I were you I would tuck the elbow into your ribs and start from there. Only after you have mastered throwing like that would I recommend trying to get more speed into the first part of the throw.

As for the wrist flick at the end; it should be as fast as you can while maintaining proper disc orientation. Side arm is a bit different than backhand in regards to the snap because for most people it is a more natural motion and they can more easily concentrate a lot of force directly into disc. This is why you will see many more people capable of just standing a delivering screaming bullets sidearm than backhand.
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Re: I can has forehand!

Postby JR » Mon Sep 01, 2008 11:38 pm

I've never had pain where you do sidearming. I also usually use sidearms for shorter shots so I don't need max power usually and use little power for max accuracy for penetrating tight spots and going around obstacles. Accuracy is at a premium around here so low power sidearms are the ticket for me. I'm majorly backhand dominant but when the course demands it I have no trouble sidearming. I sidearm on 3 holes driving at my home course. It's a toss up between FH and BH on some other holes but I choose BH because I' like to throw well with it first.

Making sure that you're warmed up and stretched helps worlds in avoiding pain.

Stand upright or even a bit weight forward for lower lines. Slight wrist down is possible for me dunno about your physiology. I use between a foot and two of reach back on my home course depending on distance. Two feet only when throwing over horizon to beyond 190-200'. Never put arm speed into the throw at these distances by trying to accelerate hard with the arm or early acceleration. Think staying loose all the time with the upper arm. Another thing to concentrate on is to flick the wrist within the last inches of the throw but as hard as you can or slightly less if you can't maintain disc orientation.

I suggest learning to stay loose in the upper arm with one foot reach back without a disc. Then with the disc and once that's comfortable and automatic start concentrating on the main thing: flick like a bat out of hell with the wrist.

The grip I use for these controlled short distances is firm but not hard. The flick power of the wrist is like trying to force the fingers through the car door not just to slam the door shut. Viciousness please :-) Added spin on the disc is good because it adds a margin of error against overspeeding the arm motion. Which flips the disc over too easily. I think you know that too much arm speed is the problem of sidearming which equals lack of spin. Meaning anyone can overspeed a disc but nobody can overspin a disc. Therefore the vicious wrist flick is always needed. Even in shorter throws for safety against wind gusts and overspeeding.

Another reason to flick the wrist hard is to develop the muscles and controlling ability to be able to add more arm speed for greater distance once you're controlled at lesser distances. As the speeds of the throws increase so does the need to grip tighter. By then it's good to have the muscle power and controlling ability.

For the same reasons that you need to flick hard with the wrist you would benefit from using more muscle power to twist the hips more to the left with speed. Adding spin to the disc. Also following through with the hips is a good idea.
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Postby JR » Wed Sep 03, 2008 11:01 pm

Forgot to mention that those distances are from stand still. With standing still drives to 200' on my home course I still twist my hips more in the power generation and follow through.
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Postby readysetstab » Thu Sep 04, 2008 5:47 am

you're using mostly arm motion. you need to find a way to pivot your body to add power to your throw. you can get a lot more distance with less effort that way. I try to keep the disc very close to my hip while i turn my body into the throw. there's just a really short reach back.

this also helps with accuracy and specifically keeping the disc level so you don't hyzer out too much... because you're able to keep your arm relatively steady.

when you get used to it you can add a little bit more arm motion and increase your distance. but distance isn't so important until you know where the disc is going. I can still throw about 250'+ without much effort.

oh, and make sure you're getting plenty of wrist snap. that's where most of your spin will come from. without it you're probably going to have wobble.
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Postby JohnnyB » Thu Sep 04, 2008 12:12 pm

You're dropping your right shoulder, which is good. At the same time you're dropping your left just as much. Lift your left shoulder a bit and you'll get a smoother throw which should help with the pain.
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Postby niblick83 » Thu Sep 04, 2008 11:49 pm

Before throwing forehand shots always make sure that you have stretched your arm, back, and shoulders sufficiently so that you don't injure yourself. The forehand motion isn't the most natural motion for your body and your shoulder and elbow can come under a great deal of stress in directions they don't normally travel.

When watching the videos at full speed the most obvious thing to me is that your body is tilted back and your weight stays back. With your torso tilted back slightly it is causing you to throw the disc on a nose up line. This to me says that you are not throwing "through" the disc. When I throw a forehand shot I want my hand to continue forward a bit more before I let it swing around the front of my body. Think about trying to grab something about 6-12" directly along the line of flight after the disc has been released. Even though my hand might not actually be able to reach that point that is what I try to do so that I throw all the way through the disc.

As I slowed the video down I also noticed that your hand (with disc) is high at the furthest point of your reach back, travels down to reach the lowest point near release and then moves back up after your release. While it is theoretically possible to throw successfully like this I find it easier to have my arm go in a mostly straight line that is parallel to the ground. I try to keep the bottom of the disc mostly parallel to the ground when I throw forehand.

An illustration that I use to try to explain this concept to folks trying to learn a forehand shot is to pretend that you are going to slam a sliding glass door shut. You start with your hand trailing your body and holding the handle of the door. As you move your arm forward the vertical distance from the ground to your hand has to stay the same because you are grasping the handle. If you really want to slam the door as hard as you can you will snap your wrist forward and try to keep contact with the handle as long as you can. This also illustrates the idea of throwing through the disc instead of just letting go once the door handle gets beyond the easy reach of your hand.

In terms of the pain on the back of your shoulder I would think that it stems from you mostly throwing with your arm and also failing to allow your rear leg to follow through which means that your shoulders are twisted beyond their comfortable limit. It looks to me like your back leg is almost curling around behind your left leg instead of following through past your left leg which would allow your hips to clear. This would mean that your shoulders wouldn't be rotated as much past the angle of your hips thus putting less strain on the back of your shoulder.

If you take a shorter final stride with your left leg then you should be better able to get your weight forward and transferred into the disc instead of just getting stuck behind the disc.

As I watch your throwing motion you really look like you are going to the throw the snot out of the disc at the furthest point of your reach back. As you begin your motion it looks powerful until just as you reach the release point at which time you are still behind the disc and it becomes just purely an arm throw and does not include the rest of your body. I try to have my body exactly vertical at the point of release and then having my right foot get at least a little bit forward of my left foot.

As others have noted, the snap of the wrist to provide spin to the disc is the most important part of the forehand throw. Arm speed is very easy to generate with the forehand shot but generating sufficient spin is difficult. I would recommend shortening your reach back some and concentrating on throwing through a horizontal plane and snapping your wrist just as you release it.

Anyway, I hope this was useful and that I was coherent in the way that I worded it. If anything is particularly confusing please ask and I will attempt to explain it better. Good luck with your forehand practice.
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Postby SiDeArM jUnKiE » Sun Sep 14, 2008 5:57 am

A couple of things. One lend foward when you release that will get the disc to flatten out. Second DON"T drag your right foot. The only thing its good for is tearing up shoes. I used to do it myself when I first started playing and I ruined a pair of $120 Redbacks in the process. Your form is there you just need to tweek it alittle.
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