question about driving form

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question about driving form

Postby KRooster » Mon Sep 04, 2006 6:39 pm

Question: When you do a 100% power drive, are you supposed to push very hard off of your left foot (assuming RHBH)? Should your left knee feel extreme amounts of force?

When I drive, I hop off of my right leg, land on my left leg and as I land I sort of lower my center of gravity and spring up/forward pushing off of my left leg. Then my hips open, torso rotation, etc., etc. I practiced my drives in a field for about an hour two days in a row last week, and I injured a tendon in my left knee from all the twisting/pushing off of my left leg.

Not being able to be away from disc golf for too long, I went out today to a course that has all holes 250' or shorter (except for one MONSTER 260' hole hehehe). I figured I would work on my release and just not do 100% drives, since my left knee is out of comission. Well, after a few throws that didn't involve really using my left leg to push off of at all (just focusing on rotation and release), my release was feeling much cleaner and I was getting the disc out to 250' without a problem.

So that's why I'm asking the question. When I see good players throw (which happened for the first time this weekend when I went to a tourney), they don't SEEM to spring off of their left leg.... but I can't see what it looks like when I throw, for comparison.
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Postby dflaschiii » Mon Sep 04, 2006 7:30 pm

I've heard of right knee problems like this, but never the left. I am RHBH, about 375 ft of power and I have never felt strain in my left knee from a disc golf throw. On a max drive I try to land my left foot as lightly on the ground as possible. The knee does not pivot or twist. I also concentrate on following through with my left knee.

The way you describe your throw, with the hopping and springing, makes it sound a bit out of control, and you probably have some unnessecary movements in your form... in my amatuer opinion, I'd say the shift in your center of gravity is a very important thing to correct. Your body should move with forward momentum, not vertical momentum. A shift in center of gravity might put you off balance and rob you of power.
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Postby steezo » Mon Sep 04, 2006 8:22 pm

If your hopping than you might be coming down on your left foot, the whole foot, which would be supporting your whole body until you spring forward onto your right foot/leg. Try only having the balls of your feet touch the ground, that way you can rotate. You can still spring/push from the ball of your left foot but if won't have the same force applied as if your whole foot way shoved into the ground.
The more I throw, the easier it gets-
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Postby KRooster » Tue Sep 05, 2006 12:32 am

Thanks for the tips... I did not understand what either of you were saying, about not putting pressure on the left leg and not supporting the whole body on the left leg.

So, I went through the motion of the x-step a few times. I realized there was only one possible way to not support the whole body with the left leg; if you put your plant foot down facing AWAY from the target. That way, there is no twisting until your plant foot is down.

I realize now that I have been putting my plant foot (right foot) down facing directly towards the target. So, instead of swiveling around my right foot after it was down, I was effectively swiveling around my left foot BEFORE planting my right foot. Taking a more careful look at pros driving, I now see that they put their plant foot facing slightly away from the target. THEN their body rotates.

I feel dumb... but also, I feel like this was not made 100% clear from everything I had read. For example, the "Driving Form and Technique" article by Rick Bays says "Your plan is to plant your right foot toward the front of the tee pad and release the disc". It doesn't say what orientation your right foot should have.

Blake, I wonder if you would consider updating the article to mention the orientation that the plant foot should have. Maybe not everyone is as stupid as me :oops:, but the lack of that one piece of information did cause me lots of confusion.

It's gonna be like 2 years before I have this whole disc golf thing figured out :D
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Postby Arm Of Despair » Tue Sep 05, 2006 4:38 am

I am injuring the inside of my left knee the same way you described KRooster, throwing RHBH, but a little different. I take a small step with left foot and then step right foot at 90 or less, x step behind, and then step to plant right foot for the throw. However I do plant with the right foot at about 70 degrees or so. But I think I've been twisiting and forcing on my left foot before my plant foot is down, and man that has just torn up the inside left knee. Trying to throw hard early without that plant foot down quite yet also probably explains a good part of my inadequate backhand distance.
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Postby KRooster » Tue Sep 05, 2006 7:49 am

Actually I injured the outside/front of the knee (pushing forward and twisting when the left foot is pointing directly backwards). But yeah, it sounds like you may be doing something similar to what I'm doing... I was under the impression a large part of the force of the throw was due to pushing off with the left leg. First time I drove 300' when I learned the x-step, that's what I did, so I never questioned it.

Though from watching videos of pros driving it seems the angle that they place their plant foot at varies from person to person. I'm guessing you can get more rotation the closer the plant foot gets to 90 degrees. Anyone care to comment on the angle that the plant foot should be placed, or at least a range of angles to try?
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Postby TexasOutlaw » Tue Sep 05, 2006 10:52 am

Are you on a concrete tee pad? Maybe you have too much grip on your shoes.

Many knee injuries occur when your feet/shoes do not give some causing trauma to your joints.

When I first started playing, I was coached to push my momentum forward not jump or hop. And I have tried to keep my run up this way. Though I do see some people shuffle their feet rather than drive with them. I try to avoid any up and down motion (hopping/ jumping).
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Postby Eric O » Tue Sep 05, 2006 11:13 am

dflaschiii wrote:The way you describe your throw, with the hopping and springing, makes it sound a bit out of control, and you probably have some unnessecary movements in your form... in my amatuer opinion, I'd say the shift in your center of gravity is a very important thing to correct. Your body should move with forward momentum, not vertical momentum. A shift in center of gravity might put you off balance and rob you of power.
I agree. I think you want to keep the weight transfer going in the direction of the throw. I also try to stay light on my feet until the hit and follow through, because that is how I see better players throwing and it seems to cause very little stress on the lower body.

There has been lots of discussion in the past, on this site and elsewhere, regarding plant foot orientation. The consensus seems to be that keeping the toes pointed around 90 deg from the target with the knee slightly bent causes the least amount of stress on the plant leg. This is the first I have heard about anyone having left leg injury problems. Staying light on your feet with quick measured steps and maintaining a constant vertical center of gravity should alleviate the problem.
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Postby KRooster » Tue Sep 05, 2006 12:47 pm

Yeah I guess I missed any discussion about plant foot angle... I had assumed 0 degrees was right, which it obviously isn't. Overviews of the x-step that I have read haven't covered the angle of the plant foot, so I honestly didn't even think about that being a factor... just seemed natural that if you're throwing straight ahead you want your plant foot pointing straight ahead.

I can see now how that makes no sense, if you want to swivel around the plant leg then the plant foot has to start at greater than 0 degrees.
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Postby KRooster » Tue Sep 05, 2006 10:13 pm

In a post Blake made awhile ago in a different thread, he said this regarding the x-step:

"the basic form requires 3 steps.
1. right foot steps towards the target, toes ~90 degrees away from the target.
2. left foot crosses behind the right foot and a little past it, toes pointed more than 90 degrees and less than 180 degrees from the target.
3. right foot steps towards the target, toes between 45-90 degrees from the target.

what angles work for you will vary depending upon your style. also, be careful of the length of the steps as you do not want the last step to be too long."

That's what I needed to read in the first place.... all my misconceptions are cleared up right there. Blake, your explanations are amazing... I just wish this was somewhere prominent on the main discgolfreview site. I learned more from reading this paragraph than from reading all other explanations of how to do the x-step combined (and oh man don't let me get started on Innova's explanation of the x-step on their website.... I was SO confused).
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