Snap and recoil

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Snap and recoil

Postby Bradley Walker » Sun Oct 15, 2006 6:59 am

I hurt my back in a tournament. I slipped off the end of the teebox and landed on my ass. This has taken several weeks and many adjustments to start to get right. While I was recovering I started practicing throwing with no run up and minimizing the body as much as possible, just for training. The entire emphasis has been on what can be done solely with the snap.

I now have a greater underanding of what can be done with snap. The snap is very powerful and accurate for that manner. In fact, it is just easier to throw with a snap, minimizing the "throw" portion of the motion.

My new snap is a copy of local player. He X steps sidewise and simply brings his arm back in an arc to 6 oclock and snaps to 11 or 12 oclock (his arm is crooked down at the wrist----noticably nose down---and the arm is soft, the grip is very nuetral.) There is a slight recoil at the end of the snap. That's it. He can throw slow discs further than anyone I have ever seen. They simply never come down. I think I have improved my throwing ability 50% since adopting this form. It is just so easy on the body and the end of the snap is the line so it is deadly accurate (compared to what I was doing before anyway). I think I have picked up MORE CONSISTENT distance. I still throw about the same max distance, but now I can do it evey time instead of 1 in 5.

My question is, why do you need a follow through to snap? Following through way past the end of the snap almost serves to minimize the snap.

Some of my best snaps almost seem to STOP at the end of the snap with my arm pointing downrange...
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Postby Blake_T » Sun Oct 15, 2006 11:20 am

My question is, why do you need a follow through to snap? Following through way past the end of the snap almost serves to minimize the snap.

Some of my best snaps almost seem to STOP at the end of the snap with my arm pointing downrange...


finishing ensures that you transfer the maximum force of the snap potential onto the disc. all players have snap, but most do not harness it well. basically, if your finish has proper timing/intent, you will harness more. also, you have about a 50% chance of injuring your shoulder/back in the long run if you do not follow through. stepping through the pivot takes a ton of tension off the body.

as for what you are referring as "snapping" it, it sounds like you may be getting hyper spin or are just getting louder audible pop?

"safe" power in disc is more closely related to a wrist shot in hockey than it is a shuffle board stroke. you are trying to take the disc THROUGH the shot rather than just flinging it with an abrupt stop. on higher powered throws there is just way too much kinetic energy passing through the body.

think if a 98 mph throwing pitcher were to toss 9 innings without following through. how many games would it take for his elbow to blow?
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Postby Bradley Walker » Sun Oct 15, 2006 11:42 am

I do follow through, my left leg flies round my right. I just do not think it is so necessary to emphasize it. It occurs, but it is certainly not as violent.

When I mean snap, am talking about the very motion you show on your website. The elbow moves ahead of the wrist, the disc lags behind the forearm and the wrist loads with a bend, then the wrist cock continues to lag until the forearm begins to outrun the wrist. As the frnt of the wirst outruns the forearm this causes the wrist to unload. Ending finally in a snap to a straight wrist.

Like popping a towel backhand.

I still have all the normal elements in my throw, I am just concentrating more on the coil/load of the wrist to the extension of this wrist (I call this snap, I thought this was correct) instead of trying to create more "throw". The real trick is to snap smoothly, allowing the arm to go through the entire path of the snap coorectly. The more correct the better it goes, this is independant of effort.

I think you can "throw" without "snapping" and vise versa.

I do believe I have more spin. Spin is good that is where the extra flight is coming from, at the end of the flight in the glide (I thought this was the sign of the better thrower???). I believe I have plenty of forward disc speed. The players that I have been trying to emulate do not have exceptional out of the hand disc speed at all. They have exceptional glide and tracking. I assume this is the result of exceptional spin.

I do not see any stress on my arm at all, as I am actually much more relaxed not trying to create an artificial follow through by trying to "throw" so much through the snap. I see a heck of lot less stress on my body though when "throw" hard, which for me is worse... There is defininitely a throw element that creates power, I am just not sure how productive it is to emphasize this element compared to the snap.

Obviously there is a blend of elements, but I think most people are never completing the straightening of the wrist, they are outrunning the snap.
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Postby Bradley Walker » Sun Oct 15, 2006 11:53 am

Blake_T wrote:
think if a 98 mph throwing pitcher were to toss 9 innings without following through. how many games would it take for his elbow to blow?


Truthfully, anybody throwing 98 MPH has 98 MPH worth of snap.. Watch The Big Unit in slow motion, it is amzing his arm does not explode.

The "rock of fire" of the pitching motion is a way of blending all the elements of arm and body. The arm is ultimately the delievery mechanism however, and must take all the "snap" generated by the body and delivered to the ball.

So, do not misread my analysis to mean that I feel I am throwing with my arm. The power of the snap comes from the body, but the path of the snap and release comes from the arm.

Simply, I doubt anyone could throw 98 MPH without the snap and stress you speak of.
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Postby some call me...tim? » Sun Oct 15, 2006 12:30 pm

I think Blake was mostly referring to the follow through as far as incurring damage. Like to stick with the baseball analogy, but moving from the pitcher to the batter, if the batter were to swing his bat but stop right at the point of impact with the ball, that's like the snap without the follow-through. You can still generate a lot of power and send the ball flying in the right direction, but you'll be doing harm to your body, especially if you're putting a lot of oomph into it.

I found this to especially be true when I was learning my sidearm. The way I'd been throwing, I'd crank the disc and essentially, my hand would stop in the direction I wanted it to fly, i.e., I'd finish my throw with my fingers pointing at my target. This worked great for a while, had awesome speed and accuracy, but soon enough, I got soreness in the tendons in my elbow, up to the point where it was impossible for me to throw without having excruciating pain. I've since worked on my technique and now basically swing my arm like a pendulum, releasing at the right point (if all goes well), and letting my arm keep moving across my body. Doing this, I can throw all day with no soreness, and get more distance with less effort.

I recently saw a video of myself throwing backhand (I've become a pretty dang good sidearmer, but backhand game leaves A LOT to be desired) and I noticed that I wasn't following through well with my arm. Like you say, I can get fairly good snap without the follow-through, but I know I can improve immensely if I can smooth out my form.

On a sidenote, as I've been trying to work on having a good follow-through with my arm, I have a bad tendency to release my discs to the right (throwing RHBH), by a good 15-30 degrees, and also find it harder to get snap that I need. Do you have any advice for this Blake? I know its a matter of releasing too late and I try to rectify it by aiming to the left a bit, which helps, but it feels more like treating the symptom than the disease.
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Postby Bradley Walker » Sun Oct 15, 2006 1:56 pm

I guess I should not have said "stop" at the finish.

What I meant was there is an arm "recoil" as stated in the name of the thread.

I guess this is all just a matter of extremes. a discus thrower has no real "snap" as we know it even though there is tremendous distance and power created to throw a 16 lbs discus...then there is an Ultimate style disc throw which is nearly all snap compared to a golf throw.

I guess I am saying I am leaning more in the direction of the Ultimate style over a discus.

The guy I am copying is in his 50's BTW and has been playing for more than 25 years.

Also, I had my wife watch me. She said I looked much more effortless using more snap. I think that is the idea, right?
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Postby Blake_T » Sun Oct 15, 2006 3:07 pm

I do follow through, my left leg flies round my right. I just do not think it is so necessary to emphasize it. It occurs, but it is certainly not as violent.


you can use the follow through to manipulate disc flight. players that have a very violent follow through and are big throwers, are generally trying to get the disc to flip late on a very high throw. e.g. markus kallstrom has a very violent follow through but he is also throwing a 40' high nose down hyzer that he wants to flip over at say, the 380-400' mark (which is tough to do).

The power of the snap comes from the body, but the path of the snap and release comes from the arm.


i believe your analysis on this is a little reversed. the body = dg equivalent of whip. pitching does have a finish though, which is equivalent to harnessing snap in DG (it is just the reverse of the forearm muscles used in disc).

you can see 2 6'5" pitchers of identical build and nearly identical body placement. 1 of them throws 98, the other throws 89. that mystical 10 mph that turns a double a pitcher into a big league star = timing. the 98 mph pitcher harnesses the reflex of the arm (caused by the inertia of the baseball and an open wrist) better than the 89 mph pitcher.

it is a similar concept with the pitchers that have exploding sinkers, nasty cut fastballs, power curves, etc. they are able to finish with better timing than most pitchers. if that was not the case, then every pitcher would have gregg maddux's circle change, every pitcher would have nolan ryan's sick exploding curveball, etc.

follow-throughs do not have to be violent, but your arm should be moving faster 2" after the disc has left than 2" before the disc has left.
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Postby Bradley Walker » Sun Oct 15, 2006 4:22 pm

This is what I was calling "snap".

http://www.discgolfreview.com/resources ... shtml#grip

In this article it is called tendon bounce.

In this video the wrist STOPS. That is all I meant. I have been working on this, the "tendon bounce".
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Postby -Frank- » Sun Oct 15, 2006 9:54 pm

Blake_T wrote:
you can see 2 6'5" pitchers of identical build and nearly identical body placement. 1 of them throws 98, the other throws 89. that mystical 10 mph that turns a double a pitcher into a big league star = timing. the 98 mph pitcher harnesses the reflex of the arm (caused by the inertia of the baseball and an open wrist) better than the 89 mph pitcher.

it is a similar concept with the pitchers that have exploding sinkers, nasty cut fastballs, power curves, etc. they are able to finish with better timing than most pitchers. if that was not the case, then every pitcher would have gregg maddux's circle change, every pitcher would have nolan ryan's sick exploding curveball, etc.


In pitching, as well as in disc golf, your hypothetical 98 mph pitcher also gets much more speed from the way he utilizes his legs and trunk to "explode" and increase the velocity generated by the arm speed. Utilizing the whole body also helps to take stress off of the arm, sparing the pitcher injury. I would say that I agree with your "timing" theory, if you would include the whole body in your assesment, and not just the arm. It is focusing the entire body to move in perfect sync to maximize the pitcher's potential.

As a pitcher, most of my velocity comes from my legs. I have a relatively strong arm, but my legs are really powerful, and from that I get a good portion of speed and the wicked action on my curveball. Last year, I sprained my plant ankle a day before a start, and lost major velocity and motion the next day. In addition, I have never (in 11 years of pitching) had a serious injury to my arm, and only missed like 2 starts in my entire high school career. I am trying to apply the diciplines that I learned in baseball to forming my throwing motion in disc golf. I find that the two can be very similar in some ways.

You seem to be really knowledgable about the pitching motion, Blake. Did you ever pitch?
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Postby Blake_T » Sun Oct 15, 2006 10:22 pm

Brad,

in that video i have shown an exaggerated version of what tendon bounce is, but not the actual harnessing of it. with most big throwers, the motion is maybe 1/4" towards wrist closed followed by ~1/2" of wrist open and pulled through the shot to impart maximum force onto the disc.

Frank:

i was a pitcher, and a nasty junk ball pitcher at that. i ended up blowing out my elbow 3x and my shoulder 3x which ended my pitching career. however, i can throw nearly every pitch ever invented (including a screwball and forkball).

a 98mph pitcher harnesses most of his potential from his body as well as has great timing. most pitches involve some form of "snap" where the wrist flicks closed from the open position during the delivery.

this is most evident when looking at a curve ball. the grip and motion itself dictates the top spin on the ball, but the timing of the snap/flick really dictates if the curveball is going to explode and break or just hang. the "finish" on a curveball is very similar to a dg throw. if you were to stop abruptly on a curveball, there really wouldn't be a whole lot of action, let alone zip on the ball... but with a strong finish, you can get a hard, nasty breaking ball.

alas, my build dictated i would be a power hitter rather than a pitcher :P
i have been beaned half a dozen times in the head by hanging curveballs that i was waiting for to break. would usually end up with the opposing coach yelling at the ump saying i didn't get out of the way. i nearly got tossed once after i yelled back to the coach "dude, it's not my fault yer kid can't throw a curveball." got warned another time when i looked at the cather and said "did you call for the spinner or does he just suck at curveballs?"

overall what i'm getting at, is that less than 2% of people who pitch can break 90 mph. nearly anyone 6'5" or taller with sufficient training/practice can based upon their lever length and simple physics, but for the real fireballers, especially the handful of guys that have thrown 96mph+ while being under 6' tall, it was that they were able to harness more potential by having great timing during their flick (in addition to near perfect body mechanics).

i think rob dibble had some of the best timing of a pitcher i'd ever seen... and i guess that's part of the reason he could throw harder than the big unit while being 6" shorter.
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Postby Bradley Walker » Mon Oct 16, 2006 11:04 am

I grew up pitching. My father was a minor league pitcher and almost made the majors. I was coached very well, and as a result I was throwing wicked junk when I was 9 years old. Too bad for me that parents had not exposed to the evidence that children should not be throwing a lot PERIOD if they intend to have any longevity as an athlete. It took sports shows on kids having “Tommy Johns” surgery to finally open a few parent’s eyes only recently.

I had tendentious in my elbow so bad when I was 11 that I had to quit playing for half of the season, but I could throw wide curves, off-speed change-ups, sliders, screwballs and rising screwball sliders…so I know what it is like to throw until it hurts…bad. My problem was that I could generate way more force with my large legs and back than my arm could take. Most people think the arm is the”source” of the power, but what is more correct is that the arm is the “instrument” of the power. The tendons and muscles of the arm have to take all of the stress resulting from the tremendous forces transferred from the ground to the ball through the body. This is the same as the hand has to deliver the knockout punch and not shatter every bone due to the power that can be generated by the rest of the body.

All I know is this. I read the articles on Disgolfreview and try to make use of the information as much as possible. It would be better if I could get a lesson from Blake or Dave, but that probably is not going to happen. The article says tendon bounce is a great source of power, so I have been working on it. This practice has proven fruitful in light of the fact that I was unable to practice using a lot of body, and it appears to have created the results outlined in the article (I have a lot of FFFFFFFT when I launch now). The real problem is that a lot is lost in the written word.

For example, when I say “long follow through” I mean some of the throwers I see with their arms pointed directly away from the target at the end of the throw. I am not even sure if I could achieve this position if I tried. It is obvious that I am following through as much as ever with my body, but I do not “feel” it like I did before or I do not “use” it as much to try to create power.

If the pullback is at 6 o’clock (as seen from above) and the end of the follow through is at 2 o’clock, and the disc launch at 10clock and the tendon bounce “recoil” was somewhere at 11/12 o’clock, this is acceleration, right??? (these are all relative and not exact).

Distance appears to be baby steps. You take as step, then another, then another, the disc just creeping a little further every time. There has been no huge revelation or “jump” in distance for me. Although, I would say I am consistently longer on the whole now.

Lastly, NO ONE is more aware of the effects of injury for this game. I have scars on my right bicep top and bottom where I seperated my tendon 98%. I had to have screws put in the bone to attach the tendon back to the bone. I did this disc throwing when a freak spasm occurred mid snap. I never thought I would throw right handed again. so, I guess the very fact I can throw past my own shadow is a miracle.

No, my goal is to be smooth, fluid, and use my body as efficiently as possible. I have no love of injury.
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Postby rehder » Tue Oct 17, 2006 6:03 am

Bradley is it possible for you to get upload a sequence/video of your throw? Im very interested in seeing a visual demonstration.

Im not to keen on the baseball stuff, but I think I understand what both Blake and Bradley are saying. The way I see it/understand is that the most extreme snap comes from the "tendon bounce" or towel snapping, where you have to stop the throwing motion to get maximum amount of tendon bounce, this does not utilize the rest of the body though, and since we are not trying to snap towels, but throw discs the mechanics are not quite the same. I cant say what they are. But from my own experience, which granted is only 4 months I would say is timing and acceleration. The acceleration towards the end of the throw which would between the the time that the disc passes your chest and arm extension, would perhaps induce a coiling/uncoiling of the wrist. This is just my humble opinion and tbh I havent really harnessed it. (yet :wink: )

Any corrections/opinions more than welcome
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Postby Bradley Walker » Tue Oct 17, 2006 11:19 am

I am not expert whatsoever in her mechanics of the disc golf motion. I am stumbling around in the dark as much as anyone. I do, however, have a lot of experience with OTHER athletic motions, including golf, track, and baseball pitching. Throwing a disc may be the most unique athletic motion I have ever dealt with. The aspect of spin and angle verses speed is so elusive as to be almost magic.

I went to the field and worked on everything discussed here, and to verify everything I said as being correct (if this is in fact what I am doing---sometimes you can think you are paying attention but you are not). I just wanted to make sure I was accurately describing what I am doing.

One of the first thing that showed its ugly head was the fact that trying to create bounce (like popping a towel) can lead to a lot of “pushing” into the hit. I had no idea this was occurring.

Dave D. said, “I think it is very important to stress pulling through the hit rather than pushing into it with a long stroke. “

In other words is the shoulder leading the elbow/arm or the other way around?

If you try to make a lot of “flick” motion you can start to lead with the wrist (or drive from the disc). The disc must trail the wrist, the wrist must trail the elbow, the elbow must trail the shoulder. The bounce must come as a reaction to the pulling and releasing of the trailing levers. In this respect the bounce comes as a reaction to the body drive, and I believe this is what everyone wants. The hit area comes right before all the angles catch up.

In golf this is what is called “using the handle” or “maintaining angles” through to impact. Leading the hit with the head of the club is called “casting”. That is why people who are trying to “throw” the clubhead at a golf ball look like spastics and short pop up slices and throw out their backs. Casting leads to lost acceleration before the strike. The best ball strikers in golf are going as fast as possible at a moment slightly after contact wit hthe ball, and the angles do not all catch up completely until several feet past the ball.

The disc bounce does have an element of recoil or flip (this is what I feal anyway), but cannot effectively be created artificially. This is no different than the tip of a bullwhip that recoils at the “crack”. The best bullwhip cracks are almost accidental, and you cannot force the tip into action with the handle. In this respect, you cannot make the wrist “bounce” happen by forcing the arm and wrist, it has to occur as a result of the angles of the wrist, elbow, shoulder, torso, hip, and legs unloading in the proper sequence. I believe this is what was referred to as “timing”.

The best advice for me right now is:
1. Speed up the left foot in the X-step.
2. Relax the left foot and leg in the X-step.
3. PULL THE DISC, DO NOT PUSH!!! Relax the wrist and arm.
4. PULL THE DISC THROUGH THE HIT. Use the shoulder opening as the driving point.
5. Throw drivers like a Roc, accept the distance.

When I pull the disc and unload the levers naturally I sometimes create rips that threaten to tear the skin of my index finger. When I really let everything go, it makes my arm tingle like when I pitched. This is a result of the arm being a completely passive element, and simply an instrument to hold the disc and to deliver the power of the body.

I remember pitching when my arm would go completely numb for a few seconds after the release. That was when I was REALLY bringing it…

Blake, could you explain “open” and “closed” wrist?
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Postby Blake_T » Tue Oct 17, 2006 2:01 pm

when i originally wrote the 2nd bent elbow article, the video shown is a VERY exaggerated motion... since then i have come to understand much more about snap and realized that i missed something in that second article.

first, you build more "tension" keeping the wrist locked neutral or close to neutral than allowing for it to coil/uncoil (although the video i have is still applicable since the "better" way doesn't show what happens).

second, i was focusing only on building tension and not upon imparting force onto the disc (aka harnessing the said tension). this is accomplished during the finish. where i stop in the wrist snap video = where you should really be pulling through in order to impart as much force as possible.


Blake, could you explain “open” and “closed” wrist?


closed wrist = the wrist is curled/cocked past neutral. open wrist = uncurled in the opposite direction of neutral.

i'm also a sports injury king. had a doctor once tell me that my bones were virtually unbreakable. oddly enough, this was as he was examining my ankle and found that i blew out 85% of the ligaments and severed about 75% of the nerves in my foot/ankle. doesn't help that i put on muscle mass faster than people on steroids and end up being able to push my muscles/bones beyond what the joints/tissue can handle.
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Postby the invisible tree » Tue Oct 17, 2006 4:09 pm

One of the better local players that I've had the chance to golf with drives with no run up. Actually, I think he would use a run up but the time that I played him he had a corn or some other kind of toe injury that prevented him from using one. He just stood at the front of the tee reached back and launched. He drove about 20' past a 360' slight uphill hole and got about 400' with a Wraith on the long drive hole which is also uphill. If the guy could putt he would be dangerous.
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