How to adjust spin vs. speed

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Re: How to adjust spin vs. speed

Postby JR » Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:49 pm

Furthur wrote:Could adjusting your grip change the speed/spin ratio? Almost like the difference between a pitcher's change-up and their fastball: same arm angle, same power into the throw, but the grip changes the amount of power transferred to the ball (or disc, in our case). I'm not stating this as fact or anything (I don't like to change my power/smash factor unless I absolutely have to, then I normally mess it up), but I think it's good conjecture.


Lessening spin at full speed is definitely possible with micro slips. I have published top down slo mo of myself throwing fairly hard when exhausted not being able to hold on to the disc at the video critique section. The vids show me pulling the disc close to the left and right pec and not extending the elbow fully with my wrist being 10-15 degrees short of neutral with the disc slipping from my fingers. When the arm is already at some pace the spin isn't gonna occur fully with the thumb lock not rotating around the edge of the disc. Pigs aren't that much affected in flight shape but stable to understable discs show some difference in being less HSS more LSS. Enough to be a factor in tunnels and gas in shot planning for flight shaping purposes.

That's why both intentionally weak but more importantly good grips and strong enough muscles to hold on to the disc long enough is important to master in more advanced stages of learning. It's not a basic skill by any means. I mean how many people start playing with a grip strong and sound enough to allow 500'+ throws?
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Re: How to adjust spin vs. speed

Postby Blake_T » Thu Sep 17, 2009 12:15 am

Could adjusting your grip change the speed/spin ratio? Almost like the difference between a pitcher's change-up and their fastball: same arm angle, same power into the throw, but the grip changes the amount of power transferred to the ball (or disc, in our case). I'm not stating this as fact or anything (I don't like to change my power/smash factor unless I absolutely have to, then I normally mess it up), but I think it's good conjecture.


people here are going down the wrong path with this. the use of the term "ratio" is a case and point of it.

JR's description also doesn't involve changing the ratio.

what you are trying to manipulate here doesn't really happen ceteris paribus.

When the arm is already at some pace the spin isn't gonna occur fully with the thumb lock not rotating around the edge of the disc.


the speed won't occur either, so the ratio will remain similar (if it changes, it does so by a smaller amount than is being envisioned). spin decreases but so does speed.

spin can be plotted mathematically to show it has some effect on stability and lift, but nose down, velocity, force, and disc weight are still the dominant factors. take a sidewinder as an example. that disc will turn with 2 degrees nose down at like 30 mph (~240' power). the average thrower generates between 8-15 RPS on the disc, and it will turn with anything in that range. assuming that if spin were increased while nose down and velocity remained the same... there's some calculation to figure that out... but what would it take? 50 RPS? is that even possible? take someone like masterbeato who throws 10 degrees nose down and 70mph... 200 RPS for a stable flight? it seems much easier to manipulate nose angle or velocity or disc selection.

i don't think people can manipulate spin while maintaining velocity and nose angles to such an extent where it yields a very noticeable difference in flight.

i also think that when people think they are changing spin, they are also changing 2-3 other factors along with it...
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Re: How to adjust spin vs. speed

Postby JR » Thu Sep 17, 2009 11:44 pm

Slips can drop spin rate quicker in percentage than speed thus speed vs spin ratio would change. Increasing spin rate beyond correctly timed muscled wrist opening coinciding with post elbow straight wrist opening, stopping the wrist faster and increasing pressure on thumb lock is impossible to my current knowledge.

I disagree with some of what Blake wrote because of the measurements of Öystein Carlsen. His test subjects got at best 10 % increase in linear back to front speed of the disc from the wrist opening and disc pivot in the thumb lock with a maximum of 40 % increase in spin rate of the disc. This means that a worse case of slip than my top down vid showed of not having any opening of the wrist would have the disc moving at about 90 % speed producing about 60 % of maximum available. These maximum values and resulting maximum values of pror to wrist opening values were measured out of real throws by good throwers.

Conjecture part: If a semi competent throw with some opening of the wrist but not a full disc pivot occurred the numbers would be something like 93 % speed 70 % spin. Assuming 180 degree rotation of thumb lock around the disc edge like Bradley Walker suggested. If there was a full wrist opening and the disc micro slipped at say 1 o'clock one would lose out a third of the spin rate increase available and some percents of the speed increase I can't estimate. That would produce something like perhaps 94-98 % speed with 86 % spin rate out of maximum. Retard the rip to 2 o'clock and you get a percentile or two more linear speed and 1/6 of that 40 % spin rate increase vs 1 o'clock rip. The same goes for 2 o'clock vs 3 o'clock.

There is a great if in my calculation. I haven't checked lately and don't remember how much the thumb lock moved for those throwers that were measured so the numbers could change. I don't see how the situation would change in speed to spin ratio shifting toward speed dominant when the disc doesn't pivot fully and/or the wrist doesn't open fully. While still moving at 90 % of maximum linear speed which IMO ain't really losing that much considering the longest throws are to my knowledge dominated by spin rather than speed. Relatively speaking of which most players can gain easiest vs the best throwers in the world. If snapping hard was easy it would be 2 % players hadn't big snap instead of the other way around.

That is why I state that speed is available even without a lot of spin. Which is why speed to spin ratio can change and it's easier to handicap spin by not using the wrist well or allowing the disc to slip prior to full disc pivot. Only if adding spin to speed ratio to full powered throws were so easy.

It is possible to reduce speed and get a much higher amount of spin relative to speed by shortening the reach back and retarding the onset of hard acceleration of the arm. It does have real world dg applications such as avoiding flipping and lessening fade for some discs, not speedy ones, like in penetrating gaps and driving with putters and longest mid flights.

Blake_T wrote:
Could adjusting your grip change the speed/spin ratio? Almost like the difference between a pitcher's change-up and their fastball: same arm angle, same power into the throw, but the grip changes the amount of power transferred to the ball (or disc, in our case). I'm not stating this as fact or anything (I don't like to change my power/smash factor unless I absolutely have to, then I normally mess it up), but I think it's good conjecture.


people here are going down the wrong path with this. the use of the term "ratio" is a case and point of it.

JR's description also doesn't involve changing the ratio.

what you are trying to manipulate here doesn't really happen ceteris paribus.

When the arm is already at some pace the spin isn't gonna occur fully with the thumb lock not rotating around the edge of the disc.


the speed won't occur either, so the ratio will remain similar (if it changes, it does so by a smaller amount than is being envisioned). spin decreases but so does speed.

spin can be plotted mathematically to show it has some effect on stability and lift, but nose down, velocity, force, and disc weight are still the dominant factors. take a sidewinder as an example. that disc will turn with 2 degrees nose down at like 30 mph (~240' power). the average thrower generates between 8-15 RPS on the disc, and it will turn with anything in that range. assuming that if spin were increased while nose down and velocity remained the same... there's some calculation to figure that out... but what would it take? 50 RPS? is that even possible? take someone like masterbeato who throws 10 degrees nose down and 70mph... 200 RPS for a stable flight? it seems much easier to manipulate nose angle or velocity or disc selection.

i don't think people can manipulate spin while maintaining velocity and nose angles to such an extent where it yields a very noticeable difference in flight.

i also think that when people think they are changing spin, they are also changing 2-3 other factors along with it...
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Re: How to adjust spin vs. speed

Postby Blake_T » Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:51 am

I disagree with some of what Blake wrote because of the measurements of Öystein Carlsen. His test subjects got at best 10 % increase in linear back to front speed of the disc from the wrist opening and disc pivot in the thumb lock with a maximum of 40 % increase in spin rate of the disc. This means that a worse case of slip than my top down vid showed of not having any opening of the wrist would have the disc moving at about 90 % speed producing about 60 % of maximum available. These maximum values and resulting maximum values of pror to wrist opening values were measured out of real throws by good throwers.


how were they calculating "speed." launch velocity of the disc or arm speed?
40% rotational decrease is still within the 8-15 RPS bounds i laid out earlier, which don't yield significant flight changes. any times slips get referenced, there's a large trade off in transferred energy to the disc and accuracy issues. most of the euro guys lever the disc in a manner that the angular velocity of the outer edge (and the massive acceleration of that) is transferred to the disc.

Conjecture part: If a semi competent throw with some opening of the wrist but not a full disc pivot occurred the numbers would be something like 93 % speed 70 % spin. Assuming 180 degree rotation of thumb lock around the disc edge like Bradley Walker suggested. If there was a full wrist opening and the disc micro slipped at say 1 o'clock one would lose out a third of the spin rate increase available and some percents of the speed increase I can't estimate. That would produce something like perhaps 94-98 % speed with 86 % spin rate out of maximum. Retard the rip to 2 o'clock and you get a percentile or two more linear speed and 1/6 of that 40 % spin rate increase vs 1 o'clock rip. The same goes for 2 o'clock vs 3 o'clock.


the "average" disc golfer releases around 12:30 with big arms closer to 2 o'clock. spin is better manipulated through grip strength (often a simple grip style change will yield this) without reducing much disc velocity nor nose angle or trajectory.

IMO ain't really losing that much considering the longest throws are to my knowledge dominated by spin rather than speed.


they are speed dominant. discs slow down in forward velocity faster than the decrease in rotational velocity. the ability to hold a high speed disc turned and nose down 60' in the air beyond 500' requires a tremendous amount of velocity and the late-flight momentum glide is very dependent upon velocity.

i'm not saying that spin doesn't have some effect on flight, just that i don't think it has as much as people would think it does. it's mainly evident on throws that involve low velocity, where you can manipulate the ratios a lot more. throws near max power require absurd amounts of spin (or removed spin) to see a noticeable change.

99% of the time when people think they're doing something with spin they are actually doing it with nose angles and velocity.
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Re: How to adjust spin vs. speed

Postby JR » Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:37 am

I agree that in most cases slips aren't a desireable goal by any means for the reasons you mentioned.

They did not calculate speed they used several high speed cameras shooting at 280 FPS measuring velocities both linear back to front speeds and angular velocities. Velocities were measured from several places including elbow, wrist, center of the back of the hand and center of the disc. Without rereading I can't say that my recollection is accurate but I seem to have an impression that one measurement was from the disc edge measuring angular velocity. They separated disc, hand and wrist speed from each other.

The test subjects were European and the massive acceleration of the levering you talked of (plus simultaneous torso an leg action) was measured to add 10% back to front speed to the disc. Leg action measurements weren't presented. Some years later one of the test subjects was seen by man_utenbart from DGR to throw a slow anny to 460' landing anny. Sounds spin dominant to me.

You misquoted me by snipping a sentence out of context. I was talking about Joe average no big snap getting _relatively_ closer to pro disc speeds easier than to pro spin rates. In absolute terms both categories leave ams lacking big time in most cases. I too mentioned earlier that speed to spin manipulation is doable at low speeds and not so well at full power.

From personal experience I have seen more HSS less LSS flights with less slipping. In different stages with differing magnitude changes as I've progressed and jumped to different distance plateaus. I haven't been filmed at high speed recently after grip improvements that allowed an 10-12' high line drive with a new DX 175 Valkyrie to go 400' with 3' fade and an inch or two of tracking in no winds. Prior to grip change the highest spin rate on film from me was 17 revolutions per second with 16 being the usual best. Prior to the grip and power change that little fade with a Valk was impossible for me to achieve with current form. Other discs fly straighter as well.

I've seen Jussi Meresmaa throw 360s from few feet away on two occasions and the latest grip change has allowed my flights look equally little fading at about the same speeds. Except his throws start to fade a lot farther down the range :-) With previous grips my discs started to fade at visibly much higher speeds than Jussi's. We used the same disc model and plastic and probably the same weight as well. I think my previous grips have prevented disc pivot. I'm curious to see what my current spin rate and disc speed is. I'm keeping my fingers crossed about mafa's video camera still working. It had some hiccups.

I suggested to mafa a couple of players at Tali Open 2009 that I filmed at 300 FPS to be displayed in the same video showing exceptionally visible wrist action. Playback at 29.97 FPS without editing. I don't know the timetable of youtubing because it takes time to edit especially if he decides to edit more than one guy hitting at the same time displayed side by side. Doss and Europeans. So that "euro leverage" is gonna be visible later.
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Re: How to adjust spin vs. speed

Postby Bradley Walker » Fri Sep 18, 2009 12:23 pm

Blake_T wrote:the "average" disc golfer releases around 12:30 with big arms closer to 2 o'clock.


More disc pivot.

The more pronounced the pivot, the later on the clock the hand will be at release.

Newbies throw the front of the disc, good players throw "the other side of the disc". This creates a slinging that results in the hand coming around the nose and releasing much later.
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Re: How to adjust spin vs. speed

Postby Blake_T » Sun Sep 20, 2009 12:47 am

there's a lot of myths about speed vs. spin. it's often cited as the case for why discs fly understable for sidearm throwers. if they concentrate on spinning it rather than velocity, they flip less.

the problem is that most sidearm throwers generate tons of OAT, and by "concentrating on spinning it" they remove OAT and focus on keeping their flick on plane with the disc plane. while the "attempt to add more spin" may have fixed the problem, it's not the spin that fixes it.

there was a time when i struggled throwing putters/mids for distance backhand and attempting to add more spin seemed to fix things, but in the actuality of it is that i just removed OAT.

It is possible to reduce speed and get a much higher amount of spin relative to speed by shortening the reach back and retarding the onset of hard acceleration of the arm. It does have real world dg applications such as avoiding flipping and lessening fade for some discs, not speedy ones, like in penetrating gaps and driving with putters and longest mid flights.


the thing is with shortening the reach is that it's basically the bent elbow technique. the first portion of this is basically "how to throw with snap" moreso than how to remove speed and increase spin.

They did not calculate speed they used several high speed cameras shooting at 280 FPS measuring velocities both linear back to front speeds and angular velocities. Velocities were measured from several places including elbow, wrist, center of the back of the hand and center of the disc.


the problem that i have with this is that all velocities are moot except for the disc velocity after release. i've seen tons of people who can generate 70mph of arm speed, but only a handful actually get 70mph of disc speed AFTER it leaves the hand. what i struggle to believe is that it's possible to maintain the same launch velocity with slips, micro or otherwise.

I was talking about Joe average no big snap getting _relatively_ closer to pro disc speeds easier than to pro spin rates. In absolute terms both categories leave ams lacking big time in most cases. I too mentioned earlier that speed to spin manipulation is doable at low speeds and not so well at full power.


i don't believe this is true though. most guys throwing under 430' line drives have launch velocities under 50mph. if you measure a 300' throw, the velocities are likely relative similar if they are throwing the same discs, but on max D throws, joe average is likely 10-25mph slower than mr. top pro. i would wager that both are getting spin rates under 20 RPS.

overall though, i don't even think about spin anymore. it is possible to have some manipulation of flight characteristics with spin changes well within your power range, but i find it much more consistent to manipulate flight characteristics with intentional OAT since it doesn't affect launch direction or force transfer.

what i would give warning to are the guys on here who are not huge snap throwers attempting to manipulate spin and trying to cite that as the reason for the flight changes. velocity, nose down, and the force plane are responsible for the majority of flight characteristics.
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Re: How to adjust spin vs. speed

Postby Wyno » Sun Sep 20, 2009 5:06 am

The master thesis JR is mentioning can be found here: http://www.tbgfrisbee.no/Tips/hovedoppgave.pdf
It's in norwegian though so even a Finn might have trouble reading it correctly (no offense JR :-)), technically more adept people than myself might be able to read something out of the tables and such I guess.

As far as I can understand, Carlsen finds most correlation between exit velocity of the disc and 1.rotational speed of the hips, 2.minimum elbow angle/max speed in elbow extension, and 3. disc rotation.
So, imporant things to practice would be footwork, elbow chop, disc pivot. I think Blake, Bradley et al should find much to like here :-)

One of the ideas I found interesting, is how the subject with the highest disc speed holds on to his disc with both hands during reachback, Carlsen theorizes that this might help him in delaying shoulder rotation (his rotational speed peeks just after the hit while some of the others are de-accellerating at this point) and therefore be beneficial. i find it very plausible since coming through to early with your shoulders seems to be a commom problem - maybe grabbing your disc with both hands leads to a breakthrough in timing and after that it becomes an unneccessary crutch? I would suspect the habit of pointing your disc towards the target just before the x-step has a lot of the same function (adjusting rotational timing, but this might help someone with weight transfer timing as well).

Another interesting aspect is how Carlsen concludes that the best training would be leg and core muscles since he really can't show much effect from strong-arming at all. For instance, all subjects show almost no change in shoulder/upper arm angle, and even though elbow extension is one of the most important elements, this is thought to be mostly a result of prior movement (too quick to be conscious).

What strikes me when reading ths and other threads, Blake, is how you have an ability to look beyond the first explanation that comes to mind, and if there is no certain knowledge to look at all possible factors before forming an opinion as to what is the most plausible explanation. Since DG is dominated by teaching based on personal experience, it's just the kind of critical thinking that's needed.
Not to insult anyone else here, but I find the arguments for people actually manipulating spin - not angle, speed, oat etc - are not very convincing so far...
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Re: How to adjust spin vs. speed

Postby JR » Sun Sep 20, 2009 11:47 am

I agree with most of what Blake wrote. I'm not promoting intentional slipping as a good way (the opposite in fact) to do things just a possibility. In fact I don't recall ever having to decrease spin because I've managed well using conventional techniques. I've experienced OAT removal as a byproduct and the primary reason of improving things myself.

The way I've reduced reach back length isn't what I think of traditional bent elbow style. My definition may be off.

There's footage of Avery Jenkins shot obliquely from above me and mafa captured on video and mafa edited at youtube. My Xcaliber spun at approximately 20 revolutions per second thrown by him the footage is originally 300 FPS played back at 29.97 FPS. I don't know if mafa changed anything in that during editing. You can make your own measurements to confirm or debunk that number. If you want the unedited footage I filmed I can put it up to a file sharing site so that you can download it, examine and measure it. The measured disc has a color bar in the middle thrown backhand. The disc is worn and it flipped. How hard and well Avery threw is something that must be asked from him but he did flirt with 500' all the time during the video shoot. Rather consistently. I haven't measured the speed but those were no Joe Public 300' drives either :-)

Again without checking my recollection of the thesis my memory was that the speed of the disc was also displayed after the rip somewhere. The thread where I translated the thesis in the most interesting parts with non existent skills in Norwegian with the disclaimers presented there about why I'm somewhat able to pull the
translation off (a Norwegian member understood less of the thesis) are in the thread viewtopic.php?f=2&t=4019. Wyno can you check my translation and what kind of language skills in Norwegian or related languages do you have because I loathe misrepresenting anything but don't like having a correct translation of mine tainted by another interpretation that is wrong?

The measurements showed IIRC that the launch velocity was about 10% faster than disc velocity at elbow straight wrist bent. Wrist unbending and the lower body parts combined generate that rest of the speed. A micro slip can't exceed that pre wrist opening 90% speed in any way I can fathom. I haven't said that it could. What I've said is that the spin to speed ratio can be different with a slip grip vs a rip appropriately late throw. Please check it for yourself from the original source to eliminate error sources like my memory if you're interested in the exact measurement results. If you're interested in better quality translation maybe you could ask man_utenbart who is Norwegian.

Blake_T wrote:overall though, i don't even think about spin anymore. it is possible to have some manipulation of flight characteristics with spin changes well within your power range, but i find it much more consistent to manipulate flight characteristics with intentional OAT since it doesn't affect launch direction or force transfer.

what i would give warning to are the guys on here who are not huge snap throwers attempting to manipulate spin and trying to cite that as the reason for the flight changes. velocity, nose down, and the force plane are responsible for the majority of flight characteristics.


I agree and do the same as above with the exception of keeping the option of minimizing spin as a fight shaping option open and thinking of it. Especially when challenging myself to approach a familiar hole a different way than before.
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Re: How to adjust spin vs. speed

Postby JR » Sun Sep 20, 2009 11:59 am

No offense taken I welcome critique because it may teach me something and save my behind. Careful with assumptions did you read the disclaimers of translating in the tread I read a nice thesis of long throws?

The one thing that stuck to my mind about the measurements and their statistical analysis was that there was only one statistically meaningful correlation found at 95 % confidence level in relation of flight distance and details of form. That was a positive correlation between lengthening elbow reach back distance away from the target. Untechnically speaking this means that you'll most likely throw farther when you reach back farther with the elbow.

I haven't been advocating not utilizing "angle, speed, oat etc". Manipulating spin is a minor effect whereas those mentioned by you and lake are issues of the highest importance and much more evident in flight. Just not all encompassing. And that is what I've been stressing -the plethora of options. The whole spectrum not just the visible or near visible parts. Each variable has an effect, especially visible in trick shots.

Wyno wrote:The master thesis JR is mentioning can be found here: http://www.tbgfrisbee.no/Tips/hovedoppgave.pdf
It's in norwegian though so even a Finn might have trouble reading it correctly (no offense JR :-)), technically more adept people than myself might be able to read something out of the tables and such I guess.

As far as I can understand, Carlsen finds most correlation between exit velocity of the disc and 1.rotational speed of the hips, 2.minimum elbow angle/max speed in elbow extension, and 3. disc rotation.
So, imporant things to practice would be footwork, elbow chop, disc pivot. I think Blake, Bradley et al should find much to like here :-)

One of the ideas I found interesting, is how the subject with the highest disc speed holds on to his disc with both hands during reachback, Carlsen theorizes that this might help him in delaying shoulder rotation (his rotational speed peeks just after the hit while some of the others are de-accellerating at this point) and therefore be beneficial. i find it very plausible since coming through to early with your shoulders seems to be a commom problem - maybe grabbing your disc with both hands leads to a breakthrough in timing and after that it becomes an unneccessary crutch? I would suspect the habit of pointing your disc towards the target just before the x-step has a lot of the same function (adjusting rotational timing, but this might help someone with weight transfer timing as well).

Another interesting aspect is how Carlsen concludes that the best training would be leg and core muscles since he really can't show much effect from strong-arming at all. For instance, all subjects show almost no change in shoulder/upper arm angle, and even though elbow extension is one of the most important elements, this is thought to be mostly a result of prior movement (too quick to be conscious).

What strikes me when reading ths and other threads, Blake, is how you have an ability to look beyond the first explanation that comes to mind, and if there is no certain knowledge to look at all possible factors before forming an opinion as to what is the most plausible explanation. Since DG is dominated by teaching based on personal experience, it's just the kind of critical thinking that's needed.
Not to insult anyone else here, but I find the arguments for people actually manipulating spin - not angle, speed, oat etc - are not very convincing so far...
Flat shots need running on the center line of the tee and planting each step on the center line. Anhyzer needs running from rear right to front left with the plant step hitting the ground to the left of the line you're running on. Hyzer is the mirror of that.
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Re: How to adjust spin vs. speed

Postby Blake_T » Sun Sep 20, 2009 12:34 pm

One of the ideas I found interesting, is how the subject with the highest disc speed holds on to his disc with both hands during reachback, Carlsen theorizes that this might help him in delaying shoulder rotation (his rotational speed peeks just after the hit while some of the others are de-accellerating at this point) and therefore be beneficial. i find it very plausible since coming through to early with your shoulders seems to be a commom problem - maybe grabbing your disc with both hands leads to a breakthrough in timing and after that it becomes an unneccessary crutch? I would suspect the habit of pointing your disc towards the target just before the x-step has a lot of the same function (adjusting rotational timing, but this might help someone with weight transfer timing as well).


actually... holding the disc with both hands during reach back has a major negative bi-product unless it's a very loose hold with the offhand. 99% of players i come across who hold with both hands end up with perfectly squared shoulders. that is, the shoulders remain parallel to one another throughout the reach. however, if you watch at the rotation of most players, especially the many of euro guys who generally have a low reach and pull line (with a dropped right shoulder), the right shoulder ends up turned farther away from the target than the left shoulder. if the shoulders remain parallel the entire time, the amount of turn of both shoulders remains the same. while this works on flat/anhyzer shots, it is not very conducive to performing hyzer throws. Brad Hammock and Ken Climo are two of the only top pros i know of that have a delayed hold on the disc and are still predominantly hyzer throwers. Hammock is still able to shift the shoulder plane quite well and Climo lets go immediately before max reach back (and is able to manipulate the shoulder plane). if you watch a number of players who do hold with their off-hand, their shoulders tend to rotate on a flat plane no matter what angle the disc starts on/finishes on, with the result being OAT on any shot that isn't flat.

What strikes me when reading ths and other threads, Blake, is how you have an ability to look beyond the first explanation that comes to mind, and if there is no certain knowledge to look at all possible factors before forming an opinion as to what is the most plausible explanation. Since DG is dominated by teaching based on personal experience, it's just the kind of critical thinking that's needed.


i've worked with 600+ players in person and only come across about 10 that are coordinated enough to make minor changes to their throw in 5 or less tries (not all of them were high level pros). it's due to this fact that i doubt there are many out there who could consistently manipulate spin on throws while keeping every other factor the same (velocity, acceleration, force transfer, nose angle, OAT). the bulk of the lesson work i do (beyond putting) is taking guys from 350' and trying to get them to 450' or at least able to do everything possible at 350' (this everything possible is also for guys who get to 450'). much of the myths of troubleshooting technique problems

the general process is eliminating OAT and teaching people how to throw pure (most don't, but this knowledge is necessary for learning to hit the snot out of a disc). the next step is timing/release/extension... basically snap. when the fundamentals of snap are learned, that's when introducing OAT becomes a factor again. shot shaping requires the ability to start with the body and disc on one plane and then snapping the disc onto another plane (with subsequent body adjustments). there's a whole lot can be done with that and it can be done without any spin manipulation.

Another interesting aspect is how Carlsen concludes that the best training would be leg and core muscles since he really can't show much effect from strong-arming at all. For instance, all subjects show almost no change in shoulder/upper arm angle, and even though elbow extension is one of the most important elements, this is thought to be mostly a result of prior movement (too quick to be conscious).


building leg and core muscles will always help, but it's an odd one. for players with big snap performing throws under 450', leg power is responsible for less than 30% of distance, often times closer to 15%. imo, the key muscles in throwing are hand strength and the extensor muscles in the forearm, since those are the ones that dictate how much force can be transferred to the disc during wrist extension. now for someone who has reached peak snap power, building legs and core will help yield gradual incremental results... but these will likely happen in the realm of 1-3% contributions and build slowly over time.

increasing elbow extension can be done with body positions that increase the peak elbow bend, but yah, it's not something you work on building via conscious motion of the elbow.
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Re: How to adjust spin vs. speed

Postby Wyno » Sun Sep 20, 2009 2:26 pm

JR, sorry! I guess I tend to assume too much - wich is not very clever when I kind of accuse you of doing just that :-) My bsic assumption is that we're all in here to figure things out.

JR wrote:The one thing that stuck to my mind about the measurements and their statistical analysis was that there was only one statistically meaningful correlation found at 95 % confidence level in relation of flight distance and details of form. That was a positive correlation between lengthening elbow reach back distance away from the target. Untechnically speaking this means that you'll most likely throw farther when you reach back farther with the elbow.

This is not quite correct but seems to be a commom misconception of his findings; the correlation is between hip/shoulder movement and disc exit speed - Carlsen says (freely translated from a norwegian DG forum): "one should rotate both pelvis and upper body farther away from the direction of the throw". This will happen naturally with a long reach back, but he later comments on bent elbow technique as being in no conflict with his own studies.

Blake T wrote:imo, the key muscles in throwing are hand strength and the extensor muscles in the forearm, since those are the ones that dictate how much force can be transferred to the disc during wrist extension.

Carlsen notes that the recording frequency is (probably) too low to capture the necessary nuances in wrist/hand movement, I think that's why he does not discuss these factors much. He notes that positioning the frisbee during the throw is extremely important though...
Someone should do a follow up, focusing more on wrist movement, vertical movement, disc angles, grip differences - but my hopes are not up...

Blake T wrote:Climo lets go immediately before max reach back

the subject with the highest disc speed just might be a fan of Climo (judging from his norwegian forum posts at least), no surprise he lets go before max reach back and afaik he's hyzer dominant as well :-)
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Re: How to adjust spin vs. speed

Postby JHern » Sun Sep 20, 2009 9:26 pm

Blake_T wrote:40% rotational decrease is still within the 8-15 RPS bounds i laid out earlier, which don't yield significant flight changes.


You guys are the experts on disc throwing (I'm relatively just an amateur), but Blake, this raises my hackles a bit as a physicist. 8-15 Hz is a variation by a factor of two. The torques acting on a disc in flight will only depend on the flight speed and orientation (i.e., nose/hyzer angle). (I think wind tunnel tests have put to rest any notion that rotation affects the torques.) A disc flying with 15 Hz spin will turn (or fade) about twice as slowly as a disc flying with 8 Hz spin given the same flight speed and orientation.

This is not conjecture, it is a law of physics.

Now, maybe this won't affect distance as much as speed alone, but it would surely affect the lateral (sideways) motion of a disc on any number of lines (slower rotation=>more turn AND more fade, everything else equal), as much or perhaps more than adding OAT.
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Re: How to adjust spin vs. speed

Postby Blake_T » Sun Sep 20, 2009 10:47 pm

You guys are the experts on disc throwing (I'm relatively just an amateur), but Blake, this raises my hackles a bit as a physicist. 8-15 Hz is a variation by a factor of two. The torques acting on a disc in flight will only depend on the flight speed and orientation (i.e., nose/hyzer angle). (I think wind tunnel tests have put to rest any notion that rotation affects the torques.) A disc flying with 15 Hz spin will turn (or fade) about twice as slowly as a disc flying with 8 Hz spin given the same flight speed and orientation.

This is not conjecture, it is a law of physics.


i'm very interested in the physics equations if you have them handy. i was an engineering major for 2 years and a physics major for 2 years but i'm so far removed from it that i only remember a handful of equations.

keep in mind that the 8-15 RPS is a range that encompasses at least 2/3rds of players, possibly more. someone's ability to manipulate spin while keeping launch angles, launch velocity, etc. the same is likely more along the lines of 2-5 RPS. it's the "being able to keep everything else the same while still manipulating spin" part of things that i don't put a lot of stock in.

this is also very dependent upon speed ranges and the disc's aerodynamic properties. if you ever wonder why pro bags are often so similar in terms of their workhorse discs (and the weights), there's only a handful of discs on the market that seem to whittle their way into nearly every pro bag. these discs are usually those that are extremely HSS.

for a player who has an average launch velocity near 70mph (these guys also generally have tremendous amounts of spin), why is it that nearly every disc flips unless it's an extremely stable model and at max weight? how much spin would it take to make a disc like a sidewinder not turn over with a 70mph launch velocity and 5 degrees of nose down?
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Re: How to adjust spin vs. speed

Postby Blake_T » Sun Sep 20, 2009 11:32 pm

something else i was going to mention but forgot.

when you take a disc like a boss, imo, being able to throw > 55mph is more important than how many RPS you can put on it. if you were to throw it 35 mph you'd need an ungodly amount of spin on it to get it to hold stable for very long at all.

on a similar note it would be interesting to see the relationships between both rim width to spin and diameter to spin.
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