Snap Related

Information, Questions, Discussion about Throwing Mechanics and Technique

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Snap Related

Postby mattmunger » Tue Jun 15, 2004 12:46 am

I have been learing quite a bit from your site. Currently I am just under 400 feet for distance and get quite a bit of snap on the disc. My problem is though is that it hurts the tips of my fingers. So much so that early in the spring each year my finger(s) literally rip open from the force of the disc leaving my hand. After a few weeks a wonderful callous develops and I have no more problems until the winter hits (I live in North Idaho) and have to stop or play with gloves on.
Is this a bad thing or am I doing something wrong? Or is it just something that I have to just live with?
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Postby Blake_T » Tue Jun 15, 2004 1:00 am

i have the same problem when i am throwing well. unfortunately, my skin doesn't callous correctly and i have a repetitive cycle of raw, blister, blood blister, popped blister, callous, callous tears off, raw, blister... and so forth.

i would consider it a good sign that you are getting that much rip force out of the hand. i currently use johnson & johnson water proof tape wherever my skin starts to tear... which is often up to 5-6 places on my fingers.

unless you buy some of those stones you can rub on your hands to build callouses (pumice i think) it's something you will probably just have to live with. the unfortunate side of tape is that it can restrict circulation, prevents callous formation, and tends to cause stupid tan lines. there are also some other products that are suppose to act like a second skin... there is also a lotion used by doctors a lot during the winter that does something similar but it gets annoyingly oily with residue
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Teaching Snap

Postby mattmunger » Tue Jun 15, 2004 10:37 am

So then here is my next question. How can I teach the guys I play with to achieve snap? I try to tell them to grip it tighter but that doesn't seem to help. I have thought that maybe they just are not pulling through with enough power as they max out around 300 feet. Any ideas?
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Postby Blake_T » Tue Jun 15, 2004 12:09 pm

check out the distance secrets, understanding the bent elbow technique, and adding distance articles... there are sections dedicated to snap and should supply more info than you'll ever care to know.

personally, i find a loose grip up until the rip point gives me the best snap.
chances are, they are also doing a few other things wrong as it is possible to strong arm a disc ~340+
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Postby Blake_T » Tue Jun 15, 2004 12:11 pm

also keep in mind it may take them up to a month or more to really grasp the snap thing, or they might get it the first day.

it more than likely will throw their games off for a short period though.
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Postby garublador » Thu Jun 17, 2004 7:22 am

Blake_T wrote:also keep in mind it may take them up to a month or more to really grasp the snap thing, or they might get it the first day.

it more than likely will throw their games off for a short period though.


I'm about three months in and last night was the first time I got a real snap. After weeks of varying my grip style and strength I finally tried a slightly different arm motion and it finally came together. Granted it messed up just about everything else about my throw (pretty much everything in the technique repair section applies to me now ;)) but I can tell that I'm putting the Z's required to get some real distance on my throws. Before I felt like I was topping out on my distance with the technique I was using (if I threw any harder I'd turn over my discs, but still only get 250'-275') but now it seems like a little work will get me back to my old D but I'll have a lot more headroom for future improvement.
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Getting Snap

Postby mattmunger » Thu Jun 17, 2004 10:51 am

I love it when something like that happens. Suddenly you feel like all the practice is helping and that you can throw a mile. Nice job.
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Postby HalfBaked » Mon Jun 21, 2004 9:43 pm

Is snap important? Yes.

Although I believe that snap is important it is not important enough to base your whole throw around it so your able to hear an audible snap. This used to be my problem when I was learning to throw. After changing from a snap dominated throw to a rotation dominated throw I can throw a disc 425+ with ease and without the expense of my fingers. I get no blood blisters or calices. Another con of snap throws are discs turning over more often, especially in the wind, much like flick. I also find it easier to to throw midranges as they are a lot touchier than a driver.

Concentrate on your hips and sholders rotating and transfer that rotation to your disc.
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Postby Blake_T » Mon Jun 21, 2004 11:56 pm

just to clarify, the "snap" i'm referring to is not the snapping sound as your fingers hit your palm as the disc rips out, but the tendon "bounce" that occurs right before the rip point. this is responsible for much of the first half flight characteristics (in terms of the disc cutting through the air) as well as the amount of spin on the disc. this concept is sort of the reverse of what occurs with a major league pitcher and how they are able to generate their huge amounts of velocity and "action" on the ball.

i also do not condone trying to throw pure bent elbow as it is not the best distance potential (although it very well may be for throwing midrange and approach discs), but more as a method of "locating" snap and then integrating it into a method that uses more reach back.

for example, my friends who have been grouped with steve brinster say he has no audible snapping sound as the disc leaves his hand but he's also known as probably the longest thrower on the tour with a TON of (wrist ) snap and not a lot of reach back.
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Postby HalfBaked » Wed Jun 23, 2004 10:03 pm

I believe my buddy played with Steve at the KC Wide, I'll have to ask him about it.
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Postby HalfBaked » Mon Jun 28, 2004 9:03 pm

So from what I hear, one of the longest throwers on the tour, no.
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Postby diron » Mon Jun 28, 2004 10:44 pm

Watched Brinster, Schultz, Heeren, and Todd play the Final 9 at the Greater Peoria Open.

I've never seen anyone throw farther than Brinster, ever.
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Postby Blake_T » Tue Jun 29, 2004 2:06 am

brinster's technique is mainly known for golf D vs. pure D. after he won the 2002 USDGC distance contest making 10/10 (if i remember correctly) across the pond, the pdga.com board pretty much held consensus that he was one of the biggest golf D arms (if not the biggest overall) that was playing out and able to throw 500'+ whenever he wanted to (although 800' is probably out of his range).

the other names mentioned were shawn sinclair, ken jarvis, stokely, etc.
most of the touring pros in the area pretty much have agreed with this list although i'm sure some of the swedish players should be on here as well, the kallstroms, etc. brinster is an oddity compared to most of these guys as he has a much more compact throwing motion.
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Postby Jason Bryant » Tue Jul 13, 2004 11:06 am

I've been playing for about 6 years, off and on, but have been playing a lot in the past few months, picking the game back up again.

I struggle mightily with distance, rarely breaking 300 and haven't had a par round at Newport News in nearly 3 years. My average score is about 4 over (playing threes) from the whites.

Every now and then, I have a throw over 300, but for the most part, I can't even get the disc over 250. I've looked at the videos, read about technique till no end and gotten tips from the local pros at the course.

My issue seems to be the snap, as in, I have NONE whatsoever. I cannot snap anything, when I try, it flies way right after the release.

My main discs I throw are the MRV, Stratus, Crush and an Aviar, even though I have about 12 discs.

I throw the MRV the best for apporach shots, usually just standing and whipping it, but I try coming across my chest, with an x-step, trying to reach back and let'er rip.

The funny thing is, I'm a pretty good athlete and a big guy to boot, but at 5-11 255, I cannot get ANY type of distance. A 10-year old is out there kicking my butt.

Please advise.
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Postby garublador » Tue Jul 13, 2004 11:42 am

Jason Bryant wrote:The funny thing is, I'm a pretty good athlete and a big guy to boot, but at 5-11 255, I cannot get ANY type of distance. A 10-year old is out there kicking my butt.

Please advise.


I had some friends visiting a few weeks ago, all 20 somethings in good shape, and we went disc golfing. We got to one hole and someone managed to get a disc stuck in a tree. There was a kid about that age playing behind us and we let him play through. We had to stand there and watch this kid throw a sidearm drive farther and more accurately than any of our shots, drop in a gimme putt and happily trot off. It was a very humbling experience.

Since my last post I've been improving my throw and while I haven't measured my throws very accurately, I believe I'm inching my way up to the consistant 300' mark. The three things that I believe improved my drive the most are: keeping the disc close to my body on the pull through, only gripping the disc hard enough to keep in in place during the pull through and then suddenly gripping tighter at the hit, and improving my follow through. The first two were more of figuring out a better arm and wrist motion, but the last one, the follow through, just flat out added a bunch of distance. Concentrating on my hips and shoulders during the pull through has also helped a bunch, but I get the feeling some of that has improved simply because I'm following through better now. I also found that quickening up my x-step makes everything come together much better as well...but that's been happeing more automatically with the follow through as well.

It is weird and frustrating trying to learn a technique as mysterious as snap. It's kind of like trying to explain to someone how to whistle. Everyone seems to talk about it as if it's some sort of magic you have to just know and can't really be told about. While that's sort of true, there are things that are condusive to getting a lot of snap that you can concentrate on. If you understand what the snap actually is and work on arm and wrist motions (I used the bent-elbow technique, concentrated on gripping loose at the beginning and hard at the hit and thought about throwing fast, not hard) then it should come to you. I had always heard that gripping hard was the secret to getting snap. For me that just causes me to grip too hard so I wasn't getting any tendon bounce from my wrist and made it hard for me to keep the disc close to my chest during the pull through.

Read the articles on here several times. Right before you go out to practice and right after are great times to brush up on them. Read through and try and remember a lot of the technique repair suggestions too, so when you find something wong that's consistantly happening you may be able to remember how to fix it on the fly (no pun intended.) While this may be opposite to what I just said, don't overthink during the throw. Think a lot before and afterwards, but overthinking while you're throwing can cause extra problems too.
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