Maxing out at ~400 ft...suggestions?

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Re: Maxing out at ~400 ft...suggestions?

Postby zj1002 » Tue Mar 23, 2010 12:12 pm

I am the same as the rest of you. I worked a little on timing yesterday at Discnation and the fields before my round at Circle C. I noticed it the disc went farther(and felt effortless) when I focused on the steps(in the x step) and how I am transferring my weight on the disc. Been watching a lot of videos to teach myself proper footwork and lower body positioning. I have little disc control when I do this, since all my focus is on my feet, but I know I need to change this before I even think about a late hit or wrist extension. Once I get adjusted to the footwork, to where I can think less about it, then I will add the other stuff. So far I have seen a 30-50ft improvement, but with no accuracy for now.
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Re: Maxing out at ~400 ft...suggestions?

Postby USAnarchy » Wed Mar 24, 2010 12:16 pm

best thing i found to break the 400ft barrier was getting something stable (it was max weight xcals at this point as it has just hit the market) and practice pounding out low flat shots. At first, i could get 300 feet this way, but i would just go out and throw shot after shot after shot until my arm was tired, or daylight ran out. Now, a 400ft shot with an xcal going low and flat to 400 is a bread and butter shot (not a real world golf shot, strictly practice). as soon as i switched to something less stable, like a destroyer, it was as if i had taken some magic distance pill. so now, 440 with a flat shot is something that takes as much effort as throwing an xcal 400ft flat. start to work a little anhyzer flex action on a disc and 500+ is the norm.

i just think of it as working with weights. if you struggle lifting a 25 pound box, you can train one of two ways to get better at it. you can either lift 25 pounds over and over using high reps and get use to lifting 25 pounds, or you can start working your way up to lifting 50 pounds using low reps.

throwing something overstable and trying to pound out the distance would be like training up to lifting 50 pounds.

throwing your normal distance driver over and over would be like training with 25 pounds.

i have been re-working my form to take out as much useless parts of the routine, or anything that could cause me to throw offline or change my angle of attack, and this type of training helped me get back into for fairly quickly.

But, dont let this fool you, there is no true substitute for making sure your form is proper first. that alone will add distance that you otherwise will never get no matter how hard you train.
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Re: Maxing out at ~400 ft...suggestions?

Postby Blake_T » Wed Mar 24, 2010 12:27 pm

the last plateau before big power shifts every few years with technology.

for golf shot D:
1993-1997: ~340'. Gazelle, Cheetah, Polaris LS, Cyclone
1998-2000: ~350'. Eagle, Teebird, XL, JLS
2001-2002: ~360'. Valkyrie, XS, Original Beast, Wildcat
2003-2004: ~380'. Orc, Starfire, Flash, Crush
2005-2007: ~400'. Wraith, Surge
2008-present: ~420'. Destroyer, etc.

these power levels are all roughly equal. that is, if you peak out with a controlled golf shot with a wraith around 400', you will probably peak out with an eagle in the vicinity of 350' on controlled golf shots.

ways to add d:
1. learn to throw a distance line.
2. throw a longer disc.
3. learn to throw with more snap.

#3 is the only REAL distance increase... that is, a distance increase that isn't already available to everyone else without changing their technique.

#1 is just learning a new shot.
#2 is a technology increase. for people at this plateau, an R Pro Boss sub-165g is probably the longest disc on the market. it will fly 25-50' farther than a destroyer.

i don't think anyone should ever question other aspects of the game while trying to discourage people from throwing farther. those who don't think throwing far is important don't see the true advantage to length. basic summary: you exert more control on a disc when you are throwing it in a range you can easily reach. someone who can throw 500' and throws a destroyer 430' will exert much greater control over the disc than someone who peaks out with a destroyer at 430' that is trying to throw it 430'. someone who can throw a roc 360' will exert much greater control over the disc when throwing it 300' than someone who peaks out with their roc at 300'. etc.

this advantage is pretty huge. the longer thrower has easier throws on everything inside their range than someone who is pushing the edge of their range. e.g. if player A has 16 holes with drives within their range and player B only has 10 holes with drives within their range on the same course, player B has to play much better to hang with player A and has no chance if player A is playing really well.

basically, to break this plateau you have the choice of working on technique until you can throw with more snap and probably f'ing up your game big time in the short run at the hope of long term distance gains or you can experiment with making the disc fly farther given your power level.

I know I need to change this before I even think about a late hit or wrist extension. Once I get adjusted to the footwork, to where I can think less about it, then I will add the other stuff.


this is exactly the opposite of how you should be working on it. snap is independent of footwork. you can snap a disc from a stationary throw. building footwork that puts you in the best position to snap the disc only happens after you have learned to snap the disc. trying to learn to snap a disc given footwork you already have in play is exponentially harder.

I use the x step, except with my back foot I step in front of my front foot rather than behind it. Just more comfortable with that method.


this successfully blocks any power you could gain from hip rotation.

That being said, I was playing with a local Pro the other day, and he had 'it.' Call it smash factor or whatever, but his form sucked...it looked like he was throwing with the wrong hand. But when the disc left his hand, it just shot out like a cannon, and despite all his bad form and whatnot, he was easily outdistancing me. There are two Pros like that in town, and whenever I see them throw, I just realize that there is somethings secret about big D, and I still don't have it, and really haven't found how to get it.


knowing how to snap it can negate tons and tons of form flaws. while max efficiency happens when both snap and form are great, it is possible to snap it hard with very flawed form.
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Re: Maxing out at ~400 ft...suggestions?

Postby Timko » Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:05 pm

Blake_T wrote:
That being said, I was playing with a local Pro the other day, and he had 'it.' Call it smash factor or whatever, but his form sucked...it looked like he was throwing with the wrong hand. But when the disc left his hand, it just shot out like a cannon, and despite all his bad form and whatnot, he was easily outdistancing me. There are two Pros like that in town, and whenever I see them throw, I just realize that there is somethings secret about big D, and I still don't have it, and really haven't found how to get it.


knowing how to snap it can negate tons and tons of form flaws. while max efficiency happens when both snap and form are great, it is possible to snap it hard with very flawed form.


A la Steve Rico? He snaps the hell out of the disc (throws a Firebird for his straight fairway drives), but doesn't he do this correction thing with his shoulder to keep the disc flat?
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Re: Maxing out at ~400 ft...suggestions?

Postby MrScoopa » Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:09 pm

Thank you Blake for the post.
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Re: Maxing out at ~400 ft...suggestions?

Postby emiller3 » Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:57 pm

So what I am hearing from this thread is that if you're at this plateau, your form is probably as good as it needs to be, but you're most likely lacking snap. Without snap, your distance increases are going to be tied to a particular line or disc and, consequently, you won't realize any of the golf advantages of throwing further that Blake described.

Big snap was all the rage a while back on DGR, but it seems like everyone kind of gave up on it because no one was able to get it...either that or everyone got it and moved on, in which case I'd like to hear your experiences. So I have known for a while that I don't have big snap. I've learned to throw Eagles and Valks on distance lines, which brought all my drivers into that 400' range and gave me hope that I was figuring stuff out, but my Destroyer distance really hasn't changed, which leaves me in that last plateau until I learn big snap.

Ultimately, I'm happy being able to throw as far as I do. I'm working on consistency now. But who doesn't want more snap? I'm just not sure I want to mess up my game to get it.
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Re: Maxing out at ~400 ft...suggestions?

Postby Timko » Wed Mar 24, 2010 2:01 pm

emiller3 wrote:Big snap was all the rage a while back on DGR, but it seems like everyone kind of gave up on it because no one was able to get it...either that or everyone got it and moved on, in which case I'd like to hear your experiences.


I find it really hard to hit it big consistently. I work a lot, and don't practice that much as far as distance anymore. I found that if I wasn't working on that type of snap day in and day out, it would come and go during rounds (mostly go). Personally, I find that there are plenty of strokes to be made up under 300' than there are to be made up over 400'.
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Re: Maxing out at ~400 ft...suggestions?

Postby pdorries » Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:30 pm

Yeah blake is definitely right... (big surprise, driving guru!) the snap is the main thing. If you want to throw farther, I think the REAL key, underneath all the talk about form and technique, is repetition and more repitition. That being said, if you aren't trying to throw farther you probably won't throw much farther. If you are however actively watching new videos of top pros' form and reading threads on form and distance and you are combining that with lots of field practice and repetition, your distance will slowly increase over time.

I've gone from maxing out at 250 when I started 3 1/2 years ago to maxing out in the 500+ range and the only real thing I can say that did it was lots and lots of throws, nothing I ever changed or tweaked really added a ton of distance, just constantly working toward the right form and good snap. I don't think I'm anywhere near where I want to be with the consistency at the longer distances, but that will come with MORE throws and repetition.

Blake... your description of the player who can throw a roc 360 vs the player who can throw the roc 300 was right on! the player who can throw the roc 360 is going to be able to control it much better at 300 for sure. Thats why I am okay with just going to a field and working on my snap and throw, because when I do decide to go play on the course, I can do shots with better, more controlable discs than I could before. The 11x firebird is a staple in my rotation now because I can reach 330-375 foot holes with it and I know what it is going to do, every time (get stable, haha)...


so if you are trying to pass the last big hump, just keep working on it, like Robbie Bratten said in one of his videos or at a clinic or something, he would just go throw until his arm hurt and he couldn't feel it anymore, as long as you arent physically hurting yourself, just keep throwing over and over
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Re: Maxing out at ~400 ft...suggestions?

Postby Lithicon » Wed Mar 24, 2010 8:37 pm

I find it hard to believe that the repetition could be good if you're doing it incorrectly. As repetition builds muscle memory and if you're doing something wrong, it only enforces it more. So to say just keep throwing isn't quite the way to go about it, learning to do it correctly, THEN throw more to get completely comfortable with it and then you'll build muscle memory of that and it'll be second nature. Because unlearning/learning something different takes longer because you'll find yourself reverting back to muscle memory until you learn the memory of the newer form.

And, as Blake said you're going to suck balls if you take the leap to change your form up and build snap is of course true. He told me that, and I knew it would happen, as that's where I'm sitting currently and I'm struggling. But, it'll mostly be for a short term, till you get it down memory wise and you'll eventually get it as long as you're doing it correctly.
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Re: Maxing out at ~400 ft...suggestions?

Postby Blake_T » Wed Mar 24, 2010 8:43 pm

the snap is the main thing. If you want to throw farther, I think the REAL key, underneath all the talk about form and technique, is repetition and more repitition. That being said, if you aren't trying to throw farther you probably won't throw much farther.


yah. in the long run reps are really what solidifies everything, both in terms of making changes and simply fine tuning/mastering techniques.

the year of my breakthrough i was throwing 250+ drives 6-7 nights a week in a field.

i've done enough lesson work with players though to know that certain methods work for certain people but not well for others. those who have a big sports background, are athletic, and tend to "figure things out" easily are quite likely to have a breakthrough if they just keep plugging away.

for a large chunk of players, especially those with lots of "noise" in their throw, numerous reps will often establish muscle memory for bad habits (or cement them if they are already ingrained). a lot of it is a balance... choosing little things to work on and giving sufficient drill-time to improve upon those things.

something that is common from my experiences giving lessons (and also the reasons why i am VERY selective now in who i choose to work with in lessons) is that roughly 85% of the players i work with are either too uncoordinated to make even the slightest change to their throw at will and/or are too embarrassed having a few bad throws in front of someone else that they abandon any change we are working on. e.g. someone who swings the disc wide away from their body before the power zone... doing some throws giving them the sole goal of keeping the disc tight and watching them perform throw after throw exactly the same as they always throw. for these types of people repetition probably won't help them much.

it's for these reasons i don't recommend anyone who doesn't throw on par with "the last plateau" to work on snap.

for the most part, i find maybe 1 in 200 disc golfers are willing to drill/train seriously enough to get rapid results. masterbeato's 3-week progression from low snap to huge snap wasn't a fluke. he was throwing 500+ throws a day every day for 3 weeks working on making that happen.
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Re: Maxing out at ~400 ft...suggestions?

Postby rehder » Thu Mar 25, 2010 1:49 am

Just throwing a lot in a field wont guarantee, that you will learn how to throw 400+. If this where the case (good) Golf-pros wouldnt make a very good living teaching good and bad players how to become better. Because you would just go to a driving range and hit balls. Granted there are a few who will learn to be better golfers this way, but they are by far in the minoriety.

Hell, David Leadbetter reworked Nick Faldo's swing, and Nick Faldo was already a top professional at the time.This would amount to a 1000+ rated player approaching Blake asking him to remodel his entire throwing motion.


I have been back and forth over the 400ft barrier a couple of times last year, and been mostly over it this year. For me the change was changed by a couple of different things.

When I wasnt hitting it. I used a lot of power in my throw when trying to throw far. I also typically had to do a little hop/step-through, after my release. (Now even when I try to nut it, Im usually well balanced and most of the energy is transferred to the disc, so Im not unbalanced and seldom need to step-through.

The things I (think I) changed was

1) get disc in close to right pec
2) delay pull (I was pulling too early, hence my arm would uncock too early and I ended up throwing more around(as opposed as to hitting towards your target line) my body
3) Focus on Brads hammer! For me this is a very point. I want to keep my hand on the opposite side of the disc for as long as possible. When I miss a throw today it is caused by 2+3. When I hit my throws I try to keep thinking about trying to keep my hand on the opposite side of the disc.

All these things are described pretty thoroughly on these forums.

To be able to break through that plateau the easiest is to get a very knowledgable coach, who can specifically identify at what point you are at, and then DO THE DRILLS that he or she prescribes. 2nd fastest is talking about stuff on here, and finding out where about your throw is with specific deficiencies and then DOING DRILLS to try and correct these deficiencies.
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Re: Maxing out at ~400 ft...suggestions?

Postby Mike C » Thu Mar 25, 2010 2:08 am

Blake_T wrote:
I use the x step, except with my back foot I step in front of my front foot rather than behind it. Just more comfortable with that method.


this successfully blocks any power you could gain from hip rotation.


Wow, I feel stupid. I just compared the two inside, just running through the steps, and I completely see what you mean. I would not be surprised if this change adds another 50 feet to my throws. Damn.
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Re: Maxing out at ~400 ft...suggestions?

Postby Blake_T » Thu Mar 25, 2010 7:14 am

Hell, David Leadbetter reworked Nick Faldo's swing, and Nick Faldo was already a top professional at the time.This would amount to a 1000+ rated player approaching Blake asking him to remodel his entire throwing motion.


the thing with this is that... it's easier for a 1000+ rated player to make significant changes to their throw than it is for someone who maxes at 320'. in most cases the 1000 rated player already has the most difficult concepts down and they should be able to throw with snap no matter what other changes occur. there will be a period of adjustment where they will likely play worse golf but they are also most likely to master those changes at a faster rate than the 320' thrower. the 320' thrower likely needs to make 2 significant changes just to reach the 380'ish plateau and being that they are peaking at 320', there's a good chance this will be a fairly difficult struggle (although still easier than learning how to snap it hard).
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Re: Maxing out at ~400 ft...suggestions?

Postby gretagun » Thu Mar 25, 2010 8:24 am

Mike C wrote:
Blake_T wrote:
I use the x step, except with my back foot I step in front of my front foot rather than behind it. Just more comfortable with that method.


this successfully blocks any power you could gain from hip rotation.


Wow, I feel stupid. I just compared the two inside, just running through the steps, and I completely see what you mean. I would not be surprised if this change adds another 50 feet to my throws. Damn.


No worries, that's what's so great about this place. People are here to help each other learn, and come to this site for advice.
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Re: Maxing out at ~400 ft...suggestions?

Postby masterbeato » Thu Mar 25, 2010 9:16 am

when i finally got to hit it big i would remember what i did and throw as hard as i could. next day, it would not be there anymore so i had to keep relearning how to do it.

throws with displacement, physically feel significantly different then throws that do not have displacement. my displacement throws and ultimately ones that go far, one of the main things i feel is like i hot glued my index finger pad to a table and ripped it off the table, and after that the feeling of effortless, once you get that effortless feeling in your throwing you think to yourself "wow if i could throw only that far like that, imagine if i threw it harder." and next time you throw it as hard as you can and it usually goes significantly farther. sometimes you even get the feeling like you totally killed it, but it was still the feeling of effortless.

i am to the point now where i can hit it every single time, but some days i would have to work myself in the field for a few minutes to get the snap down, once i do i am good for the entire day and it does not disapear on me that day at all, never this year have i went to the field and not figured out how to get the snap down and that took me almost 3 years to do. i know that in the future i can just go out to the course and it will just be there every single time.
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