Looking where you throw

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Looking where you throw

Postby mshelton » Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:49 pm

I overheard this over the weekend at a tourney, should have asked the guy to explain it at the time but didn't.

But it got me wondering what they meant, they were talking about some one and they said that him not looking where he was throwing was holding him back. So I got to thinking about it and realized that I don't do this outside of putting, standstills and drives I look backwards on the pull and I don't think I ever actually see the disc leave my hand. Is this incorrect?

Also if this has benn discussed umpteen thousand times before, I apologize, my searches didn't come up with anything.

So should you be turning your head to the target well ahead of your shoulders?
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Re: Looking where you throw

Postby Wyno » Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:57 pm

As with everything, there's a lot of opinions. However, most sports science is in agreement with Blake T (who runs this site), Ken Climo etc in this:
Keep your eyes on the target as much as possible. Start your throw with your eyes on the target, don't let it out of your sight unless you have to (as in a full reachback), and if you have to let the target out of your sight refocus a soon as possible.
As Blake said (or someting like it); If you're not throwing at a target, how can you expect to throw at the target? :-)
Edit: If you're used to let the head follow your shoulders, this can be a pretty big change, so as all big changes you will have to be committed and have the time for a new habit to form before you'll see the benefits. Also, it's probably easier to test it out on stand still throws without much reachback.
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Re: Looking where you throw

Postby JR » Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:23 pm

I have mixed views about this subject. Feldy doesn't look at the target and throws like you would swing a golf club. With the club being far in the follow through with the legs and hips turning the head way late to face the target. And failing to do that causes plane breaking. I'm with Dave Feldberg for physics theory for max D with the need to keep the throwing arm as close to the body as possible when the disc is passing the torso and only after the arm has moved to the right side should you start to turn from the legs toward the target. Dave has a golf club swing type of getting the arm low to the right side. With less elbow bend than many. I'm guessing that comes from the same background as Marty Peters shows hyper spin idea of the wrist utilizing plyometrics. Dave did not say this in his clinic so it's my conjecture based on physics and the well known issue of tendon bounce that falls under the umbrella of plyometrics. So i think Dave is no only trying to resist the bending back of the wrist but earlier than that doing it (maybe to a lesser extent) with the elbow. This does reduce the elbow chop distance but i haven't heard of anyone releasing data on the possible recouping and maybe adding to the chop speed from tendon bounce of the elbow. There is a direction change to the arm swing in Dave's way similar to the wrist tendon bounce but earlier. The elbow tendon bounce occurs once the upper arm is by the right side and the arm starts to swing upward on a hyzer trajectory. Once the elbow chops quickly to straight the often discussed (here anyway) wrist snap happens very quickly afterward. I think that is why Dave doesn't often turn toward the target with the arm anywhere near pointing close to the target. His hit is way earlier much of the time.

For control shots there are other options of pulling the arm than swinging straightish low like Feldy does. Ones that with limber neck allow you to look at the target beforehand you make the final acceleration at full effort with the arm. For me this is the most practiced way so i'm not sure if it is equally fast to learn accuracy with this or Dave's way. For me personally and with some practice for others i've told about visual aiming helps a little. Usually not right away except when they nail the head movement right and start off slow enough. It is a distinctly different way than most people here seem to throw naturally so it takes practice to change form. I'm lucky enough to have a very limber neck so my body rotates underneath the head very freely of the weight of the head. It is probably required for the best results. In golf club swings the weight of the head can easily turn you off course. For the slighter tilts downward that are usually used in DG it is easier to separate the weight of the head from the body during leg and hip turning toward the target from torso facing 90 degrees left of the target. Extending the arm almost straight at the target does increase the arm pull distance adding speed. If don't accelerate late in an upward trajectory like Feldy does you're fighting gravity. Which is fairly strong. Of course Dave doesn't throw straight up so it's not the full force of the gravity going exactly against your swing but it is there.

Both ways mandate practicing. I haven't added mass to my Wii remote controller to simulate the feel of the momentum of club swinging and following through. Tiger Woods 11 shows brutally how far off in degrees the orientation of the controller is in my hand and how many degrees off my swing is. Either too far left to right or right to left. It is an incredible training tool for that. If there was a similar immediate measurement shown on screen after the shot added to the ghost hand and disc graphics that games have now that would be a great help. It wouldn't show you the disc pivot unless a new type of controller is made and thrown :-D Then there's the small company bankrupting issue of legal trouble from people not hitting the arresting thing and breaking property or the wrist strap having the controller bouncing back onto the thrower hospitalizing them.
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: Looking where you throw

Postby JHern » Wed Feb 16, 2011 5:23 pm

I've started keeping my eyes on the basket for shots in the 50-150' range, and it does help sometimes. But I don't feel like I've benefited as much as some people suggested I would do.

If you have a consistent enough form, you can use your body position to aim your throw just as well as cranking your neck around to try and see the target. This is especially true throwing from a standstill: the line connecting your feet is an aiming mechanism in itself. Many people try to throw on the same line as that one.

If you can't look at the target easily, then find the line you want using a few feint pulls with your body in the correct position. Verify that it is on the correct line by looking at the target and your feint line. Then let it rip and channel all your energy down that line. There is no reason you can't learn to aim well using this method, probably just as good as looking at the target.
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Re: Looking where you throw

Postby Wyno » Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:20 pm

JHern wrote:I've started keeping my eyes on the basket for shots in the 50-150' range, and it does help sometimes. But I don't feel like I've benefited as much as some people suggested I would do.

If you have a consistent enough form, you can use your body position to aim your throw just as well as cranking your neck around to try and see the target. This is especially true throwing from a standstill: the line connecting your feet is an aiming mechanism in itself. Many people try to throw on the same line as that one.

If you can't look at the target easily, then find the line you want using a few feint pulls with your body in the correct position. Verify that it is on the correct line by looking at the target and your feint line. Then let it rip and channel all your energy down that line. There is no reason you can't learn to aim well using this method, probably just as good as looking at the target.


It's not an either/or proposition... do you see any possible benefits from not focusing on the target? Why not use all the tools at your disposal to improve accuracy?

Also, I would suggest that as long as you don't try to keep your eyes on the basket on all your throws, it's not surprising that you don't get the full benefit of the technique. Any added complexity, or changed technique from throw to throw, makes it harder to be consistent, IMO.
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Re: Looking where you throw

Postby JR » Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:31 am

Not looking at the target while doing the leg line plus arm pull straight line does not make visual aiming less beneficial. I use all of those and the weight of the disc pivot (arm swing direction change)for aiming. Each additionally simultaneously used aiming technique has helped me. Adding another aiming mechanism does not take away accuracy from the other aiming methods as long as you don't start to perform the other methods worse than you have. The old aiming methods are legit and need to performed to the same standard as always before.
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: Looking where you throw

Postby Sean40474 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:43 am

I've always used my body positioning and phantom throws before my actual throw to see my intended/supposed release point.
It's all about discipline and focused practice!

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Re: Looking where you throw

Postby sparkyahs » Fri Feb 18, 2011 3:18 am

Yes, I'm a noob... or any variation there of you would like to apply... and I have been drinking so I shouldn't be posting....
But I too have experienced varied results in putting. The other day after watching some youtube videos (don't ask me who was in them, all I know is that it was not from expert village [I hate that channel]) on driving they pointed out that the shoulders of the thrower were lined up with where the person wanted the disk to go. I took this one further and practiced 25-30 ft putts (ten large steps) with my shoulders and elbow pointing to the target and when I 'felt like' I was throwing at a level plane with the chains I heard it hit them 2/3 times. I 'sighted' along my right shoulder, to my right elbow and kept it straight in line with the pole, then looked in front of me concentrating on my posture and keeping my shoulders and elbow in the same position, planted my feet touched the disk to my right pec and snapped. I don't feel like this is a good way to aim, but it helped me feel the 'plane' on a good release while putting.
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Re: Looking where you throw

Postby BradC » Fri Feb 18, 2011 7:59 am

Funny this topic comes up, I have been pondering this lately.

When I first started, I had in my head the mentality of; "keep your head down" like a golf swing. I was worried that by not having my head down I would pull shots higher than intended. It seemed to hold true, and seemed to work fairly well as I progressed.

Then someone suggested trying to pick up the target earlier and keeping my eyes up, to "see where I am throwing". That seemed to help on the accuracy part, but the increased accuracy also could be due to just more experience playing (this was my first year playing).

Looking at pictures of Feldberg, Locastro, etc, posted online, their line of sight seems to be down their forearm and looking at (or slightly above the disc) on release.

So, my question is:

Are they visually picking up their target, or using body position to align their shots? If using a visual pickup, are they "targeting" where they want the disc flight to end, or a point closer to them for the disc to pass through (which would allow their heads to stay down, and depending on how close their target was, look like they were looking @ their disc in pictures)?

What do you practice/suggest for aiming or reference points (on a shot with a full reachback)?
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Re: Looking where you throw

Postby Sean40474 » Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:53 pm

BradC wrote:Funny this topic comes up, I have been pondering this lately.

When I first started, I had in my head the mentality of; "keep your head down" like a golf swing. I was worried that by not having my head down I would pull shots higher than intended. It seemed to hold true, and seemed to work fairly well as I progressed.

Then someone suggested trying to pick up the target earlier and keeping my eyes up, to "see where I am throwing". That seemed to help on the accuracy part, but the increased accuracy also could be due to just more experience playing (this was my first year playing).

Looking at pictures of Feldberg, Locastro, etc, posted online, their line of sight seems to be down their forearm and looking at (or slightly above the disc) on release.

So, my question is:

Are they visually picking up their target, or using body position to align their shots? If using a visual pickup, are they "targeting" where they want the disc flight to end, or a point closer to them for the disc to pass through (which would allow their heads to stay down, and depending on how close their target was, look like they were looking @ their disc in pictures)?

What do you practice/suggest for aiming or reference points (on a shot with a full reachback)?


I hadn't got back here to post again, but I was going to ask the same thing myself. It almost seems like it is two schools of thought and practice. Can anyone confirm or deny this?
It's all about discipline and focused practice!

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Re: Looking where you throw

Postby JR » Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:47 am

Feldy said to not look at the target. I've gotten better results with visual aiming but i don't throw as far as he does. He's more muscular than me.
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: Looking where you throw

Postby JHern » Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:23 pm

I watched Nikko throwing the other day, and he definitely does not have his eyes on the target when he is driving. A second after it is out of his hand he is facing the line he threw on, with his off arm pointed down the same line. Neither does Barsby or Avery Jenkins. Of all the touring pros I've watched or filmed recently, the only one who comes close to facing the line he is throwing on is Nate Doss.

But...they are all facing the target intensely just before the reachback. This seems to be a common element, and is probably important for getting the right body orientation.
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