Hitting lines vs. snap/power/good technique/etc

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Re: Hitting lines vs. snap/power/good technique/etc

Postby Mark Ellis » Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:52 pm

Blake_T wrote:threads like these tend to put me into a bit of a rant mainly because there's no set doctrine for every player, especially when everyone tends to approaching "learning the game" at different times along their progression.

as Mark has pointed out, and i agree, natural talent and playing time tend to breed the best players. the guys who are naturally athletic, figure stuff out on their own, and play 10 rounds a day are usually the guys who become dominant pros.

practice, mental strength, and smart play can elevate a player of lesser talent to a level similar to players of greater talent, but if the players of greater talent put in an equal amount of practice and have equal mental strength and smart play they should win pretty much every time.

the thing is, those with natural talent don't tend to seek instruction (as frequently) as those who lack natural talent, so most advice can (and probably should) be targeted at those with less natural talent... read as: people who plateau quickly and on a lower level than most who put in an equal amount of time and money. those with great talent tend to just play and figure it out or watch other players who can do what they want to do and then figure it out.

anyone who isn't proficient with a wide-rimmed distance driver is at a distinct disadvantage to someone that is. at the same time, the majority of the time players find themselves "stuck" are often due to those same types of discs. (as parks has pointed out) players that started after 2001 are face a steeper learning curve than those who started before then. it was around 2003-2004 (post-orc and crush) that i started having to spend 50% of my lesson work trying to get rid of people's OAT.

if those same players naturally develop form that creates enough disc speed to manipulate the flight of those discs, they are usually just fine. however, it's the players that don't naturally develop said form that end up posting their questions here and the result is the standard answers that tend to be reiterated.

from my experiences with lesson-work, most people don't put in enough "good" practice to move along the learning curve with enough speed to satisfy them. it kind of puzzles me in this regard. go to a local driving range and you'll find 50 hackers that are willing to hit 200 bad golf shots at the range twice a week. when people start in golf they are usually given 3-5 clubs (5 wood, 5 iron, 7 iron, putter, or something along those lines) and taught to add clubs as they establish proficiency with those clubs. the early-on club shorting leads to learning how to adjust power and swing to get different results at a much faster pace than if they had 13 clubs. their end goal isn't to own the course with 5 clubs in their bag, but to be good at hitting every club in their bag because they learned how to be "good at hitting."

you might not realize how difficult it is to convince a crappy newbie that they won't get better (very quickly) if they carry a max weight boss and a putter. those that have tried to impart this idea on others tend to get very vocal about it because 60% of the time it feels like you're banging your head against the wall.

the other thing that people rarely get to is the subtle advanced techniques of the throw. in ball golf you might find some guy who can hit a titanium oversized 1-wood with a teeny tiny sweet spot 350 yards perfectly straight... but if they were trying to learn how to hit a draw or fade that probably isn't the club to do it with. learning it with an easier to hit club and then applying what you have learned to any club is really the goal of that.

teaching someone to apply OAT to a shot to shape its flight doesn't work if they have to use tons of OAT just to keep it from stabling out. similarly, trying to teach someone to throw 40' high and nose down is an absolute beyotch if the rim is wide.

giving a direct answer to peot:

experiment with whatever you want to but develop a set of priorities. short term success vs. long term potential. accuracy vs. distance. control vs. distance. etc.

if you do want to jump to some speed, be smart about it. do you probably have enough power to throw a boss, halo, destroyer, etc really well? probably not. could you find a way to do it? probably. would that way you find probably murder your form? probably.

do you have enough power to throw a valk, beast, viking, flash, SL, orion LS, wildcat, monarch? most likely.

will those discs yield a significant distance jump over most fairway drivers? maybe, but probably not more than 5-7%. will they prep you to throw faster/wider drivers? yes.

I thought that was a really fine answer, well thought out and described. Sometimes in this forum an answer is so good it sort of stops discussion, which is a shame because it means that fewer people will read it and benefit from it.

Blake mentioned one aspect which was swirling around in my head but I couldn't figure out what to do with it or how to include it. Wyno asked why bother to teach if gifted athletes were destined to become Pros anyway. Part of my motivation to teach this game is to allow players of average raw talent to compete with those who won the genetic lottery. Disc Golf is a particular game which allows DEVELOPED SKILLS to trump TALENT. And part of my motivation is to allow aging athletes to find a sport they can play and enjoy for as long as they can walk.

You can't fake or overcome speed and strength. So the non-athlete has no chance in a sport like pole vaulting or sprinting or well known sports like baseball, basketball and football. But sports like disc golf or billiards or racquetball (and many others) demand and reward precision and strategy. I would guess that there are very few, if any, current members of Professional baseball or basketball or football teams who could beat me in a game of disc golf tomorrow even with their age and talent advantage. If those athletes cared enough many (all?) of them could beat me a year from now. I find it entertaining that with enough practice and dedication a player of average skills can masquerade as an athlete.
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Re: Hitting lines vs. snap/power/good technique/etc

Postby JR » Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:48 am

I'd like to be able to masquerade too :-( Blake has thought and borrowed a lot during a long period of time. It is good to mull over what he has to say in detail.
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Re: Hitting lines vs. snap/power/good technique/etc

Postby jubuttib » Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:50 am

So um yeah, looking at the last couple of posts makes me want to just shut up and listen, but there is one thing that stuck out.
Mark Ellis wrote:This website seems to be the altar of the pursuit of perfect throwing form and maximum distance. But neither necessarily translates into better scores or better players. Controlling a disc should the bastion of our religion and the deity we bow down to. Good players control discs. Great players control them better and more consistently.
True, pure max D won't automatically make anyone a better player. But I don't really think that's what this site/forum is about. There is usually very little emphasis on pure, all-out distance throwing (Big D in the Desert sort of thing), from what I've seen the main focus is getting a good, functional form that breeds controlled distance on real golf lines. Every lesson, exercise and video I've seen here has been about not just throwing longer, but getting more consistent. Distance is a side effect of good form.

Additionally, would you agree that a player who maxes out at 400' has an easier time nailing a controlled shot to around 350' than a player that maxes out at 350'?
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Re: Hitting lines vs. snap/power/good technique/etc

Postby Peot » Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:48 am

Thanks for all the responses everyone! There are so many skilled and helpful people on the site that I always feel tempted to ask a lot of questions.

I have had fairways in the bag for a while, in particular a Leopard, Stalker and Cyclone to see which ones best fit my throwing style. The reason I asked this question in particular is that I think the two big things holding me back from becoming REALLY good, or at least really good at this juncture in my disc golf career (for lack of a better term), is that I still have some issues with nose-up and I just don't know how to throw distance lines. Would some distance drivers, even something like PDs or SOLFs help me sort through these issues? Even if they're just for field practice and not for the bag?
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Re: Hitting lines vs. snap/power/good technique/etc

Postby Wyno » Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:15 am

They will at least make nose angle more obvious! With putters especially, nose angle doesn't make so much of a difference in flight. I've had good days in the field some times until I threw into a headwind and my putters got a 30 foot lift (so I started practicing nose down/level throws into a headwind) :-)
It also depends on the reason for your nose-up problems. I had a lot of problems at first with wrist orientation, throwing (slower) drivers in between putter and mids kept me focused on this (I tended to drift back to a straight wrist when I focused on other stuff). If your problems are mainly grip-related you might have an easier time with it, that was my first issue and it was quickly solved by adjusting according to the grip-tips on this site and I didn't drift back into old habits on that one.
So yeah, my advice would be throwing drivers if nose angle is the problem you wish to adress, or to use drivers as a corrective tool to make sure that you maintain nose down when you work on other aspects of your throw.
Another thought though: I've seen, both in myself and others, a tendency to throw harder when throwing drivers than putters or mids. It's like we think subconciously: "These are distance drivers, dammit, they'll need some power!" :-D What I had to learn, was this made my form/timing break down to some degree, and it kept me from getting the distance I "should" from my drivers. I think this is overlooked by many players, I didn't notice it myself until I was told my form looked different when throwing drivers...
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Re: Hitting lines vs. snap/power/good technique/etc

Postby Blake_T » Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:50 am

thanks Mark.

i think the reasons you mentioned are exactly why people try to get super-particular about their form, disc selection, etc.

personally, i believe that putting and throwing with snap practically fall into the realm of "trick shots." what makes a trick shot a trick shot is that it appears to be very difficult UNLESS you know the trick. once you know the trick, it's easy (or at least much much easier).

putting is often seen as a great equalizer. personally i'm trying to find an easy way to teach a truer equalizer, which is distance/snap. i don't think that people have to be athletic to throw 450', they just have to have at least average hand strength and be coordinated with good timing.

unfortunately, it's usually the athletic people that have played the most sports and exert the greatest body control which makes it seem like athleticism can dominate form/timing. i think the most accurate way of putting it is that most very athletic people have a background that breeds coordination and body awareness and leads to more natural success than those who aren't.

when i am able to work with people regularly over a long period of time (e.g. 12+ months) all of them reach a point of proficiency in most areas of their game, including respectable distance, very good putting, and the ability to throw pretty much every type of shot and shape lines. basically, i try to nurture every type of developed skill in addition to pushing them to try and max out their athletic potential. unfortunately many concepts and advanced techniques require building upon other base fundamentals, so there are some things that need to happen in order to build to greater and bigger things.

unfortunately the odds of significant success tend to decrease as athleticism decreases. people who are less athletic need to work twice as hard to be half as good. if they work four times as hard they can become just as good, but rarely are people willing to do that :P
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Re: Hitting lines vs. snap/power/good technique/etc

Postby Dookville » Wed Apr 27, 2011 6:31 pm

"JimW wrote:
Every time I've ever tried to implement any of the advice from on here to get more distance on my drives it has ended up wrecking my game completely for a while.
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Re: Hitting lines vs. snap/power/good technique/etc

Postby BrohanSolo » Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:12 pm

There will always be a fissure in opinon of which is better, finesse or power. Not just in disc golf, but in almost anything competative (physically). The thing is neither one is superior to the other. We're not all carbon copies of eachother in body type, coordination, etc. so why would one approach be superior to the other for EVERYONE. I couldn't agree more with Mark and Blake when they say (in many different topics, not just this one) do what works for you. I was the first person I knew to get into disc golf, never really knew any players at all good or bad. I've had to teach myself everything, and I throw sidearm for distance, tom/thumb for midrange, and backhand for approach and putting because thats what works best for me. Focus on you, you're unique for a reason. Developing a more unconventional shot (to complement you main shot) will get you out of more sticky situations than you think.
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Re: Hitting lines vs. snap/power/good technique/etc

Postby Blake_T » Thu Apr 28, 2011 12:26 am

Blake when they say (in many different topics, not just this one) do what works for you

actually, i usually make something work for you that you should do heh.

that's where i differ with most. learn everything and establish proficiency at it. have the biggest tool box and the most tools at your disposal to get the job done and you're at a definite advantage over those who are lacking.

as for the topic of the thread, it's a bit misleading. it's a thousand times easier to hit a line with snap than it is without snap. those who disagree don't have snap :)
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Re: Hitting lines vs. snap/power/good technique/etc

Postby Dookville » Thu Apr 28, 2011 2:53 am

I sure like this thread, i haven't figured it out completely why yet, so I bumped it to see if you guys would carry the conversation out a bit further. The title and what got discussed are jacked up, but the talking has been good. I'm not sure if there is any tech talk in it, don't much care, have figured most of it out on my own any way.

In such a few amount of posts there was some interesting shit said.
"JimW wrote:
Every time I've ever tried to implement any of the advice from on here to get more distance on my drives it has ended up wrecking my game completely for a while.
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