Concept: The physics trick of the rail and roller coasters

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Concept: The physics trick of the rail and roller coasters

Postby Blake_T » Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:00 pm

Something that is often misunderstood is the idea of armspeed and how fast you have to be moving.

While more arm speed has more distance potential than less arm speed, it's not the real meat of the subject here.

I'm not sure how many people are familiar with roller coaster design but there are several tricks involved in design, the key is this: inside the car you feel like you are moving faster than the car is actually moving.

To provide a safe yet enjoyable ride, roller coaster designers understand how to employ certain tricks to give the illusion of speed. Basically, they know how to use angles and directional changes to manipulate the feelings of inertia, angular velocity, etc. without needing the car itself to be moving that fast. When you whip around a turn it may feel like you're flying around the corner out of control. In reality the car is moving quite slow but you are feeling the angular velocity of the arc.

Throwing with snap employs a similar concept. The disc is the rider but instead of staying in the car, it goes flying out with the forces generated by the angle and direction changes. It doesn't require tremendous arm speed to make this happen, just a good sense of timing and precise directional changes.
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Re: Concept: The physics trick of the rail and roller coast

Postby Blake_T » Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:27 am

149 views and no comments.

Does this make sense to anyone?

(I'm already guessing it doesn't to many)
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Re: Concept: The physics trick of the rail and roller coast

Postby freddo » Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:22 am

I think it makes sense, but I don't have much to comment about it.

I also think that most (or at least many) people that have read many of the big technique threads here understand that armspeed isn't the most important factor of how far you can throw a disc, even if they don't know the physics behind that concept.
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Re: Concept: The physics trick of the rail and roller coast

Postby cubeofsoup » Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:17 am

The concept makes sense and I think it is evident in watching people throw. Most pros look effortless, people who throw with big snap often look calm and controlled. Those of us that throw with more aggressiveness and less control over our bodies end up looking like a fool. Just like the roller coaster, from an outsiders perspective I always am amazed at the velocity with which a disc leaves the hand of someone who has big snap. Smooth almost slow looking body/arm movement then the disc just explodes out.

Many times when I am discussing speed in the throw, it would be more apt to say I'm talking of relative speed. Overall the throw should be smooth, controlled, and not very fast. Within that base speed, certain elements have to happen faster than others, that does not necessitate an overall fast throw.
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Re: Concept: The physics trick of the rail and roller coast

Postby DiscJay » Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:14 am

I understand the concept, I am just having difficulty translating that to physically performing it with the disc.
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Re: Concept: The physics trick of the rail and roller coast

Postby itlnstln » Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:21 am

One big problem with this, and many other concepts, is that the ideas are easy to grasp, but feel doesn't translate well into text. I can "do" things like accelerate late, pound the hammer, etc., but it wasn't until I felt a big throw that I understood exactly how the pieces fit together.

You can concept the throw to death, but none of that will translate into anything particularly actionable. Drills like the right pec, hammer pound, and Brad's throw-on-a-line drill help more by increasing the chance the feel will be felt, but may or may not be effective based on the comprehension and ability of the student.

The question I ask is "what is the one thing I am trying/supposed to do?" To this end, what works for me is figuring out what the "end goal" of the task is (in this case, maybe it's "fling-the-shit-out-of-the-9-o'clock-position-of-the-disc") and work from there. Once I get the end goal down as well as I can (and maybe I use the right pec drill to do this since it focuses on that part of the throw), then it's building on that technique to do it consistently and "more." When I nail the end goal, stuff like body positions, timing, etc. all fall into place on their own.

Highly broken-down, conceptualized walls-o-text (I'm looking at the "simple keys" kind of threads/posts) is just geek-fueled, mental masturbation, IME. I'm not hating, but it's not particularly productive in my mind.
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Re: Concept: The physics trick of the rail and roller coast

Postby seabas22 » Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:48 am

It's like an explanation of smash factor. I understand it, but applying it seems harder.
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Re: Concept: The physics trick of the rail and roller coast

Postby Itchy » Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:41 am

It's kind of like saying you don't feel velocity, you feel acceleration.

You can be inside a car going 100 MPH but as long as it keeps going straight without turning or speeding up/slowing down you'd never know you were going 100 MPH. Or you can be in a car sitting still and accelerate to 20 MPH very quickly, you feel that acceleration.

We know the disc feels acceleration at the snap, so either it needs to be going fast then suddenly stop to feel the acceleration or be moving forward and get whipped backwards at the snap to feel the acceleration. Disc speed, not arm speed is important for that.

That what you were looking for Mr. T?
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Re: Concept: The physics trick of the rail and roller coast

Postby isobar » Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:02 pm

I always get compliments on how effortless my throws look, and it all started when I really slowed my arm speed down and instead focused on the acceleration during the last few inches of the throw. It almost looks like I'm just casually walking up to do a walk through when I throw and sometimes catches people off guard. I would say your point definitely makes sense, but I don't really think the way you described it was a good analogy.

Ever seen the movie Shooter with Marky Mark? He's teaching someone how to shoot a sniper rifle, and his biggest piece of advice is "Slow is smooth, Smooth is Fast." I think this applies for this a lot, maybe "Slow is smooth, smooth is far" but this would lead to imply you want a constant arm speed, which we know isn't the case, so somehow it needs to be reworded into slow is smooth with a lot of acceleration haha.
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Re: Concept: The physics trick of the rail and roller coast

Postby itlnstln » Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:30 pm

isobar wrote:I always get compliments on how effortless my throws look, and it all started when I really slowed my arm speed down and instead focused on the acceleration during the last few inches of the throw. It almost looks like I'm just casually walking up to do a walk through when I throw and sometimes catches people off guard. I would say your point definitely makes sense, but I don't really think the way you described it was a good analogy.

Ever seen the movie Shooter with Marky Mark? He's teaching someone how to shoot a sniper rifle, and his biggest piece of advice is "Slow is smooth, Smooth is Fast." I think this applies for this a lot, maybe "Slow is smooth, smooth is far" but this would lead to imply you want a constant arm speed, which we know isn't the case, so somehow it needs to be reworded into slow is smooth with a lot of acceleration haha.


This is good, and not that you were trying to make this point nor I am I trying to call you out or anything, but what I don't get, conceptually, from phrases like "Slow is smooth..." and "late acceleration" is WTF is all this supposed to do? It doesn't tell me anything about what I am trying to achieve with the disc. I can accelerate late with a smooth motion, but none of that is getting to exactly what I need to do with the disc.

On the contrary, if I know the idea is to "fling" the back edge of the disc around to the front at the hit, things like late acceleration and smooth motions become obvious; they allow me to "fling" harder.
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Re: Concept: The physics trick of the rail and roller coast

Postby Blake_T » Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:24 pm

The idea behind this is to focus on the rider and not the car. The rider feels forces beyond the motion of the car. That is, your hand moves along a desired path and you use directions and timing to fling the disc faster than the hand was moving. A lot of this is based upon spirals of increasing radius length and conservation of momentum.

Itinsin: what i have found is this: 98% of players aren't coordinated enough to feel the timing/flow without significantly improving their coordination through drills that isolate specific feelings. Once they have the coordination, a lot more of this makes sense. The more comparisons that can be made to something else, the more likely people are to "get it." Someone who plays baseball is more likely to understand if you take the similarities to swinging a bat or throwing a ball.

You are correct that it doesn't really sink in until you crush one. Video doesnt do it, pictures don't do it, text doesnt do it, you just have to Actually do it. I just try to provide as many avenues as possible to help someone do that.

Itchy: it's a bit more complicated than that. Back in the olden days people who were ice skating would play a game known as crack the whip. They would form a human chain (sort of like a conga line) and gradually more people would join the chain. Once it was sufficiently long if the "head" skater did even a mild turn, the people at the end of the chain would be sent flying. The forward motion of the chain was usually going quite slow but the angular velocity generated by the time you got to the end was massive.

THE DIRECTIONAL CHANGE OF THE HAND ALLOWS YOU TO "THROW" THE ANGULAR VELOCITY IN THE FORWARD DIRECTION. Sorry for the caps, but i finally found the way to word the key point.
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Re: Concept: The physics trick of the rail and roller coast

Postby Stringbean » Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:39 pm

Blake_T wrote:THE DIRECTIONAL CHANGE OF THE HAND ALLOWS YOU TO "THROW" THE ANGULAR VELOCITY IN THE FORWARD DIRECTION. Sorry for the caps, but i finally found the way to word the key point.


One of my professors once described the mental high that grad students would get when they discovered the missing piece of a theorem they were trying to prove prior to earning their masters. Did you just have one of those moments?
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Re: Concept: The physics trick of the rail and roller coast

Postby Blake_T » Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:11 pm

No. I capped it so that it would stand out for others. Was more of a "finding the right words to express something" moment.
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