Should old guys stop throwing hard?

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Re: Should old guys stop throwing hard?

Postby JR » Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:09 pm

There are different preferences with people regarding aiming. Those that aim with snap get almost magical feeling accuracy increase. That needs a healthy late acceleration to feel the weight of the disc with which to aim. For these people a lot of power needs to be created late in the throw so for short throws you need to power down early in the throw or disc down or both. Powering down early is easy once you get it calibrated. You can reach back less or hit less hard or both. When you have enough power you can power down and still get the snap thus the weight of the disc and the disc pivot are still noticeable. First you have to know what the weight and direction change of the arm movement feel like and noticing it becomes so much easier.
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: Should old guys stop throwing hard?

Postby Mark Ellis » Fri Nov 23, 2012 8:02 am

JR wrote:There are different preferences with people regarding aiming. Those that aim with snap get almost magical feeling accuracy increase. That needs a healthy late acceleration to feel the weight of the disc with which to aim. For these people a lot of power needs to be created late in the throw so for short throws you need to power down early in the throw or disc down or both. Powering down early is easy once you get it calibrated. You can reach back less or hit less hard or both. When you have enough power you can power down and still get the snap thus the weight of the disc and the disc pivot are still noticeable. First you have to know what the weight and direction change of the arm movement feel like and noticing it becomes so much easier.



I think the late acceleration JR speaks of has some part to play in throwing far without throwing hard.

Compare weight lifting to throwing a disc. In order to lift a heavy weight there has to be an initial explosion of effort. Once the weight starts moving you gain momentum and less effort is required to keep it lifting. This is sort of how I (used to) try to throw a disc for maximum distance. Since I wanted maximum arm speed I assumed the faster the arm started the faster it finished.

From reading on this site I am starting to modify this approach, instead starting out slower and accelerating progressively faster to the hit. This seems to put much less strain on my shoulder yet does not cost me much on distance. Being new to this form I still have some accuracy issues but if it can save my arm it is worth learning.

So weight lifting is maximum effort followed by coasting. Throwing a disc is coasting escalating into maximum effort. Like the difference between a standing broad jump and a running long jump. But the end of a throw has that mystical catapult called snap (though I still don't understand how that works) then the follow through. Snap doesn't seem to have much effort component. I don't TRY to snap harder or softer, at least not consciously. If my arm is going fast then my snap is naturally fast.

Perhaps if I can figure this stuff out then my brain can save my arm.
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Re: Should old guys stop throwing hard?

Postby iacas » Fri Nov 23, 2012 11:41 am

Mark Ellis wrote:But the end of a throw has that mystical catapult called snap (though I still don't understand how that works) then the follow through. Snap doesn't seem to have much effort component. I don't TRY to snap harder or softer, at least not consciously. If my arm is going fast then my snap is naturally fast.

Perhaps if I can figure this stuff out then my brain can save my arm.

I'll ignore the weight lifting metaphors. Those are more "feel" than "real" (in terms of phsyics), and they don't really apply because weight lifting is moving an object against a force (gravity) while disc golf is moving an object against to reach a high final speed in the absence of any real counter-acting force (we're typically not moving much with or against gravity). Weight lifting also has the added burden of needing to expend energy just to maintain the weights at a certain height to counter-act that constant opposing force (gravity). Even weights sitting on the floor have opposing forces.

I agree that figuring it out with your brain is a good thing. I don't think anyone (unless you're in a long drive competition) should "throw hard" but everyone should "throw smart." Physics can be your friend here.

In golf there's a concept called the endless belt. It actually applies a bit better to disc golf because there's more linear components to disc golf than in golf.

Here's an illustration. It's top-down, and the basket is to the right for an RHBH thrower.

Image

Imagine that these are four conveyor belts. The top of each conveyor belt is moving towards the target, it hits a wheel or a gear or whatever you want to call the circle and loops around to go the other way. For an RHBH thrower with the basket to the right, we can ignore the bottom half of the diagram - it's simply there to show the "endless belt" going the other way (an LHBH thrower can use the bottom and ignore the top with the target to the left).

Both A and C have the same size "wheel," as do B and D.

Imagine that you're in a car riding along the top of the conveyor belt in A. As the car enters the turn at the wheel you begin to feel a force pushing you to the outside of the car because - even if you maintain the same linear speed - you're accelerating (angular acceleration). Consider B now, and imagine going the same speed (say 50 MPH) in the car and then hitting THAT turn. You'd feel much, much more force.

In both of these instances, you'd feel nothing while traveling along the straight line at a constant speed (I'm assuming you don't have a convertible and the windows are rolled up), and then you'd instantly feel force as you whip around the corner.

Now consider C and D. In these, traveling along the arcs at 50 MPH will feel some force with the gentle turn. These forces would gradually build, reaching a maximum at the point where the turn is the sharpest. We see designs like this in loops on roller coasters, and the tightest portion of the loop is at the top, because that's when gravity directly pulling riders out of their seats:

Image

Because we've kept the linear speed constant at 50 MPH in all of these diagrams, which would impart more speed to the disc? The bigger wheels or the smaller wheels? The answer is the smaller wheels. The same way you're slammed against the door of the car more when the car makes a tight turn versus a wider turn.

And yes, A and C would experience the same amount of forces at the maximum, as would B and D. But disc speed is not why disc golfers are better off with a linear or straight-line delivery. A linear "delivery line" is preferred for accuracy. In a linear motion, the disc experiences no real forces (just linear acceleration, which we're ignoring because we'll consider it the same in all of these examples) while traveling straight, then instantly experiences tremendous forces when the disc enters the turn. The smaller the turn, the more forces, and if the wheel is small enough, the disc experiences enough force to be ripped from your hand consistently. Imagine you're gripping the disc with 800 units of strength, but the disc instantly goes from 0 to 1000 units of force. There's no need to time that - the disc will begin ripping from your hands at that instant.

Now consider that you're in a car going on the oval tracks in C and D, or a disc being thrown with a more rotational motion. Now timing becomes a bit messier. From the top of the loop onward the circular path is constantly tightening its radius and thus the forces are gradually increasing. Instead of going from 0 to 1000 in an instant, they're going from 0 to 1000 gradually. If your grip strength is 800 on average, the disc may slip early if you only grip it at 750 one time and you might grip lock it with a grip of 850 the next time. Once it reaches the threshold established by your grip, it will come out, but that threshold has to be the same every time, whereas in the linear delivery the threshold is instantly exceeded.

So that's why a linear delivery line is preferred. Why then a smaller circle?

Think back to the car analogy. In both A and B you're traveling linearly at 50 MPH just prior to entering the turn. Yet in B you'll be thrown inside the car with much more force than in A. A smaller has more torque and thus produces a bigger spike in instantaneous acceleration. In A it might go from 0 to 1000, and in B, from 0 to 1500.

But if the acceleration is truly instantaneous, and goes from some low number (again we're ignoring the linear acceleration and calling it 0) to 1000 (A) or 1500 (B), why do we need to grip firmer to throw farther? If we grip both at 800, they'll both rip out at the same instant, right? Well, it turns out of course that everyone's throwing motion has a bit of a rounding to it like we see in C and D. Nobody throws on a purely linear motion transitioning perfectly into a purely circular motion. Everyone has a bit of a "decreasing radius." Something like this:

Image

So in this example (the right-side images), we still go from 0 to 1000 in A and 0 to 1500 in B, but we do so over a short span of time - a fraction of a second. But given the rotational rates, a fraction of a second is all you need to miss your line by 2°, 5°, or even 10°, either early (slipping) or late (grip lock). And that's why a stronger thrower needs more grip strength as well as consistent grip strength. They want to hold on to the last possible moment, translating the most speed into the disc, before it rips out. 1250 will rip out at 1250, 1450 will rip out at 1450. 1450 will not work if you're A and only generating 1000 (the disc will never come out), and 1550 will never work if you're A or B. By the same token 1450 will never work if you're B but only moving 40 MPH prior to entering the arc, either.

Some quick addendum:
1. I believe there are actually two small arcs. One is formed by your wrist opening, and is the "primary" arc illustrated above. The second is the disc pivoting around your pinch point. These two arcs overlap but are not directly on top of each other - the sequencing is that your arm begins going forward, your shoulder and your elbow arc (fourth and third arcs, respectively, though their purpose is more linear in summation). When the shoulder/elbow is near its peak, the wrist will begin to open, and when the wrist is near its peak, the disc pivot will begin.

2. Neither of those latter two arcs occur instantly. When the threshold is met, your wrist will instantly start to open or the disc will instantly start coming out of your hand, but will not finish coming out until later. Because the disc is then in motion (and wants to stay in motion) and takes some time, you can actually release the disc AFTER your peak, though we're talking about a very, very small amount of time there, and conceptually you can ignore these small blocks of time so long as you realize that these times - paired with the overlapping series of arcs (particularly the wrist and the pivot arcs) occur sequentially - to explain why your wrist is not still on the outside of the disc or the front of the disc (closest to the target) when the disc actually comes out. This also explains why Blake feels he holds on until 4:00 or 4:30 - the disc pivot arc starts after the wrist pivot arc has started. This graph is kind of the "grand unified theory" of disc throwing:

Image

P.S. Apologies if I've made any quickie typos. I'm relatively confident in the base science here, but if I typed 1500 where I meant 1000 or something, please forgive me. We're celebrating our Thanksgiving today and I've written this quickly and in between some cleaning chores and other such things as the wife demands. :) The graphics took five minutes to assemble, for example, so I doubt very much that the colored arcs vs. time are plotted exactly in the proper dimensions, magnitude, time, etc. But conceptually they should still be "okay."

Edit #1: Badly labeled Y axis.
Edit #2: Replaced bad image.
Last edited by iacas on Fri Nov 23, 2012 6:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Should old guys stop throwing hard?

Postby Indy's broken whip » Fri Nov 23, 2012 12:26 pm

Excellent post iacas, that really cleared some consepts. Thank you.
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Re: Should old guys stop throwing hard?

Postby soupdeluxe » Fri Nov 23, 2012 12:44 pm

Iacas
Love the diagram and descriptions. Thanks
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Re: Should old guys stop throwing hard?

Postby JR » Sat Nov 24, 2012 9:13 am

Bradley Walker wrote similar stuff with hand drawn images partially of these and further concepts but your illustrations are much clearer. A good post thank you.
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: Should old guys stop throwing hard?

Postby bents » Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:19 pm

I am not an old guy, but I only throw 100% on 1 or 2 holes on my home course which is short and wooded. I almost always throw teebirds or rocs and have nothing faster than a PD. People at my home course are throwing archons, bosses, nukes, on these 250 foot holes, and I laugh at them. I totally agree that accuracy is more important, and the proliferation of maximum distance articles seems kind of silly.

BUT all of these articles about snap and distance form have helped me a lot with my accuracy! I've learned a lot from Blake, JR, and all about snap and OAT. I have more snap than I used to, and more snap means I can throw less stable discs without turnover. So reading these articles about distance has helped me throw a roc hyzer, anyzer, or flat, and stay at that angle the entire flight, for 200 feet. I can do the same thing, but with more fade, with a teebird for 250-300 feet or so.

Now, if only I could hit 90% of putts within 20 feet, I'd be under par every time...
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Re: Should old guys stop throwing hard?

Postby JR » Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:14 pm

That is pretty much the mantra of DGR and more experienced throwers. The more experience you get the smoother you tend to throw and in the case of older people that may not be due to just gaining distance with improved form or power. Older people lose power often. The percentage of what you have tends to go down over time even if your power stays the same. There is a limit to that in that taking too much power off leaves you short or forces to use a longer class disc. Especially in tunnels discing up to a faster longer class of discs tends to create problems. Even the straightest of mids thrown to any height (requirement for best distance) tend to fade more than the straightest of putters. 250' Boss in a wooded course had better be a hyzer over the trees though.
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: Should old guys stop throwing hard?

Postby 7ontheline » Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:47 am

This topic reminds me of a train of throught that swept through the ultimate frisbee ranks 20 years ago. The thinking was not to play balls out defense in order to save one's energy for a more controlled, focused offense. If you score everytime you're on offense, having more energy by not laying it out every time while on defense, you should win, right? Doesn't work that way. Playing hard wins the big games in the big tournaments.

I've always been of the opionion to do it while you can because one day you wont be able to do it at all. While I enjoy the comradery of casual disc golf rounds with folks I meet on the course, I relate better to my buddies that play weekly leagues for a few bucks. When I can no loner hang in Pro Master there's always Advanced Master again. I'm late to the DG party and at 46 if I didn't throw further than the other pros for some easy birdies they will kill me with their better putting. Personally, I'd rather win once than finish second ten times :!:

Nowadays I only play ultimate summer leagues one day a week for 10 weeks during the summer. I've got bad ankles, from all the years cutting at full speed. For me those wins were worth it, no regrets... better to burnout than fade away, after all there's always disc golf to fall back on to watch a disc fly :roll:

When was the last time you really openned it up and ran as fast as you can, can you remember? :twisted: I played a round this afternoon then went to my local park for some MAX D fun! I know, I know, I should have spent that time closer to a basket :idea:
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Re: Should old guys stop throwing hard?

Postby JR » Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:54 am

I'm in pain after Wednesday indoor practice. Two hours of serial fire throwing made my back ache so hard that no amount and manner of stretching, yoga and massage removed it so i jogged for the longest time i ever have. I did put in 4 minutes of running in the end but no full speed work. I do that intentionally each year what's the point? I still am inconsistent in throwing despite being in better shape than ages. I had not ran over 30 minutes in over 20 years and i sure feel it now. Stiff old bastard :-)
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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