Foot Pivot

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Re: Foot Pivot

Postby JR » Sun Oct 26, 2008 10:44 am

Blake_T wrote:on a side note, i also believe that most people have crappy pivots because so many players use a back right to front left runup, which makes jamming much easier to do.

coming straight on or even going slightly left to right makes it easier to pivot.


I'm going so far as to say that my current understanding based on personal long term experimentation is that each point above works just like described.

So what did you hmmm to Bradley?

I played with Hwicha for two days this weekend and he asked me about how to face the target with the words how to utilize the hips. He was missing to the left often due to leg/hip lock which occurs because of moving the thigh as much as it can twist against the hip bones. Rain didn't help with the aim.

It's literally painful to see someone lock up right thigh to hip joint due to placement of the legs. Painful because I've had severely locked thigh and an abrupt stop that's twisted joints and muscles badly. Ouch! Don't do that people please. I think based on earlier vids of Aaron_D he could second the need to not lock the thigh against the hip.
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: Foot Pivot

Postby masterbeato » Sun Oct 26, 2008 11:48 am

The thing about disc golf that I never understood works was the pivot. People keep asking me "how does it work and how do you practice it?" I have no idea! I just started doing it after I learned how to clear my hip which took me FOREVER! Well a week or so but the work in that week made it seem a lot longer.

This explanation helps me understand how I do it.

The easiest thing for me to grasp was wrist extension and I know people have a hard time just figuring out what it is. I cannot explain how to do it but I can explain exactly what it is. So when it comes to teaching I kinda blow. I'm not a good teacher but I'm getting better.
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Re: Foot Pivot

Postby JR » Sun Oct 26, 2008 10:57 pm

There are different types of pivots with the foot. Heel landing and pivot, heel landing and weight shift forward to ball of the foot pivot happening between the two or when the ball of the foot is on the ground, landing on the ball of the foot pivoting on it and landing on the ball of the foot pivoting on the toes. There are variations to these like landing on toes immediately switching to some other modes.

If you lock your hip to thigh joint by twisting the thigh to the left as far as it goes your hips will throw your balance off and it's an odd feeling that usually demands your attention even if you don't want it to. That messes up chances of consciously compensating for facing to the left of the target by shoulder turn and arm pull changes. Spraying and/or releasing left is the result.

Four things that help clearing the hips and turn to face the target are timing, sole to ground area minimization, body and foot weight shift back to forward and timing. The main thing is to place the feet right relative to each other and the direction you're moving and hyzer/anhyzer angle you plan to use.

The less sole to ground contact the less friction there is and the less your body is stressed. That's because you'll dissipate the momentum over a relatively long time period. The less friction the faster you'll pivot and the more you'll get spin on the disc.

Weight shift for the foot differs depending on how you land and how you pivot. Explaining each variation would get long as does timing.

Lets use an example from Bradley's post: "Look at Climo then... he does it the same way. Contrary to popular belief, he doe NOT pivot on the toe. He lands on the toe, pivots on the heel and follows through on the toe."

Toe landing helps spread out the impact of landing over a longer time period and allowing to use more muscles and longer to soften the landing. The interesting things start to happen when his heel has landed. Pros have variations here in timing and the part of the foot that pivots and many share the heel to ball of the foot weight shift that happens because of his whole body moves back to front. Climo IIRC pivots on his heel when his ball of the foot is already in touch with the ground ever so slightly and the last degrees of his foot pivot happen when his ball of the foot is already in touch with the ground. That's not too healthy at the end but not too bad because most of the force has been dissipated already. The rest moving to the toe in the follow through just dissipates the rest of the momentum. The transitions from each phase of the weight shift aren't instantaneous. It's a smooth transition over time but the onset of pivot occurs faster and the angle changes are faster than the other motions save for toe landing to heel landing.

The reason for the quickness of the foot pivot from left to right of the target is because there's a lot of momentum going on. Think of the forces that occur when your weight times your speed is being twisted to the right on a small part of your sole. The other reason besides force is the abruptness of force being applied to the pivot which occurs because the right thigh has locked that is reached the limit of twisting to the left. Up to that time the left leg push has twisted to the right slowly because the motion has been resisted by the friction of the thigh muscles and joints and the left leg hasn't yet developed all the power it can so the left leg is still accelerating.

Once the thigh is locked depending on the leg placement relative to each other and the direction you're heading to the momentum has to expend to created force somewhere. Because your ankle, knee and thigh to hip joint can't twist more the path of least resistance that energy wants to take happens between the sole and the ground. Because reaching the mobility limit of all the parts of the leg and leg to thigh joint occurs abruptly the force also starts to pivot the foot instantaneously. Instantaneous onset of a lot of force naturally leads to a great foot pivot speed.

Left leg to the left of the right leg looking from behind leans you to the left while throwing catering for a hyzer release. This means that you should move from left rear of the tee to the center or right of the front of the tee. Vice versa for anhyzer. Flat releases are easier to achieve with a lighter hyzer placement than a steep hyzer and moving directly towards the target. You can't really pivot easily with legs inline on the line moving towards the target without great initial momentum (hurting you slightly). Because the hip locks because the thigh only moves about 10 degrees to the left.
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: Foot Pivot

Postby Beetard » Mon Mar 23, 2009 6:48 pm

Had a little learning moment. I just PMed this to Blake. Thougt I'd post it too.

"I tried some pivoting work again today. It seems that one perfect heel pivot was a fluke. I don't really know how to do it, things just came together once on luck.

But I did apply what I felt on the heel pivot to learning toe pivot.
The key is, when I start to feel the force/stress I try to quickly rise up on the ball of my foot like I'm trying to stand on my tip toe. That lets my foot turn and lets my hips open.

It's going to take a lot of practice to master it and to do it easily and on any throw, but I know what I'm supposed to do now.

Before, I was planting on my toe and then falling to flat footed by the time I needed to pivot.

Now I'm planting just like I would in a regular step, and trying to forcefully get on my toe as I get near the hit.

I'm thinking the heel pivot is going to take even more coodination, practice, and balance, but I've seen for myself how quick, powerful, and effortless it can be if executed correctly, so it's a future goal after I've got decent toe pivot form."


(Heel pivot is performed by lifting the toe end of your shoe from the ground. Pivoting is a natural event, you just have to get up on your toe or your heel to allow it)
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Re: Foot Pivot

Postby rehder » Mon Mar 30, 2009 3:50 am

Blake_T wrote:on a side note, i also believe that most people have crappy pivots because so many players use a back right to front left runup, which makes jamming much easier to do.

coming straight on or even going slightly left to right makes it easier to pivot.


I would also like to come more at a straight on angle, since lots of teepads dont really allow you to come from back right to front left, but since I have started getting more effortless D again, by pulling the disc into my shoulder (not really sure what it looks like, but this is what it feels like) I tend to throw further to the right, so this sort of neccesitates for me the back right to front left runup.
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Re: Foot Pivot

Postby black udder » Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:16 am

Finally figured out the heel pivot. Saw Ken Climo do it on the Fundamentals dvd and it just clicked. It's just as Bradley had described in the initial post, but difficult to translate from words. One thing I have found is that you land your plant foot during the x-step, you land on your toe, but when you open the hip, you roll down onto the heel and rotate. What it does to is really allow a super fast opening of the hip. It's much faster than my current pivot on the ball of my foot. Just need some warm weather so I can get into the field and practice it.
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Re: Foot Pivot

Postby IowaDiscGolf » Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:23 am

I'm in the middle of switching to a heel pivot from a ball pivot, and the ball pivot was murder on my knee. Feels like more torque is absorbed by the joint with the ball pivot, whereas with the heel pivot that torque is transferred. Everyone's anatomy is different.
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Re: Foot Pivot

Postby emiller3 » Wed Apr 01, 2009 1:01 pm

I came across the heel pivot by accident when I was working on my (weak) late acceleration, oddly enough. I happened to be videoing myself, and didn't even realize I was pivoting on my heel until I watched it later. I think other aspects of my mechanics were keeping me from being able to pivot on my heel, and once I started to fix them, pivoting on my heel just kind of naturally fell into place. It's not something I actively try to do now, it's more like a product of solid mechanics elsewhere in my throw. When my throw is off, I tend to start pivoting on my toe again.

I've also noticed that when I pivot on my toe, I tend to lose some of my rotational power and instead just kind of fall through my throw.
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Re: Foot Pivot

Postby IowaDiscGolf » Wed Apr 01, 2009 1:32 pm

emiller3 wrote:I came across the heel pivot by accident when I was working on my (weak) late acceleration, oddly enough. I happened to be videoing myself, and didn't even realize I was pivoting on my heel until I watched it later. I think other aspects of my mechanics were keeping me from being able to pivot on my heel, and once I started to fix them, pivoting on my heel just kind of naturally fell into place. It's not something I actively try to do now, it's more like a product of solid mechanics elsewhere in my throw. When my throw is off, I tend to start pivoting on my toe again.

I've also noticed that when I pivot on my toe, I tend to lose some of my rotational power and instead just kind of fall through my throw.


Yes, just falling through. Same here. It explains why my foot and knee would hurt while my throws were underpowered...all the energy was being absorbed by the body and joints instead of going into the hand and disc.
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Re: Foot Pivot

Postby RoomTenONine » Sat Jul 25, 2009 12:16 pm

I've been working on this and the hardest thing for me is timing the ball to heel transition with my body from the waist up.

I understand where my shoulders, arm and disc should be when I transition to the heel. The heel hit and rotate happens with my opening of the hips (and I believe it should). However, I find that when i really focus on getting to the heel and opening the hips before I accelerate and chop the lower arm open I tilt/collapse some how and anny the disc unintentionally.

I can release much better if i don't do or think about the heel. I have less power when I open the hips, but I get a good late acceleration and all my shots are on target with a good release. They are just whimpy then. It seems to be one or the other. Any thoughts? Is it just bad habits ingrained in my form or am I missing something all together?
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Re: Foot Pivot

Postby black udder » Sat Jul 25, 2009 12:28 pm

Couple things here.

I've been rotating on the ball of my foot and am trying to move to the heel pivot. I believe that the heel pivot enables a faster and better hip opening than the ball pivot. If you stand on the ball of your foot and pivot your hip open, it feels more like you're turning in instead of out. If you do the same from your heel, you can really feel the hip open up.

I spoke to Dan the other day and he said try planting on the heel instead of the foot. In reading (I think it's this thread) again, Blake even mentions for folks with bad pivots, to try planting on the heel directly instead of flat on the foot or the ball and rotating to the heel.

While it's not natural, it's easier than trying to transfer weight from the ball to the heel. Once you plant and pivot, your natural momentum should take you to the ball of your foot.

Lastly, I think the pivot starts right before the pull and finishes right before the hit.

I suspect it's going to be a lot of practice before it's muscle memory and feels natural.
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Re: Foot Pivot

Postby RoomTenONine » Sat Jul 25, 2009 12:40 pm

BU, I've done some heel only plants and I end up slipping a lot on the neoprene pads, gravel and concrete not so much. Perhaps I'm hitting at too extreme of an angle and/or my shoes suck for that plant. I will give it a go at field practice tonight and tomorrow when I'm on the course.

It does seem though that my timing issue with the heel transition/pivot and upper body could be alleviated by jsut going to the heel right away.

Question for all: Why don't folks just go to the heel right away regardless? What is the benefit of going ball of the foot to heel when done correctly as opposed to just heel?
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Re: Foot Pivot

Postby tumpsi » Sat Jul 25, 2009 1:26 pm

heel pivot allows WAY faster hips.
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Re: Foot Pivot

Postby Aaron_D » Sat Jul 25, 2009 6:07 pm

I dont know about that. If your plant leg is bent and you are weight forward you can pivot really fast in the front of your foot.

For what its worth I always concentrated on feeling a ball of the foot pivot, but when I looked at a video of my drive I was pivoting more as a roll from ball to heel. It just happened with me trying to pivot on my ball...weird. So, at any rate you should be a b s o l u t e l y sure you actually are heel or ball pivoting because 'feel' can be misleading.
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Re: Foot Pivot

Postby dgdave » Sat Jul 25, 2009 6:30 pm

I heel pivot. I tried the ball of my foot pivot and almost fell on my face. I really don't have anything to add. I just thought I'd let everyone know that I heel pivot.
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