Hoey wrote:First off, I feel like I'm a pretty good player, but I have a hard time actually doing well when it counts. I feel that some percentage of that is due to not completely understanding (inside and out) the discs I'm throwing.
When I worked at Marshall Street I was constantly trying out all the new discs that came in because, well, they were new and shiny... but I felt like I should know the discs customers would ask me about. Duh right?
I guess I'm finally coming to the point in my disc golf career, where I'm just gonna hunker down, and find the right molds that work in my best interests. It's kind of a no brainer, but it's hard with the temptation of trying out new technology... plus there's like what, a dozen or more options for each "slot" in your bag? With so many good companies out there producing so many competent models, how in the world are we supposed to find the ones that work best for us?
Perhaps someone has already been in this position and can offer some sort of insight?
There are interrelated questions arising from from this post: which disc to put in your bag and how many ; which molds to use and how many: when to try out and/or switch to new discs; performing under pressure.
My guess at he most important factor which ties all the questions together and perhaps answers them? Learning and developing confidence in individual discs.
A couple years back I was doing a lot of testing of new molds and runs for my sponsor, Discraft. For a time it was messing with my head (and arm). The arm part was just the strain of throwing so many shots. The head part stemmed from a tendency which I think many players have, including me, of becoming too easily infatuated with a new disc. Then if you try something out and like it why not add it to the bag? And since you can't carry unlimited numbers of discs, when you add a new disc what comes out?
What helped me overcome this and also do a better job of evaluating new discs was the process I developed for testing. Whatever the category of new disc, I first threw the same category of discs from my tournament bag, basically throwing them flat and straight and watching the flight path. Then I tested the new discs, throwing them just the same way. This gave me a better idea of how consistent I was throwing and what the new disc really did. Just like a poor throw teaches you little about a disc, so too do inconsistent throws teach little.
By incorporating my known and trusted discs into the testing process it reminded me how good they were and how well I controlled them. Even if a new disc flew great as well I realized that the discs in my bag were known quantities under many different conditions (wind and speed being the most important variables). Now it became much harder to kick any of the first string out of the bag for promising newcomers.
The number of molds in my bag is irrelevant to me. The number of known and proven individual discs is what matters. Two discs from the same mold can vary and any disc in your bag changes as it breaks in. So replacing a disc is slow process of finding a close substitute and then learning it well (unless you have a system of backups, which I do but still backups by their nature are not as well known and trusted). The trust part is important because it affects your confidence in a shot and thus your performance under pressure.
So trying out new discs and new molds is fun but if scoring well under pressure is your top priority then you have to know and trust the discs you use. For me this means I have to put in the time to develop that trust under varying conditions.