Help Me Rebuild My Drive

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Help Me Rebuild My Drive

Postby cmlasley » Wed Aug 20, 2008 9:04 pm

Hi. My name is Morgan, and I'm a disc golfer with bad technique.

I've been playing since about '98, but more seriously since about 2002. Since the beginning, I've thrown with a shoulder-lead type throw. Over the years, I've developed a form that allows me to throw fairly consistently, but not especially far. On the practice field, I get Wizards consistently out to about 270' if I give them some air, Rocs 300-345', Teebirds to 350' with DX Teebirds around 360', and SOLFs about 360', too.

Despite this, I've struggled and struggled with getting snap (mostly a lack of late acceleration), getting the nose down, and getting my hips into the shot. The fact that there is no difference really between my D with Rocs and with SOLFs shows that I need help. I've improved my game considerably by learning the art of the upshot and steadily improving my putting, but I need help with my drives. After practicing for years and not seeing the improvements I want, I've rebuilt my drive in the last few weeks. I've incorporated a shorter, more bent-elbow reachback, and am using a really simple X-step. I've been doing the left pec drills and one-steps to really feel the hit and late acceleration.

Please take a look at the following vids and give some constructive feedback. I know I'm not getting enough hip rotation. My arm and shoulders are rotating early, and I'll be working on that in the coming weeks.

The first vid is one-step drills with various fairway drivers. I'm popping these out about 220 with no follow-through and 270' with a follow-through. When I don't do a full follow-through, its because I didn't feel the hit on the drive before.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emWZPnkQzOo

The second video is a full drive with a simple X-step with a DX Teebird that went about 350'.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmaLFVclbow

Please share your constructive criticism. I'm getting some nose up on my drives if I don't throw with a touch of anny, but I think this new form has a lot of potential. I'm definitely not working as hard to get it out to 350', and my accuracy has improved, but I still feel like I'm not getting the hip rotation and timing.
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Postby Aaron_D » Wed Aug 20, 2008 9:46 pm

some things:

your weight isnt at all forward.
you arent "on top" of the disc.
you arent getting any extra D from your lower body.

that is all about about getting your weight forward which translates into nose down

you also are majorly precocking your wrist. keep your wrist neutral and loose. for that matter everything looks kind of tense. loosen up or you wont be able to feel snap. snap is tendon bounce...they wont bounce if you are tensing them up.

your throw doesnt look like it has much shoulder lead at all. you have a lot of elbow CHOP but hardly any lead...no shoulder lead...no elbow lead.

your release is really high. in my experience a high release is more difficult to pull off--maybe because your levers are more opened up. try a lower release keeping the disc closer to your body.

watch your shoulders...they are basically parallel with the ground. if your weight was forward and you were on top of the disc your right shoulder would be lower than your left shoulder...it would be more tucked under your chest at the farthest point of your reachback and you would be bent over more at the waist. think about pulling a lawn mower cord--you dont stand upright...you bend over it.

you dont look like your are really feeling the weight of the disc and the forces at play during the throw. really feel the weight of the disc in your hand and as you accelerate during the pull feel the tension / pressure being built up in your fingers / wrist / forearm as your pull speed increases. you have to be relaxed and loose to feel this.

slow down your footwork (and everything else) and take a shorter plant step
My Drive-> http://www.youtube.com/user/CpJ123?feature=mhw5#p/u/0/OWX_jHYB4bg

Wizard * Roc * JLS * SOLF * Wraith * Predator
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Postby black udder » Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:01 pm

If you can hit 350' when you want, then I'd say you're doing well. Dunno that it would matter much if you could do it accurately as well.

But I do believe you could utilize your hips better. Right now, you're just pushing off the back foot onto the front and pulling through. That's causing a rotation on the plant leg, but no power from your base.

If you can use your hips to generate more power, then it would increase your rotational power & speed and possibly increase your snap effect.

It also looks like you might be rising up at the end. I'd shoot for something that keeps you lower - sort of like MB - at the end of your throw since you're already bending the knees. That might help you get a little more weight over your plant leg and help with nose up.

I'd also guess that you're getting your distance now because of the anhyzer. If it works and you're happy with the results, I know for a fact it can work well for you. I'd only change that if you wanted something else for your game. If you increase the speed and power, I'd imagine throwing anhyzer would be less predictable - at least for the longer throws. Putting 350'+ worth of power on a disc will make it want to be understable, so it might cause some huge left to right action. Just guessing though. I know somebody who throws anhyzer shots with great accuracy. They just don't have much distance beyond 300'.

Oh, one other thing - I happened to pause the 2nd video and your right shoulder is pointed to the target while the disc is gone. That says that you're not getting your shoulders into the throw. Getting 350' distance out of that seems pretty impressive to me.
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Postby Blink » Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:33 pm

Since you already use the bent elbow technique, I would first say try and loosen your grip/wrist a little more pre-rip to try and get more of a whip out of your swing. Other than that you could try increasing your weight shift with things like a few steps before your X-step, getting more hip movement into your throw, and even following your swing with your left arm/kick through with your left foot. Snap can be a bit dangerous too sometimes, here's what happened with me:

I got a better feel for snap from trying out the bent elbow technique, and sometimes when I really snap it now it will nearly rub off some skin on whichever finger(s) I snap off of. I used to grip hardest with my index to get a lot of snap, but it was twisting the finger too much, making it a bit painful to pull it certain ways. I snap off of all but the pinky now, and it still hurts sometimes right after the snap, but its not twisting/injuring them now.

This being said, I've recently been told snap is overrated and I'm starting to lean that way. The guy was throwing Firebirds 400ish without a sound from the rip, using a pinch grip he showed me, kind of like a fan/fork grip.
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Postby JR » Thu Aug 21, 2008 1:22 am

I have a hard time believing snap would be inconsequential. The lack of that popping sound is another thing entirely.

For skin problems try a liquid band aid to protect the areas where the skin wears. Before the skin thickens and toughens up enough to withstand the wear of a disc ripping. A slipping disc wears the skin more than a ripping disc. A rip means that the fingers are pushed farther apart and the disc moves faster so that once the fingers get back together there's not that much contact with the disc to wear the skin. Or no contact at all if everything goes well.

Blink wrote:Since you already use the bent elbow technique, I would first say try and loosen your grip/wrist a little more pre-rip to try and get more of a whip out of your swing. Other than that you could try increasing your weight shift with things like a few steps before your X-step, getting more hip movement into your throw, and even following your swing with your left arm/kick through with your left foot. Snap can be a bit dangerous too sometimes, here's what happened with me:

I got a better feel for snap from trying out the bent elbow technique, and sometimes when I really snap it now it will nearly rub off some skin on whichever finger(s) I snap off of. I used to grip hardest with my index to get a lot of snap, but it was twisting the finger too much, making it a bit painful to pull it certain ways. I snap off of all but the pinky now, and it still hurts sometimes right after the snap, but its not twisting/injuring them now.

This being said, I've recently been told snap is overrated and I'm starting to lean that way. The guy was throwing Firebirds 400ish without a sound from the rip, using a pinch grip he showed me, kind of like a fan/fork grip.
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Postby JR » Thu Aug 21, 2008 1:26 am

That x stepped TB drive surprised me. It went 350'? You look so effortless. I think I've gotten a clue about what's wrong with my form but need to practice it. If my smash factor gets to anywhere like yours I'm a happy camper.

You could use a lot faster x step and to get that easiest trying out a few run up steps definitely should help a lot.

Plus all the great advice you already got.
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Postby cmlasley » Thu Aug 21, 2008 6:47 am

First off, thanks for the replies.

Aaron_D wrote:your weight isnt at all forward.
you arent "on top" of the disc.
you arent getting any extra D from your lower body.

that is all about about getting your weight forward which translates into nose down


I think the next thing I need to do is figure out how to get more hip rotation followed by bending at the waist. Does this sound right? When I've tried to bend at the waist in the past I've thrown a lot of worm burners.

you also are majorly precocking your wrist. keep your wrist neutral and loose. for that matter everything looks kind of tense. loosen up or you wont be able to feel snap. snap is tendon bounce...they wont bounce if you are tensing them up.


I'm totally precocking my wrist. I haven't figured out how to keep the disc in close without pre-cocking it yet. Any tips?

your throw doesnt look like it has much shoulder lead at all. you have a lot of elbow CHOP but hardly any lead...no shoulder lead...no elbow lead.


This current form is a result of trying to get rid of shoulder lead. I basically have two forms right now, one on the practice field and one on the course. I am just now getting to the point where the practice field form is coming close distance wise, so I'm almost ready to switch. How do I get more elbow lead? What does the elbow lead?

your release is really high. in my experience a high release is more difficult to pull off--maybe because your levers are more opened up. try a lower release keeping the disc closer to your body.


I've been trying to imitate Timmy Gill, who throws with his arm really high. This is part of my anny problem. I'll try a more neutral position.

watch your shoulders...they are basically parallel with the ground. if your weight was forward and you were on top of the disc your right shoulder would be lower than your left shoulder...it would be more tucked under your chest at the farthest point of your reachback and you would be bent over more at the waist. think about pulling a lawn mower cord--you dont stand upright...you bend over it.


I don't really get it. If I drop my right shoulder, I'll throw more annys or put off-axis torque on the disc, right?
Last edited by cmlasley on Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby cmlasley » Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:01 am

black udder wrote:But I do believe you could utilize your hips better. Right now, you're just pushing off the back foot onto the front and pulling through. That's causing a rotation on the plant leg, but no power from your base.If you can use your hips to generate more power, then it would increase your rotational power & speed and possibly increase your snap effect.


Your replies to the timing thread helped me to see that. I need to incorporate the standstill pivot into my run-up throw to get the hips rotating.

It also looks like you might be rising up at the end. I'd shoot for something that keeps you lower - sort of like MB - at the end of your throw since you're already bending the knees. That might help you get a little more weight over your plant leg and help with nose up.


Tell me more. What specifically is MB doing at the end that gets him lower? I can't discern from the videos.

I'd also guess that you're getting your distance now because of the anhyzer.


My pure hyzers are only going about 325-330' with Teebirds with this form, but I've had some nice hyzer flips that have gotten out to 350'+. I don't feel like I have much control with them yet. I've only been trying to learn this form for a few weeks.

Oh, one other thing - I happened to pause the 2nd video and your right shoulder is pointed to the target while the disc is gone. That says that you're not getting your shoulders into the throw.


Sometimes I am and sometimes I'm not. My timing is still a little screwy with this new form. When I was throwing with more shoulder lead, my shoulders always came around, and the hit came when my chest was facing the target and the disc was in front of my left pec. Now, it seems like it sometimes comes before the chest rotates, but I'm pretty much only snapping it out there. This is really exciting to me, because it takes me so little effort (and by that I mean very little arm and rotation) to hit some good distances that took a huge wind up and a lot of energy before. I threw for an hour straight last night and could have kept going. With my old form, an hour on the practice field driving would have totally exhausted my arm and shoulders and I would be out of control (too tired to have good timing) at the 45 minute mark.
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Postby black udder » Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:17 am

cmlasley wrote:
It also looks like you might be rising up at the end. I'd shoot for something that keeps you lower - sort of like MB - at the end of your throw since you're already bending the knees. That might help you get a little more weight over your plant leg and help with nose up.


cmlasley wrote:Tell me more. What specifically is MB doing at the end that gets him lower? I can't discern from the videos.


Stand up, legs about shoulder width apart, stand on one leg (plant leg), hold your arm out straight and bend your knee. You should need to lean forward just a tad to keep your balance. That's all we're really talking about by getting your weight forward. It's not a lot, but if you hold your arm straight out like you have a disc and then lean forward/backward, you'll see it doesn't take much to affect the nose of the disc. MB has his knees bent through the x-step and they're still bent at release. It just looked to me like you might have been standing up a little at the rip. I could just be seeing things - it was just something off that I noticed.

Oh, one other thing - I happened to pause the 2nd video and your right shoulder is pointed to the target while the disc is gone. That says that you're not getting your shoulders into the throw.


Sometimes I am and sometimes I'm not. My timing is still a little screwy with this new form. When I was throwing with more shoulder lead, my shoulders always came around, and the hit came when my chest was facing the target and the disc was in front of my left pec. Now, it seems like it sometimes comes before the chest rotates, but I'm pretty much only snapping it out there. This is really exciting to me, because it takes me so little effort (and by that I mean very little arm and rotation) to hit some good distances that took a huge wind up and a lot of energy before. I threw for an hour straight last night and could have kept going. With my old form, an hour on the practice field driving would have totally exhausted my arm and shoulders and I would be out of control (too tired to have good timing) at the 45 minute mark.


I'm going to be that what you're getting now is some good snap. It makes a huge difference to your distance. You can probably testify to others that it's the difference between coming up to a 200' hole and trying to make it vs trying not to overthrow it by 50'. It's just crazy.

I know you're looking at changing your form, but perhaps you might benefit from trying your old form and incorporating some of your good habits now and see if it makes any difference. You may not even need an x-step for a lot of stuff. Just wondering if making small adjustments to a comfortable form might allow you to pick things up easier than switching everything over. Just a thought.

One thing. If you don't pivot your chest and your x-step isn't utilizing your hips, it should be clear that you can make those throws standing still. It might be easier for you to drop some disc weights as well.

You'll find that with a stand still throw and a good bit of snap, you can pop out a 150g disc a long way. A teebird thrown flat works well and can by hyzered for a sharp turn. A 150g sidewinder is great for a straight drive with a touch of flip. Thrown with a little hyzer it works wonders and you can be well within your controlled power area.
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Postby cmlasley » Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:37 am

black udder wrote:Stand up, legs about shoulder width apart, stand on one leg (plant leg), hold your arm out straight and bend your knee. You should need to lean forward just a tad to keep your balance. That's all we're really talking about by getting your weight forward. It's not a lot, but if you hold your arm straight out like you have a disc and then lean forward/backward, you'll see it doesn't take much to affect the nose of the disc. MB has his knees bent through the x-step and they're still bent at release. It just looked to me like you might have been standing up a little at the rip. I could just be seeing things - it was just something off that I noticed.


I see what you're saying now. MB is almost crouched through his entire run-up and throw. That will really change the relative nose angle. I'll give it a try.

Frankly, I'm afraid to try adapting the snap I'm getting with this "field form" to my normal form (which I'm still using for rounds and league night) for fear of forgetting how I'm doing it.
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