cruz duck wrote:I was talking to a friend who throws forehand drives pretty well. He commented that he can throw farther with a higher release point. For his longest throws, he actually releases at shoulder height or even higher. I found this especially interesting because I do the opposite. I lean down and release the disk below my waist.
I am a little concerned about this. I had been told that you can avoid arm problems by keeping your elbow close to your body. I don’t see any way to release at shoulder level and keep your elbow by your body.
Yesterday I tried a more upright position and I released the disk about waist level. My drives were inconsistent (not surprising since I am changing my technique), but the good throws went farther than my low release throws by 30 feet or so. Plus the upright position seems more balanced and I think I could be more consistent with it.
So that raises a few questions for the forehand experts out there:
1) Is it really safer to throw with your elbow close to your body?
2) Would you gain more distance if you threw with your elbow farther from your body? This is a scary thought to me, would I risk injury to my arm to gain more distance?
3) For forehands, does release height affect distance?
4) Did my 30 foot gains come from release height or upright position?
Or does it all depend on the thrower. Try different heights and body positions and find out what works best for you?
Grips and throwing styles vary a lot, even among good players. So I'm not convinced there is a single BEST way to throw a disc or even a SAFEST way to throw a disc. Fortunately there is one simple answer: Try different styles and see what works for you. If an action causes sharp pain it is your body's way of telling you to do something else. I know when I throw a forehand shot hard with my elbow close to my body it hurts, so I don't unless I am stuck in a position (like in a bush) where I have no other choice.
I am in the 1) big-pull-back-arm-swing, 2) arm-away-from-the body-on-release and 3)knees bent, releasing-the -disc-low-to-the-ground camp. I have tried other styles and continue to do so because sometimes a lie in the fairway prevents some or all of these positions. Nothing else works as well for me and so far (knock on plastic) my form hasn't caused long term injury. So for me arm away from the body puts much less strain on my elbow and shoulder.
A sidearm throw in baseball is pretty close to the form of throwing a disc. So too is hitting a tennis ball or racquetball. If you watch the good players in those sports you don't see the elbow-close-to-the body form or standing-straight-up-at-impact. This observation is not controlling but somewhat persuasive.
Throwing drives while standing upright takes away the power of the legs and core, leaving a player throwing mostly with the arm and shoulder (and therefore placing more strain on the arm and shoulder). There is something called the "athletic position": knees bent, feet apart, body balanced, back straight, butt down. Think of a linebacker just before the snap of the football. This posture activates the legs and core and increases the power of movements from it.
Once in the athletic position (knees bent) releasing the disc higher or lower (shoulder level or below) is, for me, a question of the line I want. I release hyzers lower and anhyzers higher. For pure distance it is a coin flip whether an S curve or a hyzer flip works best. The S curve is safer, the hyzer flip is riskier on an accuracy basis.
There is one safety issue with releasing low to the ground that is avoided somewhat by throwing higher and that is face planting. When my plant foot slips out on a low release I am going to the ground, guaranteed. So on ice or other slippery surfaces you have to be aware of the danger. I have fallen so many times playing in winter I have trained myself to tuck and roll. This protects both the body and the shot. If I try to stop the fall the shot is doomed. If I tuck the shoulder in and roll I can still throw an accurate shot and usually same some skin in the bargain. Then I wipe off the dirt and go to the next shot.