Cross-Step

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Cross-Step

Postby fanter » Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:10 pm

I was watching a video of Sandstrom giving some instruction in a gym. I obviously couldn't understand him but still found some helpful things by watching his motions. This, in combination with some ruminating on what's been causing my knee irritation got me on this topic.

I've been x-stepping for two years, but I haven't always considered just what each step does, how the x-step generates power, etc.

Here's the scenario. I have knee pain in my plant leg (left leg). I regularly have difficulty opening up the angle of my plant step, so typically it's a little more than 90 degrees from the target, which no doubt just BEGS for torque. Clumsily, after viewing this on video, I thought "take a wider step" or "just start opening the hips earlier." All this did was make me more clumsy, pull some shots wide, lose them early...general issues of inconsistency.

Presently I'm thinking not about that last step, but the step that leads into it- the cross step, where I take my right leg, pull it behind my body to aid in turning hips/torso/shoulders away from the target. That step points 180 from the target if not slightly more. I know that turning away from the target is beneficial for building tension, but THIS far? Maybe some people can make it work but I'm not convinced it's benefiting me (or the people I've introduced to the sport).

Practically, it creates a huge issue. It takes two steps to get the body appropriately oriented away from the target, but then to try and make that full turn in one step is out of my ability (or I haven't made enough sense of it to make it work).

Have I just been thinking incorrectly all along, or do people manage this kind of body motion with strong results? I'm going to spend some time working on a less-than-full turn away, in the interest of "compacting my motions" and see if I can get my plant foot a little more comfortably forward-angled.
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Re: Cross-Step

Postby JR » Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:52 am

Knee pain can come from flat footing the pivot. Your experience mirrors mine at first minus the knee pain. That is usual. Balance and body control are the limiting factors of most trying to turn the back toward the target at first for a long time. Don't get discouraged it is a very difficult maneuver to pull off and especially so if your running direction and the places where the steps land are off from optimum. Something Sandström speaks of in the video. I translated the concepts and tips he spoke of in that video somewhere on this site. Search for me as the author and Christian Sandström as the search words and you should be able to find it.

I land the plant step pointing 180 degree away from the target as well. It can be done with ball of the foot and toe heel toe pivots. Because back to the target throws are inherently less accurate and more power generating not to mention about repeatable results i think it is good to have two driving forms. One for all out golf distance with a full reach back and one for maximum control meaning planting 90 degrees away or less and reaching back so little that you don't break eye contact so no back to the target with feet 80 away from the target for accuracy form. With variations in between depending on the situation. Some might think it is stupid to have two forms for many reasons including the time it takes to practice two forms vs one. Not so at all. The two forms need to be very similar for maximized accuracy and repetition within each form. The fewer the variations the better in some cases for learning. User comfort (how your body works) might force additional variations. The differences for me are the angle of the feet landing on each step and the angle my hips and shoulders turn back limiting the reach back distance of the arm. The shorter the shot the farther away from the body i pull the disc because of the added looseness of the arm muscles (faster elbow chop than pulling close to either pec with the arm alone and i toss approaches with much less leg and hip power than max D for control) and it easier for me to pull the disc in a straight line. That may change over time because i've had to pivot on my ball of the foot so far so not rounding ain't easy but i just had surgery to free my ankle to normal range of motion allowing toe heel toe pivots for easier line pulling of the arm. But again that does not apply to approaching as much as it does to drives.

One pro in favor of max accuracy form is easier motions at slower speed when you don't stretch the body to wild angles making large motions is the lesser need of muscle power to maintain proper movements in proper sequence with proper rhythm. Another pro is that the lesser speed means less force trying to roll the wrist shoulder socket etc. Slower execution of the steps and the throw gives the brain more time to process how your throw is going and if it's ok or not. For the possibility of stopping if something is off and also concentrating better on the hit and aiming. And so on the list of pros of slow throws is impressive IMO. Slow throwing can be misleading. If you can gain in looseness of the arm and chip the elbow faster chances are you gained distance on stiffer armed throws. Added snap the A part in F=MA does gain on full gallop run up then x steps until you have excellent body control and the running and x steps are automated enough and the brain can concentrate on snapping just as hard galloping. Most days i'm far behind in arm acceleration rate in galloped throws vs slow bigger snap throws. Almost each time and the days i can gallop and get equal or almost as good snap from galloping are very good days indeed. More average and max D with more accuracy are the usual results :-D It ain't easy.
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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