The Secret Technique... almost complete

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The Secret Technique... almost complete

Postby Blake_T » Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:37 am

well, after having a couple of dozen lessons under my belt this year the incomplete secret technique is almost complete and no longer secret.

a few observations:
-i have not found a fool-proof way of teaching this, but at the same time i don't think i can make the majority of it any easier than i already have. this is partly because timing is difficult and i think largely because people are unwilling/unable to "let go" of their old throw when trying to do any of this. some players techniques are "close enough" to ideal where adding a few focal points can get them "there." for most, this is basically a rebuild from the ground up. the pace of the shoulders is really being the most difficult culprit to correct... while oddly enough, i developed this technique with helping bring the shoulder speed under control as one of its primary benefits.

-i've found 3 slightly methodologies/focuses that have helped turn on the light bulb for people. the downside is, in most cases, 1 works and the other 2 fail miserably. generally building them up "in sequence" through all 3 will yield the best outcome. i have only found 1 person who has been able to succeed in this manner.

-it has become insanely easy for me to see when someone throws with big snap or not. no one else seems to be able to see it though... and often the thrower isn't even aware of it.

-this is a culmination of pretty much everything i have worked on since 2002 and a lot of it is based upon conversations i've had with brad walker. much of what he has done has given me things to build on and i have found evolving some of his drills has really been the key to unlocking this.

-i still believe that players half-hit/full-hit/no-hit. this technique has been very successful in developing at least a half hit for most players and put them on track towards full hitting, even if it is sporadic. this is by far the easiest method i have found. it still takes a crapload of reps though, but even though i barely play/practice, the feel has come clear on relatively few reps over the past 2 years (few = ~1000) and i'm able to execute it on the first throw of the day.

-most body motions are over-rated. i've found a 20 degree body rotation with no reach back can still yield a 275'+ throw with a small arm twitch and using no leg power. increasing the body rotation on reach back to 90 degrees seems to add about 40' (~15%). adding 18"+ of reach back seems to add about 25' (~9%). adding a full run up adds about 40' (~15%). those three things together are noticeable but if you work from a 275' baseline with a midrange disc, a full body rotation, full reach back, and utilizing the legs are responsible for roughly 27.6% of the throw. read as: about 10" of motion mainly focusing on the wrist, hand, and fingers is roughly 72.4% of the throw.

new/solidified terminologies/concepts

snap - the amount of velocity imparted on the disc relative to the thrower's arm-speed. (it is in fact possible to launch a disc faster than your arm was moving).

power pocket - this involves the area i used to refer to as the "power zone" and begins as the disc passes the right edge of your body. i think the term pocket is a better description since half of the throwing process is loading the pocket and the other half is unloading it.

point of impact - the fully loaded forward position in the power pocket. oddly enough... most throwers don't have a defined point of impact. all long throwers do have a defined point of impact.

active vs. passive unloading of the wrist. achieving a true point of impact is necessary to get the wrist to unload naturally. half-hitting is when there is a passive unload of the wrist (the motion is incidental). full-hitting requires an active unload of the wrist. active unloading is rather tricky since it involves applying force during the unload... yet the unload must begin as an incidental motion, forcing the unload to complete in a stronger/faster manner is necessary for full snap.

slip/micro-slip - once timing is "good," slips and micro-slips become the major concern regarding distance and accuracy. rim width and depth are major limiting factors in consistency. while the variability of slips/micro slips can be reduced as technique improves, the consistency factor is huge during the developing stages. e.g. i've found many players will half hit or better a roc ~80% of the time and half hit or better a nuke ~10% of the time.

dual stage shoulder rotation. there are definitely two distinct rotations... and not one continuous "spin." the first rotation generates momentum to reach the point of impact. the second rotation happens as you unload from the power pocket. if you can't separate these, it's next to impossible to snap a disc.

hyper spin. this technique gets really close to generating hyper spin on almost every throw if it is done correctly.

overall conclusion

generating snap is pretty much a trick caused by entering certain portions of the throw with ideal angles and directions. it doesn't require an athletic motion, although being athletic helps. 95% of the throw involves a relaxed and flowing motion. 5% requires explosion if you wish to actively unload the wrist.

not everyone will throw 450' using this technique... but i have found almost everyone is able to throw just as far as they did before but with a lot less effort. e.g. throwing 300' at 25% power.

i'm still not sure on how to write this up but i know it will probably have to be done in stages, explaining how to achieve each key position in the throw. if people want to buy some dgr rocs so i can finish paying off my car repair without having to do 5 lessons a week i may have the energy to start writing it up soon :P
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Re: The Secret Technique... almost complete

Postby JR » Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:35 am

Although these concepts should be already familiar for regular readers they need to be typed out and explained for the rest. And a detailed explanation might help to clear some confusion or missed points.

One thing about the snap is that the last few inches of the arm and wrist stroke before the disc rips out need to be fast forward with the wrist moving to the right then a fast breaking of the wrist. With the shoulder and the elbow pulling away from the target as the disc pivots. All of this needs maximum muscle strength effort as does the finger pinch. All of this is aimed at rotating the disc in the disc pivot from the palm to 4.30-toward more rear of the disc rip so you can see how short the time is. The shorter the time and the arm motion the faster the disc pivots, spins and flies forward. Because the disc pivoting gets most of the created momentum the weight/power ratio gets insanely high creating a huge acceleration and a fast flight of the disc than the fingers were moving at (the fastest body part).

An idea about the forces involved: Say a thrower weighs 175 pounds and the disc 175 grams. If for the rip the player made an instantaneous stop all the power would be transferred to the motion of the disc. According to Sir Isaac Newton and physics minus drag. Then you'd have almost 454 times heavier object (player) weight shifting plus actively moving the disc with muscle power. That explains why the better players can _spank_ the disc faster than snakes strike.

You can gauge the acceleration with the weight differences plus muscle power and the shortness of the time. The quicker you stop the wrist the more the disc accelerates when the disc pivot acceleration rate shoots up. If you can't stop the wrist quickly and hold on to the end of the full disc pivot you can't transfer all the lower body part generated power to the disc. If you can't hold onto the disc you can huff and puff all you want and you get tired but the momentum is transferred to a faster follow through. Not a faster disc flight.

While timing the wrist actions are crucial one can also turn on the light bulb by looking at the distance during which the wrist moves from left to right in the snap. I have not taken a high speed video to measure where i'm at now but it feels and looks like my wrist snap happens in 3-5" of arm movement back to front. Dave Feldberg demonstrated the length of the wrist snap alone motion in his clinic i attended and it is half an inch. My wrist motion alone is at least 2" long so i have a lot more work to do in getting better timing of the active extension of the wrist and stopping of the wrist. Muscle training with plyometric training is needed gotta get me a strangth ball or something like that. Not to mention pulling back around the outside edge of the disc during the disc pivot. I think i'm there with the shoulders pulling back during the disc pivot and the distance increases are consistent when i yank the shoulders back and the feeling is the same each time. It is the rebending back (pulling backward) of the elbow that needs work. My forearm chops forward and that's it -no pulling back unless it is approach power. No dice driving hard.
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: The Secret Technique... almost complete

Postby Blake_T » Tue Jul 17, 2012 2:03 am

JR,

i'm not really going to respond to all of this as I'm tired and I'd rather just start writing up the finished product.

this is a different technique that is about maximizing angles.

all power throws have one thing in common: they bring the outer edge of the disc around.

there are different techniques that do this in differing ways. e.g. swedish technique can do this with hardly any elbow or wrist bend with an emphasis on driving the shoulders hard. the technique i am working on maximizes the impact of the elbow and wrist and minimizes the impact of shoulder rotation. there doesn't need to be any backwards pull since it can make the wrist unload with only forward motions.

the trick to this is to accelerate the outer edge of the disc on an INCREASING radius. e.g. a golden spiral. the behavior of the arm abruptly lengthens the radius of the arc at the last second and causes a tremendous amount of angular velocity on the edge coming around.

on these throws my wrist is actually completing a 120-140 degree extension (2" of motion is about 45 degrees), which leads to an exceptionally hard and heavy disc pivot.
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Re: The Secret Technique... almost complete

Postby JR » Tue Jul 17, 2012 5:31 am

I look forward to this. I've had wacky results using two finger grip with the disc not touching the palm not pushing the disc into the root of the fingers rather to the outer joints. Early to micro slips each time but the arc is widened even further and the straight line speed increases. Partially from looser forearm muscles acting faster. Arcs are where it's at if timed correctly. They are the result of direction changes of the motions of the different parts of the body.

Daniel Strandberg from Sweden has the fastest shoulder rotation i've seen and William Gummesson on this board is pretty good at it too.

That 2" of wrist motion is probably less than 45 degrees for me in the arm movement. While the arc radius effect is obviously different to such a large wrist swing that you use the disc pivot should still be a matter of pinch power. Somethin i'm lacking. With the shoulders pulling back apporaches i do get closer to the rear of the disc rip points than my usual 3.30-4 o'clock with more only when the stars align if i'm using any power.

Now that my muscle power is better i gotta try the larger wrist swing angles. To my thinking the stopping of the wrist still needs to be maximized with the larger spiral throw.

There are many Finns that run up not in a straight line but in a spiral from rear right of the tee to center or left front of the tee. They move more back forward and reach back far off of the body usually bringing the disc close to the left pec and far away from the right. For me that kind of spiral running creates more momentum and power at reduced accuracy and consistency. Here is one example an arc runner that is capable of over 600':

There is power in arcing or partial spiral motions. Some don't know that for best axing power one of the hands needs to slide from the bottom of the handle up the shaft on the downstroke. That helps to "snap" the head around in an arc. Or part of a spiral however you want to phrase it.
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: The Secret Technique... almost complete

Postby cubeofsoup » Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:22 am

What do you think about this breakdown of Avery's hit/disc pivot/wrist action? The disc he is throwing is perfect for seeing rotation as it has a nice black stripe on it. When he has the disc at his right pec the stripe is parallel to his forearm, just before the disc leaves his hand it has already pivoted nearly 90° and with only minimal opening of the wrist. I don't know if it is relevant to notice or mention, but I found it very interesting that his wrist is close to neutral when the disc is in contact with what looks like only his thumb/index pinch at the end.

Image

Image

taken from first drive in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHSZyYAVPbs
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Re: The Secret Technique... almost complete

Postby CatPredator » Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:44 am

Blake_T wrote:-it has become insanely easy for me to see when someone throws with big snap or not. no one else seems to be able to see it though... and often the thrower isn't even aware of it.


It's pretty easy to see. Often their foot/ground speed is slow, and the arm speed entering the power pocket is fairly low, but the disc comes screaming out and, like you say, the motion is very explosive.

The concepts of two stage shoulder rotation, bringing the outer edge of the disc around at the last second, and driving through the point of contact are very helpful...
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Re: The Secret Technique... almost complete

Postby Blake_T » Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:01 am

What do you think about this breakdown of Avery's hit/disc pivot/wrist action? The disc he is throwing is perfect for seeing rotation as it has a nice black stripe on it. When he has the disc at his right pec the stripe is parallel to his forearm, just before the disc leaves his hand it has already pivoted nearly 90° and with only minimal opening of the wrist. I don't know if it is relevant to notice or mention, but I found it very interesting that his wrist is close to neutral when the disc is in contact with what looks like only his thumb/index pinch at the end.


it's very good. if it wasn't, he wouldn't throw far. one key thing to look at in your frame breakdown is that his shoulders have only opened ~10-15 degrees from entering the power pocket to the release. his wrist is open about an inch at the pivot.


JR, i think in this case you aren't acknowledging the the way varying throwing styles achieve the same result. if the goal is really to accelerate the outer edge into the forward direction you can either maximize leverage as you bring the edge around or maximize the speed of the edge as it comes around. while the two primary techniques have to do BOTH, the extent to which they are performed is not equal between them.

the other things to keep in mind is that a high level of success can be done without peak efficiency. the goal of what this technique is working on is developing as close to peak efficiency as is possible.

Some don't know that for best axing power one of the hands needs to slide from the bottom of the handle up the shaft on the downstroke. That helps to "snap" the head around in an arc. Or part of a spiral however you want to phrase it.


axing power is a trick that involves lengthening the lever at the last second in order to increase the radius of the arc, which yields an exponential growth in the angular velocity of the axe head.

the throw i am working on utilizes the same trick by increasing the arc radius of the disc edge by the length of the forearm.

It's pretty easy to see. Often their foot/ground speed is slow, and the arm speed entering the power pocket is fairly low, but the disc comes screaming out and, like you say, the motion is very explosive.

The concepts of two stage shoulder rotation, bringing the outer edge of the disc around at the last second, and driving through the point of contact are very helpful...


a key thing about the explosion is that it isn't part of some insanely athletic explosion... more a bi-product of loading up the power pocket in a manner that unloads explosively without effort.




something key here is this... as i know i will always have nit-pickers who disagree because they can name half a dozen pros that do it differently... if it was that easy to do using their form, throwing far would be easy if you sunk your time into mimicking said pros. right now this is a throw that emphasizes the little things that are of great importance in hope that they will be easier to develop. whether or not they stay in an idealized form upon final execution is less important than developing the timing to making those little things happen in a throw where they previously were not.
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Re: The Secret Technique... almost complete

Postby CatPredator » Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:26 am

Blake_T wrote:a key thing about the explosion is that it isn't part of some insanely athletic explosion... more a bi-product of loading up the power pocket in a manner that unloads explosively without effort.


Right, the dual stage shoulder rotation is obviously the key. The natural tendency is to increase the speed of footwork and twist your spine super hard and fast with the core muscles in an attempt to generate more power. The dual stage rotation takes a whole shitload of stress off the back, and reduces the need for athleticism, because the first stage is just a nudge, and then all the power is generated by taking advantage of the arm levers and weight shift instead of fast footwork, and spine twist/core muscle.
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Re: The Secret Technique... almost complete

Postby JR » Tue Jul 17, 2012 11:14 pm

Avery rolled that shot. i told him that it was a worn disc and should probably need at least 5 degrees of more initial hyzer than a new Xcaliber and he looked at the disc and threw it. Then he said i should get a new one. Yep it sure is different to new Xcals :-D The tee pad has a slanted end and i don't know for sure from the top of my head if the right foot slid to the slope. Because that might influence the follow through. But as you can see when the fingers are last in contact with the disc the foot is still on the flat part of the tee pad so the likelihood is low.

He planted to the left of the center line of the tee. The heel pivot started in the second to last picture which is later than for the guys trying to rotate the torso early. At the rip the elbow is fairly straight meaning maximum leverage. And lengthening of the arc of the disc movement. The reason why the sharpied black bar on the disc moves from parallel to the forearm in the first pic to 190 degrees clockwise in the final picture with only an inch of wrist extension to the right of neutral is the elbow chop arc plus the wrist arc plus the arc of the disc pivoting on top of those arcs. If you drew a picture of the arc of the shoulder, elbow, wrist and the center plus outside edge of the disc you would see many arcs that leapfrog on top of the previous arc.

Note how Avery didn't move his left leg much at all and how it was airborne very early. He didn't weight shift the left leg to counter the arm pull. He can't push off from the ground now that the left leg is airborne. That way it is difficult to get the body to turn to the right. And he is losing some late acceleration power because the left leg ain't providing any more power. How drastically he loses power depends. Different forms lose differently.



In this video shot two years after the first AJ vid he still plants to the left of the line he is running on while throwing a hyzer with the arm like Miko in the first video i posted in this thread. Only Miko is moving more back toward the target. Avery has the left leg on the ground longer but still raises it too early. And still his body ain't turning right with the momentum only until mostly after the disc has left. the trouble for this kind of momentum based follow through is slippery conditions and skiing on the plant foot. Sliding forward on the muck instead of pivoting on the heel. That changes where your body is pointed and often times you'll miss left. The more tired and slow you are in the running speed even with good traction and a normal heel pivot the more inconsistent your left to right aiming will be from varying run up and x step speed.
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: The Secret Technique... almost complete

Postby cubeofsoup » Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:57 am

JR wrote:The reason why the sharpied black bar on the disc moves from parallel to the forearm in the first pic to 190 degrees clockwise in the final picture with only an inch of wrist extension to the right of neutral is the elbow chop arc plus the wrist arc plus the arc of the disc pivoting on top of those arcs. If you drew a picture of the arc of the shoulder, elbow, wrist and the center plus outside edge of the disc you would see many arcs that leapfrog on top of the previous arc.


I think something I haven't seen discussed a lot is the timing and coincidence of all of these arcs and how critical it is. I would love to see a diagram of the arcs as they move through the throw. I'm just loving reading about the hit and breaking down hi-speed video of pro's throwing, I feel like I am learning so much.
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Re: The Secret Technique... almost complete

Postby Blake_T » Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:55 am

I think something I haven't seen discussed a lot is the timing and coincidence of all of these arcs and how critical it is. I would love to see a diagram of the arcs as they move through the throw. I'm just loving reading about the hit and breaking down hi-speed video of pro's throwing, I feel like I am learning so much.


i am planning on doing diagrams. the problem is that without the "flow" of things, the arcs are fairly meaningless as they cannot be forced unnaturally. explaining what is going on is much easier than "teaching how to do it." once you know what it is, it doesn't help a lot unless you can then look for it in full speed throws.

Right, the dual stage shoulder rotation is obviously the key. The natural tendency is to increase the speed of footwork and twist your spine super hard and fast with the core muscles in an attempt to generate more power. The dual stage rotation takes a whole shitload of stress off the back, and reduces the need for athleticism, because the first stage is just a nudge, and then all the power is generated by taking advantage of the arm levers and weight shift instead of fast footwork, and spine twist/core muscle.


this is correct.
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Re: The Secret Technique... almost complete

Postby Blake_T » Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:36 pm

Well...

After 2 months worth of lessons with new students...

3 Students are consistently breaking 400', 1 of which is breaking 450'.

The secret technique works... for those who don't have deeply ingrained shoulder rotation issues. the goal of this technique was to correct shoulder rotation issues since you're focusing mainly on what the arm is doing and working in "small motions" that don't require much, if any, body rotation.

I currently have 5 students with shoulder rotation issues... and we could do the drills i've come up with for hours upon hours and not get any closer to correcting those.

The result is that I've had to come up with completely new drills and feelings that trying to write up the last part of this isn't going to be as wow-ing as i thought it would be. read as: not worth spending 10-12 hours typing out a bunch of things in intricate detail and explained more in terms of feel and how to achieve said feel than anything else until i can have a higher success rate.

The solution i've been working on to tame out of control shoulder rotation is... to not try to tame it but develop a motion that is conducive to out of control shoulders that achieves the same end result as the other technique (bringing the edge around hard and finishing with an open wrist).

It's sort of an "extreme swedish technique" but performed with keeping the arm straight and shifting the shoulder swing plane to be more like a hockey slap shot or golf swing. in its early stages it involves focusing on bringing the edge around. once that can be done, making modifications to the pendulum motion so that the arm bends and elbow extension (forearm arc flare) happens with the same feeling.

basically... the complete secret technique has incredible efficiency by using particular entry angles and unloading the levers/joints to their maximum potential.
swedish technique focuses on leverage and bringing the edge around.

i have a feeling the completed version of this is going to be some hybrid of the two that combines the feeling and leverage of swedish technique with the lever potential of the CST.
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Re: The Secret Technique... almost complete

Postby zj1002 » Fri Jul 27, 2012 6:18 am

That sounds like the way Feldberg throws

I don't use his style but I took a lot from it in training to help time my shoulders better and keep the front one down. His style is very linear, you really have no choice but to shift forward
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Re: The Secret Technique... almost complete

Postby CatPredator » Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:24 am

Blake_T wrote:I currently have 5 students with shoulder rotation issues... and we could do the drills i've come up with for hours upon hours and not get any closer to correcting those.


Yeah, it seems tough for people to stay relaxed in the core during the reachback, through the bracing of the front right side of the body, and first stage of shoulder rotation. To be fair, it's a super graceful motion, and the timing is difficult.

The current world champ is sort of the new poster boy for this throwing style of arcs and radical angles. Much like Beto, McBeth's hit is so far forward. He hardly rotates back on some shots and generates big snap so easily.
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Re: The Secret Technique... almost complete

Postby JR » Fri Jul 27, 2012 12:39 pm

Uli has the shortest reach back of the top pros these days and he throws faaaar.
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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