The Myth of Disc Pivot

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The Myth of Disc Pivot

Postby Blake_T » Tue Aug 07, 2012 3:00 pm

I have noticed a lot of problems relating to disc pivot lately and have encountered it in a few lessons lately.

I think most people don't understand the disc pivot. I believe most people think you should allow the disc to pivot around the index finger in the hand by gripping loosely and letting it swing around.

that is false and will most certainly lead to micro slipping, if not major slipping.

the pivot does happen a little bit. it is not something you try for, it is incidental. It happens because you do other things correctly.

allowing for a loose pivot is pretty counter-productive. the pivot yields strength to the throw because it doesn't happen loosely.

the outer edge of the disc SHOULD come around. it SHOULD come around because you are pulling it around. read that again: pulling it around. that is not the same as letting it swing around.

if you aren't throwing 440'+ (driver power, or equivalent), you should not be getting much, if any, pivot. a strong pivot is a sign of full hitting. aka "actively unloading" aka "hitting the 'out motion'."

the idea is that the lock fingers LOAD tension. if you let the disc slide off loosely, there's no tension to be loaded.

a correct motion/timing forces the lock finger tension to unload as you TUG THROUGH the pivot with the rip point.

your rip finger should not feel any "pull" by the disc. the rip finger should feel like it's "pushing" the disc. in those cases, your pivot has occurred correctly.

i hope this sheds some light on things but i have a feeling it has opened a new can of worms :P
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Re: The Myth of Disc Pivot

Postby soupdeluxe » Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:08 pm

Blake
Thanks for clarifying this issue. I seem to go back and forth between the loose pivot and the pull the edge around. I think the reason I thought the loose pivot was right is because keeping your hand fairly loose early and the clamping down hard at the end is preached quite a bit here. I interpreted this as loose pivot. I find though that keeping my hand this loose makes it hard to get my fingers back in the right place for the throw. They are all over the place would be a good way to put it. As a result I start holding tighter to keep my fingers in place better and I seem to go round and round in this endless circle. When I do get my fingers to line up correctly with the loose pivot it comes off with quite a bit of spin for me. Is the only reason we keep the hand loose because it allows the arm to whip forward without muscle tension? One of the best players in my area showed me how he holds a disc, power grip hard into palm the whole time. I remember thinking to myself "is he doing this right shouldent he grip loose, how will the disc pivot?" I'm thinking this as I watch him throw beautiful shot after shot far. I have much to learn. Thanks again
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Re: The Myth of Disc Pivot

Postby soupdeluxe » Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:15 pm

I would like to clarify that I am not letting the disc slide out loosely I am allowing the disc to pivot loosely until the very last second and then I clamp down. I can see now that in order for this to happen all my other fingers have to leave the disc first and I am guessing prematurely?
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Re: The Myth of Disc Pivot

Postby Steady 26542 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:25 pm

I, for one, would like to see a video of this with explainations as I'm more of a visual person. :roll:
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Re: The Myth of Disc Pivot

Postby andrew » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:00 pm

Blake_T wrote:your rip finger should not feel any "pull" by the disc. the rip finger should feel like it's "pushing" the disc. in those cases, your pivot has occurred correctly.


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Re: The Myth of Disc Pivot

Postby Blake_T » Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:48 pm

I would like to clarify that I am not letting the disc slide out loosely I am allowing the disc to pivot loosely until the very last second and then I clamp down. I can see now that in order for this to happen all my other fingers have to leave the disc first and I am guessing prematurely?


on a high snap throw, the lock fingers (middle, ring, pinkey) basically leave in a quick burst with a miniscule pause before the disc pivots out with the rip finger. when you feel it, it feels like it's going in slow motion. in reality the pause between the two is happening in like 1/30th of a second. if your lock fingers are loose and let the disc swing freely, you may as well be using a one finger grip because that's all you're getting the strength of, even if you manage to clamp down correctly with the rip.

you have to make sure you differentiate between the hinge of the wrist and the pivot of the disc.

I, for one, would like to see a video of this with explainations as I'm more of a visual person


honestly, there's nothing to see or that can really be seen. if you go super slow motion and manage to see it, it doesn't matter anyways because that doesn't help you do it.

if you do see the disc swinging easily into the pivot, it has been done wrong.
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Re: The Myth of Disc Pivot

Postby Jeronimo » Wed Aug 08, 2012 7:10 am

Blake_T wrote:the idea is that the lock fingers LOAD tension.



Explain people that throw with a two finger grip
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Re: The Myth of Disc Pivot

Postby Mark Ellis » Wed Aug 08, 2012 7:17 am

Steady 26542 wrote:I, for one, would like to see a video of this with explainations as I'm more of a visual person. :roll:


Me too. I'm just shaking my head. Disc pivot? My disc stays in my hand until I release it then it flies. Where does the pivot come in? Is a wrist snap a pivot? Why does a pivot matter? What does a pivot do?

I grip hard when I throw hard and soft on short throws. Whatever a disc does in my hand on a soft throw should be about the same thing it does on a hard throw except slower.

The outer edge of a disc? The disc is a circle. The whole perimeter is the outer edge, isn't it? Since a disc propels forward by spinning the outer edge has to come around, and around and around and around. The speed of the spin is dependent on how hard the disc is thrown.

Can anyone dumb this stuff down for those of us sitting in the back of the class?
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Re: The Myth of Disc Pivot

Postby Jeronimo » Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:30 am

The simplified version is this Mark:

Due to the way we hold a disc to throw it, if you looked at it relative to its distribution of mass, all of the weight is away from the point where the hand is holding the disc. So its almost a little counter productive to think of a disc as a "disc", since we're really throwing it more in a way as if we were throwing a hammer.

Pivot would be when you have a power grip, 4 finger grip, Climo-fork grip, etc... where you have multiple points of contact with the inner rim of the disc. When you launch the disc from your hand during a throw, at the micro level the disc rips out of your pinky finger first, then ring, middle, and then jerks around the last point of contact (the index finger & thumb). Take Climo's grip for example, at the moment of release, the disc jerks its way free from his stacked pinky point of grip and then pivots around the remaining index/middle finger pinch point. It's an acceleration within an acceleration (like a trebuchet, if you will), which yields substantial explosive power, but it happens so quickly its incredible difficult to nail down.
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Re: The Myth of Disc Pivot

Postby Stringbean » Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:33 am

After reading this thread, the preference of a four finger power grip makes a lot of sense. The key to strong snap is acceleration. With four fingers underneath the disc, you are getting a micro-burst of acceleration as the disc rips off of each finger, beginning with the pinkie. By removing a finger from the grip, you are losing a degree of acceleration.

However, I would assume this can be different from person to person, depending on forearm strength, finger length, injury, etc. A finger that is not applying force to the disc, may inhibit acceleration. This would explain why a power grip works better for some, but others may benefit from a fan grip or three finger power grip.
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Re: The Myth of Disc Pivot

Postby MrScoopa » Wed Aug 08, 2012 11:00 am

The rotating of the disc as it rips out is only part of it. Like Blake said:

it SHOULD come around because you are pulling it around. read that again: pulling it around.


This is accomplished by timing the hips, shoulder, and arm to be CONSTANTLY accelerating that outer edge.

If you look at this gif of Avery from another thread(thanks cubeofsoup):

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The disc is pivoting(the black like rotating around shows that). NOT through much wrist\finger action until the very end, but through the timing of the hips, shoulder, and arm.

The interesting thing about this is most of the proper winding and unwinding of the disc will happen naturally by pulling the disc through on a straight line. If you rush your hips, shoulders, or arm something gets out of sync and you lose out on the natural momentum you built by allowing one motion to CAUSE another.

It would be like in pool if you hit a cue ball(started the motion) and then moved the ball you wanted to hit right before the cue ball gets there. Then, for some insane reason you still expect the ball to shoot out of your hand like it was hit!
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Re: The Myth of Disc Pivot

Postby JR » Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:15 am

It is a new can of worms for me sort of. I have tried way in the past to get finger spring in drives like in putting to push on the disc without success so i haven't tried that in eons. Maybe i should. Because i have not felt my fingers pushing the disc only having the disc pull against my fingers.

Pulling the disc around how? IIRC in the latest version thread which has not been released fully yet Blake said that you are not pulling the circumference (or part) of the disc back by pulling the arm and the shoulders away from the target to increase the disc pivot speed. Like you see Avery not doing in that video. The steering wheel exercise or coin shooting with the thumb or how do you pull exactly? Only the timing of the other body parts coincidentally or something more?

Damn if i could squeeze hard with the fingers and not get slips or grip locks or so tense forearm muscles that it slows the throw down. I don't mind the red skin and callouses in the hand and fingers from a tight squeeze. Not even arm pain because i can't squeeze hard many times per day yet -i need to practice more. Even in putting my fingers open subconsciously commanded against my conscious effort because the effort is "too hard" and hurting when i'm tired. WTF? I'm driving harder and i know that at times i do get slips if i don't clamp down hard. Clamping gets the disc going in the right direction though albeit almost always without a full pivot.

When i had finger sticking issues (pinky) with TBs and Rocs a couple of years ago i loosened up the lock fingers for cleaner releases. And got easy (not full) pivots then trying to hold on for life with the index finger and the thumb. That loosened up my forearm for faster chopping speed and best distance so far. With definite slips and often micro slips it does seem clear that i do need more lock power because the pinch ain't enough for my feeble power. What i really struggle with still is throwing tired (mostly that is my condition playing) with Comets and tall putters driving with a clean release. There i've found that i can't pinch hard at all and not before the disc is pivoting with the index finger or index finger sticking and OAT will occur. I will have to experiment more with the 80 back 20 front grip but that automatically brings the rear of the disc down to the seam of the hand. No matter i know how to shift weight more forward if needed to keep the nose down.

I need to go back to a field and to the drawing board to mess with increased lock finger power increasing without getting finger sticking issues. A tall order. Sigh.
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Re: The Myth of Disc Pivot

Postby JR » Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:58 am

Blake_T wrote:
I would like to clarify that I am not letting the disc slide out loosely I am allowing the disc to pivot loosely until the very last second and then I clamp down. I can see now that in order for this to happen all my other fingers have to leave the disc first and I am guessing prematurely?


on a high snap throw, the lock fingers (middle, ring, pinkey) basically leave in a quick burst with a miniscule pause before the disc pivots out with the rip finger. when you feel it, it feels like it's going in slow motion. in reality the pause between the two is happening in like 1/30th of a second. if your lock fingers are loose and let the disc swing freely, you may as well be using a one finger grip because that's all you're getting the strength of, even if you manage to clamp down correctly with the rip.

you have to make sure you differentiate between the hinge of the wrist and the pivot of the disc.

I, for one, would like to see a video of this with explainations as I'm more of a visual person


honestly, there's nothing to see or that can really be seen. if you go super slow motion and manage to see it, it doesn't matter anyways because that doesn't help you do it.

if you do see the disc swinging easily into the pivot, it has been done wrong.


The timing is faster because Carlsen measured the plant step hitting the ground to the rip of the disc lasting 2 hundreths of a second for a 600' thrower so the disc pivot has to happen much faster than in 1/30th of a second. In the video of Avery if cubeofsoup got each picture into the video Avery straightens the elbow from center chest to straight and just in contact with the disc prior to the rip in 3 pictures. My camera filmed 300 FPS. So the elbow chop was 1/100th of a second so the question becomes how does one define disc pivot in Avery's style and in general? Where does it start and where does it end? Avery certainly does not have the disc swinging freely pivoting any other way than last moment around the index finger and the thumb. To see more of the disc pivot you'd have to get a way higher FPS than 300. Hmm the file sharing site i have used has dropped some higher FPS material showing the disc pivot better at 420 FPS. And my main computer is broken down so i have trouble getting the original 300 FPS footage of Avery.
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Re: The Myth of Disc Pivot

Postby Blake_T » Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:40 am

I will try to address these questions tomorrow. Didnt free up until late tonight and im tired
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Re: The Myth of Disc Pivot

Postby Blake_T » Thu Aug 09, 2012 9:10 am

Explain people that throw with a two finger grip


Thank you for explaining disc pivot, Jero, it makes things easier on me to address the meat of this.

two-finger backhand grips yield a much greater amount of tendon flexibility. they are also much weaker. the strength aspect is a double edged sword: people who throw two-finger must have better timing to throw successfully and so most people who throw two-finger are better able to manipulate the disc's weight shift naturally (than people who throw with 4) and get the "edge around."
the downside: two-finger grips have much lower strength potential.

with that in mind, while a higher percentage of two finger grippers may throw 350'+, it is more difficult to throw 450'+. i will often train people to throw with two fingers (to develop shifting the disc's weight) and then have them add four and tell them to "do the same thing you did with two." in most cases this yields an increase of 30-50'.

basically: a two-finger grip makes it easier to feel when the disc's edge should come around. a two-finger grip makes it harder to transfer maximum power when you bring the disc's edge around.

After reading this thread, the preference of a four finger power grip makes a lot of sense. The key to strong snap is acceleration. With four fingers underneath the disc, you are getting a micro-burst of acceleration as the disc rips off of each finger, beginning with the pinkie. By removing a finger from the grip, you are losing a degree of acceleration.


sort of... but for different reasons.
if you think about the hammer drills and the "reverse thumb lead" methods, the premise is to widen the radius of the spiral of the disc's outer edge as it comes around from the start of the power pocket. e.g. there's a sepcific point on the disc that you want to rotate ~180+ degrees... basically it starts on the back side of the disc and comes around to the front side of the disc before leaving. to make it easier, assume this motion is a perfect "half circle" arc. you have the starting point, the finishing point, and the apex of the arc. the acceleration builds the most as the point passes through the apex of the arc and completes the final 90 degrees of rotation (this happens when the hand shifts from ~12 o'clock to ~4 o'clock). as the point passes the apex it will be pulling outwards (intertia) with a tremendous amount of G-forces. this is when 99% of slips/micro slips happen. the stronger grip makes it easier to hang onto the disc through that final part of the arc.

i won't describe this in more detail unless you actually hold a disc (put a sticker on it at the point behind the hammer's head) and trace through the arc to see what i'm talking about.

with the hammer/thumb lead throw, the arc isn't a perfect half circle, it's oblong, more like the hypotenuse and short leg of a rounded edge right triangle (but slightly less extreme). this basically makes it a "sharper turn" that the point on the disc has to make as it completes the arc and increases the G-forces/inertia even more. if you let the disc "swing loose" in the pivot, there's almost no way your rip point can hang onto it well beyond the apex.

i will diagram these differences... if/when someone actually holds a disc in their hand and traces out the motion and describes that they are seeing the point on the disc moving through the arc.

to make a comparison to something other than disc golf:
the pacing of the path of the point on the disc is a lot like making a high speed turn in a car. if you enter the turn too quickly (without control of the car's weight) you will skid and hit the wall (aka the understeer will pull you out). your goal is to enter the turn slow, exit the turn fast.

a strong grip is like having the batmobile and firing a cable/dart into the ground on the inside of the turn so that will hold the car around the turn at high speeds. if you can do this, you will actually accelerate coming out of the apex of the turn. there is a limit to grip strength that is equivalent to "breaking the cable" and sliding out and hitting the wall if the disc/car's weight is out of control.

this is the most i have time for right now.
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