Forehand Drive: elbow in or out

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Re: Forehand Drive: elbow in or out

Postby Wyno » Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:52 pm

I don't know Mark, do you assume new players are stupid? I don't.
I do, however, assume they are people! Riddled by impatience, wishful thinking, confirmation bias, etc. I know I am, and I hardly consider myself stupid :-)

Most people watch good players and, like you say, see something that looks easy - and they want the results fast, with minimal practice. They look for shortcuts, like most of us. Weren't you the one advocating unrealistic expectations? Well, the problem with having unrealistic expectations in this case (not unrealistic goals and dreams, mind you) is you will get frustrated and unrealistic expectations can increase the frustrration.
Since new players commonly over-emphasize driving length, they search for the quickest route to improvement in this aspect of the game. They get the discs that says Maximum distance, they unsurprisingly expect these drivers to go further than their other discs, and when they fail to consistently do so they assume, correctly, that there's something wrong with their technique.
But then (here comes the point at last) they don't try to throw flat and with control, they try to throw harder - and once in a while this actually works! Being human, we remember these throws the best, so we think we're on to something, and... fast forward some months, they're still throwing 250/300, with no more control than before and they've developed a set of nasty habits - OAT/wobbles, more speed than spin, always throwing flex shots because their only other option is having the disc hyzer out, etc etc.

Disclaimer: this is, obviously, less likely to happen if you have good players with the ability to give good advice around you or if you come from a technical sports background (so you have a better understanding of how acquiring skill takes time).

The theory of discing down (from "Clubbing down" in that most traditional sport of ball golf, btw), is the best way I've seen to realistically enable people to be able to execute those controlled shots, at a distance they quite rapidly can be proud of, and get constant improvement that keeps the fun level up!
It's not training wheels, it's realizing that you don't put a toddler on Lance Armstrong's bike. Or, to quote a wise man I once argued with; "How many Little Leaguers would do well using Babe Ruth's bat?" ;-)
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Forehand Drive: elbow in or out

Postby Cavere » Thu Aug 23, 2012 7:30 am

While yes Wyno says a couple good points I disagree about the clubbing down. Generally a new player starts with a slower disc not only for accuracy and form sake. But because at their current play level that is all they can throw on an intended path. Personally as a RHFH thrower with an athletic background. The katana that I bought for my first disc actually suited me well then. I could throw it almost 400' with a good flight pattern.

Of course I had some very bad throws with it. But if I were out there throwing a gazelle with all the speed and snap I could muster it would roll over on me and I probably wouldn't have gotten into the game that much.

So I agree with mark that a lot more players can throw a nuke pretty quickly FH as least a lot more than could BH.
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Re: Forehand Drive: elbow in or out

Postby JR » Thu Aug 23, 2012 4:54 pm

How many new players have enough power to throw the Katana under control? Non controlled shots don't teach you well fast. How many new players throw 400'?
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: Forehand Drive: elbow in or out

Postby seabas22 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 5:03 pm

Scott Stokely said elbow in on FH is the biggest myth in disc golf, and that it is leading with the elbow that matters most.
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Forehand Drive: elbow in or out

Postby Cavere » Thu Aug 23, 2012 5:16 pm

JR wrote:How many new players have enough power to throw the Katana under control? Non controlled shots don't teach you well fast. How many new players throw 400'?


You're kinda missing my point. For myself when I was a new player a katana was a good disc for me to learn my form with due to my background in throwing sports. Obviously not every new player will be there. But every new player is different was my point. Some will be better suited throwing an eagle. Some will learn better with faster discs.
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Re: Forehand Drive: elbow in or out

Postby JR » Fri Aug 24, 2012 4:11 am

And my and Blake's (others too) is to throw a putter when you are learning. Because most new players have the power suited to throw only putters and they give better feedback on form on everything else than nose up angle and grip issues.
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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Forehand Drive: elbow in or out

Postby Cavere » Fri Aug 24, 2012 7:06 am

When I say new I'm not talking first steps on a DG course new. Right out if the box I introduce backhand not forehand. I pull out a putter and play catch and point out little things like nose angle. I may even introduce a grip I use similar to a bonopane which I believe helps teach nose down. Then we go play. Eventually I pull out mids the fairways. And if they have the ability then to drivers.

If backhand isn't working I have them try forehand. The initial learning isn't set in stone where Amy given person is going to be. Yes I start off teaching someone with slow discs. But maybe they'll be jumping to fast discs right off the bat. If the flight of the disc lands it similar to where they're aiming the. That's a good disc for them. I believe that trying to teach someone turn and fade right away is confusing.

With all this being said JR I really don't think you're doing much different than I. I still start slow but if you have a newbie with a strong arm I bet you'll hand them a fast driver of nothing else than to see what they could do go their own sake. Feeling like they have some natural talent is going to keep them playing longer and more frequently.
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Re: Forehand Drive: elbow in or out

Postby Mark Ellis » Sat Aug 25, 2012 4:47 am

Wyno wrote:I don't know Mark, do you assume new players are stupid? I don't.
I do, however, assume they are people! Riddled by impatience, wishful thinking, confirmation bias, etc. I know I am, and I hardly consider myself stupid :-)

Most people watch good players and, like you say, see something that looks easy - and they want the results fast, with minimal practice. They look for shortcuts, like most of us. Weren't you the one advocating unrealistic expectations? Well, the problem with having unrealistic expectations in this case (not unrealistic goals and dreams, mind you) is you will get frustrated and unrealistic expectations can increase the frustrration.
Since new players commonly over-emphasize driving length, they search for the quickest route to improvement in this aspect of the game. They get the discs that says Maximum distance, they unsurprisingly expect these drivers to go further than their other discs, and when they fail to consistently do so they assume, correctly, that there's something wrong with their technique.
But then (here comes the point at last) they don't try to throw flat and with control, they try to throw harder - and once in a while this actually works! Being human, we remember these throws the best, so we think we're on to something, and... fast forward some months, they're still throwing 250/300, with no more control than before and they've developed a set of nasty habits - OAT/wobbles, more speed than spin, always throwing flex shots because their only other option is having the disc hyzer out, etc etc.

Disclaimer: this is, obviously, less likely to happen if you have good players with the ability to give good advice around you or if you come from a technical sports background (so you have a better understanding of how acquiring skill takes time).

The theory of discing down (from "Clubbing down" in that most traditional sport of ball golf, btw), is the best way I've seen to realistically enable people to be able to execute those controlled shots, at a distance they quite rapidly can be proud of, and get constant improvement that keeps the fun level up!
It's not training wheels, it's realizing that you don't put a toddler on Lance Armstrong's bike. Or, to quote a wise man I once argued with; "How many Little Leaguers would do well using Babe Ruth's bat?" ;-)


Cavere makes a good point in this discussion. A newbie to disc golf may have a strong sports background and start with carryover skills. Since golf (ball or disc) tends to attract a mature audience (with obvious exceptions) a new convert may be into or even past physical prime with a wealth of strength and coordination and balance and even snap.

After baseball star Kirk Gibson retired from playing he was a broadcaster for a time with a local Detroit TV sports show. He and a crew came out to do a story on disc golf at Hudson Mills. His first throw with a golf disc sailed about 300 feet, with a Magnet. If Kirk had caught the fever and become an addict like the rest of us he would not have needed training wheels or discing down or been better off spending the next year learning with only a putter.

When I started out I could throw hard but it never occurred to me that my natural power was much greater forehand than backhand. For those of us who regularly teach the game it is useful to keep in mind the individual differences of our students and be adaptable to them.
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Re: Forehand Drive: elbow in or out

Postby JR » Sat Aug 25, 2012 7:11 am

Cavere wrote:When I say new I'm not talking first steps on a DG course new. Right out if the box I introduce backhand not forehand. I pull out a putter and play catch and point out little things like nose angle. I may even introduce a grip I use similar to a bonopane which I believe helps teach nose down. Then we go play. Eventually I pull out mids the fairways. And if they have the ability then to drivers.

If backhand isn't working I have them try forehand. The initial learning isn't set in stone where Amy given person is going to be. Yes I start off teaching someone with slow discs. But maybe they'll be jumping to fast discs right off the bat. If the flight of the disc lands it similar to where they're aiming the. That's a good disc for them. I believe that trying to teach someone turn and fade right away is confusing.

With all this being said JR I really don't think you're doing much different than I. I still start slow but if you have a newbie with a strong arm I bet you'll hand them a fast driver of nothing else than to see what they could do go their own sake. Feeling like they have some natural talent is going to keep them playing longer and more frequently.


I'll definitely give faster discs after the thrower has realized what he can do with slower ones so that we both can see how things work and where things start to break down with progressively faster discs. Once an uncontrollable disc has been identified i instruct people to take the fastest disc they can control. Even in the first session. But only after making sure they understand the trade offs and learning speed influences and being able to throw ok with slow stuff. If i had more sessions i'd leave the faster stuff for session two or later.
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: Forehand Drive: elbow in or out

Postby LH99 » Sat Aug 25, 2012 9:43 am

Here's a question regarding slower discs: At what point does speed overcome stability and good form? In other words, if you're working on your form by driving with putters and mids, how do you know when you exceeded the discs stability because of the amount of speed/snap and NOT because of bad form? This is my current issue in trying to eliminate my OAT.
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Re: Forehand Drive: elbow in or out

Postby JR » Sat Aug 25, 2012 10:18 am

Added snap helps in avoiding the disc turning over. Calm weather is the only yardstick i know of for determination of too much speed/too little spin (snap and holding on late enough with the fingers). Fingers can stick/scrape and there might be other OAT sources like wrist rolls and plane breaking. If you throw with the nose below the rear of the disc and the disc flips try to throw both ends at the same height. If the disc doesn't flip then you are close to the limits of the disc. Improved form and added snap helps overall in the game so a good grip to avoid slips and facilitating full hits needs to be developed. Easier said than done so everyone should begin improving today. Grip and grip pressure changing with front/rear pressure 80/20 % switching and squeezing strength training.

One good clue is how others can throw. If somebody throws stinking far without flipping with the same disc you have the disc varies from yours (it happens) or most likely it ain't the disc it is something with your form. Check out Youtube channel lcgm8 Dutch Open 2010 for Markus Källström throwing 142 meters with a Roc in left front headwind starting annied not flipping more at 17min 15seconds:
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: Forehand Drive: elbow in or out

Postby slowarm » Sun Aug 26, 2012 3:20 pm

Before I got hooked into disc golf, I played several years ultimate. When I then started disc golf, forehand with a somewhat understable (e.g. Pro Valk) was the thing for me. Standing still, throwing a hyzerflip - just like I would do it with an ultimate disc. The elbow was (if I reckon it right) somewhere inbetween, not tied to my body, not really far away from my body. I was throwing the Valk about 330' the very first day, later a bit over the 350' mark.

Although I'm using less forehand nowadays (and I feel a bit rusty) I can still flick a Teebird +300' with ease. For max D I keep my elbow out, for controlled D I keep it close to my body. I'm not sure if it really makes a big difference. Much more important is to be smooth and to try to lead with the elbow.
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Re: Forehand Drive: elbow in or out

Postby JR » Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:10 am

Some people can't throw sidearms at all from the pain it creates elbow in, middle or out. I have injuries that makes me sensitive to how i throw and elbow in hurts the most for me YMMV. 330' on the first day is tremendous! To polish your sidearm i recommend doing some more Ultra-Star stand still flicks to remind you of how it feels to throw FH purely with power. I can't tell which elbow position yields the most distance because i can't throw hard and i don't think i could toss a TB to 300'.
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: Forehand Drive: elbow in or out

Postby LH99 » Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:14 am

After some research and recommendations I picked up a Teebird last week (needed a new stable fairway driver anyway since my dx Gazelle is beat beyond stable), and I love it. 300' no problem, straight line, gentle fade. Am still falling into old bad habits at times and using my arm when driving instead of my body, but it's getting better. Most successful throws feel as if I'm whipping my arm around from the shoulder instead of powering the disc with the elbow.
Still having trouble with mids and the more rounded rims. Seems I'm either letting go or catching the rim. Either way, it results in OAT. I'm thinking I might have to use a control grip (forehand two fingers spread apart), but have never had much luck with it. It's always felt awkward to me to push the disc off of my middle finger instead of the index.
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Re: Forehand Drive: elbow in or out

Postby slowarm » Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:33 am

JR wrote:Some people can't throw sidearms at all from the pain it creates elbow in, middle or out. I have injuries that makes me sensitive to how i throw and elbow in hurts the most for me YMMV. 330' on the first day is tremendous! To polish your sidearm i recommend doing some more Ultra-Star stand still flicks to remind you of how it feels to throw FH purely with power. I can't tell which elbow position yields the most distance because i can't throw hard and i don't think i could toss a TB to 300'.


I don't think it's tremendous, watching these young guns around here flicking anything they want a lot further than 330' (100m is what I mean, I hope I converted it right into feets), but yeah, I was good with FH when I played ultimate and when I switched to disc golf it came very naturally.

Actually, your recommendation about flicking the Ultra-Star could help a lot. I've been learning the backhand eversince I started disc golf and only use FH when I'm in a position where I have no other choice. Why am I doing that? If my FH is decent enough, why am I not using it a lot more? Damn. Got to start to use FH more.

Anyway, back to the topic: Elbow in or out? Doesn't matter. Elbow first, that matters (to me anyway).
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