I see people haven't responded to this thread since October, so I hope I haven't missed out on my chance to ask questions and get some feedback. I started playing dg about five years ago, but I never got very good at it and kind of gave up and stopped playing for awhile. But now I've returned to the sport and have been doing a lot of practice with these hammer pound drills. The drills themselves have helped me develop what I think is a good feel for the sensation of the weight shift/loading and unloading in the "pocket." I can also get a good, loud clap out of the old towel-snap drill (no disc in hand). However, when I try to turn that hammer-pound/towel-snap motion into an actual throw (out in the practice field), I run into trouble.
I think my main problem is that I don't really have a good sense of how everything is supposed to feel when it all comes together; that, and I've experimented with so many different types of techniques for throwing over the years that my brain has trouble sorting through all the movements and honing in on the good and necessary ones. I'll get what seems like a strong backhand throw from a standstill with one motion and one feel at the hit, but then on the next throw I'll get a similar flight with a throw that executes and even feels totally different. So my brain doesn't know which throw or feeling to pursue. And that's my reason for this post. I want to know what sort of sensation(s) I should pursue with these bh standstill throws.
I think I can narrow down my good throws to two distinct styles--each with their own sensations. This interpretation never occurred to me until one of Blake's quotes in this thread got me thinking that what I am perhaps experiencing is difference between the "Swedish" technique and his "Secret" one.
Here's how I'd describe them:
Style #1: A substantial amount of shoulder rotation and follow through seems necessary for a good throw. I rotate my shoulders to open w/ the disc starting near the right pec and the disc moves forward. My elbow is out in front and stays very bent up to and even through the hit (elbow only opens slightly). The upper arm feels completely rigid in the "pocket," and the elbow feels locked at the hit. The hit feels like this: the grip fingers seem to come off easily except for the index. The index feels lots of pressure from my thumb and even more from the inside of the rim at ~the 5-6 o'clock position of the disc, at which point I am almost fully open—facing my target— and pulling back hard on the disc w/ my upper arm and shoulder, almost like I am trying to pry it away from someone in front of me (but w/o using elbow, because that elbow is bent and locked). It feels like someone is tugging back at the other end. The disc leaves with tons of spin. It feels like it ejected from my thumb/index pinch. At no point in the throw does my wrist feel like it opens much beyond neutral, and it feels like it is either neutral or closed right at the moment of ejection. My thumb snaps down on my index after ejection and my arm/body follows through automatically. If I do this right, it seems almost impossible not to follow through.
Style #2: Shoulder rotation to open seems almost unnecessary; in fact, I seem to get a much better feeling if I keep myself perpendicular to the target and do not open up towards it. My motion is more or less restricted to the movement I learned in the hammer pound and towel snap drills. If I try to take any steps or turn my shoulders much, I automatically seem to revert to some version of Style #1. The hit, which I rarely achieve, feels like this: no distinct pressure point (like the pinch of Style #1), more like a pressure “zone”—vis., pressure of the rim against some or all of my fingers which turns into a feeling of pressure against the base of my thumb/palm. The disc feels like it almost rolls/bounces off this thumb base/palm and my wrist feels like it is open. I do not feel like I am pulling back on anything at all; instead I feel like I am almost pushing it forward, spinning or even “rolling” the edge of the disc with my palm as my wrist is snapping back to closed (which it does automatically). I am not facing my target when the disc leaves; as a result, it seems like the disc leaves sideways from my right side. The disc leaves with lots of spin, but apparently not much translational velocity (I think I’m doing something wrong?). None of my body seems to have any tendency to follow through (clockwise) after the disc leaves. My elbow does not keep opening, in fact, it closes (along w/ the wrist). My right forearm and wrist tend to want to finish pointing up and facing me, and my weight tends to want to finish back (over my left, instead of right leg).
Am I on the right track with any of my descriptions of the sensations at the hit and the motions leading to them? Am I correct in thinking Style #1 is probably the Swedish variation and Style #2 is more like Blake’s Secret technique? Which of the styles should I try to develop and which sensations should I pursue in practice? I’m thinking this Secret technique seems like the preferable option; but I have a lot of trouble actually getting throws from it. Often the disc leaves at an extreme angle to the right of my target line, or else it doesn’t spin much and goes like 30’. It’s not clear to me exactly where/how to apply pressure to the disc at the moment when it is fully loaded (when the timing is right)—and neither the towel drill nor hammer pound drill can teach this because those drills do not involve a disc actually leaving the hand. Also, I have no idea how to turn it into an actual drive because—as I mentioned—if I try to open myself up to the target and follow through at all, my throw morphs into Style #1. In Style #2, I can’t follow through. In Style #1, I can’t not follow through!
Thanks in advance. Sorry for the essay.