Heel Pivot and Weight Transfer

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Heel Pivot and Weight Transfer

Postby CloudySkyJedi » Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:40 am

I've read numerous posts about the aspects of foot pivot. In trying to convert from a toe pivot to a heel pivot, I'm running into a few problems.

I understand the dynamics of how it needs to happen, but I can't get my weight shift right to where a heel pivot feels right. In my understanding, land on corner of big toe, transfer to heel with foot oriented less than 90 degrees toward target, pull up on ball of foot to allow heel to pivot.

This is where things start to fall apart. I used to strong arm with a toe pivot just b/c of the momentum of everything else forcing it to happen, but in reworking my throw (understanding and implementing the hit) I can't get my weight back to my heel. It feels like my forward momentum forces all my weight to the front of my foot.

I have tried shortening my steps, reducing the length of my final plant step, concentrating on getting my weight forward (don't think I've quite mastered this) but everything seems to shove the weight to the front of my foot, leading to an involuntary toe pivot that's late, well into the follow through.

When I actually get the heel to pivot, it feels like my weight is back not forward, and I feel like I could actually fall off balance to the left. RHBH

Any thoughts?
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Re: Heel Pivot and Weight Transfer

Postby JR » Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:09 am

Weight shift has at least two main components to it. The push of the left leg forward plus the running momentum vs the bracing of the right leg. Shortening the steps and slowing down doesn't help much if your knees are too straight and there's not enough movement distance to push with the left leg. Or the push is too slow or weak. The faster you go the harder it is to push faster with the left leg than your momentum is.

Who said that the toes should be pointed less than 90 degrees away from the target? When? When the toe side hits the ground you can easily be pointing your back at the target along with both heels so the toe is 180 away from the target. The turning toward the target is a two part movement with the pause in between. The first 90 degrees of toe and mostly chest pointing direction is moving from 180 away to 90 away from the momentum without an active push of the left leg. Then comes the pause where nothing turns fast from 90 left of the target toward the target and the arm moves forward to the right pec position and from there the real works starts.

I have too little personal experience due to too sore ankle after surgery of heel pivots at high power but the way i understand and do it (Feldy too) is to move from the toe to the heel with the back still at the target. I think i have a tendency to move the toes to 90 degrees left of the target too early because i think that during the pause the foot could be as much as 120-130 degrees left of the target if you're flexible when you reach the right pec. And from there the real power input starts along with the rest of the heel pivot. The way i imagine things to be without enough experience is that force equal mass times acceleration. Acceleration rate increases to the max the later you can rotate the body. So if you spin out too early on the heel with less than foot 90 degrees away at the right pec you'll compromise the late acceleration. Things aren't so simple. In reality people vary and you need to maximize the speed and acceleration at the hit simultaneously. I don't have an idea or data about which to compromise if one needs to be sacrificed for the other. Long bombers here claim that they throw the farthest ripping at full power from the plant step. If they can maintain good acceleration of the disc throughout the hit they are set and we should envy. Really because that is an awesome performance and these guys are athletic. Muscle mass... For us mortals we need to find our current optimum acceleration point for the arm as well as how late the main latter part of the heel pivot should start and from which foot pointing direction. While getting the elbow forward. Something these local bomber don't do too much with the disc away from the right pec but not the left with a curving x step. So there are many different ways to skin a cat.
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: Heel Pivot and Weight Transfer

Postby keltik » Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:20 pm

bend your knees.
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Re: Heel Pivot and Weight Transfer

Postby CloudySkyJedi » Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:17 pm

I think pushing with the left leg is what I'm missing / not actively doing. I will work on this.

I can't remember where I read (on DGR) about the foot orientation being less than 90 degrees. I think it was by either Blake T or Brad Walker. What I remember was someone saying that us normal folks might get an easier pivot by being less than 90 after the shift from toe to heel. They said someone with a background as a pitcher in baseball may be able to get away with 90+ degrees. But don't quote me. But I ran into Mr. Schusterick a few weeks ago and asked him to describe heel pivot and he said the same thing.

On another topic, is there a recommended app for an iPhone for recording and uploading vids? I'm not about to go buy a video camera just to get my throw on this site for critique.
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Re: Heel Pivot and Weight Transfer

Postby JR » Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:18 pm

Not an Apple fan except the edible kind. I agree in the less than 90 degree angle at plant being easier to learn with but in time you'll want to stretch the legs to get more D.
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: Heel Pivot and Weight Transfer

Postby zj1002 » Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:05 pm

Going off the thread title I'll say this

The foot itself isn't strong enough to create significant power. It just sets up the hips and stronger leg muscles to push forward. Trying to twist your foot certain ways won't be a hit/snap changer. Learn first to time the hips/shoulders. Then when that's stronger you can adjust your feet some. It's like a putt stance almost in that you never throw the same drive twice on a course. Your putt stance should react to the course but your fundamentals allow you to do this despite having awkward footing. With a drive you will need to plant at certain angles that might change, but your weight transfer from the hips/legs never change. That timing always needs to be there. Foot plant angles, not so much unless you are trying to add 10-15ft to a 525ft throw
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Re: Heel Pivot and Weight Transfer

Postby JR » Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:07 pm

The main function of the foot angle is to allow a long enough reach back to reach the target.
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: Heel Pivot and Weight Transfer

Postby iacas » Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:07 pm

CloudySkyJedi wrote:On another topic, is there a recommended app for an iPhone for recording and uploading vids? I'm not about to go buy a video camera just to get my throw on this site for critique.


The built-in one is fine. HD video and a pretty good lens.

You're not really going to get a good one if you want true high-speed. It's not really built for that and some apps do it (poorly) in software.
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Re: Heel Pivot and Weight Transfer

Postby CloudySkyJedi » Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:30 pm

After practicing this weekend, I think I'm a lot closer to understanding how the timing of the hips / shoulders generate a proper throw. As these two things happen somewhat correctly, actively pushing the left foot causes the right leg / foot to naturally pivot on their own accord; so it's simply a byproduct of other things happening correctly.

I also realized that before, I wasn't bending my knee enough if at all.

Now the only trick is getting down the timing of everything else. It seems like now with my new found body movements the disc is coming out about 20ish degrees late of what my feet are in line with. This, I believe comes down to the timing of it all.

How close is this to the order of the kinetic chain?
Right Big toe touches ground, hips begin to rotate pushing right heel into ground foot oriented perpendicular to target. Disc is paused for a micro second while this happens.

Next disc needs to move into the pocket with a smooth movement that is soft in muscle firings, with attention to where elbow is pointing. Disc needs to "clear" or be in front of left pec during contraction, while engaging inside forearm muscles to curl wrist and "put it in the pocket."

Next, you're looking for a torso / shoulder rotation coupled with a tendon bounce then the wrist starts to reverse directions and begin opening. Forearm muscles begin to wake up because of directional change of disc. This it the beginning of the disc pivot.

After getting it in the pocket, left leg pushes down creating weight forward characteristics while right heel / leg begin to pivot, as torso, shoulders continue to open, wrist continues pivoting disc.

Grip and pinch now kick in on the last 12 inches or so of the extension to hang on to the disc past the critical point of early releases, slips and micro slips while wrist fully extends. The force and power of the pinch need to be much stronger than any other muscle firings thus far in the throw.

The goal is to time a full disc pivot and pinch with all the shoulder, torso, and lower body movements so that everything results in a BANG when the arm reaches its full length pointed at the target.

At this point, the right heel should have pivoted pointing at or beyond the target (depending on power of throw). Hips and shoulders should be open, and facing at or near perpendicular to target. While the disc has bounced from right pec and done a full pivot and wrist has completely opened before disc has left the hand.

All of this leads to an outflow of energy to the right, pulling away from target.

This may not be in the exact order, that's what I'm trying to figure out. But that's what I believe to be all the components of a good throw.

I know that this is off topic from the original post, but I wasn't understanding the weight shift and how it created power, but the only "symptom" I had was a shoddy foot pivot. The foot pivot has resolved, and now I'm trying to figure out the kinetic chain and the timings.

I feel like I know everything I need to be doing, but not doing it all correctly at the same time...

My typical miss has the disc leaving 20 or so degrees late of the target line. But with a full hits worth of force.

What am I missing?
Last edited by CloudySkyJedi on Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Heel Pivot and Weight Transfer

Postby JR » Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:36 pm

It is too late and i'm too tired to go through this with enough attention and thought and write a proper reply so i'll get back to this 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: Heel Pivot and Weight Transfer

Postby CloudySkyJedi » Mon Oct 15, 2012 1:31 pm

When I get it right it feels like 4 parts firing in a chain.

Hips, torso, left leg, wrist.

The shoulder and left leg seem to go at about the same time.
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Re: Heel Pivot and Weight Transfer

Postby JR » Mon Oct 15, 2012 3:12 pm

In general the left leg should start the sequence with non skipping moving down to up. So the hips then the shoulders then the elbow chop and the wrist movement and the disc pivot. But people throw faaar with the arm moving in a straight line about or to the rip without moving the hips and the shoulders much or at all and chest facing 90 degree or close to it left of the target. Less moving parts. Shusterick stills lately here isn't too far off of that way to throw.
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: Heel Pivot and Weight Transfer

Postby JR » Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:48 am

CloudySkyJedi wrote:After practicing this weekend, I think I'm a lot closer to understanding how the timing of the hips / shoulders generate a proper throw. As these two things happen somewhat correctly, actively pushing the left foot causes the right leg / foot to naturally pivot on their own accord; so it's simply a byproduct of other things happening correctly.

I also realized that before, I wasn't bending my knee enough if at all.

Now the only trick is getting down the timing of everything else. It seems like now with my new found body movements the disc is coming out about 20ish degrees late of what my feet are in line with. This, I believe comes down to the timing of it all.

How close is this to the order of the kinetic chain?
Right Big toe touches ground, hips begin to rotate pushing right heel into ground foot oriented perpendicular to target. Disc is paused for a micro second while this happens.

Next disc needs to move into the pocket with a smooth movement that is soft in muscle firings, with attention to where elbow is pointing. Disc needs to "clear" or be in front of left pec during contraction, while engaging inside forearm muscles to curl wrist and "put it in the pocket."

Next, you're looking for a torso / shoulder rotation coupled with a tendon bounce then the wrist starts to reverse directions and begin opening. Forearm muscles begin to wake up because of directional change of disc. This it the beginning of the disc pivot.

After getting it in the pocket, left leg pushes down creating weight forward characteristics while right heel / leg begin to pivot, as torso, shoulders continue to open, wrist continues pivoting disc.

Grip and pinch now kick in on the last 12 inches or so of the extension to hang on to the disc past the critical point of early releases, slips and micro slips while wrist fully extends. The force and power of the pinch need to be much stronger than any other muscle firings thus far in the throw.

The goal is to time a full disc pivot and pinch with all the shoulder, torso, and lower body movements so that everything results in a BANG when the arm reaches its full length pointed at the target.

At this point, the right heel should have pivoted pointing at or beyond the target (depending on power of throw). Hips and shoulders should be open, and facing at or near perpendicular to target. While the disc has bounced from right pec and done a full pivot and wrist has completely opened before disc has left the hand.

All of this leads to an outflow of energy to the right, pulling away from target.

This may not be in the exact order, that's what I'm trying to figure out. But that's what I believe to be all the components of a good throw.

I know that this is off topic from the original post, but I wasn't understanding the weight shift and how it created power, but the only "symptom" I had was a shoddy foot pivot. The foot pivot has resolved, and now I'm trying to figure out the kinetic chain and the timings.

I feel like I know everything I need to be doing, but not doing it all correctly at the same time...

My typical miss has the disc leaving 20 or so degrees late of the target line. But with a full hits worth of force.

What am I missing?


No wrist curling please check out the Discraft long throwing clinic with Marty Peters for an illustration of hyper spin technique.

Kinetic chain change: The toe can point more than 90 degrees away from the target depending on how far you want to reach back and how hard you want to pivot and how limber the ankle is.

You are absolutely right about the need to pinch lights out hard late in the throw. If you want to concentrate on one aspect of the throw alone this is it. Anything you've made prior to this vanishes if the pinch is too light and the disc slips out.

Missing 20 degrees right may have several possible sources. Do you reach back to the left and move the arm from rear left to front right? Do you pull far away from the chest? Do you start the arm pull before you plant the final step? All of these can lead to missing right.
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: Heel Pivot and Weight Transfer

Postby CloudySkyJedi » Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:59 am

I watched the slow motion vid of Avery Jenkins and one of Will Schusterick and a lot of things clicked.

What was happening is I was applying power at the wrong time. I was so focused on getting the disc in the "pocket" and waiting for something magical to happen that by the time my pinch power caught up with all of that momentum, I was grip locking well past the hit point and the disc wasn't leaving until the point of maximum arm extension. 20-30 degrees late of my target line.

The timing of the elbow chop needed to happen quicker and less powerfully, with the focus on the wrist extension and pinch happening BEFORE the target line and hit point.

In order to do this correctly I had to slow way down.

It seems now that I need to be focusing on three things,
1. Solid footwork, which promotes heel pivot and weight forward
2. Timing the hip rotation just before elbow chop and shoulder rotation, and staying on plane
3. Everything works up to the wrist extension and pinch. Apply quickness, not force, to everything happening before they kick in.

Applying too much speed or force too quickly caused me to forget to focus everything on the timing of the wrist extension and pinch.
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Re: Heel Pivot and Weight Transfer

Postby JR » Tue Oct 16, 2012 11:06 am

There is a delay in the signal leaving the brain and going to the fingers during which the arm moves so the command needs to be anticipated and sent out ahead of time. Only experimenting with different command send times allows you to pin point what the best timing is for you.
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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