The Best Way To Learn?

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The Best Way To Learn?

Postby soupdeluxe » Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:59 pm

Hey All
Reading another book about ball golf that applies to disc quite nicely. I came across this idea and thought it was kind of interesting. It is about a young girl learning golf.
"She wanted to know were leverage and power came from. She wanted to smack the ball. The author replys saying "this is not a bad attitude for a beginner. Studies have shown it is a mistake to teach a beginner to strive for accuracy in most sports. It is better to strive for speed. Typically girls are taught to throw for accuracy and boys are taught to throw hard." The author goes on to say "Later on in an athletes development it's possible to teach someone who has learned to throw hard or swing hard to perform with more control. But it is nearly impossible to teach speed once a pupil has learned to throw or swing for control."
This is how I learned to ball golf and to some degree disc. I started out in disc trying to throw hard. I then after the first year have been working from the hit backwards/hammerpound lessons. I do not regret any of this but when getting a lesson form a local pro he asked me to throw as hard as I could . Long story short I found i had lost the ability to "just let go and freely rip it" I was trying to throw hard and still remain in my rather ridgid framework of mechanics and that does not seem to work. I think you need that sort of wild free loose mental and physical state to execute a full out balls to the wall rip. I have been working on this and am expierencing some success but i'm learning all over again.
This seems to go against the "walk before you run" advice of this board and all the great teachers that post on it. What are your thoughts?
SD
PS the book is Golf is a Game of Confidence This book is a great read for the golfer Ball/Disc it does not matter.
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Re: The Best Way To Learn?

Postby JR » Sat Mar 23, 2013 6:16 am

I find it hard to believe the amount of knowledge in your head weighs you down so much that you cannot switch analysis off and zen no thinking just executing could not be applied. I claim i am able to do that and actually strive for that in practice and play. There is a time for planning and that is the pre throw routine after shot and disc selection that come after the analysis of the hole and conditions. Those are all mental activities. Once you've stepped to the initial position you can and i recommend should empty the mind and let the body do what it is supposed to and not let anything hamper it like thinking. That way i can get those balls out rips.
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 Best Way To Learn?

Postby Mark Ellis » Sat Mar 23, 2013 6:26 am

soupdeluxe wrote:Hey All
Reading another book about ball golf that applies to disc quite nicely. I came across this idea and thought it was kind of interesting. It is about a young girl learning golf.
"She wanted to know were leverage and power came from. She wanted to smack the ball. The author replys saying "this is not a bad attitude for a beginner. Studies have shown it is a mistake to teach a beginner to strive for accuracy in most sports. It is better to strive for speed. Typically girls are taught to throw for accuracy and boys are taught to throw hard." The author goes on to say "Later on in an athletes development it's possible to teach someone who has learned to throw hard or swing hard to perform with more control. But it is nearly impossible to teach speed once a pupil has learned to throw or swing for control."
This is how I learned to ball golf and to some degree disc. I started out in disc trying to throw hard. I then after the first year have been working from the hit backwards/hammerpound lessons. I do not regret any of this but when getting a lesson form a local pro he asked me to throw as hard as I could . Long story short I found i had lost the ability to "just let go and freely rip it" I was trying to throw hard and still remain in my rather ridgid framework of mechanics and that does not seem to work. I think you need that sort of wild free loose mental and physical state to execute a full out balls to the wall rip. I have been working on this and am expierencing some success but i'm learning all over again.
This seems to go against the "walk before you run" advice of this board and all the great teachers that post on it. What are your thoughts?
SD
PS the book is Golf is a Game of Confidence This book is a great read for the golfer Ball/Disc it does not matter.


Golf is a competitive game which attracts competitive players who by their very nature want to throw far. The urge to throw hard seems to be ingrained. How to control a disc is not instinctual. Therefore with beginners I seldom teach aggressiveness but often teach control.
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Re: The Best Way To Learn?

Postby discmonkey42 » Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:15 am

JR wrote:I find it hard to believe the amount of knowledge in your head weighs you down so much that you cannot switch analysis off and zen no thinking just executing could not be applied. I claim i am able to do that and actually strive for that in practice and play. There is a time for planning and that is the pre throw routine after shot and disc selection that come after the analysis of the hole and conditions. Those are all mental activities. Once you've stepped to the initial position you can and i recommend should empty the mind and let the body do what it is supposed to and not let anything hamper it like thinking. That way i can get those balls out rips.


Count yourself lucky that you can do this. Professional athletes pay thousands and thousands of dollars to sports psychologists to learn this skill. Turning my monkey brain off when throwing, especially in a tournament, and extra especially while putting in a tournament, is damn near impossible for me. It's honestly the single biggest obstacle between me and raising my rating by 50 points.
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Re: The Best Way To Learn?

Postby soupdeluxe » Sat Mar 23, 2013 5:58 pm

Hey
JR I wish it wasn't so but emptying my mind and just throwing is something I have had trouble with for a long time. During my ball golf days I would actually freeze up over the ball trying to think of all the stuff I needed to do to hit a good shot. I have been working on a preshot routine for the last few months that I believe will help me with this. From the reading I have done it sounds like this is not just something you get and then never need to worry about it again but an ongoing process. Given how precise you are on your descriptions of how to throw it is amazing to me you can just step up on the tee, shut it off and huck it. Are you Vulkan by any chance?
Discmonkey
We are definatly not the only ones who have this affliction. Like you said there are pro athletes that are willing to pay big bucks to learn this. I think that this aspect of the game is a lot more important than most people realize. That whole confidence/looseness cycle is hard to get and so easy to lose. I don't want this to turn into Oprahs book club but I would like to suggest you read Putting Out of Your Mind by DR Bob Rotella. It will change the way you think, practice and play.
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Re: The Best Way To Learn?

Postby JR » Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:09 am

The detail i try to convey in typing is meant to try to lessen the occurrence rate of communication breakdowns. So far it still happens :-) Another reason is to try to be able to help in giving people the exact same starting point or reference to what is possible to do so that they can deduce if there is something they could change to become a better thrower. The underlying reason for getting so many data points on so many different aspect of throwing is that in order to develop one should understand what is going on and why so that one can form hypotheses to test about what changes to make to gain improvements. And in self diagnosing about what went wrong with a failed throw so that i can try to eliminate it from the rest of the throws.

I think Blake is on the right track with the secret technique, hammer pound etc. drills in that he tries to teach the feel of a good throw. I don't know why the human brain works like it does but repeating a feeling is easier and more intuitive and less brain processing demanding than trying to guide even a few key movements under changing process in form development or power maximizing in a consolidated form throw. So far one key feeling i've found on all the best throws is the sense of ease of throwing. Nothing is forced, except the right leg stopping in place for a while, no movements are tight corners but smooth, flowing like water pushing the disc in only one direction in perfect harmony direction and timing wise. Hence the need for timing that Blake always emphasizes. After all if the timing between different movements is wrong the movements will not be optimally powerful and adding to the single direction of movement of the disc. Because a falsely timed movement pushes the disc in another direction than it is supposed to move at least for a while sapping some power.

The ease of feel is best achieved at first with yawning and exhaling fully then shaking the arms. All mammals share this biological trait (perhaps not whales) that yawning relaxes the body and the mind so you have the loosest, which equates to fastest possible, muscles. After that just start swinging the arm with nothing in it at moderate speed going loosey goosey in the beginning through the arm throwing motion. Then adding the right pec drill late acceleration. Then adding speed slowly trying to maintain that initial moderate speed without late acceleration looseness in the arms. That way no unnecessary muscle tension in the arm is going to retard the arm swing.

You should always feel the arm to be moving with a sense of ease. As you close full power you will notice that the arm muscles will need to work harder and they will inevitably tighten up doing the acceleration. The feel is different to trying to strong arm a fast movement. A strong armed arm swing will tighten the arm muscles like you were lifting weights.

A command from the brain to move quickly gets executed by the muscles automatically and in a different way. The muscles won't bulge into as wide a diameter but they feel like they are being stretched length wise (they actually probably are) so the diameter stays roughly the same but the muscles get harder and tenser like a stringed instrument string being tuned to play higher notes. The lengthening of the muscles feeling and probably physical stretching come from the tendons pulling the muscles. Wrist area tendons get pulled by the wrist bending back. Unless you lock the wrist. That would need as much power as in weight lifting bulging muscles as possible. And slowing down of the arm but in a hyper spin technique the hand can still be used to snap to the right of neutral after locking the wrist straight. I'm not sure that a 100 % locking into straight is the best way but i'm injured and lack muscle power so i have not been able to throw as well as i'd like to to be able to find out the best way to wrist snap. I cannot speak from exhaustive experience by no means on that topic.

Once you know how to swing the arm feeling ease (it applies to some extent to the waist and the shoulders too but you need more tension to maintain posture) and letting the body interpret the brain commands by not bulging but stretching the muscles you have entered the balls out zone. Try to think and "force" more power into the throw you'll mot likely bulge the muscles and retard the arm speed. That is the brain mind fucking you. If you have an automated throw from practice and confidence in your throwing in that you've done it a thousand times and get results that are good enough for this hole you only mess up in thinking. Thinking will most likely only change your form via doubts. Knowing this you need to just be calm and trusting and just do it. Nike ain't wrong in that.

Before you get up to perfect form automation you might have weak links in the throw and those can be improved on via conscious commands from the brain. I've noticed that my automation is not firing the hips (spine damage and subconscious protection), shoulders (inadequate shifting of power from the too slowly moving hips) and the active muscle using shoulder turn and the arm whip from the shoulder socket to the right and stopping of the elbow and the wrist. In different mixes and severity grades. There is too much to try to optimize for each throw consciously so i try to actively yank the shoulders and whip the arm around from the shoulder socket now. When i get that working for that session i switch my mind to the elbow stop and if i get it tot work the wrist stop. Sometimes i get some of those working sometimes all of it and on worst days none. On the worst days i'm usually exhausted so my muscles just cannot provide 100 % results. Well i should actually add leg stopping to that list since it is new for this winter for me. Again injuries so before this winter i've needed to spare my body the strain. It is not fully automated but easy to get going (i probably have enough leg power at least in shorter sessions for the leg stop).

So far i've noticed that in needing to consciously optimize a lacking area of automation does not take anything away from the automated movements. YMMV.

Mentally you need to avoid questioning yourself and that means being calm and trusting in your body, form and automation. Which needs working a lot on consistency. Probably powering down to 80 % level for consistency. It works wonders when you train it. For both the physical execution and the trust level in yourself. Success breeds success so when you know that you can perform you'll be in the right place head wise so you will not lessen your execution having unnecessary thoughts and doubts getting in the way of the throw. Scott Stokely said in approaching around obstacles to the green that it is ok to not throw at the basket but 10' to the side -come you can make a 10' putt. Come on you can pull off this shot. That is the confidence everyone wanting to improve needs to have. You need confidence for every throw during the round.

See the Discraft Putting Confidence Clinic that talks about building confidence in putting. The same goes for approaches and drives and how you train.
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 Best Way To Learn?

Postby soupdeluxe » Sun Mar 24, 2013 5:46 am

Hey JR
First off I understand you are just trying to be clear with your descriptions of the throw and I was just kidding about being possibly related to Spock.
You may have hit the nail on the head as far as far as throwing by feel vs position. I think I throw by position so when asked to throw as hard as possible I felt as though I was sort of pausing at all these points throughout. Those "tight corners" you refer to. I field practice 5 days a week and play once a week average (family,job puts a lid on my time). In the field I have been throwing 80% to targets soo long it felt very foriegn throwing any harder than that. I was stuck in a way.
The mentally trusting yourself is key. Better to be wrong and decisive than not being fully commited to a shot. I do this a lot less than I used to where I can't decide, think I have decided and then change during the throw. This does not work out well. Just a thought here, maybe could we get Blake to develope a "right lobe or left lobe or brain stem drill" for this?
If the discraft clinic is the one Mr Ellis recommends I am fully on board. I don't always spend 30 min. a day doing it but I do putt daily. His method also is the same as that putting book I have been pushing. Both emphasize working on short makeable putts so you build that confidence and do not even mention form. I have pushed back what I consider have to make from about 12 to 15 feet. I know this sounds like pretty short stuff but I used to miss these.
Lastly thank you for responding to everyones questions. I don't always understand your answers fully but the way you do so shows how committed you are to helping.
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Re: The Best Way To Learn?

Postby andrew » Thu Mar 28, 2013 2:59 pm

soupdeluxe wrote:Studies have shown it is a mistake to teach a beginner to strive for accuracy in most sports. It is better to strive for speed.


I'm going to be that guy who gives an opinion without reading the novellas that were previously posted, so apologies in advance for that.

I used to be a drummer who practiced around 6 hours a day and also taught private drum lessons for many years. In learning to drum, it was a waste of time trying to play fast without first learning to play accurately, UNLESS you were a prodigy who was born with no mechanical defects. In other words, the way you naturally move is the way you're "supposed" to move.

When teaching lessons, I could immediately see what a drummer was doing wrong in terms of coordination. When I first started teaching, I was pretty flustered that I couldn't simply point out some simple mechanical thing to a student and have them say, "Oh okay," and fix it. You had to coerce them into practicing something slowly and repeating it, gradually increasing the speed, until it was so ingrained in their muscle memory that they could stop thinking about the movements without the bad habits returning.

There are always two battles going on in learning a skill- one mental, one physical. When I was drumming at my best, I entered a zone where I was simply listening to (and seeing (synesthesia)) music and letting it move me. There were times when I'd start hearing this drum part and I'd think, Wow, that sounds pretty cool, and then belatedly realize that sound was ME.

I guess my goal when playing disc golf is to watch an awesome shot fly through the air and then think, wow, that was ME.

Okay, that's my 2 cents.
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Re: The Best Way To Learn?

Postby bsnone1 » Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:29 pm

This thread hits home to comparisons to ball golf for me. My father was a tennis player and a golfer and he swore by a book "The Inner Game of Tennis" and later "The Inner Game of Golf". A few years into my ball golf career I read the book to try and learn to quiet the mind during my swing - so easy to get caught up in rotating the hips, turning the shoulders, drive the back leg, release the club head - it went on and on... The book taught me to quiet the mind to a simple "back" during the backswing and "hit" when I contacted the ball. That is, my body knew what a good golf shot was - knew how to make solid contact with the ball but my mid would get so caught up in the minutia of the swing that would lead to mistakes.

I haven't found this formula for disc golf - partially because I think I am still so new to the sport and while I can have a few great throws a round I still have form issues (AKA, I don't snap/hit/pound/guesswhatImaxoutat330) but I can usually calm the mind my thinking one thought - maybe it is "nose down" or maybe it is "Drive the hips" Essentially once I'm thinking about more than one thing my shot goes to hell.

This week I started up the Ellis Putting Confidence routine and while work and school get in the way of two 15 minute session per day, I make sure I find time for one (if I didn't share walls will my neighbors I'd putt in the morning before I leave for work but don't want to wake anyone up at 5:45) session per day. It's amazing for the psyche what watching putt after putt after putt ching into the basket will do.
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Re: The Best Way To Learn?

Postby mark12b » Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:06 pm

bsnone1 wrote:Essentially once I'm thinking about more than one thing my shot goes to hell.

I had a bowling pro tell me the same thing -- don't try to focus on more than one thing per shot.
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Re: The Best Way To Learn?

Postby Mark Ellis » Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:20 pm

Learning the physical mechanics of a sport is distinct from performance under pressure in that sport. So a player's physical ability can be far greater than their performance under pressure shows. This topic has sort of morphed into a mental toughness AND physical skill development when those two things are very different.

Until you can do something well without pressure (a particular shot for example) you have no chance of doing it well under pressure. So the base physical skills are the starting place for learning a sport. Performance under pressure is an advanced skill and one which requires life long effort to develop and maintain. It also requires a degree of personal confidence that needs to draw on past success in other areas of life.

Life continually sends new challenges. Even the greatest athletes will deal with personal troubles (psychic challenges) and injury or aging (physical challenges).

The best sports coach I ever had told me that if your life is screwed up then your game is screwed up.
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Re: The Best Way To Learn?

Postby JR » Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:14 pm

Psychology wise i think it is the lizard brain that you need to go after and that requires automation, teaching the brain what it needs to know about the mechanics and allowing it to carry it out. While not worrying about anything. Fly be free and enjoy it don't over think it.

One important part in learning is allow yourself to make mistakes when trying new things and adding power. Adding another 5 % of power makes the discs fly differently and make the throw way harder so you are bound to make mistakes. It happens and at times with a 100 % failure rate but you cannot be discouraged by it. It is the name of the game and yet another hurdle you need to cross. The good thing is that others have gone before so you know it can be done unlike the trail blazers. You just need to stick with it.

Mark some people over think and perform less than their general (not disc golf specific) athletic ability allows them to. Some few can be gifted and/or experienced enough in other movements to be able to intuitively throw well. These few can actually become better throwers under pressure mentally thus quieting doubts about themselves and instinctively use all their creativity to craft a beautiful shot.

The sad thing for me, apart from being ungifted physically, is that i sell myself short knowing i'm minced meat for life with no possibility for parole with current state of affairs in medical circles so i tend to not worry too much about success in competition. So i'm too casual for me development much of the time when playing and doing fun rounds. It is no wonder that when i'm competing i focus and concentrate and think more in competition and perform better under pressure. On the days my body does not let me down.

It helps to have pressure handling ability from before and it may not need to be sports competition either. The head is the head and when it's been put through all manner of pressure it should be take on more without a hitch. Winning yourself first and others far behind in order of importance is nice for playing under pressure in disc golf but also in any other endeavor if a healthy self respect for your abilities is the result. It should be. You need to know yourself and you can be surprised by how good you can become when training intelligently and long and hard enough.
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 Best Way To Learn?

Postby Mark Ellis » Fri Mar 29, 2013 6:25 am

JR wrote:Psychology wise i think it is the lizard brain that you need to go after and that requires automation, teaching the brain what it needs to know about the mechanics and allowing it to carry it out. While not worrying about anything. Fly be free and enjoy it don't over think it.

The sad thing for me, apart from being ungifted physically, is that i sell myself short knowing i'm minced meat for life with no possibility for parole with current state of affairs in medical circles so i tend to not worry too much about success in competition. So i'm too casual for me development much of the time when playing and doing fun rounds. It is no wonder that when i'm competing i focus and concentrate and think more in competition and perform better under pressure. On the days my body does not let me down. .


Lizard Brain? :D If by this you mean brain dead, don't think about it just do it, block out the pressure so it doesn't affect you, then I disagree.

Pressure can be crippling and perhaps the first step to overcoming pressure is to block it out. But this is not the long term path to excellence. Embracing pressure and making it work for you doesn't just negate pressure, it uses it as a benefit. So to compete against the best you must not avoid pressure, you must use it. Because that is what the best are doing against you.

Pressure (danger, fear, anxiety) creates adrenalin and a fight or flight response. The choice to fight means overcoming fear. No one can be courageous until they feel fear and overcome it. To block out that adrenalin rush and work yourself into a mellow, carefree state is only false armor used by the mentally weak. I can only hope my opponents retreat into a shell but I know the good ones will not.

JR, as for your injuries and their limitations, you are only hopeless once you have lost hope. Medical science has no crystal balls. If there is one shot your body allows you, today or in the future, then there remains hope. Look at the Legends division ( 70 years +). Most of these guys have physical problems and find ways around them. Forehand rollers give more distance with less strain than any other shot and the Legends become great at this shot.
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Re: The Best Way To Learn?

Postby JR » Sat Mar 30, 2013 3:35 am

I contemplated if i should write a disclaimer about the lizard brain and thought nah it'll be much more fun without it and scored :-D

Lizard brain refers to the oldest most animalistic part of the human brain the sort of gut feeling fly by the seat of your pants. It embraces the adrenaline and turns it into an advantage so i agree with you. One does need to gain power from the pressure of you're fucked if you don't rise up to the plate situation. However; you do not need to develop an ulcer (yeah i know it comes from a bacteria) from needing to stress yourself by i need to do this right mentality. Meaning insulating yourself from pressure is ok in my books in most cases as long as it is used to not perform worse than your average when your average is enough. And that requires getting your form right and automated and accurate enough with consistency. While trusting yourself to be able to do what is needed for the hole. That comes from knowing that you've practiced and performed well enough normally.

I mentioned before that one needs experience from being under pressure and performing well under it. Crumbling under pressure is not an option.

I BH over 400' despite my injuries and have tried to pull all the stops i've used to protect myself this winter. I need to play during the summer at normal frequency to see if my body can take the abuse. Assuming i even gain anything. Still try rolling in Finland and most courses will punish you more than reward. We just don't have enough people to maintain the courses in good enough condition to roll. I'm not limited by D first. Consistency is another matter.
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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