Sidearm drives -- what seems to work for me

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Sidearm drives -- what seems to work for me

Postby CJ1998 » Tue Jun 25, 2013 5:33 am

Before I say anything, I'll preface it by saying that I've only recently been using sidearm shots for anything more than just getting out of trouble. I have been far too inconsistent with it to feel confident using it off the tee. Also, the more hyzer I would try to put on the disc, the less power it had. This is just a reflection of where I am in my own progress but hopefully this information can help someone else out too.

After a field session yesterday, I found that I'm starting to get a much cleaner release by simply thinking about what makes the backhand technique go and how to adapt it to sidearm. By that I mean, generating power from your legs and hips and not from your arms. I had to go back to that backhand drill where you're trying to spin your shoulders as fast as you can -- just in the other direction. It felt really strange to me, but the result was much straighter, repeatable shots. In fact, I almost have to try not to move my arm too much or too fast. It's "slow, slow, slow...POP!" With the "POP" originating in my legs. The arm is just along for the ride until the very end. I don't know why it took me so long to figure this out when I read the same idea on this site every time I visit. Muscling sidearm shots with the arm hurts and it's not very effective. I knew this, but I guess I didn't spend enough time thinking about it or working on it.

The epiphany occurred, believe it or not, in throwing putters with my index finger supporting the middle of the disc (fingers making a "V" with the middle finger on the rim". When you do this for control, you barely move your arm at all, but the accuracy and efficiency of the throw is off the charts compared to what I was doing. Then I tried standstill shots with some other grips. The run up just throws me off at this point and I start to revert back to wildly swinging my arm without any hip or shoulder again. I plan to work that in slowly.

I have no idea how far these shots are going right now, but before, 220-240 was all I could expect. I could muscle overstable stuff out to about 300, but the cost was too great in terms of wear and tear on my arm and I had no idea where the disc was going to go out of my hand. I could really feel it after 6-10 shots.

To summarize, get a feel for it with a putter, just flicking the wrist without rolling it. Try that standstill wrist flick with a couple faster discs -- don't worry about the distance, just get a feel for a nice clean release on various angles without any kind of wrist roll. When you go to add some power, rotate the torso similarly to what you do for backhand shots, try to start it in the legs and hips and don't move your arm until the instant before you release. "Slow -- slow -- POP!".

This epiphany assumes a certain level of familiarity with the various sidearm instructional videos that are out there, including the technique troubleshooting section of this website. Even if you've read it -- it's good to go back and re-read after some time. Your own experience will enhance your understanding of these articles. Old habits die hard, as they say...
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Re: Sidearm drives -- what seems to work for me

Postby gretagun » Wed Jun 26, 2013 12:35 pm

Thanks for sharing your experience. I'm in the same boat you were in earlier; mainly using a sidearm to get out of trouble or an occasional approach shot. I have nothing to add, other than I plan on trying some of the suggestions you mentioned in your post.
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Re: Sidearm drives -- what seems to work for me

Postby JeffzeNub » Wed Jun 26, 2013 7:39 pm

gretagun wrote:Thanks for sharing your experience. I'm in the same boat you were in earlier; mainly using a sidearm to get out of trouble or an occasional approach shot. I have nothing to add, other than I plan on trying some of the suggestions you mentioned in your post.



ditto
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Re: Sidearm drives -- what seems to work for me

Postby Steady 26542 » Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:26 pm

I made the most progress when I watched the Mark Ellis video. Great stuff!
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Sidearm drives -- what seems to work for me

Postby Fightingthetide » Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:15 pm

I've found a slow cadence followed by acceleration only at the end of my throw helps tremendously. Making a change, like you have said, made a world of difference. Most recently I surprised myself by throwing a sneaky long FH shot, Star Wraith to 380'.

Sounds like you are on your way to throwing sidearm much more effectively. Keep it up.


It's funny how many sports rely on fluid movements that start out slow and accelerate through the motion - any kind of throwing sport, tennis, and surfing even. Anything else gives you a poor result.
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Re: Sidearm drives -- what seems to work for me

Postby itlnstln » Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:25 am

My sidearm was ass until I used the grenade analogy Brad Walker developed for backhand shots. I had a very hard time getting the edge of the disc around for some reason. When I applied the grenade logic to my sidearm, I could start getting some throws out ~250-300'. I keep my sidearm serviceable, I suppose. It still sucks in terms of really getting off the tee with it, but I can certainly use it on shorter holes and getting out of jams.
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Re: Sidearm drives -- what seems to work for me

Postby CJ1998 » Mon Jul 01, 2013 6:05 am

I hope I didn't over-complicate anything. The main thing about my own changes is the information is already available. It pays to go back and re-read articles and re-watch videos.

Some more observations I've made since trying to make this change. The practice basket at Hudson Mills is a great place to gauge things. I think that's around 280-290 in a straight line. I put two avengers pin-high about 25 feet out the other day. I also parked a couple 300 foot holes with a Force.

I haven't really tried smash anything yet because I'm giving it time and trying to develop some consistency. I still throw a couple straight into the ground once in a while and my arm certainly isn't used to it.
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Re: Sidearm drives -- what seems to work for me

Postby CJ1998 » Fri Aug 09, 2013 2:15 pm

New update -- now my #1 challenge is trying to hit the line and angle I envision before the throw. I'm also working to develop some consistency. As a general idea, I feel like my sidearm is where my backhand used to be in my second year of playing if that makes any sense to anyone. Another way to put it is once in a while I throw perfect shots that feel effortless, but most of the time they're just OK. I get down the fairway, but they don't end up where I necessarily want them to most of the time.

I tend to miss my sidearm shots in 3 ways.

One is nose up -- probably the least common for me, but once in a while -- when I try to throw a longer drive, I observe the classic climb and stall flight typical of a nose-up release.

The second way is a rightward release. This deficiency tends to be a lining up the shot issue or a slip-out issue. I have recently added the action of pointing my off hand at the line I'm trying to hit. It seems to work OK and also adds a little power.

The third way I miss is still turning and burning -- I tend to revert to old habits. There's really a benefit to practicing with slower and more understable discs when you have a tendency to overthrow. Did you turn it because of a sloppy release, or because of the physical limitations of the disc?

I've experienced some tightness in the elbow this is good and bad. I used to feel soreness in the middle of my elbow when throwing too many sidearm/overhand shots. Now I feel some tightness in the part of my elbow nearest to the ground when I hold my arm straight out with the back of my hand facing up. It's not really pain, but tightness. I assume it's tennis elbow, but I don't think it's full-blown. Either way, I'm being cautious with it. If I get a decent warm up with some dynamic stretching it's not a problem.
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Re: Sidearm drives -- what seems to work for me

Postby butter » Wed Aug 14, 2013 11:30 am

I find the biggest issue w people learning FH is the lack of snap like you mention, using OS driver over speed 7, and rolling thier wrist over.

A TB or Eagle is effortless 300' w 80% correct form.
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