Sidearm Woes - Just Learning

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Sidearm Woes - Just Learning

Postby mgilbert » Tue Jul 09, 2013 12:47 pm

I've read dozens of posts and articles, and watched dozens of videos... I've throw RHBH for years, and do OK for an old man, but I simply can't get anywhere learning sidearm. My throws wobble, and go about 20 feet! Could someone point out a few of the mistakes people make when first learning sidearm? I think I'm following all the instructions I've read, but I can't get anywhere with this...
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Re: Sidearm Woes - Just Learning

Postby Stringbean » Tue Jul 09, 2013 1:18 pm

I have convinced myself that it is impossible to throw sidearm. All video of persons throwing sidearm were computer generated. It is a conspiracy conjured by Innova so they could sell more discs specifically designed to be thrown with this imaginary technique.
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Re: Sidearm Woes - Just Learning

Postby mgilbert » Tue Jul 09, 2013 1:21 pm

Stringbean wrote:I have convinced myself that it is impossible to throw sidearm. All video of persons throwing sidearm were computer generated. It is a conspiracy conjured by Innova so they could sell more discs specifically designed to be thrown with this imaginary technique.


I am beginning to think the same thing.
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Re: Sidearm Woes - Just Learning

Postby PMantle » Tue Jul 09, 2013 1:27 pm

Stringbean wrote:I have convinced myself that it is impossible to throw sidearm. All video of persons throwing sidearm were computer generated. It is a conspiracy conjured by Innova so they could sell more discs specifically designed to be thrown with this imaginary technique.

+1.

Oh, and don't watch Mike C do it. Makes me want to vomit.

If I had any kind of forehand at all, I could easily drop 5 strokes per round at my course. A few holes are begging for it. Instead, I have to try some huge flip. Mamba/Amp/Archangel/Meteor save the day for me.
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Re: Sidearm Woes - Just Learning

Postby Stringbean » Tue Jul 09, 2013 1:36 pm

Yeah, Mike C is also in on the conspiracy. I heard that MVP sends him a crisp Lincoln for every computer enhanced video that shows him throwing arrow straight 350 foot sidearm drives with a Shock or Volt.
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Re: Sidearm Woes - Just Learning

Postby discraft » Tue Jul 09, 2013 2:35 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvmePaqMFcQ
This is how I learned. Nothing else worked for me. Wobble means not enough spin which comes from arm moving faster than the wrist. Slow down the arm. The wrist has to move faster than the arm to get rid of the wobble.
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Re: Sidearm Woes - Just Learning

Postby luma » Tue Jul 09, 2013 2:58 pm

I am also still in the learning process of my sidearm. I will just write down some stuff that I discovered about sidearms in the last couple of weeks that really gave it a boost. At the moment my sidearm is good for any shots up to 300' into a 50' diameter circle. Still working on the perfectly clean release to get more distance and some cleaner S curves out of it.

Anyway, the first thing I found out that it helped me a lot to minimize the wrist motion. Before your throw just hold the arm and wrist in the relase position and then fix the wrist in that position. From there don't move your wrist unless that quick snap forward in the release. That should be the first thing to keep wobbling down.

Second thing I discovered (which is pretty stupid actually) is that my fingers were orientated the wrong way. I had them point upward and rather hold the disc, so the fingenails were pointing down towards the ground. Just three days ago I somehow found out that the forehand was much much much easier by pressing the fingers against the inner side of the rim so my nails point away from the target during release. I mean it's logical, that you can thro it easier when you can generate the snap by pushing against the rim rather than doing a turning motion with the hand so the disc starts to spin. I hope you know what I mean with that...

That was the real boost to my forehand. Where it was inconsistent before it is now basically free of wobbling, I just need to get a feeling for release angles, but that will come :)
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Re: Sidearm Woes - Just Learning

Postby Stringbean » Tue Jul 09, 2013 3:03 pm

discraft wrote:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvmePaqMFcQ
This is how I learned. Nothing else worked for me. Wobble means not enough spin which comes from arm moving faster than the wrist. Slow down the arm. The wrist has to move faster than the arm to get rid of the wobble.


I can get a lot of spin but still wobble. I think it is the rotation of my wrist on an uneven plane what is causing the problem.
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Re: Sidearm Woes - Just Learning

Postby mgilbert » Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:47 am

Well, some people are saying to minimize wrist motion, and others are saying it is all in the wrist! I guess different things work for different people. After more experimentation, it does seem that keeping the pads of the fingers on the rim works better - rather than having the pads of the fingers on the flight plate. What is beginning to work for me is throwing with the wrist, basically snapping the disc away with the fingers. I was able to get a few 75 foot, wobble free throws that way. When I start incorporating very much arm, though, the wobble returns.

Thanks for the video link - he seemed to be recommending a lot of wrist action, too. And thanks for the posts. More insights would be appreciated.
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Re: Sidearm Woes - Just Learning

Postby PMantle » Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:37 am

I do really well with escape shots and other short flicks. I really need to incorporate those more into my game, as I can predict a starting line better in the trees than back hand. The problem comes when I try to put any power at all into it. There is no telling where the disc will go other than short. Another thing is, I have no feel for what disc does what forehand. I promise to practice this winter if my shoulder ever recovers.
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Re: Sidearm Woes - Just Learning

Postby punch » Wed Jul 10, 2013 9:17 am

I am not great at side arm but what helped me learn to throw was when I bought a innova gator. All of my side arm throws would wobble and go nowhere. I bought the gator for a wind/over stable mid backhand shots and now its my go to side arm shot out to 250 ft. I use the two finger side arm power grip and it is mostly wrist action. Keep your elbow near your waist, twist your shoulders and flick the wrist. My friends with no side arm have also been able to throw side arm with this disc. I am much better throwing side arm with all of my discs now and I am working with my drivers to get a better side arm drive for 250 +.
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Re: Sidearm Woes - Just Learning

Postby Mark Ellis » Wed Jul 10, 2013 10:46 am

mgilbert wrote:I've read dozens of posts and articles, and watched dozens of videos... I've throw RHBH for years, and do OK for an old man, but I simply can't get anywhere learning sidearm. My throws wobble, and go about 20 feet! Could someone point out a few of the mistakes people make when first learning sidearm? I think I'm following all the instructions I've read, but I can't get anywhere with this...


From teaching many players over the years I have noticed that some players have no snap and this kills their forehand attempts.

For anyone who has a sports background in throwing or racquet sports, for example, snap is essential. So if you can throw a baseball or hit a raquetball with power then you have snap and it is only a matter of learning to transfer this snap to a forehand shot.

If you have no snap then it may be a long time developing it from scratch.

If you have snap then keep trying as it will come with concentrated practice. All you need to do is release the disc flat with snap. You don't need to throw hard. With the power it takes to throw a baseball from 2nd base to 1st base you can throw a disc over 200 feet on a laser.

Or you can cheat. Find a good forehander to give you an in-person lesson. This will speed up the learning process. If you have decent snap I can have you throwing clean shots in 10 minutes.
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Re: Sidearm Woes - Just Learning

Postby mgilbert » Wed Jul 10, 2013 10:58 am

Mark, I assume the term "snap" for a sidearm throw means something different than it does for a backhand throw? As I understand it, when throwing a backhand, the snap comes when the disc rips itself from the hand, and the fingers snap against the thumb. On a backhand, a tight grip is required, and the wrist doesn't move much, if at all. As I am understanding it, on a forehand throw, there is a lot of wrist action, and the term "snap" refers to the wrist snapping around as the disc is thrown and released??? Do I have that right?

Too bad you are so far away. I could use a lesson or two on this - well, on everything...
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Re: Sidearm Woes - Just Learning

Postby seabas22 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:21 pm

That Chris Woj vid is the best IMO. Ain't nobody skipped stones? Thrown a baseball or football sidearm/submarine? I use more of an underhanded delivery and no problem throwing 400'.

Bad weight shift is probably the biggest thing I see in bad FH throws, ie throwing like a girl with the weight stuck on the rear leg. I've been told I have the laziest FH in disc golf because I use my body mostly, it's all about weight shift timed on the front leg with the unloading of the lower arm, wrist/fingers. The wrist doesn't even have to move a lot, it's just got to be loaded more like a spring during the throw.

"Snap" is the wrist action, not noise. It's really the same BH and FH but the levers are all backwards.

Montage of FH tee shots, then BH(which has changed quite a bit):


Here's a vid where I throw a lot of different FH approach shots:
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Re: Sidearm Woes - Just Learning

Postby Mark Ellis » Thu Jul 11, 2013 7:06 am

mgilbert wrote:Mark, I assume the term "snap" for a sidearm throw means something different than it does for a backhand throw? As I understand it, when throwing a backhand, the snap comes when the disc rips itself from the hand, and the fingers snap against the thumb. On a backhand, a tight grip is required, and the wrist doesn't move much, if at all. As I am understanding it, on a forehand throw, there is a lot of wrist action, and the term "snap" refers to the wrist snapping around as the disc is thrown and released??? Do I have that right?

Too bad you are so far away. I could use a lesson or two on this - well, on everything...


Hey seabass22, nice power. I love the reverse shots on the video when the discs comes back to your hand.

mgilbert, Snap is critically important for both backhand and forehand. If you put a cast on your throwing wrist (like for a broken bone) you would lose much of your power either forehand or backhand. Imagine trying to putt with a cast on.

Snap is different for forehand and backhand. It is a different motion but the concept is the same. It is possible to have much better snap one way than the other. I know because I have good snap forehand but weak snap backhand. Snap comes from wrist action. It is mostly independent from arm speed. So any given player (or any given shot) may have good snap or poor snap and fast arm speed or slow arm speed.

Snap is the magic that makes a jump putt work. A player with great snap can jump putt from 100 feet and make it look effortless.
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