Sidearm Technique

Information, Questions, Discussion about Throwing Mechanics and Technique

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Sidearm Technique

Postby mgilbert » Mon Aug 19, 2013 7:02 am

After I picked up some pointers here, I have finally begun to throw sidearm, but what's working so far isn't "by the book". I cannot place the disc all the way into the "V" formed by my thumb and first finger. I have to place the edge of the disc an inch or so out of the "V", near the first finger knuckle. If I place the disc all the way into the "V", I can't get it to "snap" off my fingertips. I've found that the only thing that works is the split finger grip with both the pointer and middle finger pads on the inner edge of the disc. Also, I can't use much arm speed at all, or the discs flutters like mad. It's 90% wrist and finger action - hard to explain, but almost a hard push/forward flip with the wrist and fingers. I also can't grip the disc very tightly, or my method doesn't work. Doing it this way, I'm able to throw a speed 9 understable driver 160 to 180 feet - sometimes 200 feet. The disc won't "S" curve, but it does fly flat, which is more than I can get it to do thrown backhand. Most attempts to throw midrange discs, especially understable discs, results in the disc flipping over hard, diving to the ground, and becoming a roller!

I have a million questions, but the main one is this: If midranges are flipping over, it seems I'm getting plenty plenty of spin, and I guess plenty of speed, so why can't I get a speed 9 or 10 driver to go more than 180 feet or so? And, does this have something to do with my not burying the disc in the "V" of my thumb and first finger? Am i just "doing it wrong", and is that going to limit my progress? Any comments would be appreciated, as always.
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Re: Sidearm Technique

Postby PMantle » Mon Aug 19, 2013 8:28 am

mgilbert wrote:I have a million questions, but the main one is this: If midranges are flipping over, it seems I'm getting plenty plenty of spin, and I guess plenty of speed, so why can't I get a speed 9 or 10 driver to go more than 180 feet or so?

I don't think the assumption in your question is correct. The flipping is definately not spin related, or, if it is, it's not because of enough or too much, but because of not enough. Most likely release related and involving torque. Mids can be tough to throw for many forehand. I play with two guys who can throw 100 feet farther than me forehand, but I can throw mids much better than they can. Watch Mike C's vid on forehand throws with and without OAT.
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Re: Sidearm Technique

Postby itlnstln » Mon Aug 19, 2013 9:07 am

PMantle wrote:
mgilbert wrote:I have a million questions, but the main one is this: If midranges are flipping over, it seems I'm getting plenty plenty of spin, and I guess plenty of speed, so why can't I get a speed 9 or 10 driver to go more than 180 feet or so?

I don't think the assumption in your question is correct. The flipping is definately not spin related, or, if it is, it's not because of enough or too much, but because of not enough. Most likely release related and involving torque. Mids can be tough to throw for many forehand. I play with two guys who can throw 100 feet farther than me forehand, but I can throw mids much better than they can. Watch Mike C's vid on forehand throws with and without OAT.


PMantle's right; you're probably seeing an OAT issue, especially if you notice fluttering in the disc. Let's say; however, that you're not torquing the disc. If that were the case, you're not getting much spin on your throw. Simplistically, spin helps with high-speed-stability (HSS) while air speed reduces HSS. So if your throw were clean, discs flipping over as you describe it would be due to the disc speed being far out of proportion to the spin.

As far as what to work on:

-First, fix the torque. This will get more controllable/predictable shots out of your hand and set you up for working on other aspects of your throw such as...
-Working on spin. Slow (way) down and work on really trying to apply spin to the disc; this will help you develop the hit. There are tons of articles and techniques on the board to research (the hammer technique is especially good particularly for beginners). BTW, this is the most important step. Snap/spin helps with disc control and accuracy as well as providing the mechanism to help keep the disc in in the air. This is why you throw a "rocket" with a speed 9 disc and have it go 180' while you watch pros non-nonchalantly toss 300' putter shots.
-Once you have clean, powerful hit, start adding power to the shot. Developing the feel for the hit is key; once you develop that feel, then the challenge is how to add speed/power and still maintain a clean, powerful hit.
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Re: Sidearm Technique

Postby JR » Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:40 pm

More speed is worse for practice more spin is great for each shot. You'll get more spin and speed just by stopping the wrist straight launching the disc pivot. And i need a hard grip to get distance and avoid slips. I need more grip power FH earlier than BH. When practicing don't reach back behind the side and maximize the wrist forward speed and then stopping speed to hand neutral position.
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: Sidearm Technique

Postby itlnstln » Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:15 pm

JR wrote:More speed is worse for practice more spin is great for each shot.


This is a great point. When I practice in a field, I prefer to practice somewhere that distance is not easily calculated. US football fields, football/soccer fields, etc. are all poor places to practice, IMO. The reason why, at least for me, is that you start to focus on the distance aspect and not the technique (IOW, throwing harder vs. properly). If I know that goalpost-to-goalpost on a (US) football field is 360 feet, then I try to see far past that I can throw. If I throw in just an open area, I focus much better on technique since I don't really know how far I'm throwing. I can't tell you many times I had a rough time throwing on a football field, then started bombing (relatively) on actual holes when I was focusing on technique vs. distance. Other aspects of throwing on normal holes vs. fields factor in as well. Having targets to aim at really help focus the force of the throw more precisely vs. an open football field where you're basically just throwing "over there."
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