Working From the Hit Backwards

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Working From the Hit Backwards

Postby garublador » Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:37 am

So, I decided to try working from the hit backwards to see just how bad my footwork and weight shift really was (it was bad). On each of my throws the most I reached back was perhaps 10-15 degrees off the throwing line and I focused on accelerating after the disc passes my right pec. I found it difficult to try to focus on correct weight shift without messing up something else (usually wrist roll or coming around too early with my left shoulder), but I think I made some progress.

I went out Saturday to a place with two football fields placed back to back to some serious field work. The winds were 5-10mph going from one end zone to the other (i.e. either headwind or tailwind). These were all zero or 1-step throws.

By far the biggest issue I saw was that I could not get my putters to fly right. I could throw a beat Roc or beat Gazelle that started off flippy into the headwind and keep them from turning over, but I couldn't get a Wizard to go anywhere without it fluttering and flipping or turning into a worm burner. I'm guessing the worm burners were because I had my weight too far behind my heel, but I can't figure out the flutter. The Wizards do not feel like they're coming out of my hand right like the rest of my discs are. I did have one throw that was a bit of a griplock that was pushing 300' with the taliwind. It was a fairly wide 'S'.

My mids and some fairway driver shots (Gazelle and Teebird) were in the upper 200's. Most of the faster driver shots (Starfire-X, Avenger and Spirit) shots were in the lower 300' range. I got the occasional fairway driver to the opposing endzone, though. I did notice that many of the headwind shots were at the front of the opposite endzone but flew on big hyzer lines. The beat Teebird kept straight but rose up high and faded harder than normal into the headwind.

Yesterday and today the right side of my back, my right shoulder, my right pec, my right glute and to a lesser extent my left-upper back are all sore has hell. I have a callous on the pad of my index finger and a blister/callous about where the last joint is on my index finger. After my session my hand was really tired. I had trouble opening beer bottles that night.

In short:

Good - pivot feels much better than before. Not bad D for zero and one step throws with minimal reachback. Most discs holding into a light headwind. I did a few throws with a full x-step at the end and while they didn't go all that far (I had thrown ~240 drives by that point), my pivot felt way better than before.

Bad - consistency isn't there yet. I'm not getting the feel for how to shift my weight correctly or where to shift it to every time. My timing feels off for some throws but good on others. I'm working on getting it to feel good all the time.

Ugly - putter drives. They work with a fan grip where the disc slips out of my hand but are horrible for power grip shots.

What I feel like I should work on - getting my weight forward, but not behind my heel. Timing, plant then pull. I was getting too anxious to accelerate and wanted to start early. Not pulling my left shoulder through too early and keeping it coming around during the follow through. Staying relaxed while still trying to accelerate late.

Any comments from those who have worked through this (cough-Blake-cough)? I'm especially curious as to what to do about the putters. I may be able to post pics of my grip if needed.

Thanks in advance!
Last edited by garublador on Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby bcsst26 » Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:59 am

I have been working on this also and I do get flutter with my putter for some reason. I also have some tendency in turning my rocs and wizards over for some reason. I am not sure if it is wrist roll or if it is shoulder rotation. I have tried to spot it but can't seem to nail it. Many of the things you have experienced I can relate to. I think my problem is that after reading almost everything around here I think I try to concentrate on to many things at once. One thing I noticed is that when I start my pull it feels like I bring the disc close to my chest but for some reason this causes me to loose power? It feels like my momentum is gone? Guess I am just looking for some advice or tips to look for when working on this. blackudder? blake? anyone?
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Postby uNicedmeMan » Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:00 am

you said shit twice in your narrative when I believe you intended to say shift
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Postby garublador » Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:03 am

uNicedmeMan wrote:you said shit twice in your narrative when I believe you intended to say shift
Thanks. I fixed some other errors, too.
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Postby black udder » Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:34 am

I'll state a couple examples first.

1) A hole out at Gillies Creek. #12 - it's around 300' (285' or 310'). It's basically a straight fairway with the pin a little to the right. You want a shot that just does a soft turnover and lands flat. I've been trying to find a driver that does this forever. Recently I just parked it with my buzz.

2) #13 at Gillies Creek. It's about 240 or so and I've been throwing my midranges at it. What happens is I'm trying to finesse the shot and I end up with a shot that hyzers out leaving me way out left. I've tried putters, but I'd just turn them over. Recently, I over shot the hole by about 50' with my wizard.

Now... what did I do?

Couple things.

1) I started applying my hip and shoulder rotation in my throw. I've mentioned a few times how to show your power. Pivot your hips, then shoulders with your arm loose just to see what the whip is like.

2) I worked my footwork back from the hit. I figured how far I needed to step for my x-step and throw. My stance now is feet parallel to the hole, left foot out front, step onto the teepad with my right foot, x-step behind with left, out with the right to plant and then pull through.

It's amazing what these two little things have done. Suddenly, my distance has increased by about 30-50' and I'm not having any stupid shit happening on the teepad with my footwork. No getting to the edge and running out of room, or getting my feet out of sync because I started weird. I don't have to worry about the length or height of the teepad because I know where I'll end up and exactly where I'm starting. I get a consistent throw that's darn near my max without having to change anything in my footwork.

I know that when I started working on my throw, I was trying to do it all at once and it just doesn't work. Take small steps.

I'd suggest footwork first. Figure out what your 3 steps will be, then do them a few times so you're familiar with it. Once you have that down and have practiced on the tees.

Next, go for the hip/shoulder pivot. You can practice at home to get the feel. Just watch Climo and Masterbeato to get an idea of how you need to end up (chest facing the basket). You want your chest facing and your arm extended to the basket when the disc comes out. Make sure you grip it tight enough so it doesn't come out early. I can now feel when discs are coming out early and I'm missing the hit.

Once you have that feeling, incorporate it with your 3 step. Make sure to get over that plant foot and lean into your throw (push off with your rear left foot).

It won't get you to 400', but it can take you from 200' up to 350' range. If you're young and flexible and able to put some time in the practice field, then the sky is the limit!
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Postby bcsst26 » Mon Apr 21, 2008 5:44 pm

I just got back from a long field session. I worked on throwing with no steps. The problem that I came upon was when I pushed onto my front foot and starte my hip rotation and seemed like things started to happen very fast. Almost out of control. Is this a normal thing and I just need to get used to it or do I need to slow down my hip rotation??
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Postby black udder » Mon Apr 21, 2008 5:54 pm

I'd say, "yes", it seems really fast when you haven't been doing it. When I just stand still, it's really hard to get much out of it, but when I do my x-step, it really falls into place. My body uncoils and the disc smokes out almost before I'm aware of it. It'll take a little while to get used to it, but it shouldn't be too bad.

You'll have some adjustments to make speedwise - if you go too fast, then you kind of hit your uncoiling limit (not good) and if you don't go fast enough, then you don't get the good whip and the disc either comes out late or if you don't grip tight enough, it comes out early.

Get your x-step down to 3 steps, then practice the hip/shoulder rotation and see how it goes. Remembering to finish strong will help as well.

One thing that helped me was watching Masterbeato. He had this downhill look to him. x-step, raise disc to left shoulder, then he would pivot and pull the disc down and to the front. I know I don't get over my plant leg (or bend my plant leg) like I imagine I do, but just getting forward a little helps a lot. Especially with nose up issues. To test it, just hold you disc out with your normal grip, then bend over like 20 degrees or so (keeping your arm stiff). You should see the disc go almost into the ground.

The standing still drill is really to help you get the feel for finishing. You won't get a lot of distance, perhaps not much accuracy, but you want to practice pulling from your right pec past the release as quickly as you can. Once you're doing that, then when you apply it in your x-step and full throw, it should be a natural thing to do.
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Postby Blake_T » Mon Apr 21, 2008 5:56 pm

garu:

try throwing with more reach back for a few throws and see if that sets up your timing. i would also try to do it with almost a limp arm at first so you get a feel for when/where the disc should be coming out.

it's kinda tough to do what you are trying to do without having a flow established.

from the sound of things your left shoulder isn't chasing soon enough. basically, you want to be almost faced up to the target when the disc comes out. the disc comes out from in front of the left pectoral.

as for the putter phenomenon, it could be a matter of gripping too tight or too much nose down, but it's probably OAT.

as for weight shift, basically get your stationary position and just push yourself onto your front foot. that should trigger the throw.
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Postby black udder » Mon Apr 21, 2008 6:15 pm

I'll second the putter turnovers being form. I've found that putters and rocs turn over really easy with just the slightest anhyzer motion now. I don't even feel it, but I've thrown enough right to know that it's not the disc :(
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Postby garublador » Tue Apr 22, 2008 7:15 am

Just for some background of anyone getting information out of this thread, this is my 6th season playing and I was throwing 360' or so with my fairway drivers. I'm looking to get past that last plateu. However, I'd recommend this to anyone looking to improve, no matter what the skill level.

Blake_T wrote:garu:

try throwing with more reach back for a few throws and see if that sets up your timing. i would also try to do it with almost a limp arm at first so you get a feel for when/where the disc should be coming out.

it's kinda tough to do what you are trying to do without having a flow established.

from the sound of things your left shoulder isn't chasing soon enough. basically, you want to be almost faced up to the target when the disc comes out. the disc comes out from in front of the left pectoral.

as for the putter phenomenon, it could be a matter of gripping too tight or too much nose down, but it's probably OAT.

as for weight shift, basically get your stationary position and just push yourself onto your front foot. that should trigger the throw.
I'm glad to hear that it's kosher to start with more of a reachback. The reason I was doing any reachback was to try to get the "flow."

The limp arm thing is something I was going to work on anyway given time to reflect on my session.

The info about the left pec is good too. So far I've just been experimenting on when it comes around and that wasn't working very quickly.

I agree that there's a good chance the Wizard thing is OAT, but I'm having trouble identifying the source. My beat Roc flew just fine and nearly 300' on average and didn't turn into the headwind. The putters usually fluttered and died after 60'. I just couldn't get that clean of a release with my Wizards. If I ignore trying to get it to rip out of my hand I've been able to get over 200' without much problem, but one of my goals is to improve that and to be able to drive using a power grip. I'll play with my grip and try those other things a bit more to see if I can get any more info.

Thanks guys and keep the info coming!
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Postby garublador » Tue Apr 22, 2008 7:17 am

bcsst26 wrote:I just got back from a long field session. I worked on throwing with no steps. The problem that I came upon was when I pushed onto my front foot and starte my hip rotation and seemed like things started to happen very fast. Almost out of control. Is this a normal thing and I just need to get used to it or do I need to slow down my hip rotation??
This might have to do with the "flow" advice Blake gave me. I found that without any reachback or steps it was difficult to really feel things happen in the right order. It was easier for me to do a stationary throw after I felt a couple one step throws with a longer reachback.
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Postby phisherman77 » Tue Apr 22, 2008 7:29 am

Blake_T wrote:garu:

as for the putter phenomenon, it could be a matter of gripping too tight or too much nose down, but it's probably OAT.



this seems to be similar to what i've been experiencing...

i had a bit of a "late hit/acceleration" epiphany a few days ago and my drivers are going WAY past where they have been, especially on straight/hyzer lines.

my only issue has been putters and mids...they are spinning fast and straight, but they don't seem to carry much. it's a 100% shift from my old mechanics...nose up stalled out at 280-300 ft drivers and mids that when i hit clean go pretty much the same distance.
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Postby black udder » Tue Apr 22, 2008 10:37 am

garublador; try modifying your putter grip and see what happens. I've had issues before with a power grip on putters, but I had good success with the birdie grip and even more with the Climo grip.
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Postby JR » Tue Apr 22, 2008 12:29 pm

I forgot to stress the criticality of grip when we discussed Whitlers a while back. Non functional grip flips the disc over faster than you can say soap bar that I just stepped on.

I've had major troubles several times driving with Wizards due to non clean release. Several times because added power glues the rim to fingers with power grip for me. I've yet to seriously try to use a 4 finger power grip with the fingers in about 60 degree angle to the flight plate. This tip is from Dave Dunipace via Jussi Meresmaa so it has a credible source at least. The angle is my own experiment less might work too or more. I just don't have the hand size to get more angle. I'm envious at Climo for his grip because I need to use minis for that kind of angle :-) I had minor improvements with the modification using mids and drivers.

Whitler is a murderously merciless illustrator of less than stellar grip and/or release.

garublador wrote:Just for some background of anyone getting information out of this thread, this is my 6th season playing and I was throwing 360' or so with my fairway drivers. I'm looking to get past that last plateu. However, I'd recommend this to anyone looking to improve, no matter what the skill level.

Blake_T wrote:garu:

try throwing with more reach back for a few throws and see if that sets up your timing. i would also try to do it with almost a limp arm at first so you get a feel for when/where the disc should be coming out.

it's kinda tough to do what you are trying to do without having a flow established.

from the sound of things your left shoulder isn't chasing soon enough. basically, you want to be almost faced up to the target when the disc comes out. the disc comes out from in front of the left pectoral.

as for the putter phenomenon, it could be a matter of gripping too tight or too much nose down, but it's probably OAT.

as for weight shift, basically get your stationary position and just push yourself onto your front foot. that should trigger the throw.
I'm glad to hear that it's kosher to start with more of a reachback. The reason I was doing any reachback was to try to get the "flow."

The limp arm thing is something I was going to work on anyway given time to reflect on my session.

The info about the left pec is good too. So far I've just been experimenting on when it comes around and that wasn't working very quickly.

I agree that there's a good chance the Wizard thing is OAT, but I'm having trouble identifying the source. My beat Roc flew just fine and nearly 300' on average and didn't turn into the headwind. The putters usually fluttered and died after 60'. I just couldn't get that clean of a release with my Wizards. If I ignore trying to get it to rip out of my hand I've been able to get over 200' without much problem, but one of my goals is to improve that and to be able to drive using a power grip. I'll play with my grip and try those other things a bit more to see if I can get any more info.

Thanks guys and keep the info coming!
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Postby gretagun » Tue Apr 22, 2008 9:21 pm

I go back and forth between throwing my Wizards straight and smooth or torquing them over/OAT. Not sure how to incorporate this into field practice, but the last few times I've played Walnut Ridge, I have found myself in the woods :oops: A couple shots left me next to a tree with about 2 feet of space between my chest and the trunk. I went ahead and took the shot(standing still), and the tree really forced me to keep the disc close to my chest and pull straight. I was getting nice straight and smooth throws. Somehow this transitioned to where I had longer open shots that I usually use my Wizards on and they flew straight without any flutter. I know there is an article on the main page where it mentions standing by a wall and pulling a disc through so there is only about an inch or two of clearance. Same principle here.
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