Building Consistency: Telegraphing Your Shot
by Blake Takkunen
This article is part of a series titled “Building Consistency” that is targeted at newer and developing players. Many of the tips in this series may or may not be displayed by many of the top pros, most of which have spent years developing and honing their own technique. The purpose of this article is to provide a foundation of fundamentals on which lesser-experienced players may build and hopefully help elevate their games in the long run.
An easy way for developing players to add consistency to their game is to telegraph their shots. By telegraphing, I mean that it should be obvious what type of shot the player is throwing at or before their reach back. Telegraphing helps a player commit the disc and their body to their desired line early in their shot and can help decrease variance in their swing plane and hyzer/anhyzer angles as well as reduce off-axis torque that can affect the disc's flight.
Basically, at the peak of your back swing you want the disc to be at the angle on which you intend to throw.
Often you will come across players that appear to be throwing one type of shot at their back swing only to perform a throw of an entirely different angle. While this may work for them, unless you have spent years practicing and throwing this way, you are more likely to skew your throw with missed angles and unintentional wrist rolls. Small, mid-throw adjustments are often the most likely things that go wrong and affect timing and accuracy. It is much easier to consistently execute under a “set and forget” system of fundamentals as it allows you to concentrate on pulling through the shot on a constant plane rather than making on-the-fly adjustments with narrow margins of error.
This is the most basic of shot telegraphs as it is an item that is often emphasized when teaching basic form to newer players. At the back swing, the disc should be flat and parallel to the ground.
Telegraphing a hyzer requires slight adjustment in the orientation of your arm. To show/commit to a hyzer, the disc should stay on the same orientation with the forearm, but your arm should turn so that the inside of the forearm faces slightly upwards and the throwing hand will be below the disc.
Telegraphing an anhyzer has the opposite affect on the forearm's orientation. For an anhyzer, the inside of the forearm faces slightly downwards and the hand will be above the disc.
Bent Elbow Reach Back:
For players that throw with a bent elbow reach back, the principles are the same but will vary slightly depending upon how bent your elbow is at the start.
Error Tendencies of Improper Telegraphing:
So far I have touched on problems that arise when you do not telegraph the same shot you are attempting to throw but I have not mentioned them explicitly. These problems really only occur when your timing is less than perfect. However, in my opinion developing players are better off removing this timing from the equation altogether.
Showing anhyzer and throwing flat:
While this may aid some players in getting the nose down, possible problems include a wrist roll over (which makes discs fly more understable) and increased tendency for grip locks.
Showing anhyzer and throwing hyzer:
Possible problems include wrist rolls over (more common) and under, throwing with less hyzer angle than intended, and a tendency to pull hyzers nose up.
Showing hyzer and throwing flat:
Possible problems include wrist rolls under (more common) and over as well as tendencies to throw with more hyzer angle than intended.
Showing hyzer and throwing anhyzer:
Possible problems include wrist rolls over and increased tendency for grip locks.
Showing flat and throwing hyzer:
Possible problems include wrist rolls under and nose up releases.
Showing flat and throwing anhyzer:
Possible problems include wrist rolls over and throwing with more anhyzer angle than intended.
*Photos of John Kretzschmar
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