dave_marchant
Mar 07 2006, 09:52 AM
Here is something I have been thinking about: The skill level across the board in DG will take a quantum step forward when we learn how to practice.

What do I mean? Well, based on my observations (admittedly somewhat limited) lots of golfers practice, but basically practice alone. They work on perfecting the technique that they happen to use. But what if that technique is fundamentally flawed?

Most “developed” accuracy sports have lots of coaches to point out the fundamental flaws and help athletes rebuild their technique into something more efficient and proficient. It is my opinion that it takes an outside observer to provide the best critique and corrective suggestions.

Most successful coaches were never the star performers, but rather the ones who had to work and struggle and think through what it takes to move from average to great. Those with loads of natural talent never have to go through that process to the same degree. Likewise, most great teachers were not the A+ students but the C students.

So, who are the students of the game that will become the coaches? Who will be the ones who take those with loads of natural talent to the next level in both technique and the mental part of the game?

Parkntwoputt
Mar 07 2006, 10:16 AM
I have had an unpaid coach for almost two years now.

Tom Monroe, while he the opposite of your theory of C students make the best coaches, he is a master with a frisbee.

I think that having someone as a coach who as truly mastered the art of throwing a frisbee is one advantage. Obviously I understand where you are coming from. We all know that Blake is not a top world performer, but he definately knows what he is talking about. He has helped me in many ways.

Where Tom has helped is understanding the strategy of the game. I have developed the mechanics from mimicing him by playing most of my casual rounds with him. I have excelled in many different sports ranging from Wrestling, Football, Baseball and distance running. So I was able to pick up on technique fairly quickly.

Tom has really taught me a lot about "saving strategy". Learning how utility shots fly and function, how they perform in different conditions and in what situations is best to use them.

I feel very fortunate to have Tom as a friend (wives work together) and a mentor. The last person he took a concentrated personal interest in was Joe Thacker PDGA #2803, and that was almost 20 years ago!

I am blessed to be an understudy, and any victory I have on the course, I have Tom to thank.

But you are right, the next advancement in disc golf success is coaching. And eventually our disc golf coaches will eventually be paid individuals when the purses get large enough for the players to split with the coach. So as a ceremonious thank you to Tom, when ever I place in my first Open event, I will give him half my winnings. Even if I have to mail it to him.

AWSmith
Mar 07 2006, 01:02 PM
when me and a friend went up to highbridge hills in wisconsin there was a couple of pros there who for like $5 or something like that would play a round with you and coach you or work on certain shots if you wanted to.

alot the people with natural talent isnt necessarily natural but they were just brought up in the sports world or even frisbee world. i was lucky enough to have a dad who was amazing with a regular frisbee and all we did ws play ( why im good with mids and apporaches). we took him out to play one time and he murdered us with a regular frisbee.

cevalkyrie
Mar 07 2006, 01:25 PM
For a price i'll tell anyone how great they are all day long :). That will keep the business flowing.

Sorry, had to add that one. I get tired of my basketball players coming in saying my Full Package Instructor tells me i'm an excellent basketball player.

AWSmith
Mar 07 2006, 05:46 PM
For a price i'll tell anyone how great they are all day long :). That will keep the business flowing.

Sorry, had to add that one. I get tired of my basketball players coming in saying my Full Package Instructor tells me i'm an excellent basketball player.



who wouldn't.

quickdisc
Mar 07 2006, 06:20 PM
For a price i'll tell anyone how great they are all day long :). That will keep the business flowing.

Sorry, had to add that one. I get tired of my basketball players coming in saying my Full Package Instructor tells me i'm an excellent basketball player.



who wouldn't.



What kind of dollars we talking about ? :D

JRauch
Mar 07 2006, 08:11 PM
I think to some degree everyone is a coach. I haven't been playing that long, but 4 or 5 local pros have really helped me with my game. I never asked them to do this and alot of the time they don't even know they are doing it. I have certain people I go to now if my drive is off, and I ahve someone else to go to if my putt is. These people are what I love about disc golf. Almost everyonehas been helped by someone. They may not be paid and they may not be considered a coach, but what they taught you will last. I do not think a paid coach would be a good thing for the sport. People are already willing to help and I think these people are amazing. I know I would never go to a paid coach, the people I that help me are often rewarded in different ways. I often play for cash against people I very, very rarely could beat but I do it because they help me and I appreiciate it more than they will ever know.

AviarX
Mar 08 2006, 12:21 AM
I am quite impressed by Blake Takkunen of Disc Golf Review.com (http://www.discgolfreview.com)
(see for example his instructional articles at his website)

Over the telephone, Blake has given me tips on how to adjust my grip and release angles as well as properly align my shoulders. Without even seeing what i was doing, he could guide me through what to do. He also has had a big positive affect on my putting game. Given that we are in the age of the internet and Blake has a knack for putting into words the finer points of disc throwing -- i see him as one who is a great coach.
From what i understand, Dave Dunipace has been an influence on him and countless others.

crusher
Mar 14 2006, 09:45 AM
Do you think that 2-3 people who paid $7.00 each, and had lessons as a group for 1 hour away from the course is worth it.

I have taught alot of people in my career, and I have had several of them say that it was the best $7.00 they ever spent!

james_mccaine
Mar 14 2006, 12:16 PM
They work on perfecting the technique that they happen to use. But what if that technique is fundamentally flawed?




having a knowledgeable person to help spot those flaws would be invaluable. I am someone who rarely plays, but always practices. Mostly, my practice consists of performing poor technique, realizing that I suck, trying some variation in hopes of a fix, and then going back to step one. I do this day after day after day. Occasionally, I stumble on something and it helps.

I would have paid lots of money for someone who could truly identify flaws, and help correct them. However, I really don't think there are many people alive today that fit that description. I also don't think there is anything akin to a disc golf paradigm for the "ideal swing."

Anyways, to conclude my babbling, I totally agree that having qualified coaches would revolutionize the skill level of disc golf. I maintain that any mildly coordinated indivdual with a good coach could shoot 940+ golf, in a relatively short period of time.

Also, major kudos to those that attempt to analalyze technique. I may not agree with everything they conclude, but their interest and devotion to the subject is trailblazing in itself.

lisle
Mar 14 2006, 02:18 PM
[/QUOTE]
I am someone who rarely plays, but always practices. Mostly, my practice consists of performing poor technique, realizing that I suck, trying some variation in hopes of a fix, and then going back to step one. I do this day after day after day. Occasionally, I stumble on something and it helps.


[/QUOTE]

Jim,

Don't sell yourself short, I've played with you and your technique is great.

I need a course-management coach that will say. 'Lisle lay up or you'll regret it. I'd pay to take course management lessons from a pro.

discgolfreview
Mar 16 2006, 04:52 AM
the idea of an idealized disc golf throwing form is actually quite close at hand.

the ideal is one that does not change with body type, athleticism, gender, etc.

the difficulty of completely unlocking this ideal is that only about 2/3 of the variables are based on body positioning with the final 1/3 based on timing. as of right now i have 13 factors that i can safely say should be part of the throw.

like other sports (especially baseball and golf), the ideal throwing form is rarely achieved (even though a player may have great success in throwing a disc). in most cases, each deviation from the "ideal" is countered with compensation factors that can lead to a successful throw.

this is somewhat of a catch 22. a standardized form will make teaching throwing much easier, but until there is a standardized form that is widely utilized, there will be very few people using it that will be able to teach it.

nearly every great pro does the majority of the idealized points but it is the intangibles that separate their performance from the average player. snap is the great separator.

snap is also probably the hardest thing in disc golf to teach as it is based about 75% on timing and 25% on form. while there is form that will increase snap, the timing must be there for the form to have a noticeable positive effect. unfortunately, big snap is like love, you don't know what it feels like until you've had it. even then, if something happens to throw off your timing and you lose your big snap, it is not an easy thing to recover.

i'm currently in the midst of working through some drills that teach the feeling of big snap. when i have finalized them, i will be sure to write about them.

as for teachers, i would say that it is the players that have worked the hardest to understand what is going on that build the biggest knowledge base. however, it is patience and articulation that make the teachers.

dannyreeves
Mar 17 2006, 06:21 PM
Blake gave me a couple tips on my driving form about a month ago and it has really helped. My distance has improved and my accuracy is about 1000% better.

ChrisWoj
Mar 25 2006, 01:55 PM
Who will be the ones who take those with loads of natural talent to the next level in both technique and the mental part of the game?


Concerning who would be the type to take the loads of natural talent somewhere remarkable with coaching... Give my little brother some significant time working with a Blake Takkunen type and he'd place at the top of U-19s and then Am Nationals (not saying win, but possibly)...

-Chris.

quickdisc
Mar 29 2006, 05:06 PM
Takes time and encouragement.

Wammy
Apr 05 2006, 05:39 PM
What some of the people around here have started doing is having someone take pictures or record them while they are throwing. You might be surprised at what you see.

Apr 06 2006, 01:13 PM
Generally speaking how much should a person throw when practicing their drives in a field? 20-30-40-50-100 throws? Also, how long should you wait between throws? Or, do you just throw, throw, throw? I'm throwing mids and drivers currently when I practice. My mids I practice for accuracy and my drivers for distance/accuracy.

Parkntwoputt
Apr 06 2006, 01:26 PM
Without proper form, practice is futile. You do not want to engrain bad technique.

Saying that you have good form, or at least know what you need to do. I would work on accuracy first and foremost. I work on trying to hit certain lines, or land within specific designated areas. I do not do a lot of field work myself, so telling you a hard number of throws to do would be pointless. Usually I will keep throwing discs until I can hit the same line twice in a row while playing casual rounds. While I play on the course, I am out to hit lines and landing zones, not worrying at all about score. We don't have open fields to just go out and throw. But the important thing is to work on consistentcy of release. Distance will come with better technique.

DSproAVIAR
Apr 06 2006, 02:31 PM
Just a quick thought/obsveration:
I have been playing with a buddy for awhile, and his runup had alot of flaws. I didn't want to be the d1ck that says "You're doing it wrong" but I couldn't watch him throw anymore without cringing. So, I took him out for a round, and watched his form for a couple holes, then gave him a couple of thoughts to work with. A few more holes, I gave him a bit more to work with. He loved it and said he's never felt better throwing a disc. I was concentrating on his form and going over basic technique with him, and it made me improve as well!! I finally beat my record that day at Hudson Mills Original, the record I've been trying to beat for 2 years!!!! Finally a 62!
Moral: Helping others helps your game as well.

Apr 06 2006, 02:48 PM
True I don't want to practice bad technique and get that engrained. However, i've been playing for like 6-7 years and am just now switching to left-handed, which is my dominant hand. I've got a pretty good idea what my technique needs to be, but i've got to get comfortable doing it. I had gotten to where I could throw 350' pretty consistantly right handed (from home plate to over the center field wall). But i havn't played much the past couple of years and I do good to get 300' right handed even occasionally. So i'm biting the bullet and switching hands and starting from scratch. Just wondering if anyone's ever thrown "too much" so I can avoid that. Nearest course is an hour away, so field practice is all I get these days.

Parkntwoputt
Apr 06 2006, 03:49 PM
Stretching is very very very important.

www.discgolftv.com (http://www.discgolftv.com) shows some really good stretches for your upper back, and I believe blakes website has some too.

Warm up slowly and delibertly.

I learned the hard way last summer, jumping out of the car and onto the course, trying to throw hard right away. Strained some tendons in my elbow.

Listen to your body, back it down at the first instance of pain. Muscle fatigue is a lot different then pain. As a preventative measure I take Glucouseamine Condrointen w/MSN daily. Between stretching and warming up prior to playing, and with the pills, I have yet to have another overuse injury. I also throw only a maximum of 5 days in a row to prevent overuse injury. (Which might have to change considering Worlds is a 5 day event and I need to practice the courses the coming days before).

Stretch
Warm-up
Listen to your body

Follow that and you should be fine.

thetruthxl
Apr 08 2006, 02:18 PM
Generally speaking how much should a person throw when practicing their drives in a field? 20-30-40-50-100 throws? Also, how long should you wait between throws? Or, do you just throw, throw, throw? I'm throwing mids and drivers currently when I practice. My mids I practice for accuracy and my drivers for distance/accuracy.



I have been practicing in a field for quite some time now, and have a great example of what I do.

Mick and I used to go out, put some cones out....bomb, walk, collect, turn and bomb. Repeat and rinse. After 30-40 drives with little or no break between throws, I was tired...to the point that my game suffered the next couple of days. This was too much. Overexertion is bad, Mmmm'k?

We recruited two more players, equalling 4, went to a field with soccer goals (regulation) and positioned two man teams with cones in front of the goal posts. Team 1 can collect the thrown discs to each of their respected sides, while team 2 throws at either a shorter 50' cone circle or try for 1 point through the soccer goal or 3 points for the uprights.
This way, you're not bombing shot after shot...you let your muscles relax. Having more people there makes for more productive distance practice.
As well, we also run "clinics"...not professing I'm a great instructor, but They will be little aspects of the game like "10' from the pin" or "X-step" clinics....even "spider turnover". That way, when you try to work with someone that may be sensitive to instruction, they won't feel like you are picking on their game, but they know they are there to learn, not just throw.

quickdisc
Apr 30 2006, 05:18 PM
Generally speaking how much should a person throw when practicing their drives in a field? 20-30-40-50-100 throws? Also, how long should you wait between throws? Or, do you just throw, throw, throw? I'm throwing mids and drivers currently when I practice. My mids I practice for accuracy and my drivers for distance/accuracy.



I have been practicing in a field for quite some time now, and have a great example of what I do.

Mick and I used to go out, put some cones out....bomb, walk, collect, turn and bomb. Repeat and rinse. After 30-40 drives with little or no break between throws, I was tired...to the point that my game suffered the next couple of days. This was too much. Overexertion is bad, Mmmm'k?

We recruited two more players, equalling 4, went to a field with soccer goals (regulation) and positioned two man teams with cones in front of the goal posts. Team 1 can collect the thrown discs to each of their respected sides, while team 2 throws at either a shorter 50' cone circle or try for 1 point through the soccer goal or 3 points for the uprights.
This way, you're not bombing shot after shot...you let your muscles relax. Having more people there makes for more productive distance practice.
As well, we also run "clinics"...not professing I'm a great instructor, but They will be little aspects of the game like "10' from the pin" or "X-step" clinics....even "spider turnover". That way, when you try to work with someone that may be sensitive to instruction, they won't feel like you are picking on their game, but they know they are there to learn, not just throw.



Just a bit curious about this "spider turnover" shot.