Mar 04 2007, 01:23 PM
I need some advise on my driving. I have been playing a little over a year, and I'm just starting to enter tournaments. I am not getting much distance on my drives. My best throws average about 300-feet and I have to throw an S-curve to get the best distance. I usually drive with Champion Wraith's & Orc's between 167 - 171 grams. Is there anything obviously wrong with my form that can help me get more distance? I have also included some of my putting.
Here are my drives/putts: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPMTwISdcZg
Mar 04 2007, 02:55 PM
John, I watched your videos and there are a couple of things that may or may not help you with your drives.
I noticed that on your X step, you move your left foot behind fine, but it doesn't bring about what I feel is the important effect of a proper X step: the hip and shoulder rotation. The X step is irrelevant if it doesn't make you get that turn.
From watching your videos, it looks like most of your shoulder turn away from the target happens after the left foot is planted rather than resulting from the left crossing behind the right.
In the video it looks almost like you are making a conscious effort to turn your shoulder back. It's my opinion that the shoulder turn should happen naturally if you are doing the X step correctly.
I would think if you can get that shoulder turn to happen a little earlier, you would have more time accelerate through the shot and get a bit more distance.
I would also suggest trying out some more understable plastic for your longer drives. Something that you can throw on a hyzer and let it flip to flat then move right before fading back left. It looks a bit like you are trying to muscle the Orcs and Wraiths to hold a straight line or an S line rather than having the arm speed to really throw them well. Valks, the star beasts, pro starfires, or sidewinders as far as Innova goes are all discs to possibly check out.
I hope what I've said helps and hasn't made anything worse for you.
Mar 04 2007, 03:14 PM
Another fella posted to critique his form...and it looks pretty similar. Here are some tips I offered him that have helped me in the past to increase distance:
I like how your form looks balanced and controlled. Many beginners try to throw too hard and look spastic. You are ahead of the game.
Here are some tips that helped me increase my distance:
1. Keep it smooth through the run up and then when you hit the plant:
2. SNAP THAT DISC!!! Once I developed snap it seemed like my disc just kept going. An anaology that helped me get the feel was to simulate the motion that you would make when you are snapping a towel sharply...like in the lockerroom. Another thing that helped me get a little more snap was cocking my wrist just a skosh. After looking at your video it just doesn't look like you're snapping the disc. Use those fast twitch muscle fibers and really put something into it.
3. Try throwing a more understable disc and learn the hyzer flip & glide. I can throw a Flash just about as far as a Wraith because I throw it on a hyzer, it flips, comes out and glides.
4. Keep your upper body low when you're snapping through. A lot of beginners have a tendency to throw up...I tell them that it almost feels like you're throwing down.
I would say that the most valuable thing that has increased my distance was getting the feel and understanding of SNAP.
Keep practicing, stay patient, play with really good players and possibly look into taking a lesson or two from a top pro...the feedback from a coach can go a long way.
Good luck!!!!! Before you know it you'll be driving over '500. I remember when I started it seemed like I would never get over '350. It just comes with time.
Mar 04 2007, 04:19 PM
I could be way off base here, since I'm working on my own form. But from looking at the driving, I think the following might be true.
1) Pull through closer to your chest. When you pull through, keep the disc close over your left side, then right side. This means keeping your elbow bent/coiled until after the disc has passed the right side of your chest. After that, your arm uncoils to the rip.
2) Finish faster. After the disc is gone, your arm should be going even faster. Instead of trying to throw the disc, imagine trying to move your arm as fast as you can from your cocking point at the reach back, to 90 degrees past your release point.
3) Stay over your front leg more at the release. Take a look at a clip of Ken Climo throwing for an obvious example.
4) Try using some slower discs that aren't as stable. Teebird, XL, XS, Cyclone, Viking... many of the older molds which don't have the really wide rims. Once you are able to chuck them out 300+ without putting a bunch of anhyzer on them, go back to the others you have.
5) Try and stay on the same throwing plane during and after your throw. If you throw a high anhzer, you don't find your arm going out level after release, it goes down to your lower right. You want to do the same with hyzer and level shots. If it's a hyzer, after the release, make sure your arm is following through high up to 90 degrees after you release the disc. For a flat shot, make sure you finish level on the follow through. If you find yourself following through below level, then you will turn the disc understable.
6) Make sure you are letting the disc rip from your grip instead of releasing. I can't see if that's happening, but that was a big leap for me.
I echo the comment about finding a pro. If you have one locally, see if they won't give you some pointers - see if they'll play a round with you and spend some time watching their form. It's a great way to learn a lot.
Good luck. Have fun, and remember, 300 of accurate feet will reward you more than 400 of inaccurate feet :)
There's some good field exercises at www.discgolfreview.com (http://www.discgolfreview.com) as well as another active forum.
Mar 04 2007, 11:26 PM
Great video and slow mo...
First of all you are throwing straight armed.
No one, I mean, no one throws with a straight arm throughout the throw. Either you can start with the arm bent or it will bend as the disc is brought closer to the chest in the pull.
A great deal of power can be had by straightening the arm from the bent position, and exploding past the rip. This is called a "chop".
Go to Discgolfreview and look at Walt Haney.
Walter Haney Throw Analysis (http://www.discgolfreview.com/resources/analysis/walterhaney.shtml)
Mar 05 2007, 12:08 AM
a couple of analogies that might be helpful in understanding the "feel" of your arm motion are:
starting a lawnmower
snapping a towel
Mar 05 2007, 12:44 AM
a local very solid player inspected my bag and told me to put awaay 60 % of its contents and re learn to throw a hyzer. this was his view and counsel after i asked him why my putting was prodominantly annying to the right, and my approaches were mostly right of target. if you can hyzer release an under stable disc hard or fast enough its turnover energy will bring it up to flat then itwill glidefrther sraight and fade forward instead of failing hyzer.sooner or later these disc will want to roll over and dive into the ground when thrown fast enough.then move up tto a slightly more stable disc and continue throwing hyzerflip for longer flights flat. as you build arm speed and snap/the need to move up in stability will show its ugly head. this is a good thing it means your throwing farther without the helix your currently forcing
Mar 05 2007, 01:41 AM
Thanks for the advice guys! Yeah, I have heard the annalogy of whipping the towel. But, when I whip a towel, I pull back just before full extension - do you do that with a disc too? Also, I notice that in my throw, I extend the disc in-line with my body at the reach back. I have seen video of pro's, and it seems their discs are further away from their bodies at reach back, which probably makes it easier to pull the disc in accross your chest/upper stomach during the pull. My arm is kinda forced to fling out from the position I put it in.
I think I will get some lighter discs and try and work on the hyzer-flip. I like the Valks, maybe I will try those in the Champion 150 class -or- should I be using a different type of plastic?
Thanks again - I really do apprieciate the input!
Mar 05 2007, 02:46 AM
The most common suggestion is to go back to the earlier molds. I think with your power you should be able to handle weights in the 160's to low 170's.
Try to start with DX plastic discs since they'll break in and get a little flippy. Everybody I've spoken to has recommended dx over the champ/z plastic. At the very least until you get your form down.
You can try valkyrie, cheetah, cyclone, xl, xs, teebird, gazelle, buzz, mrv, roc or viking.
If you want to really see what your form is doing, try something like a comet which rates a zero on the stability chart. It goes right where you throw it - hyzer, flat or anhyzer. If you find you're flipping it, then you're probably getting some off-axis torque. You can throw those things almost 300 feet with a little hyzer and they'll flip up flat and gently fade back to left as they run out of juice.
Also, you could try some putters: aviar, magnet, banger, challenger, wizard or warlock. They will all reveal form issues. You'll need to throw them flat or with a little hyzer to get them to fly very far, but folks are able to throw them at least a couple hundred feet with practice. Some folks are throwing them over that. If you see the discs wobble when they leave your hand, then you have form issues.
As for the whipping motion, I know what you mean with the towel analogy. It's really more like the lawnmower one. You pull throw as close to your chest as you can (to keep a straight line from reach back to rip) and as you pull through, your elbow bends, keep it bent until after the disc passes your right chest, then your elbow should uncoil in a chopping motion straight towards your target. The last motion will be your wrist snapping open to make your arm fully extended. The disc should rip from your grip at that point and fly towards your target.
Your arm should then continue to increase in speed as you finish the throw and proceed to the follow-through (all on the same plane). At around 90 degrees past your target direction, you will reach the average flexibility limit and your arm will naturally move down.
Somebody recently got the advice to take your discs out to a field and throw them about 100-150 feet from a standing position. Just reach back and throw, just to try and get the feeling of a good snappy release.
Mar 05 2007, 04:12 PM
I went throught this a couple years ago. Got a lot of the same confusing advice. ;)
I learned the hyser pop with several lightish (160-165) CH Sidewinders ... worked great for me. I practiced/learned in a park or soccar field.
Snap, is more about RIP. Sure, you can hear a little "pop" or snap when you get good snap, but it's the RIP and a tight grip what makes the snapping sound (your fingers snapping into your hand when the disc RIPS from your hand).
The key is the rip point, AND letting the disc RIP out of your hand instead of letting go of it. When I throw now, and I feel like I'm not getting a good RIP/snap, I will get a really tight grip on the disc, and focus on the rip point, and make the disc RIP out of my hand.
Learning to do this with an undersable driver, thrown FLAT/HYSER (not a big sweeping hyser ... but FLAT), is not difficult. And personally, I think learning it with a driver like the Sidewinder is easier because the disc is thinner. You can use the same technique with a wider midrange, but they don't rip out of your hand as easily.
Once you understand how grip/rip/snap works putting so much spin on the disc it pops up flat works ... you can move on to more stable discs.
I have found that knowing how to SNAP/RIP the disc allows me to throw most drivers flat now, and I can expect the disc [when thrown correctly with power/snap/rip] to fly pretty much how the manufacturer suggests it will fly. I throw all Innova drivers, and now I can pretty confidently pick an Innova driver out on their flight chart, throw it flat with a lot of snap, and it flies the way the chart suggests it should fly.
Mar 05 2007, 05:16 PM
Driving: SLOW DOWN. Walk instead of run. Whip thru QUICKER and smoother.
Putting: Line your body up before every putt, and putt SLOW and SMOOTH.
Line up= I line up using a straddle. I make sure my sternum is pointing at the basket. Then I usually drop back my left foot a bit to get enough weight shift to reach the basket, but I still try to keep my sternum pointed at the basket. That lines me up good.
Mar 05 2007, 08:10 PM
Ok, I am going to try the older, lighter, slower discs and work on my technique to keep the disc closer to my chest and get the elbow chop and snap at release. I also noticed from my video that I am pivoting on the heal of my plant foot. I believe I am supposed to be on the ball of my foot here?
I just ordered two new drivers:
1) Champion Sidewinder 160 grams
2) Elite X XS 165 grams
Hopefully I can get them to flip out of a slight hyzer line (is that what is referred to as “flex”). Are these good disc choices for that?
Mar 06 2007, 10:24 AM
Jonny, the main thing that I saw that will help your longevity in this game is you need to start following thru with your left arm. If you continue thw way you are you are going to hurt your throwing arm. Your throw looks good, but you defintely need to start foolowing thru. You are creating alot of undue strain on your body and throwing arm by not continuing your follow thru post release. Your throwing arm is absorbing alot of shock by stopping so violently after your release.
Hope this helps
Mar 06 2007, 01:15 PM
Those discs should be fine, although I'd try throwing flat or little hyzer to start with. Unless you torque them, they probably won't hyzer flip right away.
From what I understand, "flex" is a stable disc's tendency to go flat and fade from an anhyzer release. Both of those discs, when thrown flat, should perform an S flight pattern.
You might also want to try some dx plastic.
a) It'll break in and give you a disc you can flip from hyzer to flat sooner than the more sturdy plastic
b) you won't break the bank discovering discs you throw well.
Mar 07 2007, 01:55 PM
The flaw I see that I agree with most on is that you keep your arm way too straight. It looks like you lock out your elbow on the backswing and then try to power the disc around w/o bending your elbow. The disc should be very close to your chest when pulled thru and yours is almost arm length. Work on this first at slow speed then build up arm speed when your more comfortable. Imagine reaching back across your chest to grab a cup from your countertop, pull thru scraping it across your chest , then placing it on the opposite counter.
Mar 07 2007, 04:11 PM
The main issue is not with the run up, it's with the hip pivot and pull through (arm bending). Forget about a run up completely, just practice throwing from a standing position. You should be able to easily throw over 300ft from a standing position (with decent form). Forget drivers as well... get some midranges (Rocs, Breeze, etc.) and maybe some putters (Aviar, Challenger, etc.) and work on throwing them low and flat (and then maybe some hyzer and anny shots). Many new players get some super-driver that covers up all their form issues. A putter will magnify any issue with your throwing.
Either film or have someone watch the path of your disc during the "pull". It should be absolutely straight and in close to the body. The tighter you pull your arms in the more your mass is centered (allowing a faster rotation, more speed, and thus greater disc velocity). I also agree that you are lunging with your final step.
Mar 07 2007, 06:15 PM
Ok, I finally got to go out during lunch and throw again. I didn't have enough time to really work on it, but I can tell you that I started to feel more power when I kept the disc close during the pull. I concentrated on slowing down my approach and just getting my body into the correct reach back position. I let a few go high, but I could definately feel the difference when I pulled a good one accross my chest and released it flat. I am excited that I understand the concept, and it appears that once I get the consistency and feel of this change, I will be throwing it deeper. Thanks for all the advice/tips!
Mar 07 2007, 07:10 PM
One of the ways I read about to practice pulling it straight across your chest...
Stand about a foot or so away from a wall and slowly go through the motion of your drive. If you're hitting the wall with your hand and/or disc then you're out too far. If you're hitting yourself in the chest with the disc (ouch!), extend your arm out just a little bit further.
You already mentioned you're feeling more power by keeping it across your chest, just keep practicing. :D