Maxing out @ 300ft...

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Re: Maxing out @ 300ft...

Postby lefty-hyzer » Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:27 am

good post, i respect that.


you will get better when you understand that distance is not the key, but accuracy. 80% is your friend.

not that distance isn't great as well, but you have to earn it.
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Re: Maxing out @ 300ft...

Postby Blake_T » Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:56 am

going briefly over what has been written so far...

what differs from strong arming vs. someone "throwing with arm" is that strong arming implies that the necessary fluid bio-mechanics do NOT happen at the right time (or at all).

the greatest feature of strong arming is that more power in = less power out.

throwing with a relaxed arm helps some of the natural timing mechanisms to happen. it can help all of the ones necessary ones to happen assuming that initially they are not.

for people not throwing 350', but pretty much listed the most common culprits:
1) Not pulling tight enough
2) Not stopping the elbow
3) Nose up throws
4) No wrist extension
5) Pulling too early
6) Not weight forward
7) Not finishing


these people will have a set of drills to get them to a certain baseline, which is a consistent 350-410' line drive power with modern technology.

the reason i am making this stipulation is because many of the recommendations given so far will work for someone throwing below 350', but are not really applicable to those who are throwing that far or farther.

i have had approximately a 1% success rate with teaching people how to truly "hit it." more like 4% if you consider "hitting some of it" (some of it = 430-450' with a wraith/destroyer).

for those chasing the brass ring, here's a few things:
-legs do less than you really want to believe they do. i have a feeling many people think that leg power is responsible for a large amount of throwing power. it is responsible for roughly 5-20%. you can meet someone with craptastic footwork/leg power that knows how to hit it and they'll be able to break 400' with a 1 step throw. huge run-ups, 360 turnarounds, etc. do add benefit, but it's not by a huge margin. however, if you are throwing in a distance contest, you want to use the technique that will milk out every potential bit of power. piss poor footwork can ruin a throw, but great footwork doesn't ensure a good throw.

-disc golf throwing is the one inch punch. to throw really far, you must throw really hard. knowing when/how to deliver force is the key of this. most players decelerate entering (and through) the power zone and the end result is a slip (even if it goes straight and decently far). hitting it requires acceleration through the power zone. for those unfamiliar with dv/dt, basically it means: as you get closer to the rip, your hand (and the disc) must be moving FASTER than it was at every point before that. you have a better chance of hitting it if you enter the power zone at 30mph and reach the rip at 40mph than you would if you entered the power zone at 60mph and reached the rip at 50mph. i developed the right pec drill to attempt to isolate the power zone while still using full body motions.

here's where things get tricky...

-there's a 2 stages of extension (in other sports these are similar to releasing the club head or releasing the barrel of the bat, but because joint release will get confused with disc release, i will call them extension). the abrupt stop of the elbow moving forward allows the forearm to extend (with whip-like inertia). at some point the forearm can no longer move forward and it rapidly changes direction from forwards to sideways... at this point the wrist extends (also with tons of inertia).

the difficulty in timing occurs because:
-the forearm/elbow must be relaxed at the beginning of the extension but should be firm/strong near the end of the extension.
-the wrist/hand must be relaxed at the beginning of the extension but should be firm/strong near the end of the extension (and subsequent release of the disc).

the reason you teach all the other crap outside of just this is because people need the coordination/skills to have all the other pieces in place in order to allow this to happen correctly. you can prevent these things from happening with poor body positions, but again, good body positions don't cause these things to happen, a better way of putting it is: good body positions ALLOW for the correct things to happen.

if you look at any/all of players who throw 450'+ line drives, they all have the same important things happening. i find it less useful to contrast differences than to look for similarities.

since a few players forms have been cited here, i will state this now:
there's only 3.5 styles of throwing out there, but players that hit it with any of those styles have all of the important factors in common. there will be hybrids between the styles, but overall they can be described within these terms (even a hybrid is just say "a mix of style A and style B").

the two primary styles (i'm making these terms up right now):
1. "American" technique.
2. "Swedish" technique.

the main difference between these two styles is the focus of the power base. american technique uses the kinetic biomechanics to generate its power, with the ideal being elbow extension. swedish technique uses much less elbow extension but tons of leverage on the outer edge of the disc.

Brad W.'s idea of throwing a stick/hammer vs. throwing a disc pretty much describes the primary determinant of swedish power. swedish power is based upon being able to lever the shiz out of the edge of the disc opposite the hand and find a way to translate the absurd amount of angular velocity/acceleration as the disc pivots out of the hand during wrist extension.

the current swedish technique derives heavily from Tomas Ekstrom's form.

american technique also uses leverage, but it is not dominated by leverage in the same way.
american technique can basically be broken down into 2 primary categories and one subcategory:
1. bent elbow (and derivations of it, probably most commonly found in carolina)
2. long reach back.
2a. folded shoulder rotation.
2b. spinal axis rotation.

2a. and 2b. both derive power in the same basic way, but the presentation of it differs slightly. however, most folded shoulder throwers are hyzer dominant and most spinal axis throwers are anhyzer dominant. in truth, pure hyzer mechanics use a folded shoulder and pure anhyzer mechanics use a spinal axis, what makes these two differ enough in styles to be noted is how they throw during a FLAT throw.

as for bent elbow vs. reach back, it's probably best compared to the differences in a wrist shot vs. a slap shot in hockey.

bent elbow throwing is efficient and it's easier to hit all of it. if you flub it, you flub it bad.
reach back throwing is less efficient but has greater power potential if you hit all/most of it. it's easier to flub it, but the diminished output during flubs depends on how bad you flubbed it.

the big thing is that long throwing bent elbow throwers and long throwing reach back throwers (as well as long throwing swedes) have more in common during the important parts of throw than they have differences.

the main differentiation between reach back throwers and bent elbow throwers (even those that use some reach back) is this:
-with a reach back throw the angle formed between the upper arm and the shoulder/chest collapses at the start of rotation and extends entering the power zone.
-with a bent elbow throw the angle formed between the upper arm and the shoulder/chest is constant at the start of rotation and doesn't extend until well into the power zone.

my point in writing all that?

what happens with the disc/arm during the final 12" of the throw is exactly the same for everyone throwing 500'.
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Re: Maxing out @ 300ft...

Postby black udder » Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:01 am

Wow. Gotta say, that's one of your best posts in awhile, Blake. Lots and lots of detail, examples, etc. and info for everybody. Thanks a bunch. Now we just need a mod to sticky this thread.
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Re: Maxing out @ 300ft...

Postby rhatton2 » Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:37 am

I've linked to this thread on the British Disc Golf Forum as its the best breakdown of form and technique i've seen altogether in one go, so many of the questions I hear asked over here have been answered and the descriptions of how to go about achieving consistent distance and accuracy have been superb. Thanks to all those that have posted!
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Re: Maxing out @ 300ft...

Postby rhatton2 » Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:57 am

lefty-hyzer wrote:good post, i respect that.


you will get better when you understand that distance is not the key, but accuracy. 80% is your friend.

not that distance isn't great as well, but you have to earn it.


I have found putting the techniques together described on this forum to increase distance have also dramatically increased my accuracy. The two go completely hand in hand, good form will produce both.

You can achieve fairly consistent accuracy under 300' with bad form, but this accuracy is likely to crack under pressure if the round starts going badly. If you have good form that you can replicate by falling back on ingrained basics then when the bits of "bad luck" start to mess up your round you should be able to fall back on it and know that your next shot will be good.

Since using the techniques described my standard variation over a round has dramatically decreased. I used to be able to throw a 2 or 3 over par round one round and then a 17 - 18 over par the next without any difference in conditions just one bit of "bad luck" early in a round throwing me off. Since implementing these techniques in September i haven't had worse than a 10 over par and this was in strong winds. My Birdie chances on holes under 330' have also dramatically increased. I always had the distance to get there before just using my arm - or strong arming it - but now having learnt to use - and as Jhern describes it Feel my body doing it - better technique the accuracy means i'm in and around every other shot instead of 1 in 4 or 5 shots.

The point i'm trying to make is that these techniques will give you the potential to easily improve Distance and more importantly Accuracy and just telling someone "to learn accuracy" is not really helpful.

Crap post I know, I'm supposed to be working as i type....
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Re: Maxing out @ 300ft...

Postby gretagun » Thu Jan 21, 2010 10:51 am

I also want to take the time to thank everyone for their contributions to this thread and others in the Technique forum. Like Jhern, I was having a difficult time visualizing/understanding the concept of stopping the elbow and the resulting elbow chop, but the recent discussion on here has finally clicked for me. This seems to be the most important part of the throw, and everything else discussed (weight transfer, keeping disc close to chest, footwork, late acceleration, etc) are all crucial in maximizing this movement. It is all coming together and making perfect sense. I can now see this when studying videos of the pros of different throwing styles. I'm able to focus on the similarities rather than the differences.

I have read about elbow chop in the instructional articles and in countless threads, but for some reason I overlooked it's importance or just did not understand it. I'm also certain now that my other friends who may be struggling are not are not getting that chop. I'm so excited to get out and drill this into my form. Too bad everything is coated in ice at the moment...
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Re: Maxing out @ 300ft...

Postby Blake_T » Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:04 pm

I have read about elbow chop in the instructional articles and in countless threads, but for some reason I overlooked it's importance or just did not understand it. I'm also certain now that my other friends who may be struggling are not are not getting that chop. I'm so excited to get out and drill this into my form. Too bad everything is coated in ice at the moment...


you can probably find a way to learn how to hit it with limited motion. it's actually best trying to learn to hit it using very limited motion.

i wouldn't focus much on the chop as this can be counter-productive. you don't force the chop to happen, the chop happens on its own and you make the chop stronger by accelerating and delivering force. being too rigid entering the chop will prevent the chop from happening with the correct timing/bio-mechanics.

here's a garage drill for you.

hang up a bed-sheet or something in the garage. draw a 1' x 1' square on it. stand 8-10' back and perform stationary right pec drills that begin with a 90 degree turn of the right shoulder (turning you from 180 degrees away to 90 degrees away) and a slight lean/weight shift over your pivot foot. the chop will happen then. your goal is to throw full power at the square. DO NOT physically pull at all until you have visual contact and you can feel things directed down the line towards the square.

the key here is not trying to throw hard at all until after the disc passes beyond your body towards the target. at that point it is already "into the chop".

DO NOT try to have a massive follow through. let a natural follow through happen.

DO NOT try to force the elbow to straighten all the way. chances are you'll find greater success when the elbow stays slightly bent.

start out relaxed and try to feel the timing and flow of the chop and the wrist extension near the hit.

if you are doing this correctly you will get MORE accurate the harder you try to throw. this is wholly dependent upon not trying to throw hard until the right time.
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Re: Maxing out @ 300ft...

Postby JHern » Thu Jan 21, 2010 5:44 pm

This has become an excellent thread now, I was hoping all of this was putting out the right scents, and that we might eventually draw out from hibernation and receive a masterful piece from Blake! Righteous!

One day it would be nice to write down an extensive summary of all of this in a really nice form (book form, maybe?), especially since so many people have found it to be useful. The material that has already been written here would form a great foundation. We can get Leopard and others to generate nice illustrations. And I could add the work that I've been doing on the physics of disc flight. We could also ask some pros if they'd like to contribute. And people who know about the manufacturing and design process to expound on the molding process, the history of molds, plastics, etc.. It would be a PhD level treatise on everything related to discs, disc throwing, and disc flight. I could also easily format the book and figures using latex, and generate PDF versions. I'll light a back-burner.

Even though I'm in California, I'm also stuck indoors and not able to practice much or get any rounds in. Now I know what you guys who live in real winter must feel like (well, not really...but sorta maybe). We've had a wicked bout of pineapple express that is lasting for days and days. Rain, gusts up to 60 MPH, trees banging against by bedroom at night, hail, flooding, mudflows, fallen trees, etc., it just keeps coming and coming. And I'm not opposed to throwing in the rain, either, but this stuff is impossible. Oh well. Maybe we're all jones-ing to get out and throw, and that's why we've been seeing better content on the posts lately!
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Re: Maxing out @ 300ft...

Postby MrScoopa » Thu Jan 21, 2010 6:35 pm

Thanks guys(all of you). I needed to get my head back on track. So much information I do get overwhelmed at times!

The basics: Let my core do the work up until the hit. I'll feel the weight of the disc.

I really enjoy reading all your posts Blake! They are so packed with info it took me reading it 3 times for it to start sinking in.
The part about the last 12" of the throw really hit a key. I think it will help me keep focused on worrying about the hit.

One slow day, no joke, I searched for and read through I don't know how many of your posts! :lol:
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Re: Maxing out @ 300ft...

Postby JR » Thu Jan 21, 2010 10:14 pm

lefty-hyzer wrote:edit: mafa, horrible example, standstill still shot that's doesn't prove/validate your point.....really?


I shot this footage and let me tell you that Avery did not a single one standing still throw. My Casio EX-F1 took 300 pictures per second in this clip. Watch the elbow angle of the right arm. See where it starts to open. It is indeed in the left pec area. Edit: Judging from where the disc is at the onset of elbow chopping.

I'm busy now as we got even better video news and my new sound card arrived :-) That means more work making the English commentary for Tali Open 2009. Provided the sound ain't bad and if it is oh well a more expensive card then. This means I won't be able to put words into those pics of why, what where, when and how it feels and which muscles work at which tension level changing into which tension where and when after which previous efforts in each picture trying to achieve what and why for a while. As you can guess from that it's gonna be a long one. I think it's best if it's done in several pieces. Later.
Last edited by JR on Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Maxing out @ 300ft...

Postby Redisculous » Thu Jan 21, 2010 10:23 pm

lefty-hyzer wrote: standstill still shot


Clearly a link to the footage is in order.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHSZyYAVPbs

I've watched this at least a hundred times. I can't wait to see what else you guys have up your sleeve.
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Re: Maxing out @ 300ft...

Postby gretagun » Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:07 am

Blake_T wrote:
I have read about elbow chop in the instructional articles and in countless threads, but for some reason I overlooked it's importance or just did not understand it. I'm also certain now that my other friends who may be struggling are not are not getting that chop. I'm so excited to get out and drill this into my form. Too bad everything is coated in ice at the moment...


you can probably find a way to learn how to hit it with limited motion. it's actually best trying to learn to hit it using very limited motion.

i wouldn't focus much on the chop as this can be counter-productive. you don't force the chop to happen, the chop happens on its own and you make the chop stronger by accelerating and delivering force. being too rigid entering the chop will prevent the chop from happening with the correct timing/bio-mechanics.


Thanks Blake. I think I understand what you are saying.

One quick stupid question about the drill you posted. When you say "turning you from 180 degrees to 90 degrees away", are you referring to reachback? As in my shoulders should now be parallel to the target instead of perpendicular?
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Re: Maxing out @ 300ft...

Postby Blake_T » Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:13 am

When you say "turning you from 180 degrees to 90 degrees away", are you referring to reachback? As in my shoulders should now be parallel to the target instead of perpendicular?


shoulder turn, not reach back. start with your back facing the target and rotate in a controlled manner (not rushed) to the right shoulder facing the target. that motion triggers the elbow chop. if you unnaturally force the rotation to happen too quickly and without a pause at the 90 degree point (most players are guilty of this), the chop won't happen correctly.
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Re: Maxing out @ 300ft...

Postby Blake_T » Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:36 am

i have 2-3 minutes quick so i'll elaborate on something that people don't always understand correctly.

when i've written articles i've often talked about incidental motion. those are motions that happen because of other motions (and not because you try to make them). lots of important disc golf motions must be triggered incidentally but you can forcibly accelerate through them once the natural timing/uncoiling has begun. attempting to force the motion without its natural trigger will be much less powerful since it doesn't have all of the neat physics tricks associated with how the motions are supposed to be.

your right shoulder turns (while pulling the arm) and pauses around 90 degrees turn... the arm wants to keep going forward.
your elbow is moving forwards and pauses/slows down/changes direction from forwards to the right... at that point the forearm wants to keep going forward... and that is the chop.
the forearm is moving forwards and "runs out of room" and abruptly changes direction from moving forwards to moving to the right... at that point the hand/disc wants to keep going forward... and that is wrist extension.

the right pec drill consolidates the first 2 of these into one motion since you are already in (or very near) the elbow forward potision.

Brad's Phil drill isolates the wrist extension part of this.
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Re: Maxing out @ 300ft...

Postby black udder » Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:49 am

Maybe I'm delirious, but that all makes sense, Blake. While I know I'm not doing it all 100% correct, I have lots of timing issues to work on and still some form issues, I feel like I'm understanding what I'm supposed to do.

It's interesting because when I first arrived here, you probably posted something similar to what's in this thread before, but it didn't click. Now it all just seems to be so simple to understand. Not so much easy to do though :)
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