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Advice For Improvement

by Kirk Savage

I am writing in about this topic not because I am a great distance thrower. In fact I am quite the opposite. Throwing the disc was something that I did with much trepidation for many years. In fact I was ridiculed constantly by my teammates for not being able to throw a simple backhand (which is why my scoober is a decent throw for me now). 

However, over the years I have improved in this area and I do have some advice to pass along to others who struggle. 

1. Practice throwing a ton. But simple practice does not make perfect. I think I remember Wayne Gretzky saying that "Perfect practice makes perfect." Get someone to take a look at what you are doing or videotape yourself if need be to make sure you that you are not practicing a flawed skill. Then choose one throw a year that you are going to improve and work on that throw before practice, after practice, and during game play. Make that throw a weapon before you move on to the next. This may mean that you have to play fun tournaments or league in order to find a game where you can play loose and try things out. For me I played ultimate 4-7 times a week for the first six years I played (league, college, and club all at the same time). I still miss my college day... 

2. Mechanics are very important. This is where everyone does things a little different, but in order to get distance you need power and explosiveness. The power needs to come from a summation of your joints (shoulder, elbow, wrist) as well as a transfer of weight from your legs and hips. Your explosiveness will come from the final snap on the disc (like whipping a towel at your brother). For me, I have found an inside out throw to help me with my longer throws (both forehand and backhand) because I am able to hold onto the disc for a longer period of time. This creates a larger throwing arc and this allows me to generate more power. 

3. Grip—Some people play around with different grips. I use the split finger for forehand (more of a touch throw grip). A popular power grip for the flick is to have two fingers together. 

4. Genetics are key. Some people can just throw things further than others. Shank and MG who I have played with forever can both throw the disc forehand really far. I could practice and train all the time and never be able to out throw either of them. 

5. Drills—Hucking in game situations is always the best way to improve your long game. However I do have a old favorite drill that I used to play with a buddy at the park. This drill is a 1-on-1 game where you are trying to out throw your opponent and force them backwards and out-of-bounds. What you do is you line up about 60 yards from each other with the middle of the park in between the two of you. One player throws the disc as far as they can over their opponent's head. That player then catches the disc as quickly (and high) as they can (trying not to lose yards) and they throw it, trying to gain yards back. If you drop a catch—then you have to take five steps backwards before you huck it. Once a player is forced past a certain out-of-bounds line the game is over. It is tiring, fun, and improves your distance throws and catches. 

6. Confidence—If you think you can throw it a long way, you can. However, if you doubt yourself and are unsure; then you will short arm it, lame duck it, or air bounce it up into the stratosphere. 

huddle Issue 10 Throwing For Distance

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

Complete Every Huck
by Gwen Ambler

Find Your Chris Page
by Lou Burruss

Face A Mark
by Jeremy Cram

My Secrets For Throwing Farther
by Parker Krug

Long Backhands
by Miranda Roth

Advice For Improvement
by Kirk Savage

My 2¢ On Hucking
by Nancy Sun

Starting Body Mechanics Early
by Paul Vandenberg




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