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Old 05-11-2020, 03:32 PM
adamgservo adamgservo is offline
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Default Backhand Counting Rhythm

I was warming up for some distance field work and doing a few practice motions before throwing. I'm a big fan of those technique instructions that incorporate the concept of rhythm into the backhand swing, and it occurred to me that perhaps it was possible to take it one step further and actually count the rhythm.

Disclaimer: I'm not proposing that counting is the optimal way to approach timing in the throw. In fact, I think that while useful it will probably limit your distance at some point where you will need to abandon counting. However I was able to throw a little over 400 feet using this technique. I completely max out at 450 feet (as in only thrown that a few times ever), and I can hit 400 feet about 1 in 4 throws with distance drivers. I haven't tried this technique enough to be sure, but I seemed to be hitting approximately the same rate of 400+ as before I tried to incorporate it.


The technique is based on the standard 4/4 musical beat count:
1 e and a 2 e and a 3 e and a 4 e and a...

The numbers are quarter notes and the other syllables are the sixteenth notes in between the quarter notes. You could say 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16, but big numbers have more than one syllable which makes counting evenly-spaced beats problematic and attaching the actual numbers to quarter notes is useful because you can easily transition from:
1 e and a 2 e and a 3 e and a 4 e and a
To: 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and
To: 1 2 3 4
So that is why you get the "1 e and a" nomenclature.

For me, it made sense to attach the numbers (quarter notes) to the times where your feet contact the ground in an X-step because this is the easiest signal for your body to detect. And then it seemed like the hip engagement was on the 'e'. I also feel like there is some pre-movement that is useful to engage the rhythmic element (swinging your hips basically), so I came up with:

e and a 1 e and a 2 e and a Pull

First e = left hip back

1 = right foot down (first step in x-step)

2nd e = right hip forward

2 = left foot down (2nd step in x-step)

3rd e = body turns for reachback (also left hip back again, but the body turn is more obvious. If you warm up swinging your arm as a stand-still throw without turning your body, then the left hip back before the hit is clear).

the "and" before Pull = I don't really monitor this as part of the rhythm, but this is probably where your arm gets to full reachback. Maybe closer to the "a" before Pull. Don't think it matters much as long as you get fully back before the Pull.

Pull = plant foot down. Begin to pull your arm forward. (Maybe there should be a bit more lag between plant foot contact and the pull. Or maybe there should be a bit more lag before the plant foot comes down. That would likely be the limiting factor of this technique.) "Pull" is definitely not where the disc is released. It is the very start of all the weight transfer and pulling your arm forward.

You don't really think about the "e" hip stuff, but it is helpful to start with something like the elephant walk drill which establishes a nice relation between hip-engagement, foot-plant, arm-swing.

I personally struggle with pulling too early when my timing is off. On those occasions I think I don't reach back fully or hit my plant foot too quickly or both. The counting process makes it way easier to avoid that issue. It also inherently helps throw more in line with how you are lined up. I find many of my off-target throws are really just pulling at the wrong time so your body is not lined up properly.
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Old 05-11-2020, 06:59 PM
curmudgeonDwindle curmudgeonDwindle is offline
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This approach to 'improvement' was first posited (in print) by a writer named W Timothy Gallwey in 'The Inner Game of Tennis'. I believe the book is now OOP, but maybe not. He also wrote another volume, 'The Inner Game of Golf'.

The point of the exercise is to occupy the conscious mind with rhythm counting. This allows the 'other parts' of the golfer or tennis player to 'express' the shot in its most pure form; it's a misdirection if you will. Gallwey believes that psychological tension causes inappropriate bodily tension, and inappropriate bodily tension results in any throw being less than optimal (like that horrible grip-lock shank into the schule).

I personally have found the technique most valuable in putting and believe it to have merit.

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Old 05-11-2020, 07:19 PM
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sidewinder22 sidewinder22 is offline
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Gary Player Waltz:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1qav60rRSY#t=5m34s

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Last edited by sidewinder22; 05-11-2020 at 07:24 PM.
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Old 05-11-2020, 07:28 PM
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Old 05-11-2020, 09:57 PM
adamgservo adamgservo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curmudgeonDwindle View Post
This approach to 'improvement' was first posited (in print) by a writer named W Timothy Gallwey in 'The Inner Game of Tennis'. I believe the book is now OOP, but maybe not. He also wrote another volume, 'The Inner Game of Golf'.

The point of the exercise is to occupy the conscious mind with rhythm counting. This allows the 'other parts' of the golfer or tennis player to 'express' the shot in its most pure form; it's a misdirection if you will. Gallwey believes that psychological tension causes inappropriate bodily tension, and inappropriate bodily tension results in any throw being less than optimal (like that horrible grip-lock shank into the schule).

I personally have found the technique most valuable in putting and believe it to have merit.

I think misdirection is a great term for it. The counting isn't necessary at all, but it tricks the body into behaving.
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Old 05-11-2020, 10:02 PM
adamgservo adamgservo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sidewinder22 View Post

That elephant walk golf ball hitting drill with the foot taps and counting is exactly what I was doing. The only difference is that he did a 3/4 waltz count, and I was attempting a 4/4 count. Not that it matters how you count, but they certainly have a different feel that can make the body react differently.

I had a chance to do some field work this evening. I tried out the 3/4 waltz count. I wasn't quite as consistent as with the 4/4 because I think the 3/4 count still gave me a tendency to rush the hit. However on those occasions where I did the 3/4 count properly and didn't rush, it did seem like maybe that rhythm was better suited to disc golf swing timing.
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Old 05-11-2020, 11:07 PM
PercTruman PercTruman is offline
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I'm a percussionist by career, so i like the idea of using a counting scheme to assist with timing. I'd be curious to know what your tempo is overall, and I wonder if a person's height would alter the most useful tempo.
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Old 05-12-2020, 12:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adamgservo View Post
That elephant walk golf ball hitting drill with the foot taps and counting is exactly what I was doing. The only difference is that he did a 3/4 waltz count, and I was attempting a 4/4 count. Not that it matters how you count, but they certainly have a different feel that can make the body react differently.

I had a chance to do some field work this evening. I tried out the 3/4 waltz count. I wasn't quite as consistent as with the 4/4 because I think the 3/4 count still gave me a tendency to rush the hit. However on those occasions where I did the 3/4 count properly and didn't rush, it did seem like maybe that rhythm was better suited to disc golf swing timing.
I can't read or play music, so I'm not 100% on this kind of stuff, but I'm thinking this timing difference is why a student of mine is struggling who is a hip hop dance instructor. I didn't believe he taught dance because his rhythm is so off, but I guess he has literally been training against smoothness so this makes a lot sense to me now. Everything he did was really quick and jerky, instead of flowing and smooth transitions back and forth. I think the waltz is the rhythm for the swing, it makes more sense to me 1,2,3...1,2,3...1,2,3... forward swing, backswing, forward swing. Staccato vs Legato.



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Last edited by sidewinder22; 05-12-2020 at 12:34 AM.
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Old 05-12-2020, 12:50 AM
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Waltz x-step just continues forward into plant.




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Old 05-12-2020, 03:20 AM
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I fully support this method. It helps me iron out my swing. Personally though my count times my legs and then the last snap or #4 is a half beat. Or 1,2,3, 3.5
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