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Old 02-22-2015, 04:02 PM
TruthHurts TruthHurts is offline
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Default Success of high level athletes in disc golf...

My contention is that the current best disc golfers in the world aren't in that position because of their physical gifts, and athleticism, but because there is not a significant talent pool to offer them any real competition. Therefore, them being able to devote extra time to practice, puts them in a position to continuously win tournaments, and perform well against the level of talent around them. Performance is a product of time devoted to practice, and athleticism, where both are inversely proportional to one another. I.E. Somebody with not much athleticism, given enough time, will be at the same level as somebody with more athleticism, and little time.

I believe that were somebody with a more pronounced athletic background, say a college baseball player from a division 2 school, to devote the same amount of time to training disc golf, they would surpass the top players in a short amount of time. Not only in scores, but in distance, putting range, etc. I say this for several reasons, but mainly from the watching guys with even modest sports backgrounds find instant success at disc golf.

If I recall correctly, there was a gentleman on here(or possibly DGR) who plays semi-professional football, and decided to try to learn to throw for distance. He had only 2 discs to practice with, and was able to break 500' on a consistent basis with minimal practice after 2 weeks. I'm not saying distance translates to instant success, but it's something that a lot of top pros had to train years to achieve, and many still can't do. Another example is a gentleman by the name of Glenn P. He's a pretty big guy, and was able to push discs out past 500' primarily using only upper body strength. The sound the discs make when they leave his hand, and the flight characteristics are like nothing I've seen on video from any of the top pros, let alone in person. He's not throwing huge anhyzers, or hyzer flips, he's throwing flat, straight shots that get out to 400' in a few seconds before even starting to have any action.

Now, think about somebody like a college baseball pitcher. They're capable of propelling a fast ball to 85-90mph from 60' away, into a strike zone of about 3 square feet. To do that consistently requires a firm understanding of weight transfer, body mechanics, and all the skills that would translate into a disc golf throw. Not to mention the similarities between a baseball swing, and a backhand throw. I find it hard to believe that somebody capable of learning to do that, would be unable to grasp something as simple as a disc golf backhand, forehand, overhand, or putt in a short period of time. Not only learn it, but excel at it.

If people with sports backgrounds that don't translate to disc golf pick it up so quickly, guys who have trained their whole life in a sport, and had success doing so at high levels, would excel. What are others' opinions?
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Old 02-22-2015, 04:30 PM
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I think you make it sound too easy. Just because you can throw a round ball fast for a short distance, you can throw an aerodynamic object far and accurately. I understand there may be some "form" similarities involved but I think someone than can smash a baseball long distances with a bat has a better chance with a disc "distance" than a pitcher will. The pitcher will probably develop his forehand faster though.

There are more variables that happen with mechanics, disc flight AND the parameters that mother nature has 400' away from where you originally released said object.

I think you can learn this game quickly but mastery takes a lot of time. To me athleticism may help you starting out but that is no guarantee you can compete at high level because of that. Compare the build of Avery to Will Schusterick, Avery is the football jock while Will was the chess club geek who could barely carry his backpack from class to class.

Last edited by discguy42; 02-22-2015 at 04:34 PM.
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Old 02-22-2015, 04:38 PM
Buchajs1 Buchajs1 is offline
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Youre acting like there is no good athletes in disc golf.... Paul Mcbeth was thinking about stepping up to pro baseball
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Old 02-22-2015, 04:44 PM
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I copied my response from other thread to match your moved topic (and added a bit more).

If you actually researched what additional athletic expertise many of our top players of all ages have demonstrated at earlier times in their lives, you might change your tune regarding their lack of athletic talent. In particular, many disc golfers in the 80s were all-around disc specialists with some of those disciplines requiring more athletic ability than disc golf such as discathon, SCF (Self Caught Flight) or double disc court.

Some of those athletes in their 50s and 60s are still better than most youngsters. If disc golf was where it is now, back then, where those athletes might have pursued disc golf full-time, I suspect you would see them just as competitive with our top players of today.

The PDGA is working to enter old tournament data and we'll eventually be able to reverse the ratings process to generate a lot of them going back to the early 80s where we have sufficient tournament details to make the calculations. So far, we don't have much indication that a 1050+ rating is sustainable, just that more players will potentially be able to reach the 1040s.

The game as it stands right now has certain limits to where a player with more athleticism than what's needed to score in the sport doesn't pay off. For example, even our farthest throwers get little advantage on courses designed properly for their skill level. In fact, a design that overly favors power over finesse would/should not be considered a good design. One of the key athletic elements in our sport among many others is the ability to consistently reproduce throwing motions, especially for putting. It's similar to grooving a bowling or archery release. There's no indication that our athletes haven't topped out on that athletic ability.

In fact, my observation in the gradual decline seen among all players as they age is the slow decline of muscles and nervous system undermines that consistently reproducible throw they developed when younger. In many cases, their power/distance does not decline until much older (65+), and in fact, that slow decline doesn't matter on many courses they play in competition.
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Old 02-22-2015, 04:50 PM
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I tend to agree with you, but on the whole I think you're speaking to the wrong audience about this.

Disc golf is still in a stage where much outside thought is met with a lot of people taking offense or being overly defensive. The thick skin hasn't been developed yet, because so many people (myself included) love the sport and want so badly to see it grow that it is tough to see any flaws in it.

That said, I think you'd have to put an "athlete" versus a normal guy both starting disc golf at the same time to really prove your point. I am not sure an athlete who picks up disc golf today and devotes McBeth time to it is going to beat McBeth, purely because the current champ has a ridiculous head start.

That said, there is also the mental makeup factor that, while required in many sports, is on a different level in disc golf since it is a largely individual endeavor. I think there should be more credit given to the current level of pros for being able to have the focused mental makeup to succeed, rather than just the body.
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Old 02-22-2015, 04:51 PM
timj5304 timj5304 is offline
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Nate doss was a point guard for an unbeaten high school team, pretty sure jeremy koling was a college forward, cameron colglazier was a shortstop, cale leiviska shortstop, pretty much any of the new wave athletes get good really fast.
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Old 02-22-2015, 04:53 PM
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If you are good at swinging something a bat or golf club, it's going to transition well to distance, but not necessarily playing a round of disc golf. Katchz is the semi-pro you are referencing, he was also a long ball golf competitor with some ridiculous club head speed like 130mph, so his pure swing mechanics have been honed quite extensively, that's Jamie Sadlowski territory. Throwing far is not the same as playing competitive disc golf, I think he was playing around 950 rated disc golf. That's a far cry from beating the top pros. The mental game is bit different in disc golf/ball golf than other sports than are more reactionary.

On the subject of throwing far and being an athlete, I don't think you need to look much further than Christian Sandstrom or Ville Piippo. Sandstrom competed in high level fitness competitions and has extensive knowledge in bio-mechanics and won something like 10 straight distance titles. His record was beaten by David Wiggins who is also very athletic, I think he had baseball scholarships lined up but decided to go pro disc golf. Wiggins record was beaten by Lizotte who is perfectly built to throw far and he is also very athletic. Ville was an Olympic javelin thrower and holds the world record for the longest cell phone toss. Sandstrom and Ville have never been able to compete with the top pros despite all their athletic prowess and distance.
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Old 02-22-2015, 04:56 PM
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Ummm ... my golf handicap was around a 3 in high school, and my batting average was around .500. I suck at DG. Are you saying I'll surpass everyone but the "decent" athletes at the top of the field?

McBeth went DG over baseball because he couldn't put on enough weight. Not because he wasn't athletic enough.
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Old 02-22-2015, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Ensor View Post
Ummm ... my golf handicap was around a 3 in high school, and my batting average was around .500. I suck at DG. Are you saying I'll surpass everyone but the "decent" athletes at the top of the field?

McBeth went DG over baseball because he couldn't put on enough weight. Not because he wasn't athletic enough.
I'd also guess he saw there was a greater opportunity to make a name for himself as a disc golfer than a baseball player. Probably made the right choice.
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Old 02-22-2015, 05:01 PM
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McWho? Oh ... the Anglels' backup 2B?
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