Offseason Improvement Thread

So, to convince myself of this, I threw some standstills in the field. 40 degrees and no wind. Standstill putters went 250, uplink hyzer flipped to 340. Mids and drivers went 300 to 350.

Then, did full throws. Sure enough, the same results. Even my Boss that flys well on a flex line flexed hard, looked great, then only went for 350 feet.

Very true on the standstill. I’m throwing more accurately than last year, but I don’t think I’ve made any progress with regards to power, which is pretty disappointing.

Going to take a bit of a break and maybe just hit the course for fun. But I’ll be back eventually to try to optimize the standstill.
 
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1. Your head tilt/turn there is all off. I would suggest just trying to keep your head more neutral/natural to your spine and eyes on target on your lateral runs. The head shouldn't turn back until very late in backswing.

2. Your left elbow is going way behind your back/posterior, this is bad for the spine and slowing your swing down/dragging. Try to keep your left elbow near your hip, and palm facing stomach, but you can allow the hand to swing up/out some.
 
So I swallowed my pill and admitted I need to work on my One Leg Drill and standstill throw, then work my way up. At least I understand a lot of the mechanics from my offseason work, which helps the build-up process (hopefully).

Yesterday I spent some time going through the OLD, then the standstill, focusing on the butt-wipe and head tilt.

This morning I recorded some progress (videos 1 & 2). I then did a couple of slow motion throws. Both throws were beat in Judge putters, the rear throw for 270 the front for 250.

Questions I have:
When should my shoulder close and when should it open up?
Am I tilting my head back too early?
Is my forward lean correct? Looks like I’m swinging to flat to the ground.
I’m winding up like GG does, but I’m wondering if my release angle is too high. Maybe I should present my release point lower prior to wind up?


Then, this morning I proceeded to do my Hershyzer and stride drills, focusing on looking forward (strides), proper head tilt timing (Hershyzer), and other things.

I’ve been confused for a long time on the vertical component of throwing. How is it I’ve seen videos of one guy saying “your head needs to be level for the whole throw”, while here no one seems to really care about that? It’s lead to a lot of conflicting information for me.

For example: in my strides, should I actually be hopping as I run? Or should I be moving smoothly?
For the wind up, should I wind it up on a straight line, or swing it back like a golf swing?

Luckily, you (SW22) made a video explaining the difference between a horizontal and vertical throw (huge thanks for it).

This video helped a lot. If your body is more adapted to Eagle’s physique (athletic, slender, fast, young), then you should probably go for horizontal. If you’re more like GG (big, stocky), then you should harness your body weight and go vertical.

My only worry is the vertical throw may not allow for laser throws, unless maybe you adjust for release point. But, as I get old, and I’m not slim or athletic, maybe the vertical throw is better for me (although maybe bad on the knees).

anyway, knowing this, what I should focus on in doing all of my drills started to click a lot more, and will help out a lot in the long run.




 
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This morning I worked on “dropping” into my throw more, and I worked on taking a shorter plant step.

The rear footage below my form doesn’t look bad, but the front looks terrible for some reason.





 
OLD: You need to let the disc get you "pulled taut" in the backswing. It helps if you still let some foot pressure go through the instep of the rear foot like he does in his. I failed to do that for a while and it cost me and I had to backtrack because my posture wasn't integrating my rear leg at all - and I'm still sorting that out months later. This is a good time for me to wait and see what SW would say from there mechanically so I don't "too many cooks" you.


I will try to help assuage your curious mind. Your Q's numbered and answered:
Questions I have:
1. When should my shoulder close and when should it open up?
2. Am I tilting my head back too early?
3. Is my forward lean correct? Looks like I’m swinging to flat to the ground.
4. I’m winding up like GG does, but I’m wondering if my release angle is too high. Maybe I should present my release point lower prior to wind up?

5.I’ve been confused for a long time on the vertical component of throwing. How is it I’ve seen videos of one guy saying “your head needs to be level for the whole throw”, while here no one seems to really care about that? It’s lead to a lot of conflicting information for me.

6. For example: in my strides, should I actually be hopping as I run? Or should I be moving smoothly?
For the wind up, should I wind it up on a straight line, or swing it back like a golf swing?

1. https://youtu.be/aADjcR_ZtUw?t=376

2. Head balance and associated tilt should generally track smoothly with the body back and forth. IMO it's easier to learn it that way rather than try to force the position or tilt. Any time I've deviated from that I get hitches or balance problems or neck cramps while learning. This is also a dance thing (which I did for a number of years). But I do know some people advise differently so I'll see what SW or others say.

3. Not sure what forward lean means there.

4. In general you want loft/parabolic trajectory on all throws. More loft for slower than faster discs generally speaking if you want distance. It is helpful to "slash thru" your release point in your pumps so your body knows what it's trying to do.

5. I don't know who "one guy" is but I have a guess. I don't even feel the need to apologize about disagreeing at this point because he's simply wrong if you even bother to look at 10 minutes of footage. The head is connected to the body. It should be balanced over your strides and help form the tilted axis to swing. The head drops with the body into the plant even for very horizontal players like modern McBeth. The path the head takes is a flattened pendulum or wave - just like the entire swing.

Top line here is top of head.
Jkwh843.jpg


Well, could it just be Simon? Nope, not quite:
TlSEKVJ.jpg


Gibson looks like a horizontal thrower to some people. He's got a massive vertical force as he powers up:
ZujbkKA.png


Kuoksa looks like a purely horizontal thrower. But what's this? Looks like a slight drop with a flattened pendulum or wave:
3cnkdHB.png


If the head should stay on the same level, a 1x world champion and most recent FPO major winner would like a word with you:
s2J4YLN.png


And I'm running out of time & images so I'll say "and so on."

If you **** this idea up, you might end up throwing with a pretty bad tilted axis and risk of back injury:

YFXH3PT.png



6. IMO - and I'm very close to not calling it an opinion anymore and I know SW agrees - it's a hop. Hops can be smooth and look very horizontal (which becomes a "stride"). Seem unbelievable? Well, that's why Simon can do what he does. Once you understand it (and start to do it) you will see it everywhere. Legs should compress and decompress sorta like big springs - which they tend to naturally do when you hop:

HNPOuiJ.gif


From a coaching perspective, if it doesn't function like a trot, gallop, or hop regardless of what it looks like, your leg is probably doing the wrong action. I know because been there, done that, and possibly have had more trouble learning the correct leg action than anyone else I've seen go through the grinder here.
 
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^ First image of Simon above is his eye line. The image below that is tops of heads. Just confirming that I know where heads are despite appearances.
 
Update: we were out of town this weekend, so I played a wooded course (in the rain and wind of course). I’ve only been playing with a standstill. One of my throws “grip locked” hard to the right.

I decided to do a re-throw, and the next one “popped” out with the same phenomenon, but straight. I consider this a bit of an “ah-ha” moment that I should have had a while ago.

Reverting back to SW22’s comments on “grip-locking”, I’ll summarize it as him saying that you finally get the correct release, but your tilted spiral and posture is so messed up that it releases 40+ degrees to the right.

Reverting back to my throws and videos last week, all my putters would release on a bit of an anhyzer then burn out to the right. In retrospect, this seemed like a symptom of the same problem. Upon film review last week, it seemed like I continued to have a tilting issue.

My body naturally doesn’t tilt enough when throwing is because IMO the slope of the disc’s path makes it feel like you’re literally going to throw the disc into the ground. Upon practicing this on the rest of the course, it took a few good throws and dopamine hits to realize this isn’t the case and that the disc will actually pop out very reliably.

Conclusion: my tilted spiral isn’t tilted enough.

With this morning’s drills, I really focused in on replicating that correction, with what I think are pretty good results. In previous videos, I felt like I had quite a tilted spiral, but upon film review, it was nowhere near what it felt.

So I really started to exaggerating the tilted position, to the point of my upper body making a “pocket” around the disc. Once this was corrected, it started to feel like I could power up the disc with all sorts of the effects we’ve been drilling out (door frame, Hershyzer, butt wipe, etc.) so maybe it’s all starting to click?

 
so maybe it’s all starting to click?

In disc golf and academia it is a habit of students to hope that their learning is complete. I always smile when they send me a draft that says "Final" on it before I turn on Track Changes.

Your next lesson is patience. I'm not good at that either, but I'm learning.

You're still never really in balance or shifting your mass on the axis. You're still marching around horse-stanced and forcing it. You need to be lighter and looser on your feet. Your legs should feel like springs and not ramrods. You're muscling up doing a bicep curl like Goku trying to power up because you haven't given your body the chance to figure out where the power comes from.

8bhdpuy.png


You don't get much out of that. The reason Simon gets more out of peak effort than you or me is because of his pristine chain and control of his balance. Any time I've tried to add effort before finding better movement it has backfired.

WNUylsB.png


Look how smooth his swing is. Here he's not quite throwing full power. See how much more relaxed he looks? This is what you want to master before you worry about effort.


It was only recently that adding effort had a reliable effect on my swing power. IMO getting mastery over the chain and how effort should work late in the swing as you come out of the backswing is important, and you can only do that well if you're in balance shifting off the rear leg not horse-stanced.

Watch how your body is moving overall. Very stacatto and "trying" to whip. You're not in balance like you are when you walk or Simon. Don't force the whip. Learn what makes the whip happen.

Look how slow Schusterick is moving off the rear is relative to how fast the disc comes out.

oZT6OJ.gif


Notice how much slower McBeth is moving off the rear side and how far the disc goes.





IMO figure out how to make your body do this at a slow, accelerating tempo for 200' and 250' and 300'+ (especially with your body) with putters. It will make everything else easier. I promise.

I hate to break it to you, but I really don't think you're going to bullrush through this forcing the X-hop/step. You need enough of your chain to change that it's just making learning it harder. If you are going to do it, I would be working on Elephant walk, which forces your swing to be more lateral to target, and Swivel stairs working on posture. I think you cut bait on simpler things like throwing on one leg or Door Frame too soon. It makes it easier to relax, too.

I'm curious what SW will recommend for tempo and posture and helping you get off the rear side better.

*Yes, you need more effort to reach peak power. But you need to master your sequence, gravity, and momentum for the effort to matter. This is why I say I work at 70% or 80% momentum now. I realized that I can separate how much I'm getting from my body moving in space from how much muscular power goes in. It was only this month that I started to figure out I could add a little stank along the chain (real "effort") on a throw that added power. But I'm still getting most of the power from momentum and that's what I work on the most.
 
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I actually wanted to use an example of a not great swing from myself that involves some good action to help you see something about where "real power" comes from.

Watch the first one here.



There, I'm leaning & feet are off so I'm turning too far back while trying to get my head back "on the stack" to help improve my own axis. My body always leans more at first when it knows there's going to be more acceleration and I have to fight through it each time that happens.

But what I want you to see is how quickly the disc whips out of my hand compared to how slow I'm moving. Do you see how my body kind of balances in recoil and tips back away a bit in follow through? Some of that is momentum I didn't quite commit into the disc because I was learning away. It's also showing you the vented ground force from the swing. That impact on the ground is where much of the power comes from.

Now, ask yourself "How effortful was that?"

I can tell you because it was my body that it literally feels effortless. That is me throwing at ~65-70% momentum on a limited x-hop. Notice that I was working to start removing the tipping/leaning way by nudging around my balance and feet. Big miss on my 2nd swing. Then you can see it changing a bit by the 3rd swing (at ~0:11 there). I am trying to commit even more of that ground force effect I get when I land into the forward momentum of the disc. Notice that my follow through also starts to look smoother by the third swing. I couldn't solve everything in one session and still didn't quite get my head and postural alignments where they should be, so that's what I'm still working on.

There's obviously muscle involved in the swing, and more muscle is recruited also as you get to your peak momentum because of the forces involved in the swing. But the idea is that you only want the muscles doing the work in the sequence-and only just long enough - to do their job. Getting your body in a good spot to master momentum is a lot of the battle.
 
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Look how slow Schusterick is moving off the rear is relative to how fast the disc comes out.

oZT6OJ.gif


.

So this loop in particular really caught my attention. The “snap”/wipe Will does is exaggerated in the loop and demonstrates a big difference and flaw in my standstill, possibly even helping me with the “horse stance” thing I continue to struggle to get around.

His knees point in the same direction consistently vs mine which always point away from each other… hence horse stance.

So I did this drill I’m calling the “Will Wipe” repeatedly:


Then I tried to replicate his standstill:



I noticed I have more of a vertical push off my rear foot (red arrow), vs Will who seems to have more of a horizontal (blue arrow). Is this something I should correct, or does it show I just have more of a vertical body movement than he does?
 

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Hey all!

Hope your season is going well and drier than ours. I’m posting mid-late season as a status update, but also looking for feedback on something I’ve been working on/would like to change before the off-season starts.

At the bottom is some solicitation for feedback if you want to skip all the bloggy nonsense.

Things that are going well:
Been improving consistently in our local wooded courses. Both courses I shot top-10 rounds on Udisc for the month. Could be experience, could be consistency.

Lot of field work - I do field work a couple of times a week, and only play a course once every couple of weeks. This seems to work.

Pendulum motion - this seems to work well as a mid season thing to work on, since it feels natural and is much better than my muscling habit.

kick the can - as above, this feels natural and correct, and allows me to “let loose” on the course.

Things that are not going well:
An entire season to ruin my form and return to bad habits.
Horse stance.
Flexibility.

Things to improve on mid season:
I am in a constant struggle to improve my horse stance and inconsistent releases on power throws, and I’m also constantly leading with my chin. Amongst many things, I think the most important culprit to tackle is the same for both these problems, which is what they call in ball golf “the early look up”. This was a problem for me in ball golf that I could never conquer.

Resolution: I’ve been working on focusing and watching my back foot through the entire throw. This seems to help, but needs more field work.

disc release: I’m still struggling with how/where to release the disc. Watching my back foot seems to have helped with the timing, but nose angle is a problem. I can’t “pour the coffee” without tensing up my entire forearm.

Resolution:
Ive been working on the power pocket explained motion, but with a dingle arm/pendulum drill to get the muscle memory. I don’t think I’m doing it correct, so I’ve attached some videos. Again, I’ve had an entire season to fall into bad habits, so there’s a lot more wrong than just the wrist action (I think I’m coming outside my swing, I don’t think I’m rotating the shoulders back enough, etc.). I was hesitant to post this because all Im really concerned about in this video is the pendulum motion and the power pocket action.





This off-season, I plan to work a lot on my flexibility, since 20 years of weight lifting has increased strength, but hasn’t helped flexibility.
 
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WB! Gonna give you some immediate strategy reactions if you want to dive back in because you need an intervention. Doubtless different people will start in different mechanics spots, so I'll make my bid at the end here.

You need to be limber and flexible more than muscular and tense for force
I see a lot of muscle across your whole chain. Like this furious, flailing energy. Relax my dude. You get more out of the mashing late in the sequence, if anything, but not that way. You've got the look of a lot of "weightlifter effort" in there (I would know!). You want each part of the chain to build on the minimum effort preceding part of the chain.

Learn to walk/run/hop
You're getting foot to foot, but you look more like you're focusing on stomping on the ground than naturally walking athletically. The "crush" idea should basically just happen by striding off the rear leg and landing in balance.

Good pendula are outstanding. Bad pendula screw everything up.
IMHO one of the problems with doing pendulum moves poorly is that you basically get all kinds of swivels at the ball and socket joints (shoulders + hips) that never really teach you what leverage and ground forces feel like. You get rotations you don't want at the wrong places and times. That's what I see across your body.

If you work on pendulum stuff and breaking weightlifter balance issues, Turbo encabulator or Double dragon realy do work wonders if you allow them to get you balanced all the way back and forth. But notice that in those moves his body is overall way more relaxed and in tempo with gravity in those.

Suggestions
-Can you show us what you think an "athletic stance" looks like?

-If you're going to learn pendulum mechanics (which may be wise to coordinate you and your sequence better) I suggest you learn a move like Double Dragon well before doing anything else. Maybe also the lateral hammer swing from Turbo encabulator to help you square movement/joints/ground forces up athletically.

-I think more work on door frame drill or load the bow will help you figure out how to load up the reachback better/more completely.

-Gotta get your arm squared up and fix the shoulder mechanics so you can connect your rediculous levers to the disc with a better force chain. Elbow lead into door more laterally, swing out with club or hammer to your side.
 
WB! Gonna give you some immediate strategy reactions if you want to dive back in because you need an intervention. Doubtless different people will start in different mechanics spots, so I'll make my bid at the end here.

You need to be limber and flexible more than muscular and tense for force
I see a lot of muscle across your whole chain. Like this furious, flailing energy. Relax my dude. You get more out of the mashing late in the sequence, if anything, but not that way. You've got the look of a lot of "weightlifter effort" in there (I would know!). You want each part of the chain to build on the minimum effort preceding part of the chain.

Learn to walk/run/hop
You're getting foot to foot, but you look more like you're focusing on stomping on the ground than naturally walking athletically. The "crush" idea should basically just happen by striding off the rear leg and landing in balance.

Good pendula are outstanding. Bad pendula screw everything up.
IMHO one of the problems with doing pendulum moves poorly is that you basically get all kinds of swivels at the ball and socket joints (shoulders + hips) that never really teach you what leverage and ground forces feel like. You get rotations you don't want at the wrong places and times. That's what I see across your body.

If you work on pendulum stuff and breaking weightlifter balance issues, Turbo encabulator or Double dragon realy do work wonders if you allow them to get you balanced all the way back and forth. But notice that in those moves his body is overall way more relaxed and in tempo with gravity in those.

Suggestions
-Can you show us what you think an "athletic stance" looks like?

-If you're going to learn pendulum mechanics (which may be wise to coordinate you and your sequence better) I suggest you learn a move like Double Dragon well before doing anything else. Maybe also the lateral hammer swing from Turbo encabulator to help you square movement/joints/ground forces up athletically.

-I think more work on door frame drill or load the bow will help you figure out how to load up the reachback better/more completely.

-Gotta get your arm squared up and fix the shoulder mechanics so you can connect your rediculous levers to the disc with a better force chain. Elbow lead into door more laterally, swing out with club or hammer to your side.

Thanks for the feedback as always. I’ve been avoiding getting too into drills until the end of the season, just because there’s so much to commit time to before winter hits, but I suppose doing some double-dragon wouldn’t hurt.

Regarding “athletic posture”, I learned to be on the balls of your feet, slight knee bend, and a slight forward lean, as shown in the first 2 pictures.

After the “humping the goat” feedback, i starter trying to also tilt my pelvis up as much as possible, which then pulls my sternum down, as shown in IMG_8983.
 

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Start by putting your heels on the ground so you can stand Relaxed and leveraged inside your posture, feel your hammys stretch(hinge from the hips, not the knees) and dingle arm - relax and let your shoulders/arms hang forward(protracting shoulders/reaching toward toes/spine relaxed into flexion) while the butt is countering tilt behind heels(buttwipe pressure on wall).

Dingle Arm Posture 3.png
 
Start by putting your heels on the ground so you can stand Relaxed and leveraged inside your posture, feel your hammys stretch(hinge from the hips, not the knees) and dingle arm - relax and let your shoulders/arms hang forward(protracting shoulders/reaching toward toes/spine relaxed into flexion) while the butt is countering tilt behind heels(buttwipe pressure on wall).

View attachment 316257
Thanks! So should I take away from this that, when I backswing, whether in drills or in throwing, I should actually be in your posture, rather than the one I presented? If so, then that’s a pretty big problem with my form in general.
 
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So I’ve been playing around with this new posture, it feels a lot more comfortable, which is something I tend to wrestle against by nature. I definitely need to take a large step back to rebuild my throw. So I’m working on some dingle arm drills to start, then I’ll move up to reverse stride. I honestly think the biggest problem with my drills last winter is I was trying to balance on the balls of my feet for all of them.


I’ve attached 3 different pictures with 3 various levels of posturing. Im guessing the second picture is ideal.

Question: Is there a limit to how “deep” you should be? I can definitely squad my butt down low as shown in the third picture, but I’m assuming there’s some disadvantage to squatting that low?

 

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So I’ve been playing around with this new posture, it feels a lot more comfortable, which is something I tend to wrestle against by nature. I definitely need to take a large step back to rebuild my throw. So I’m working on some dingle arm drills to start, then I’ll move up to reverse stride. I honestly think the biggest problem with my drills last winter is I was trying to balance on the balls of my feet for all of them.


I’ve attached 3 different pictures with 3 various levels of posturing. Im guessing the second picture is ideal.

Question: Is there a limit to how “deep” you should be? I can definitely squad my butt down low as shown in the third picture, but I’m assuming there’s some disadvantage to squatting that low?


1. One of the reasons I'm glad I learned through "posture theory" is that the posture you're working on helps you find a chain that is much lower effort. That is one of the hardest things for many players because it messes with their body memory for what power "feels" like.

2. I think you do want plantar flexion/some load in balls of feet, but you want it to feel light and athletic rather than forced and rigid. It's ok if the heels come down as long as you have some plantar flexion. I've always had trouble with this and now routinely do lots of little athletic hops and bounces when I warm up or before tee shots to put my legs in a better mode. It has really helped.

3. I think the people who throw in deeper stances tend to be very athletic and have strong legs relative to their body mass, and their form is also already pretty good. IMHO I would say start with the first one for now, but get some of that hunch out of your upper back/upper spine.
 
I might recommend looking at multiple angles of Albert Tamm for you. He's a good example of someone who moves athletically but his stance tends to "stay tall" through the action in the last two steps of his drives. He's throwing in the posture you're looking for.

 
I might recommend looking at multiple angles of Albert Tamm for you. He's a good example of someone who moves athletically but his stance tends to "stay tall" through the action in the last two steps of his drives. He's throwing in the posture you're looking for.



Awesome. I’m in the process of working through dingle arm, reverse stride, and load the bow drills while attempting to maintain this posture.

I think I had a micro ah-ha moment during LtB work.

One thing that has perplexed me for a long time is, how do you cross with your back foot without violating the Hogan Power move?! The goal is to load your weight onto your backfoot, but I could never understand how to do this without, at some point in the throw, having the weight on the outside edge of the foot.

Do you just ignore it until the disc starts moving backwards, then roll the weight over your toes to the inside edge of your foot as you backswing? (IMG_9150)

Do you do this weird thing with your knees to get your rear foot to land into the cross with the inside edge of the backfoot onto the ground? (IMG_9138)

What I think I’ve figured out, is the “trick” is found in 5:34 in the Load the Bow tutorial.

With the correct posture, if you load the disc where it feels like your back is going to topple over and fall towards the target (IMG_9154), this easily leads to stepping on your cross foot with the weight loaded onto the inside edge of the foot, without weird torquing or tension on the knees. (IMG_9128).
 

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