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Ongoing Discussion of The Method Docuseries

Joined
May 23, 2024
Messages
16
Hey guys, hope you're all well!

I apologize for the slow reply here, I'm just now catching up on the conversation. I recently returned from five days down in Estacada, OR, where I was assisting GKPro, DGN, and Jomez in recording radar speeds for all four days of competition. It's something I've been doing pretty regularly in June since 2017, though I took a hiatus after 2021 due to issues with the course and the event. 2024 seemed like a good year to return.

I won't talk about that here, as I don't have a ton of time currently and don't want to bore people with details they can watch in coverage. Suffice to say it was a blast to spectate as always, particularly watching Heinburg, Gannon, AB and Eagle up close. AB is really an anomaly at this point, he throws considerably harder than anyone else at the top of the sport, and he has 80+ MPH backhand on command. He threw 84 and 82 MPH on a golf line during the round I recorded him. That 84 MPH result is the fastest pure backhand I've ever observed live. I have recorded Eagle throwing 84 and 86 MPH in the past, but that was before his terrible shoulder injury and both were rollers. Roller mechanics require a later ejection, and tend to be 3-4 MPH faster than a person's normal linear ejection speed. Eagle was visibly in pain during his round, he winced noticeably after several drives, and his putting was way off. Such a shame seeing him struggling like that, he's always been one of my favorite players.

Anyway, I've just finished catching up on a lot of your great feedback and discussion, which I appreciate tremendously. Rather than going with a focus on specific comments, I figured I'd write up a concise explanation for why I'm focusing so closely on a back leg intention with The Method. I talk about this extensively in the final chapter of the main docuseries, titled "How it Works: Theories Behind the Method". Here is a direct link to that video if you're curious to watch it:

How it Works: Theories Behind the Method

I also suggest reading my write up there, which is good supplemental information.

Fundamentally, every single person trying to teach the disc golf backhand to adults has run up against the most intractable of problems. How do you get someone to begin a powerful, athletic motion that involves throwing an object without using their dominant arm and dominant hand first? More importantly, how do you somehow override the brain's natural inclinations to run things by rote algorithm whenever possible?

By the time you're an adult, most of your kinesthetic neuroplasticity is long gone. Whenever you do anything in your life, whether it's walking, running, eating, writing, shaving, etc, your brain's need to run on algorithmic "power saving" mode will govern what happens. This applies to the disc golf backhand as well, particularly when you have students focusing on dominant-side things like arm positions or specific grip. From the moment their hand touches that disc, even before they begin their walk up, they're going to be playing entrenched subroutines in their brain that begin on the dominant side of their motor control center. In the case of right handers, who make up roughly 90% of the population, that means the back left side of the brain.

The reason I have people initially focus 100% on their back leg, and specifically an internal twisting of their de-weighted back leg, is because it forces them into a different part of their brain. It forces them to begin the sequence on their non-dominant side, where their "Throw a Golf Disc" algorithm is a blank slate. Without this starting point, they're as likely to be successful keeping their dominant arm from beginning the sequence as they would be getting their lungs to take a big gulp of air while their face is submerged underwater. It's not going to happen, ever. Depending on your age, nearly every single thing you do is as autonomic as breathing. You do not have agency in it.

My success rate teaching players to build or rebuild their form using The Method as the starting point has been truly astonishing. I have players from all over the country and in Europe who have gained huge amounts of force production at absurd speeds. One of my students went from years capped around 400 feet to throwing over 550 feet with a slow walkup in just a month of steady work. Another student, a nearly 1000-rated aspiring pro from North Carolina just catapulted himself into the elite distance club, taking his farthest drive from around 470 to 590 feet. A recent student came to me as a complete beginner, with less than two weeks of time in the sport. His name is Reegan, and after a little over a week of solo practice, supplemented with approximately 80 minutes of Facetime lessons, Reegan threw a Shryke 447 feet with this form:

Reegan bombing putters 330 feet

I have no doubt Reegan will throw over 500 feet within a week or two as he gains more balance and confidence on his left foot during the X-step. The guy is so green he can't even spell "McBeth" correctly, yet he's already one of the hardest throwers in the state of Pennsylvania.

My own backhand form is at the heart of the docuseries, it's the ultimate case study for the project. Objectively, the form I exhibit in the doc from back in October is deeply-flawed. I'd even go so far as calling it "trash". You guys have done an excellent job of picking it apart, I knew all the flaws I had back then, but lacked the ability to remedy them. There is a reason the logo for chapter one is a standstill.

When we shot last year, I hadn't yet learned the balance positions necessary to keep my center of mass in place during any kind of foot work. I also hadn't figured out how to use my right quad in sequence, so you can see me "hunting the bullet" too far to the right during my swing. I hadn't yet created a huge nexus of inertial mass with my biomechanics in October, so much of the secret sauce was still veiled to me. That's why I used Sebastian in the docuseries as an archetype of biomechanical perfection.

The videos currently on www.learndiscgolf.com are meant to be instructive, simple, and remedial. They represent only a starting point, an "ignition switch" for a completely new neurological subroutine that arises on the non-dominant side of a student's brain. They teach a very specific feel, that initial static point of braced resistance that lets a person feel arm leverage for the first time. Once they feel that arm leverage, they can hone in on the weight it creates to build the correct sequence instinctively, like a child would. Our bodies suck at throwing paper plates around. They're very good at throwing and bracing against heavier objects.

The instructive videos on www.learndiscgolf.com are an introduction to a new approach to learning backhand that has shown incredible promise for me and for many others. Work is already well under way for chapter two of the docuseries, titled "Adding Momentum".

The insights I will be explaining and displaying in that series are all over my Youtube channel, they have rapidly transformed my own biomechanics. I haven't given my body sufficient time to rest between all my gym work and throwing and other endeavors, but my current form is producing incredible velocity and extreme force production. Here are a few clips I just shot downstairs. I abstained from doing drives with actual momentum today because I promised I'd let my legs recover after the weekend, but the biomechanics and sequence speak for themselves. They get better and better the more you slow the video down.

Back view of swings using arm leverage

Side view of swings using arm leverage

Back view of standstills with max weight discs

I released The Method system completely for free, and spent a huge amount of time and money on it because I firmly believe it's a novel and extremely effective way to teach the elusive backhand to anyone, of any age, size, or athletic ability. It is the summation of more than two decades spent chasing the riddle of "Pro Form". In my effort to solve this riddle in my own body, I sought the help and advice of dozens of teachers and form gurus. I paid for lessons from established pros. None of them were able to communicate any of the necessary feel to me, and none of them made me even 1% better.

The Method is essentially "open source". I would love for paid coaches the world over to utilize its insights with their own students, so that we can all elevate the disc golf community together. I am not out to obsolesce anyone, nor to put any monetized coaches out of business. I may be challenging the established teaching and coaching orthodoxy, but I am not a threat to anyone.

Thanks for all your thoughts and feedback throughout this and other threads. I look forward to getting to know many of you better in the weeks and months ahead.

Sincerely,
Brian Weissman
 
Fundamentally, every single person trying to teach the disc golf backhand to adults has run up against the most intractable of problems. How do you get someone to begin a powerful, athletic motion that involves throwing an object without using their dominant arm and dominant hand first? More importantly, how do you somehow override the brain's natural inclinations to run things by rote algorithm whenever possible?

I have the answer for this. =)
Language
I've been teaching with language for 5ish years now. Explaining concepts to engage the brain in proper function to the commands of what we need to do to activate our body better.

The problem with disc golf as a whole is its piss poor language model that was just random made up things from 40/50 years ago guys just... "well like, i guess you just "reach back" and "pull" it straight at the target"

We know thats absolute tom foolery now, but we continue to keep using piss poor language descriptors to try and get people to engage the body.

How are you supposed to tell your body a command that we understand in our head, like "Pull" or "reach back" which have very specific meanings in our brain, we KNOW the function of these things. But then at the same time try and re-program the brain when it comes to disc golf that it means a completely different action? Thats absolute stupidity and insanity. Thats why these young kids are so good now vs us old farts. They starting at 12-14 when their brain can still absorb that function and isn't fully program set on some things. For us older folks who have more set motor skills, you're telling yourself one thing, fighting to do another thing and.. it all goes to shit. And people like "Why can't I throw, i don't understand."
Then I re-explain the swing to them in more correct terms of the actions and they immediately throw better.
The worse part is "throw" is even technically a bad word.

AB is really an anomaly at this point,

I'm outright fascinated with Barella to no end.

The reason I have people initially focus 100% on their back leg, and specifically an internal twisting of their de-weighted back leg, is because it forces them into a different part of their brain.

Pass on this one here. I started coaching because of my massive amounts of injuries. For those with good knee's, some of this stuff is going to work alright for them, but for people with injuries like me. some of these more aggressive methods are felt immediately because you're overstraining joints, and when the joints are about toast, you know it.
I don't need to look up the millions of dollars in research to know "squish the bug" is bad. (not saying you're teaching that)
I can stand in a golf position and rotate my off leg in like squishing the bug and feel the massive strain on my joints because they are not good.

The one thing that is great about having bum knee's is knowing powerful knee positions.
The crappy thing about bum knee's is you know they are weak and you can't really explode like you want to, or you might limp a bit.
 
Are your 2.0 videos the ones currently on YouTube or are those still a work in progress? I'd also love to go through some questions I have about your method. Let me know if DGCR or maybe some other place is a better way to reach out.
 
Are your 2.0 videos the ones currently on YouTube or are those still a work in progress? I'd also love to go through some questions I have about your method. Let me know if DGCR or maybe some other place is a better way to reach out.

Hey there! Sorry for the slow reply, I'd love to chat directly if you're game for that. The TLDR is that many of the videos on my channel are geared towards Method 2.0 stuff, the chapter titled "adding momentum". We begin principle filming for that in early August, and will have everything we intend to present formalized by then.

In the meantime, I'm happy to talk directly about whatever's on your mine. Do you use Discord, by chance? Let me know so we can set something up.
 
Hey there! Sorry for the slow reply, I'd love to chat directly if you're game for that. The TLDR is that many of the videos on my channel are geared towards Method 2.0 stuff, the chapter titled "adding momentum". We begin principle filming for that in early August, and will have everything we intend to present formalized by then.

In the meantime, I'm happy to talk directly about whatever's on your mine. Do you use Discord, by chance? Let me know so we can set something up.

Discord makes things way easier.
 

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