What are my next steps in form?

dckagel

Newbie
Joined
Sep 27, 2021
TLDR - I can see a lot of issues with my form, but am not sure if I am going about fixing the issues in the correct way or in the correct order.

Precursor info - Male, 6'3", 22, but relatively short arms and small hands. Average distance drive ~380. Looking to get to the 450s.

Full throw video:
(This accidentally got uploaded as a short because I forgot to turn my phone sideways when recording. Future videos will be fixed)

Over the past year I feel as though I have tried to change a lot of things with my form, but when I actually look at the video, it looks largely the same. I knew there was a lot wrong with it, but wasn't sure what was important, what didn't really matter, and in what ways to go about fixing it. Fortunately for me, Brychanus and SW have released the full "Fundamentals of Form" document (which was fantastic, btw), and I have 108 pages of information to guide me. However, I just don't know where to start. I've put together a bulleted list of all of the "big things" I think I need to change, and am hoping to put together a roadmap for which of these I should tackle, things I should add, and things to ignore. Any advice you have on this list would be appreciated. Anyway, here is the list in no particular order:

Walking Around the Disc
  • early reachback.png
  • Walking around the disc would help for a variety of reasons. First, my reachback is peaking slightly early. In this image, I was experimenting using a pump to help with timing, and it somewhat worked, but from the few throws in which I tried walking around the disc, it more natural. I am also hoping that walking around the disc will result in a little less of strong-arming the disc and the slight rise in my arm during the pull through. I would also love to have the effect where the disc freezes in place during the run up/x-step

Developing More Downshift
  • downshift.pngmcbeth downshift.png
  • I clearly lack the dramatic downshift that any good thrower has - as for the root cause, I'm unsure. It could be either a bigger hop during the x-step, or the fact that they take a much longer stride into the plant. However, the longer stride into the plant feels uncomfortable to me at the moment, perhaps because of underlying weight shift issues or bracing issues.
Head Lean
  • head position.pngGG head position.png
  • One thing I have never learned how to fix is the way I lean my head into the shot. I think this is the piece of my throw I need the most help with, but also the one I have no idea how to fix. I've tried keeping my eyes at the ground in front of my toes when I throw, but I feel like I lose the whole rotation of my upper body and just fling my arm ahead.
The Off Arm
  • Another one I'm unsure of - if you look at the above picture of the head lean, you can see how far away my off arm is from my body. Instead of bringing my off arm in close, I just push it down towards the ground behind me. I don't know how important this really is as there is a lot of controversy around the off arm and its impact. I have tried doing a McBeth style off arm move which didn't feel very odd but didn't lead to any changed is distance or accuracy. It just felt neutral. I'm reluctant to try a Drew Gibson/Slingshot Disc Golf style of off arm as I feel like it would take a while to get down for a minimal distance increase, but what do I know.
Legs???
  • I've probably added enough photos to this post for reference, so I'll go without them from now on...
  • I think I have a lot wrong with the legs, plant, and weight shift. I think this is where I am missing out on most of the potential power that I could have.
  • First - every time I watch pro form, I notice how far apart they can get their legs when they plant. Any time I try to do this, it feels unnatural and like I can get no power into my throw from my legs. I would assume that the increased distance of the plant can help them keep more of their weight behind and therefore transferred into the disc. To me this seems essential, but maybe not.
  • Second - on my weight shift, I have switched back and forth between actively pushing sideways with my left leg vs. just drifting over top of it and letting my weight fall onto the plant. I think that this is a more advanced issue and I have more important things to work on first, but still is a thought.
  • Third - I think that I have far too much of a staggered plant. The staggered plant might also be part of the reason that I don't get my legs as wide as I would like, because I'm going too far forward rather than laterally. But again, I don't know if this matters, as there are pros like Joel Freeman who see success with staggered feet.
Posture
  • I didn't take a rear view video today, but will hopefully have one tomorrow. The last thing I notice is that I am leaned too far forward during my throw. More on this when I get the video, but I want to be more like McBeth in an athletic position during my throw, with better balance (forward and back, not laterally). Butt wipe drill stuff.
Anyway, those are pretty much the main things I notice with my form at the moment. I would love any feedback on what you see for my form, drills, advice, tips, etc. This is the longest post I've made on a public forum before, especially as a long time lurker. If you read through this whole thing, thanks <3. I plan to make fairly regular updates on here about how I am progressing with my form and my thoughts. It will be nowhere near as good as Brychanus' legendary thread, but I hope some people in the future can learn from this.
 
1. Bring your chin forward ahead of the nose.
2. Swing your shoulder forward faster than your chin.
 
Developing More Downshift
  • View attachment 314779View attachment 314780
  • I clearly lack the dramatic downshift that any good thrower has - as for the root cause, I'm unsure. It could be either a bigger hop during the x-step, or the fact that they take a much longer stride into the plant. However, the longer stride into the plant feels uncomfortable to me at the moment, perhaps because of underlying weight shift issues or bracing issues.
Since I'm responsible for those figures, I just wanted to emphasize that the downshift is a result of the ideal move, not the cause. A hop can help you learn it, but that's not the point by itself.

If you are shifting ideally off the rear leg like seabas22 Hershyzer drill, your body will naturally also shift down with gravity. If you are also in a good tilted axis like his Turbo Encabulator or Double Dragon moves, as the plant leg hits the ground and starts resisting, it will feel a bit more like you are swinging "up" relative to the ground - even if it doesn't look like it on camera. It's one of the top confusing things about form until you know what to look for. I agree w/ Sidewinder that Brinster is exceptionally efficient in this regard. Look at the high-low-high pattern his entire body takes.

1692143434973.png
Other examples:
1692143578454.png
1692143608529.png

I made those downshifting figures mostly because people often seem to think that you just need to run sideways and jam your leg horizontally into the ground. It can't work like that because you wouldn't get any leverage or force from the ground. The degree of horizontal and vertical varies across players, and you see people throwing very far somewhere between the horizontal and vertical extremes. As players get taller and longer, you see more emphasis on the horizontal, but if they didn't have some degree of downshifting they would just slip and fall down.

Btw, as a tall but stout (and short-levered) guy, I'd suggest that you are probably going to benefit throwing more like sidewinder, Jenkins, Tattar, Gurthie, Kallstrom and similar people. Standing relatively tall relaxed and letting more centrifugal force power your swing when you land is very efficient. If you're especially athletic and strong-legged you might be able to pull off other moves, but don't fight your body too much. Theoretically more downshift is probably more efficient in the long run, but again, learn to move better overall and don't force it - let it happen! My body still learns things varying the size of the hop, but the downshift should ideally be the result of shifting correctly in general.


Sidewinder is downshifting in this ball kick drill from slide 1 to 2 just by letting his center of mAss get leveraged off of the rear foot:
1692144262011.png
 

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If you are shifting ideally off the rear leg like seabas22 Hershyzer drill, your body will naturally also shift down with gravity. If you are also in a good tilted axis like his Turbo Encabulator or Double Dragon moves, as the plant leg hits the ground and starts resisting, it will feel a bit more like you are swinging "up" relative to the ground - even if it doesn't look like it on camera.
I think this is more of where I am lacking. I think I do a decent job of sitting my butt into the weight shift like in the Hershyzer drill, but as I swing through, I certainly wouldn't say that it feels like I am "swinging up".

I was doing some form comparison between my form and multiple pros, and one other thing I notice about this is the position of their body upon the release of the disc. It is especially noticeable in Simon Lizotte. I'd add photos but I'm on mobile right now and don't really want to mess with that. When he releases the disc his COG is still braced behind his plant leg, but his upper body has rotated forward and is leaned over the front leg while keeping his hips back. As I was practicing this movement I was really struggling to get into this position, but I think I had a realization. At this same point of release, in top level form, they have allowed their plant foot to start opening towards the target, which gives them much more hip mobility. In my own form, my foot is stuck in that same plant position until after I release the disc. I think that having my foot so squared off to the target at this point in my throw is preventing me from having the correct hip movements at the later points in my throw.
 
I was doing some form comparison between my form and multiple pros, and one other thing I notice about this is the position of their body upon the release of the disc. It is especially noticeable in Simon Lizotte. I'd add photos but I'm on mobile right now and don't really want to mess with that. When he releases the disc his COG is still braced behind his plant leg, but his upper body has rotated forward and is leaned over the front leg while keeping his hips back. As I was practicing this movement I was really struggling to get into this position, but I think I had a realization. At this same point of release, in top level form, they have allowed their plant foot to start opening towards the target, which gives them much more hip mobility. In my own form, my foot is stuck in that same plant position until after I release the disc. I think that having my foot so squared off to the target at this point in my throw is preventing me from having the correct hip movements at the later points in my throw.
You're probably talking about this:

1692554601560.png
I would probably phrase it as his CoG is behind his plant leg relative to the top of the tee, but he is balanced dynamically on the plant leg like a skiier or else he'd fall down. His feet are relatively neutral to one another when he plants although it does look like it is open at first.

Recommend that you get confused and look at it his posture as a "lean," at least for learning's sake. Got me messed up for a while too.

Technically, Simon is loading up with side bend in the backswing, which combined with his top-tier move off the drive leg, bracing action/plant leg working against the ground brings his upper body into what you see as a "lean" on camera. Anyone who I have seen try to force it does the wrong action. I wouldn't recommend trying to copy Simon's move off the rear leg specifically unless you already have exceptional balance, flexibility through the rear hip, and coordination.

1692554668560.png

1692554819249.png

 

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I would probably phrase it as his CoG is behind his plant leg relative to the top of the tee, but he is balanced dynamically on the plant leg like a skiier or else he'd fall down. His feet are relatively neutral to one another when he plants although it does look like it is open at first.

Recommend that you get confused and look at it his posture as a "lean," at least for learning's sake. Got me messed up for a while too.

Technically, Simon is loading up with side bend in the backswing, which combined with his top-tier move off the drive leg, bracing action/plant leg working against the ground brings his upper body into what you see as a "lean" on camera. Anyone who I have seen try to force it does the wrong action. I wouldn't recommend trying to copy Simon's move off the rear leg specifically unless you already have exceptional balance, flexibility through the rear hip, and coordination.

I get what you are saying with the side lean, but I was more talking about at the point of release, you can see how everyone has rotated through and has their belt buckle facing the target but behind their legs and their chest.
kj hit position.pngeagle hit position.png
KJ and Eagle for reference

This video from loopghost actually explains what I was talking about:
I was randomly going through his old vids and heard this and it was exactly what I was struggling with. Even though I do get my weight on my heel and not my toe, I still don't allow it to release to clear space for my hips.

It's super hot this week in Illinois so I don't know how much I'll be able to throw, but I have been drilling this feeling out inside during my free time.
 

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@dckagel how's your journey been to get to this release position? I have a similar challange as a taller guy. I tend to fall off to the left like in loopghost's video, but I cannot seem to figure it out. Any updates, tips, tricks, drills that you found successful?
 

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