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Many of us have seen the article Distance Secrets, but what I think may be the most important part of improving distance seems hard to understand and even harder to master-- from the article:

Your wrist should not continue forward to sling the disc out; instead it should come to an abrupt, steely stop. At this point your wrist should be stiff and held motionless, so try to stiffen your fingers, wrist, and arm as much as possible at the moment of impact of the snap. It's similar to a karate chop in that there is very little wrist motion. You don't want to keep your wrist stiff throughout the whole throw, though. At the beginning of the throw you want to only have enough tension in the fingers and wrist to hold the disc in launch position. You only become tight at the hit. Notice, too, that using the tendon bounce does not mean that your arm stops just because your wrist motion stops.

I've read it and read it but it doesn't seem to take yet. What has anyone else done to get good snap and learn what appears to be difficult muscle-memory?

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Hey Bill,

I also have had big problems with the snap, and even now don't think I execute it exactly how Dave describes it. However, I am going to take you down a path that may help you to better understand what Dave is trying to accomplish.

First, watch the video of Barry at this site: http://home.comcast.net/~tpozzy/prodrives.htm

Notice how Barry has a hesitation at the end of his reach back and then his hand wags as he begins to bring it forward. Look hard and you'll see that wag. That is the wag that Dave is discussing.

Second, go back to high school gym and remember when you snapped that football player and the backside with a towel, you know, the football player who then kicked your behind... :) when you snapped that towel, you brought it forward slowly in a move that put some momentum on the towel and then just before the tip of the towel touched said football player you pulled it back sharply. That abrupt change in direction put a huge amount of acceleration on the tip of the towel.

The wag does the same thing to your disc. As you begin that wag the disc starts in one direction (towards your body) and then at the hit, it abruptly changes direction in a move that puts a lot of acceleration into it's centrifugal motion (not into forward motion!) That is the hit.

Now, Dave discusses this as if it is this natural phenomenon, and I am sure it can be. For me it is not. I consciously put that wag into my throw. As I start to bring the disc forward, I put a little wag on it and then I snap it out of that wag. Think about it like this: you are trying to put a motion on the disc that allows you to snap it out of your hand. If you're sitting at your desk... working... close your door, pick up a pencil and toss it across your office. Keep your wrist rigid and just kind of push the disc forward releasing it when your arm is fully extended, again throwing with little or no wrist motion. That sir, represents the non-snap throw. Now just put a little flick on that pencil as you release it. Push the pencil forward in the same motion and then right at the release snap you hand back hard. The pencil will take off with a huge amount of spin and may even stick in the wall. That is what you're trying to accomplish. The rigid part should be obvious. As you pull back hard at the end of your motion, your wrist becomes rigid and firm.

Now if that made sense, you need to translate it into your throw. That little wag is the same as that loose motion going forward and then at the hit is the snap.

Secrets: Every player who is under 45 years old thinks that the pull forward is hard and fast. How else can you get SPEED! No. Every part of that pull is slow (now it looks fast because the human eye is slow). The only part that is fast is that snap! So, as you go through your wag and up to the release think SLOW! think RELAXED and EASY! AT that hit think snap hard and pull through. If you pull hard to early, you can't get the wag, you can't get the snap. Go back to the towel and think about it, as you brought the towel forward, did you do it fast or slow? What would happen if you brought it forward as fast as you could? All that forward momentum eliminates your ability to pull it back hard at the right moment to get the snap and such a great reaction from that football player.

As always, what seems clear to me (i.e. this description) may not be clear to someone else. So, if you want to continue this discussion or have more questions please let me know.
It seems to me that there is a difference between snapping a towel and throwing a disc. The mental imagery is perfect to help undstand the concept of wrist snap, but the motions themselves are different. The key difference is the follow through: after you snap the towel, you recoil your arm back towards your self, after you throw a disc you follow through completing the arcing motion. This will change the amount of arm speed you put behind the throw.

Whip
I have found that the motion of pulling my arm straight across my body helps with the "snap". The follow through seems to be more of my body continuing the turn. I envision popping my hand/disc directly at the line I want to take. Relaxing pre-release will generate a lot more arm speed.
I also try to work on hand and wrist strength. I have noticed the best distance guys really put a strong grip on the disc and let it "rip" out of their hand. Some of my longest drives feel as if I never let go of the disc, the disc pulls itself out by the force of the forward momentum.
I agree with Ron, the motion is different, but for me the feeling is the same. That is, when you snap a towel, you feel the snap happening, that is, the wind up and the pull back to create the snap. When you throw a disc, the snap has the same feel to it. If you've snapped a lot of towels :) you will recognize that feel, and this will give you a leg up in trying to recreate that feel when throwing.
One thing I *think* I saw in those vids -- I use * because they are kind of pixilated on my screen-- is that while the disc stays in a solid position in the hand, each thrower moves the hand back and forth at least once, like a wiggle or I guess a 'wag'. Is that to loosen the wrist and /or tendons while keeping the grip firm? I wish I had a door to close here at work but I do work late so I may be tossing pencils later. However, in trying to just repeat the arm motion without an x-step in my 5x5 cubicle I seem to just be executing a 'towel' whip because I can't follow through until I get out into the open.
From what I gather, I don't want to 'pop' it with the wrist like a towel because that is actually with the arm and the wrist is just the end of one motion-- I've tried that on the course with results ranging from throws going exactly 90 degrees from where I intended it to worse. Am I even close in thinking that the two movements are independent of each other but need to work together, albeit easy, relaxed-ly and with follow-through.
Piece of cake, right?

Also, thanks for the link. That went right into the bookmarks
Nope, you do pop it with the wrist. Don't look at the other throwers in those vids for this issue. Just look at Barry. His wag is the most pronounced I've seen which is why I referenced it. Mark Jarvis uses a funky push back motion to get his wag started.

The back and forth motion is just a momentum builder, just like the X step is. I use a placement shot where I don't run up but get the same snap and good distance. Look at Nate Doss, he swings his disc all over before he drives and it does absolutely nothing for his throw.

Next lesson: get Scott Stokely's book. He uses the reach back method but he talks about line up and how to get your throw on target.

By slowing down your pull through and focusing on that snap at the release, you'll be a whole lot more accurate.
http://www.discgolfreview.com/resources/articles.shtml

Best site I've found for written instructional and video on throwing techniques.
I agree with Ron on this up to a point. The tip of the towel is your finger, and if you can curl your wrist on the drive. You can actually with the fraction of a second upon release, use your wrist as the whipping action and get the snap out of it. That is how I get the snap on my drives and get the follow through at the same time.
I'm not sure I agree with this; partially because I can't see it. One of the first things that Dave Dunipace tells you not to do is to curl your wrist. Also, if you look through the numerous pictures of pros out there, you will see a very low frequency of pre-curled wrists. The reason why is that you loose the ability to get that snap. You're adding some torque to the disc that helps, but isn't as efficient as the wag snap combination. That said, if you can still get that whip out of your wrist with a pre-curl and it works, all's good IMO.

Follow through is natural in a snap. If you snap your wrist out there at the release, you're going to follow through.
90% of your power comes from proper footwork. I cant even bench 100 pounds but I can throw a disc real far because I've played tennis my whole life. Tennis is all footwork all the time. Learn proper footwork and your arm will follow. You don't need any "snap" BTW you ever notice your furthest drives are always the ones that you can't hear or feel of your hands?
It's all about footwork. If you don't have your feet under you your arm can only get you so far. -Ruben
I cant do this at all!!!!!!!!!

Everytime i try to snap (stop wrist motion) it haults my throw.
The most important thing to focus on, when you are trying to get a snap/hit, is the disc. Not your wrist. The stop of the wrist helps the disc rip off your fingers. Pulling through that action is the other part. What you're trying to accomplish is a heavy rip off your fingers. If the disc slips out it's not good. You need a good grip with good traction.

It also helps to discover where exactly the disc is ripping from, in your grip. Most of the time it is a finger pad or two that the inside rim wall rips from. If you are having problems with the rip/snap, you need to focus on the part of the rim ripping off your fingers or finger pads. Pine tar may help you to find and create a proper rip. Without this rip, you can't properly time, aim, or power your drive.

None of the other things you do to throw a disc are as important as the disc ripping from your grip. You can generate all the power and speed you want, (to go into the disc), but if you don't have the transfer from the grip rip, you lose it all in slip. It all slips away.

Right after the wrist stiffens, the disc rips off the fingers. The arm and shoulders pull through this rip until the disc is gone. The arm and shoulders are lead by the open hips. Pulling through the hit is so strong on a drive that the arm continues 180 degrees past the release point.

Just like snapping a towel, the wrist stops and the towel snaps. For a drive, the wrist stops and the disc snaps.
Have fun.

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