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Snap is a mystery to me. I think I know what it is, at least I recognize it when I see it but I'm not sure what causes it or how to improve it.

My backhand snap is weak. My forehand snap is not. This is not a recent condition. I have played disc golf competitively for 15 years. My backhand snap is better than when I started but still weak and feeble compared to the average amateur tournament player. It makes no sense to me. When I played racquetball and ping pong I had good snap on both forehands and backhands but when I play disc golf I only have good snap on a forehand.

Why does my wrist work one way but not the other?

Tags: backhand, forehand, snap

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A couple new videos on snap have been added to Youtube.com.

More Snap 2009 Part #1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGGYsSUGKXk

More Snap 2009 Part #2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhM6XMxlErk

I watched them but I not sure what I learned from them. To think about propelling the wing of the disc (the point on the opposite side of the disc from your gripping hand) doesn't change the way I snap or the angle of the snap or anything else. Does anyone gain any practical advice from the video? Am I just missing something?
I used to have this problem with not getting anything from backhand snap videos.... I found the one by Ken Climo and David Feldberg called "The fundentials the Champions Way" has really good points about getting a good snap backhand all the time.

In which David talks in great depth about doing the towel snap correctly and getting the timing of what they call "the hit".

basically at the beginning you want the towel lose and only muscles to be stiff at all in your upper shoulder. If not most of us, including myself was pulling hard right at the beginning and by the time your at "the hit" you've lost 90% of your power.

It all about getting that hard force at the very last second and with that video explains it very well. Worth the $20-$25.
it's about the way u fold ....... u either fold forehand or backhand ... nothing to worry about
hey mark, i'm just sitting here an envisioning what I would do for max distance an control from a standstill. If u want to try something that may sound odd or not but... I'm thinking if you spiral up a wet towel and practice snapping it against a spot on the wall or just in the air but you would have to practice this whip from the angle you would release a backhand an slowly start to more your arm further back esch time til u have a full range motion an obviuosly pull in tighter to the chest when coming across like startin a lawnmower an extend the energy into your wrist. and that in a nut shell is what my wrist does when i drive and i usually throw the most overstable but slightly beat in discs....btw thanks for the first run xtra I got off u it's startin to pay off
I second this question
I unfortunatley think a lot of it depends on how God put you together. I see people who can generate a lot of speed from just the wrist. To me if you are lucky enough to have flexability and more fast twitch muscles than the average person. You are a step ahead. Training can help improve it to some degree. I find some of the bigger throwers I play with have a martial arts backround. So they have great control and the ability to have a great "hit" when the disc is released.
Man, I tell you. God, she is such a kidder! lol!
Nate Doss is pretty chucky and he can bomb them. David Feldberg is one of the shortest players on the field and he can bomb them. It's all a matter of throwing correctly with a right snap. I know pletty of old guys that have been playing for a long time that can bomb it across the field, not because they are strong, because they know how to correctly snap the disc... as in putting the power in, when it counts.

Most distance is usually lost by either some body putting all their might into the disc right away, or they get out of the straight line and get that semi circle arm swing.

Matter fact I know a twice my age and he can out throw me a good 60-100ft when I'm throwing 400ft.

That and a lot of players tend to go out and backhand the most overstable discs out there.
I think the point he is try to make in his videos, is not to put the wrist into action until the last possible moment, thus creating some snap..i plan on testing this a little bit tomorrow to see how relevant it is to actual distance.
But i think this guy needs to work a bit on the delivery of his idea.
I started off throwing with a fairly good snap that others would comment on. Not much control, but a lot of snap. I believe that snap is created by the disc leaving your hand at a high rate of spin.

The best way I can describe it is thinking of the disc as a whip?

I never really thought before though exactly how that extra spin is created.
A very relaxed arm whip will create "snap". Tension is your worst enemy. Eric Marx put more spin on a disc than anyone I ever knew, but I don't remember any audible snap. I still get a loud snap but nowhere close to Eric's distance. I think about how much spin I want on the disc when I release it, snap is a side effect. Crackle and pop are the after effects. And Mark, growing younger will increase snap. Also us old guys learned to throw with frisbee's that turned over fast unless they were snapped. Go play catch again.
Hmmmmm,

Mark Ellis asking about snap. I am often amazed at what great players do, without understanding the underlying mechanics, and what really poor players understand, but can't implement.

The problem with snap per say is that people think about it, and not what they are trying to accomplish with it. What we know from past ruminations by guys like Scott Stokely, Dave Dunipace, and others, is that the key components to long flights are forward velocity and spin. Snap, while it imparts a good deal of forward velocity, primarily puts spin on the disc. The underlying question then is how do you put spin on the disc?

Lets default to the method of yore proposed by Stokely and Dunipace. That of tendon bounce. Tendon bounce is a pain in the backside. Why do I say this? Simply enough, you can't really see it in motion, it happens so fast that we can only mentally envision it. Trying to accomplish it requires a spontaneous uncontrolled motion that has to be timed to occur naturally. 'You want me to learn what how?" Clearly it can be learned and many do. What you are doing is creating a slingshot out of your wrist. You are putting your arm on a path that results in your wrist being pulled back due to inertia and then spontaneously snapping forward at the release point to put tons of spin on the disc.

To master the tendon bounce, you need to think about the mechanics that will result in the best bounce. Dave is clear in this, rapid acceleration at the release point means that the weight of the disc pulls your hand back and then the wrist snaps back into position snapping the disc out. There you have it, now go learn how. Tough row to hoe. Keep in mind that it is possible that the older you get, the less your tendons pop in this fashion and the more you take off this throw. It may be true that when you are older, adjusting to this or learning this may be much more difficult due to the loss of tendon flexibility.

IMO, Dave misses a couple of things, sort of. He acknowledges that some players add some twists to this, but he doesn't really go into what. Lets talk Avery and Barry. I can envision two other ways of putting spin on a disc. The artificial wrist forward snap, and the towel snap.

We all use the wrist forward snap in our games. It is what we use when we are putting, and what some players use on their upshots. You simply bend your wrist back, and snap the disc forward, thus imparting spin on it. If you add in some body torque, you increase the forward motion power, and thus distance. The problem here is that the physiological limitations of your ability to snap your wrist forward may be limiting. Dave in his writings is convinced this is the case. I bring you Avery, take a look at his throw, he wraps the disc in against his forearm in a method that is supposedly anathema to distance. By every thing I've ever read, this should absolutely prevent tendon bounce. Yet he throws a mile. My feeling is that Avery is strong enough and fast enough that he has mastered the wrist forward snap, although I can't preclude that he unwinds a bit before release and gets a tendon bounce.

Barry. Barry clearly shows that one does not need tendon bounce to get distance. Again, go look at footage of Barry. What Barry does is artificially adds in a wrist snap at his release. He reaches back and to the side, and as he brings his arm in and forward, he visibly snaps his wrist. That snap, by my assessment, is not natural, it is clearly controlled by Barry. It is essentially what you do when you snap a towel. Your wrist would be loose and flexible (just the opposite of what you do with tendon bounce) and you snap your hand like you do with the tip of the towel. Is it effective, look at Barry. Is it as affective as tendon bounce? Without measuring, but going with anecdotal evidence, no. Is Barry only using the towel snap, i.e. is there no tendon bounce? I would say that the two are not mutually exclusive and it is likely that Barry has elements of both in his throw.

The middle distance throw is almost exclusively a towel snap throw. It is almost impossible to get a 200 foot throw utilizing full tendon bounce. Quite simply, you would be over throwing. In other words, most of us have this throw in our bags, we wag our wrist as we take those up shots and snap the disc out for good accuracy.

Why impart this rather worthless bit of info. IMO, the mechanics necessary to accomplish the towel snap are almost the same as those used to accomplish the tendon bounce. However, envisioning those mechanics, given what you are trying to accomplish, is easier. By going after the towel snap, you should, IMO be able to accomplish the tendon bounce.

Lets get to it. Eliminate everything but your snap. Go out to your favorite football/soccer field with a handful of discs. Point your right shoulder at the basket (RHBH). You are not going to move your feet. Reach back approximately 180 degrees from your target. Pull though and snap the disc.

Now, to get this done, first you have to remember, you're pulling with your hips, legs, and upper body. Your shoulder should follow the motion of your body and pull your arm through. Don't pull with your arm! Don't pull with your shoulder! Use your body! You will notice, if you set your disc down and go through this exercise, that your hand naturally travels in towards your chest. Because it is relaxed, your elbow bends and the forearm floats in.

To get snap on a towel, you have to set up the snap, you gently pull the towel forward, the end of the towel, which is behind you, travels forward, the towel bends, first at your hand, and the bend travels down the length of the towel until it is almost at the end, at this point, you rapidly pull the towel back resulting a huge acceleration that snaps the end of the towel. You are doing the same thing when throwing a disc, only not on a 180 degree plain. as your arm comes forward, your wrist wags in, I do this like Barry does, consciously bringing the disc in, and then just as the arm finishes unwinding, you snap the disc out. To get that snap, you have to accelerate right at the snap point. For me, that means that the pull forward with my torso, is controlled and slow and that right at that hit, I accelerate my torso rotation, and my arm speed (that is right at the hit, I pull with my arm which was relaxed to that point). As with the towel snap, that acceleration occurs right at the release point. If you start the acceleration and snap early, well what happens if you do that with your towel? You get a weak snap.

Make that snap late! If you think about it, you can't possibly snap after release, so hold off making that snap as long as possible. All of your pull until the snap is set up, all that matters is that last microsecond. So, like with the towel, make that initial pull slower and controlled. The stand in throw takes all that momentum gained through the run up out of your throw. You're starting from nothing on the body pull through so it is hard to wind it up too fast. You can, but you're starting from a more controlled point, and can keep the instinct to pull hard at the start of the throw under control. Remember, your going for wrist snap, not a power pull.

Essentially with the towel snap throw, you are taking the wrist snap upshot and adding in the power of your body and a longer pull through (see Scott Stokley's videos, this is exactly how he describes a throw for distance vs a throw for accuracy).

The difference between what I'm describing here, and the tendon bounce, is that at the pull through, you don't wag your wrist in to put artificial snap on the disc. You hold the wrist rigid and at the acceleration, momentum pulls your disc and hand back. I can do this, and get good distance, but I find that my accuracy suffers. The towel snap approach is smoother, for me, and gives almost as much distance with a much greater degree of accuracy. That is because I can make a less powerful hit because I'm not trying to get my old wrist tendons to flex thus giving snap. I've already built in that snap motion.
Back to Mark's question. Why does he have poor snap? The problem that I see very frequently (especially in myself) is that everyone is searching for this magical, natural event. In Ping Pong and racquetball, and the forehand, you set up your snap. You position your paddle, or your wrist so that you can add that wag and that snap in. With the backhand, it's just supposed to happen. My description above is meant to show one way to "make" it happen. Treat it like any other situation where you are snapping a paddle or racquet. don't assume that if you go through the mechanics, it will happen, any more than it happens when you throw forehand.

The stand in throw allows you to practice that motion thus strengthening the mechanics and your speed just the same as you might stand at a wall with a ping pong paddle practicing on your own. You eliminate the extraneous so you can focus on that snap motion.

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