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I have made a lot of progress in the last 5 monthes; well over a hundred rounds played and multiples of field sessions. I have worked on all aspects of my game trying to stay loose and play with a controlled amount of power and snap on my shots. For the most part I have had good success, and have lowered my best score at my home course to 6 under par on the front 18 and 4 under par on the back 18.
The way I see it, there are still several birdies still on the course, and it is the distance of my driving that is holding me back from making a run at them. I know the source of my power drain, and I am commiting myself to fixing it, It's just getting started that freaks me out.
I have been playing thus far without taking my eyes of the target and handcuffing myself on the reach back. How I have been able to get the distance that I do without making a full turn, I don't know, but it's time to change that. My run up is consistant , and my arm comes through the same slot nearly everytime. I am worried how the longer reach back will effect my run up, my hip turn, shoulder lead, and ultimately the hit. Most of all, I'm just such a control freak that I don't want to lose the ability to see the target through the throw, like I can control the shot better and make changes mid arm swing; ridiculous right.
Has anyone had to make this change to their game? What was it like? How long did it take? Did you commit huge, or do it in incriments?
Do to back issues, I've never kept my eye on the target. I work on two things, aiming with my shoulder (discgolfreview.com) and picking a aiming point close to the teepad (leaf, rock twig). So instead of trying to pick a distant point like a basket. My line is nice and close, so my head doesn't have to be craned around at the basket. So now my shoulder is pointed at the line, hit/release point and I get a good reach back. The only issue is making sure I don't over rotate my shoulder past the hit.
I've been doing this almost since day one and my accuracy is one of my stronger points. I say this, because on open course, I will get killed by the big arms. However when we head to a tight course like Golden Gate Park or those crazy OR, WA course, It's neck and neck.
So I always say this is "what works for ME", but I urge you to check out the article about aiming with your shoulder. It helped me out.
Went out and did some field work today after work, other than a dog ran of with my Champ Boss, it went really well. I was using the edge of a basketball court as the edge of my pad and doing the run up on the grass. The basket ball court had a distinct line on it that I was using as my shortrange target on my run up. I was aiming for a light pole that was about 380' away. There is a large group of trees just to the right of the pole blocking the fairway that I had to negotiate.
I was able to incorporate back to target in my run up, which I slowed down to work on timing. Took about 30-40 throws before it started to feel right. At about 100 throws I had to stop, my arm was getting tired and i was putting them into the adjacent playground. (NoBody There)
So it's been a month since converting to a bigger turn on my run up and taking my eye off the target. The distance gains have been nice to say the least. Suprisingly the biggest gain has been that I use so much less energy to throw further.
I have had to change my routine a little on the pad due to lack in run up feel because of turning away from the basket. I have to walk to the end of the pad and pick the long range target and a close target line that i can pick up faster once I start the pull through coming into the hit. I line my shoulder up with the short range target coming into the hit and let er fly.
I had to make that adjustment several years ago when learning of the X-step and power grip. Part of my technique is to place my back to the target as I enter the X-step allowing more body rotation prior to the snap. This postiton does not allow eyes on the target, nonetheless, it has not affected my accuracy. The "snap" is the "snap". It will occur consistently based on form and technique. Proper alignment, positioning on the tee pad, and mental picture prior the run-up are your eyes. Not having your eyes on the target should have no affect on a "drive" release. It really comes natural and takes no time at all to make the adjustment. There will always be that errant shot however.
Quite the opposite for my approach and putting. I need to keep my eyes on target for these as I tend to actually release the disc instead of allowing it to "rip" from my hand.
I realize that everyone is different, but this has worked for me. Best of luck to you making the change.
I have adapted with good success, but found that I really only use it to aid in snapping out distance lines above 320'. I find that most of the time I want to keep my eyes on the target and strong arm it, works just fine. In learning the technique I have found a few other ways to get more power and distance on my shots.
I am finding that I really get a quick look out of the side of my eye before release, but I use that only to check shoulder alignment in regards to a short range target.