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I'm a frustrated left-handed forehand thrower who started playing Spring 2010 and I need some advice on getting better distance and more consistent throws.

I don't have the arm strength or athleticism to get decent distance on a backhand throw (LH or RH), so I've gravitated to driving LHFH for anything but really short hyzer holes of less than 200 feet. My results have been less than spectacular, with my best drives going about 275 feet (and there are few of those).

I've seen all the videos online and read numerous articles, but I have some questions that I would like to know the finals answers to.

Question 1, The Grip. I've tried stacking my fingers and tucking the index behind the middle, but I can't get any control unless I use the fan/spread grip with middle finger against the inside rim and the index against the underside pointing to the center. My question has to do with the positioning of the thumb in my grip. I've heard that it should run towards my middle finger and pinch there, and I've heard that it should run parallel with my index finger and pinch on the joint where the index finger meets the hand. Is there a consensus on this?

Question 2, The Snap. I understand what snap is on a backhand throw but what exactly is the snap on a forehand throw? How do I know if I'm getting it/enough of it? What am I looking for from the disc? What am I looking for physically from my arm/hand?

Question 3, The Follow-Through. I've found conflicting advice regarding what the follow-through should look like (or if there should be any follow-through at all). Some places tell you to let the disc pull itself from your grip as your arm makes a full move around your body, but others say to stop your arm abruptly, which causes the disc to eject. Which is correct? In either technique, where should the release point be?

I'm sure I'll have more questions if this gets discussed, but getting some answers to these would help me.

Tags: FHLH, Hand, LHFH, Left, forehand, handed, left

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Grip
I think the key here is to pinch the disc with your thumb near the finger thats touching the rim (so in your case the middle finger). pinch it agressively.
Snap
The what you gotta do is spin the crap out of your disc with your forehand muscle. Flick the disc with your wrist (cause this is where the power comes from).
Follow-through is important, but not as important as the motion before you release the disc.
Try keeping your elbow and wrist close to your body before you throw so you have almost no back swing. This may seem counter intuitive but seems to be the key to get more power out of your "flick." Plus you avoid injuries this way.
I think your follow through has to do with what kind of disc you're throwing. The more stable the disc, the more you can follow through. A less stable a disc will require most people to follow through either LESS or IN AN UPward/FOREward motion. I think the follow-through is the hardest part to figure out, but may be the least important. I'd like to see what other people have to say about this-I don't know how much this has been perfected.
Going back to snap- If when you snap the disc hard it turns over into the ground, I'd say your doing it correct, you just have to change the angle (and maybe direction) you release the disc at.
Thats pretty good advice. Id take that to the bank.

The only thing I would add is to practice more and remember that your still "green". Dont get discouraged, you have only been playing for a short time.
I also learned to throw forhand because I could not get the distance with my backhand throw. That was a long time ago but I still use forhand shots when I want a disc to turn right ( I am right handed). I can thow a forhand about 350' on average and I will try to help by telling you what works for me.

I use the peace sign grip, index finger in the center of the disc for balence and middle finger pad against the rim (this is where all the power comes from). The thumb just holds the disc in place, no pinching is needed. All the snap comes from a flick of your rist at the end.

I try to keep my elbow away from my body. When I was learning I came across the term t-rexing which is trowing with your elbow close to your body with a short arm like a t-rex and was told this is bad. I don't see how you can get any power without extending your arm. I do this by leaning over to the side and throwing form about waist level. This lets me use my full arm.

This may not work for eveyone but thats how I do it. Good luck
Sam's advice is exactly how I throw forehand, as for snap, try taking a dish towel and snapping it with the forehand motion,(wrist flick) if you can get the towel to pop, you are doing it correctly.
Yeah what those guys said. Plus, I watch these two videos over and over and have gotten better because of them.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xa8QHevIGKs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOECjLjhiTI

After watching these I would go out to the soccer field and practice the techniques over and over until I started to see improvement. To be honest I am better, but still can't throw very far. However, I am now much more consistent and am now able to face each drive with greater confidence. Which in the end is helping to bring my scores down... and that was the real goal behind my desire for greater distance.

Give yourself a little time and you'll get better - G'luck.
Darrin,

It is difficult to diagnose throwing problems and craft suggestions based only on written questions. An in-person lesson with a good Pro who throws forehand is more likely to help than anything you read here.

Overall body strength and athleticism are not the keys to throwing far (of course, they do help). More important are a strong grip, good form, fast twitch muscles and practice.

Grip: there is no one grip which is ideal. I have seen lots of different grips used effectively. Where you put your thumb is a matter of personal preference. I like to position my thumb close to the rim and most forehanders I have seen do the same. Geoff Bennett does the opposite. Geoff can throw a forehand into orbit.

Snap: if you know what snap is backhand then you know what snap is forehand. I'm not sure I understand either of them very well. It has something to do with rapidly moving your wrist in perfect timing with your arm swing the instant before release. Snap is that mysterious skill in disc golf. I have good snap throwing forehand and poor snap throwing backhand. How can that be, it is the same wrist? In racquet sports I have good snap forehand and backhand. I have never read anything or seen any videos or talked with anyone who could explain it in such a way that it made sense to me.

Follow Through: If you are throwing for short distance you don't need much, if any, follow through. The farther you want to throw the more follow through you need. Have you ever seen a major league baseball pitcher who didn't follow through?

Your follow through (or lack of it) doesn't effect the release point. The proper release point is learned by practice. Every shot gives you feedback what you did. If you release it too soon or too late it is immediately apparent. It is a matter of timing and balance.

Search out good players and boldly ask their advice. You can usually find good players at leagues and tournaments.
I played the first 2 year sidearm, and I have a bad back... bad enough to get SSI! And I always said I can't throw backhand because my back.. and when I first tried backhand it was not good! But i stuck with it and now throw over 100 feet more then I ever could FH. I think one trick and it does not matter how you are throwing is that in order to get any good you got to use the throw in your game, when I started throwing BH it never got any better until I gave in and started throwing it in game... and kept score as well.... then I was able to watch more score go down as I got better
1. Grip - If you are fan throwing your thumb will be over the first knuckle of the middle finger. If you are power gripping you want the thumb directly on top of the top side of your index finger.

2. Snap - Snap is a BAD word and comes from the sound a disc can make when it rips from your hand. Bottom line is let it rip from your hand. The more you do the better and more accurate your release point will become and the further you will be able to driver. Harder you squeeze the further in general it should fly as your disc will be popping out at your maximum speed. Make sure you gradually speed up to the (SNAP, HIT, POP, RELEASE) as that is when you should reach your max speed. If you reach max speed before then you will loose power and distance. your wrist shouldn't move more then 40 degrees, 20 prior to the snap and 20 after the release. You just don't need to crank your wrist to 90, smooth is far! Also make sure you are releasing flat and level as many fore-handed players have a tendency to roll their wrist as they come through their swing.

3. Follow through - HIGHLY IMPORTANT!!! If you are not following through then you did not let the disc rip from your hand PERIOD! Also Following through helps to prevent injury from a sudden stop motion of your arm which can tear muscles in your wrist, forearm, bicep, shoulder, and pectoral.

Yes I incorporated some things into other categories because that is where I believe they belong.
What discs and weights/plastic are you throwing?

Grip: I throw with the split finger grip, http://www.innovadiscs.com/home/daves-tips/daves-grip-tips.html, use that link and try them all. My thumb just stablized te grip for me and I do not really pinch the disc at all with any firmness. I am trying to learn the power stack, coming slowly.

Snap: wow, I do not really know what to say about this, I have remarkable BH snap, sounds like I am smacking my wifes ass or something, but I never hear anything or feel anything really for FH snap. I do not really understand how snap can be achieved with pushing a disc off your fingers, maybe I need to work on that too, but I can throw 300-350 FH and fairly consistently.

Follow Through
: This is very important, a lot of people who struggle with a FH shot seem to let thedisc flare off their fingers and do not follow through much at all.

I'm not sure wy my FH distance of 350 cannot catch up to my BH distance of 435 but I am working on it. Take whatever Marc Ellis says about FH as golden and seek out local players too.
Backhand doesn't really take a whole bunch of strength. What it takes is good technique. Watch some videos, learn the X step and see what happens. It's best to have both shots in your bag. If you only have one or the other you will limit yourself. Don't give up on the backhand. Learn both shots.
I think this is true. Forehand shot has more to do with physical strength than Backhand shot. Good form and strength help either style of throwing for distance.
I have to strongly disagree with the first 2 sentences of this comment. everything else seems pretty ligit. Sidearm is awesome because it's seems to not be a very "perfected" form.

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