Author Archives: Evan

A Graphical Breakdown of Snap – 2014 Version

My swing-coach or guru Niq (follow his posts here or on reddit here has put together an amazing breakdown of what the proper snap motion is and I wanted to share it. Snap is so hard to capture on video because it happens so quickly in a short range of motion but here is an early version of his image that is a current work in progress.

Niq has helped me understand all of the technical aspects of the throw and is almost solely responsible for me finally being able to hit 450′ so I highly recommend you reading as much as he has to write.

Snap by Niq

Please let us know if you have any feedback on this image. Questions or comments are always welcome and will help evolve this into something useful for more folks.

You can follow along with the conversation on this image at this DGR thread

iPhone 6+ Slow Motion is Perfect for Disc Golf

One of the biggest reasons I stick with the iPhone each year is the camera and this year is no different. The new iPhone 6 camera shoots a slow motion video at 240 frames per second (fps) in 720p HD resolution. So not only is it slow enough to capture the magic of a disc golf thrown near “the Hit” but it is perfectly clear as well.

Here are a few videos I shot of some friends playing Cedar Hills in Raleigh this weekend.

Ehren – biggest issue seems to be not getting the disc into the hit zone and throwing a bit from the left pec.

Alek – Typically has fairly clean form and can hit 400ft but today he’s got a toe injury and kept him a little off

Shag – is probably the best player of the group. He might be opening his shoulders a tad early but I know this wasn’t one of his best throws.

You vs Schusterick Video Series: /u/nght12’s Form Comparison Video

Crossposted from /r/discgolf

So I’ve got a few of these videos from you all so I’m labeling the series [You guys vs Schusterick]. Hopefully they help at least one person and ya’ll keep them coming b/c breaking down your throws helps me learn as well.

here is the full video

Upon first glance this is a tough one. /u/Nght12 has obviously put the work in to develop solid form. He’s got good smooth footwork, a nice clean pull and a smooth heel pivot. It is no surprise he’s able to throw 400 but it is amazing what you can find when you slow down a video to 1/8th speed and put it up against arguably the best form in the game. * ***Note- I need a better video of Schusterick for these so if anyone has any suggestions shoot it my way please***

(1) The very first thing I noticed is what looks like could be a grip issue. It is hard to tell from this video but you can see the disc angle which I circled right off the bat.

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 5.07.40 PM

Now compare that to MikeC’s grip demo video

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 4.43.04 PM

Full Grip video here

It looks off and I’m not even able to reproduce that in my hand so I’d love for /u/nght12 to hook us up with a closeup of his grip. Ideally I’d like to see it with a nice clean line down his forearm like you can see with MikeC and Schusterick in order to prevent nose angle issues on release. Here’s what it looks like at full reachback at the 51s mark. Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 5.10.53 PM and you can see why this might become an issue especially when you are trying to move past 400 to 450, every little thing counts.

(2) The next thing you’ll notice at the 1:01 mark is the head position that I circled. (I should have circled it a few seconds prior to really get the full affect but notice how much lateral movement he has vs Will. I saw /u/SearchingforSilky mention this in another thread just the other day about turning on the y-axis and you can see it broken down here with images and more info

In many ways your issue is similar to /u/spoonraker’s which I attempted to breakdown last week but lost in there was this amazing image that /u/niq000 created to help illustrate the point http://i.imgur.com/EsQ6pGo.jpg

his comment here for you to read more about it. I don’t think you have the specific shoulder rotation issue he mentioned but it is relative. It might be a little more towards Silky’s explanation of rotating on the right axis and getting that lateral weight shift under control.

Hopefully this is helpful for you. Technique is a hard thing to breakdown into written words sometimes so if it doesnt translate for you let me know and I’ll try again.

Will Schusterick vs /u/SpoonRaker

I created this video for my buddy Spoonraker (right) to help illustrate one of the few issues in his generally solid form, weight-shift. He spends so much of his time helping other disc golfers with their game I thought it was well-deserved that someone spend a little time helping him when he asked here. I feel like my game is similar to his. We have a good understanding of the throw which we’ve developed by reading, watching, playing with and talking to pros, and can hit 400′ but still have a lot of room to improve our forms.

The main issue I saw:
What I did here was take Spoon’s video and a Will Schusterick video and lock them in at the release point so the disc would be out at the very same time. With both videos running at 1/4th speed you can see how much faster and more choppy Spoonraker’s footwork is to get him to the same release point when Will starts his runnup a good few seconds before SR. Pretty much everyone’s footwork is less smooth than Schustericks and you can see that emphasized in slow-motion.

A lot of people work on hip movements but w/ the proper footwork and weight-shift your hips will be in the right position without much thought. Here, the red line illustrates the center of the body / pivot point. If you watch any of the top pros, when they get to the “hit” their body rotates essentially on an axis with very little lateral movement. So in this video, right in the 20-30s mark you can see the huge balance differential and how Spoonraker falls off balance and onto his right foot losing a ton of energy due to his excess lateral movement while Will glides effortlessly into his heel-pivot without any thought.

The Fix:
The best way for Spoonraker to fix his weight-shifting issue would be to take a slightly wider last step with his plant foot. While he needs to slow down his runnup and get into a better rhythm, if he does some fieldwork and practices taking a longer last step this will delay his weight-shift and keep him rotating on the proper axis. Look at the green-line difference between the 2 players. Even with Will’s smaller frame his last step is nearly twice as wide. Now I’m not flexible enough to get into that position but even just adding a few inches to the step would make a difference.

You can try it at home by taking 3 steps. First take a normal step with your right foot and is pretty easy to get your weight moving onto that foot. Now take a wider step as if you were throwing a disc, still comfortable and still easy to get weight onto the right foot. Lastly, take an exaggerated step and notice how it keeps your weight back. What this movement does is allows your hips to fire and really generate the power your looking for from them. The best analogy I can think of is a baseball player hitting a homer.

Watch this video from the 2013 Home Run derby and notice how all of the players stay back and let their hips fire through. It’s probably why any of your baseball player friends are also some of your farthest throwing players no matter what their skill level.

Hopefully this helps Spoonraker and hopefully it helps some others as well. If anyone would like a similar comparison feel free to drop me a comment here or on our facebook page.

Here’s his full video:

** UPDATE ** There is a really good conversation about this going on at r/Discgolf
http://www.reddit.com/r/discgolf/comments/28d28f/will_schusterick_vs_uspoonraker_a_video/

Tip: Use .gif & Preview to Analyze Disc Throwing form in OS X

I was doing my daily watch of the Four Pro’s throwing gif and realized that if I opened the .gif in OS X’s Preview.app I was able to use the arrow keys to move frame by frame. This might be an option for people who don’t have the best video on their cameras but still want to be able to slow down their shots enough to see what they are doing wrong.

In addition, you can skip the video and use burst mode to make your own .gif. If you have an iPhone you can have a friend take a picture of you and hold down the shutter button to take a burst of photos. Use a free app like Gif maker or GifBoom and create a gif of your throw to analyze in preview.

I haven’t tried this out yet with my own throw analysis but I will this weekend.

Here is a short screencast I put together showing Preview + .gif in action.

Form Critique of a Reddit User

I have an issue.  It’s a personal thing.  No matter what I play I don’t want want to just play it, I want to be good at it. It’s an unhealthy obsession born from some dark childhood issues I’m sure but because of I’ve spent a good deal of time trying to understand the disc golf throw and all its mechanics. One way I like to practice my understanding is by helping people on r/discgolf with their form critique videos. Over the last couple months I started to see a consistent pattern in the videos that might not be something new but it is new to me based ona better understanding.

User TubSum122 posted his video and I was a little late to the party so I’m also posting my feedback here in hopes that explaining it will make me better and help some of ya’ll along the way.

Here’s the video

And here’s my feedback from this thread

While some of this advice is good, and I def agree with Allurex that your timing is off and you are holding the disc behind you way too long there are some bigger issues and better ways to think about that one particular issue.

Try this; try your run up and throw but instead of reaching the disc back keep the disc in place where you started. Your body will move around the disc and as you take your step forward you will naturally reachback and get the timing a little better. In essence move yourself around the disc. In the video Allurex posted look at Schusterick.

Notice how he hasn’t reached back at all yet and the disc is right in line with that couple sitting behind him. Screenshot here

Will Schusterick disc position

Now look at him at full reachback a few frames later, the disc is in the exact same spot, he’s just moved his body into position.

Screen Shot 2014-01-20 at 4.42.56 PM

From there he pulls the disc into his right pec position, (which is where tubsum122 starts but never get back to) before his shoulders ever move again. In your case (and mine) and a ton of others here we throw too much with our shoulders forcing our arms around instead of letting our arm get into position and using the energy we’ve built up to fire the disc out. If you notice you get the disc to your left pec and then whip around with your shoulders. Try getting it back into the position you start at before your shoulders ever move again. Its hard but you can do it with practice.

This is one of the issues that I’ve dealt with before so I understand the difficulty it is to overcome this but is one of the most important things to get the disc out of your hand with the proper power.

Testing the MVP Servo

Yesterday my Christmas started a little early when my MVP Servo pre-order showed up from CommunityDiscs.com.  I immediately loved the way it felt in my hand and couldn’t wait to throw it so first thing this morning I took my dogs out to a nearby parking lot and let it fly.

Keep in mind, I’m no MikeC / TDGV.  Although I am an MVP homer, they don’t send us chumps free discs to test….yet *hint-hint*.  I’m a low level intermediate player who throws a TL & Volt about 360 on a good day. I’m starting to figure it all out and occasionally bust one effortlessly loose but they are few and far between.  Also to note about the video, didn’t notice you couldn’t see my release from where I was standing so I’ll try to shoot a few more shots tomorrow morning before the family comes over.

It was quite windy this morning so the first few throws caught a little too much hyzer and faded pretty hard but after the wind died down and I got loose, I was able to get the MVP Servo on a much tighter and flatter line.

The thing I noticed was that it had a pretty consistent fade on the end.  It wasn’t a big fade but when it started slowing down to fade, it dove hard. I liked that about it. That fade helped it keep a nice tight line which is crucial here in North Carolina.

All of this falls in line with what MVPhas to say about it:

The Servo is a straight-stable fairway driver.

The Servo is part of a new class of fairway drivers with a lower power requirement and more controllable speed. Its extended GYRO™ Push yields a straighter lateral movement and immense glide with an effortless forward fade. Both high- and low-power throwers alike will achieve easy pinpoint accuracy with ultimate line control, making the Servo their go-to placement driver in the fairway.

Conclusion: All in all, I really like the Servo although I find MVP is starting to get a lot of overlap in their discs.  Maybe this is just part of the process for a new-ish company.  If you read their descriptions of the discs on their website they all start to sound very similar so I can see how newer players will be confused.  The thing I love about this disc is that it is made for slower arm speeds and as someone who doesn’t often attempt to throw it 110% (I tend to prefer accuracy over distance) I appreciate a company accommodating all players.  After a little practice I think the Servo will contend for a spot in my MVP-heavy bag that currently consists of:

MVP Ion – Proton Soft
MVP Ion – Eclipse Soft
Dynamic Disc Judge – Soft
MVP Axis – Proton
Dynamic Disc Suspect – Lucid
MVP Tangent – Neutron
Innova TL – Star extremely old
MVP Volt – Proton
MVP Amp – Neutron
Innova Boss – Champion and extremely old
MVP Servo