Will Schusterick vs /u/SpoonRaker

By | June 17, 2014

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

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