Friday, December 01, 2006

Beginner Player Development - The Throw

Day one with a new Ultimate player hinges around the throw and catch. So when you're teaching the fresh face, take some time to show them the basics.

Pictured Above: Another pull by the Capitals at UPAs. Nice extension. Picture taken by Shawn Chua.

For either throw I like to go through the following steps:
  1. Demo what the throw looks like.
  2. Show them a basic grip. A circle huddle for multiple people and check each grip.
  3. Show them in slow motion reverse how the disc rolls off the grip.
  4. Ask them to hold a disc with the grip, and go through the motion.
  5. Fix their grip and motion if needed.
  6. Let them try to throw a few.
  7. Get them to throw, but hold the disc as they throw so they can get the feel of how the disc is supposed to bite. This step is key with the flick for many people.
That's about it, then it's just lots of throws with slight adjustments. A few additional points I like to mention:
  • Ask the player to identify the plane of the disk they are throwing.
  • Ask the player to throw a flick without moving their arm (demo how far you can throw this way).


Gambler said...

I think that the biggest mistake people make when teaching a new player how to throw is over-instructing them. I have been guilty of this many times...

I think the best way to learn to throw involves creating a visual image of what a good thrower's body looks like in the throwing act and then being aware of what your body is doing as you try to imitate good form.

So, instead of telling someone to put more wrist-snap on a flick, ask them to observe what their wrist is doing when they throw the disc. The more they focus on what their bodies are doing, more easily the appropriate adjustments will come naturally.

(I suggest reading the Inner Game of Tennis for anyone trying to teach newbies how to throw and catch...)

Jeters said...

To Gambler...

Nice points. This book is also a very interesting suggestion. Can I ask why it is relevant?


Sideline Engineer said...

"Get them to throw, but hold the disc as they throw so they can get the feel of how the disc is supposed to bite. This step is key with the flick for many people."

Could you explain what you mean by "bite" in the above quote?

I'm not sure if it's similar, but I've found that getting a new player to hold a disc in the flick grip with a straight wrist and then holding their forearm at the wrist and elbow and moving it through a flick motion gives them a very good sense of the whip-like mechanics required for a good throw.

Jeters said...

To the engineer,

The "bite" is part of the whip. In the whip, there is a point when you're stopping the back motion of the disc and starting the forward motion. This action generates a force on the finger, which is what I call the bite. Either the whip and the bite is what I consider one of the key actions in a flick, and to some degree in a backhand.

For a topic that I thought would be somewhat mundane, it's nice to have some good discussion.