Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Extreme Throwing

The most advanced stage of in the development as a thrower is being able to get almost any throw off. Also, you need to know when you can make those throws. In this talk, I'll talk briefly about a theory on how to train for advanced throws.

Advanced throwing isn't about specific throws like a thumber, hammer, blade, or even, forehand. Instead, I beleive advanced throwing is about getting off backhands and flicks in any situation. These situations include along the sideline, when falling, and even from the knees or a sitting position. Similarly, these backhands or flicks need to be made including a high release and a low release.

So, essentially, advanced throwers can make simple throws under almost any conditions. How are we going to train for these throws?

My suggestion is first practicing awkward throws without a mark. Work on your high release flick and backhand. Try throwing while falling to the side, backwards, and on an angle. Throw from one knee, both knees, and sitting down.

After you get good at these throws under all sorts of conditions, then start using some of these skills in threeman. The problem with threeman (as much as I love the drill) is that you get used to making the same moves to break your opponent. I encourage you to try, 1 out of every 3 times you throw in threeman, something new. This will give you the opportunity to try some of your falling throws, lean back throws, and high and low release throws in game like situations. Plus it can be fun. to try new things.



Anonymous said...

Good post about a seldom thought about topic. I find that indoor forces you to make many more "less than ideal" throws due to the pace of the game and the shorter stall count.


Tom said...

Hey Pete, a couple years ago you gave me some really good advice about three-man, that I thought worth repeating... keep your eyes on your receiver. I've found that since I started doing this, I'm a lot worse at three-man, but a lot better at breaking people in games. Also, one thing I've found really helpful in three-man is when the defender plays me lots of different ways... tight, loose, favouring one side, etc., because it forces you to break them in different ways. Sasha tends to be really good about that.

Taylor, being able to make "less than ideal" throws indoors is about as good as being able to dunk on the moon. My experience is that what you can throw reliably outdoors in the wind is a very small subset of what can be thrown indoors.

taylor said...

You've got the wrong person Tom. Though people who don't know me call me Tyler all the time, it's funnier when the names are written out on a blog.

Tom said...


LittleOrphanAnnie44 said...

I would really appreciate it if you stopped posting bad advice online.

The novice player probably won't be able to differentiate sound advice from crap advice.

Perhaps it would help to know what your credentials are. Who do you play with and what kind of success has your team had?

Also, perhaps preface each post with a disclaimer: "Warning: I don't know what I'm talking about."

Other than that, good stuff w/ the logo battles.

Nate said...

At the risk of starting some sort of ridiculous ultimate-related online shouting match...I feel obliged to come to Peter's defense here. He's the best captain I've had in any competitive sport I've ever played. Period. Our team, Torontula, would not be anywhere near where it is today without him and his leadership, experience, and indeed, knowledge of the game. I personally feel his advice to be well thought-out. You are free to disagree, but that whole bit:

"Also, perhaps preface each post with a disclaimer: "Warning: I don't know what I'm talking about."

was completely unwarranted. Alright, rant over.

wartank said...

people who know you call you tyler too. like when you're bad.

sometimes peter's ideas sound wacky but the turkey my team won this weekend has at least something to with peter. and the bronze at nationals.

ultimate is a new sport and we need people thinking about news ideas for things that will work.. not just going with their gut, or adapting things from other sports blindly. there is a whole side to instinct and development that doesn't come from traditional drills.

if you disagree with an approach, say why and start a discussion - that's teh point of this blog if nothing else.

finally, don't try to take responsibility for the people who believe everything they read on the Internet. it's too big and pointless of a job.

wartank said...

so part of that post was for tyler and part was for annie.. but i think you can figure it out.

Anonymous said...

Man, why am I catching flak, I didn't do anything.


kirker said...

trying to turn piss into wine here, but it's an interesting point-- does the quality of advice one can give within a sport have anything to do with their level of skill in that sport? i think at the bottom end it does (ie, if you've never played or heard of ultimate, you'd probably be a lousy coach). at the high end, however, i suspect the correlation falls apart. most pro coaches weren't pro players. they usually played at some higher level (college), but maybe not pro. food for thought ...

Anonymous said...

Malcolm Gladwell talks about a tennis coach who asked the best tennis players in the game to describe a topspin forehand. They all said you gotta break your wrist when you hit the ball - video analysis later showed this is unquestionably terrible advice. You gotta keep the wrist firm!

The important issue is the dichotomy of verbal versus non-verbal expertise in a field. The best performers of a task rarely learn how to accurately describe the task unless specifically trained to do so. Jonathan Schooler at UBC did a study a study showing that people who casually drink a lot of wine can discriminate between wines by taste as well as expert tasters, but if you ask them to describe the wine first and then discriminate the different kinds, they do terribly. Verbal and non-verbal (sensory, motor) expertise come from two different parts of the brain.



1. Schooler's my homeboy.
2. Pete's a damn fine handler.

Jeters said...

Great comment got the conversation flowing and that is what I think the cultimate opinion is all about. Discussion and debate.

Initially, I felt hurt and thought I should defend myself with biting wit. Then I left it for 24 hours and and realized that the Cultimate opionion is about discussion and opinions, so obviously, you don't agree with some things I write, and I'll be honest, some advice I give has evolved over the years. I try to keep an open mind in both my Ultimate and every day life, and some good arguments can potentially sway me.

Now to some fun biting sarcasm (written for those who might appreciate it, and no harsh intentions meant). Be warned LittleOrphanAnnie44. As much as the internet promises truth and logic, I have found some lies. Regardless of medium, always use critical thinking and make your own opinions. Even consider cross checking facts or dismissing theories and news reports. For example, I've learned that penis pumps and the like aren't as good as advertised. Can you believe they lied to me ;)


Anonymous said...

the question here is not about disagreeing, it's about posting bad advice. there's never a reason in an ultimate game to have to "get a throw off." you can always stand up, always wait, always dump. practicing these kinds of throws teaches bad habits about when to give the disc up.

unless you want to do away the possession offense and heedlessly give the disc back to teams that will score and break you constantly, then you should take a deep breath and make a calm and legitimate throw. can you give one reason that a throw like the ones you talk about would be necessary other than because of a mistake by the thrower?

honeyhands said...

Somtimes dumping is hard, like if you're on the sideline and your fellow players are inadvertantly crowding each other. That's when the proverbial prune of being skilled at difficult throws lubricate the turgid colon of the polyptuous throwing lane.

That being grossly said, I think that in games it is very easy to find oneself off balance by agressive defences, wind, fatigue, slippy ground, or post-party disorientation. All of these factors (and more) may contribute to less than ideal throwing positions, even if the throwing CHOICE is ideal. Skill in these unideal situations can be the difference between your teammates yelling 'good look' and 'great throw'!

One day, I hope to hear more of the latter than the former. How shall I get there if not by practicing in less than ideal conditions?

kirker said...

i believe sockeye benefited much from a crazy stall 9 hammer from alex nord in UPA finals this year. of course, none expects to have to make such a throw -- but it's nice to have honed "au cas ou".

Jeters said...

Like Kirk says, just because you train for all throws doesn't mean you have to use them. I'm a huge pusher of dumps on stall five or six, and taking the simple throws and moving the disc to the proper spot on the field, but Ultimate is not always that simple.

For example, you may be in a situation where the dump has abandoned you and you have a high stall. Most people say huck it deep to get field position. Your opponent knows this and changes their mark. Now you have to huck in an awkward position. If you've trained to throw an out of position throw then you might be able to throw something with an increased probability of success.

Just because you train to throw harder throws doesn't mean they will be used even once in a tournament or a season.


Anonymous said...

anonymous said:
>there's never a reason in an >ultimate game to have to "get a >throw off." you can always stand >up, always wait, always dump.

This is almost always true. Probably 99% of the time in Ultimate, you can always make an easy throw instead.

(If by chance you want to play in that 1%...also known as Nationals level Ultimate...feel free to work on your game.)

For that 99%: Keep all your forehands and backhands releasing from the same point, close to your body, on the same pivot. When you play a top team and only score 4, just blame it on your teammates for not getting open.

It also helps to watch top-level players and mock them for bad choices that you would NEVER make. [leave unsaid that you would never score.]

Anonymous said...

do people seriously think this is bad advice? i think this post is right on the money.

"I believe advanced throwing is about getting off backhands and flicks in any situation."

the reason this is so true isn't necessarily because you need to have all sorts of off balance throws for crazy situations. (Although sometimes those are nice tools to have) the reason is because for most throwers, once you are able to do these 'off balance, any situation' type of throws, it means that you've isolated the main things that make your NORMAL throws great.

being able to throw a flick while falling to the side means that you've essentially figured out what the main components of throwing a flick are. if you need to use your body motion or momentum to throw the flick everytime you throw, then you're not there yet. but if you can throw off balance, then you've got that throw, PLUS the throw when you choose to put your body motion into it.

it's not that you can say, 'look, i can throw while being lazy and standing completely straight up without moving any part of my body except my arm'. it's that by being able to throw like that, your throws when you use your whole body will be better. much better.

Anonymous said...

For those of you keeping score at home, the people who think you can/should make a textbook throw every time are morons.

When you're fouled, you want to get a throw off. This will come when you're off-balance or falling. You would rather make that a catchable throw than an uncatchable throw, right?

Sometimes you're covered by a great mark and your perfectly practiced (and perfectly replicated) release points are shut down. Why not have a myriad of release points to get the throw off?

Sometimes getting up will remove your opportunity to throw an easy goal. Why not throw before getting up?

Not only will you open up the field for your teammates, I swear you'll make your normal throws better. You'll find out what your throwing motion requires to get a good throw off. Everyone's motion is different and will require different amounts of balance and the like.

"practicing these kinds of throws teaches bad habits about when to give the disc up."

No. It expands the notion of what sorts of throws are "legitimate." I'm not practicing to give the disc up, I'm practicing these throws so that I can beat you even when I'm in a non-optimal position on the field. If I can consistently complete a throw that you refuse to attempt due to your limited perception of what are the correct choices, I am a more dangerous offensive weapon. That is not to say that I need to take those throws, but rather that because I can, you will need to defend more of the field. By extending your team defense to consider possibilities that they are unprepared for, I have taken the first step toward winning the mental battle. You and your teammates then crumble in the face of innovation and skill. When I hear you and your teammates say things like "Well, you can't really defend that throw. I'd like to seI know that the game is OVER. If you start to consider me making the optimal throw from a non-optimal position, you will change the way you defend me enough that the game is different just because I'm there.

Think about the legends of other sports. Are they the ones who made the safe choice every time? No. They are the ones who had more safe choices available to them in every situation because they practiced them. If you watch Federer (as someone mentioned tennis earlier) he isn't incredible because he does things the way everyone else does, he is incredible because he doesn't do what everyone else does. He is capable of making a terrifyingly accurate return from a non-optimal position. Same with Agassi in his prime. Favre, Elway, Jeter, Jordan, Bird, Gretzky and a litany of others were not by-the-book players. They all did/do things that were unexpected and jaw-droppingly excellent to break the game wide open or to seal the deal. If you want to be a role player, practice to be a role player by perfecting every single easy pass and always playing it safe. If you want to be a star, practice everything that you can conjure up. Perfect it. Make your opponents respect it.

To take a quick look at our little sport today, do you think Shank and Idris always take the "legitimate" throw as you definite it? Not if you've actually played against them. There are players like that on every elite team out there (though not necessarily of the same caliber). These are the guys that make those teams what tehy are. The only team that you can even accuse of trying to obessively play it safe is DoG. And if you think they're actually that conservative, perhaps you haven't seen Al toss shit into whatever space he sees and hope that someone else is wired directly into his brain (thanks Jim!).

You know what? I hope you continue to play ultimate in that little box of "legitimate throws." Just more wins for me.

But don't worry, most of the teams in the country can't hang at that level anyway. And getting there is just so hard... why even try?