Thursday, November 20, 2014

Right Pec and Some Grip Answers


Video time! Direct link for the mobile users: youtube.com/watch?v=fEo754f7aKg

Some very interesting field work sessions (in between sub-arctic temps). Below are 3 very blurry screen caps from some video review.


What's been nagging at me to various levels of insanity, is why I can hold the disc later easier with the wide rail (More on the wide rail here). I do believe it is somewhat related to hand speed, but I think also there is something more under the covers.

The 3 screen caps:
Wide Average just trying to throw a regular wide rail shot. It just ends up holding to 4:00 nearly every time. Wasn't squeezing at all hard, just typical feeling grip.
Straight Bad was just a very normal shot, squeezing hard from start to finish and lose it right at 3:00.
Straight Better was a intended to be the same as the previous shot but  I would keep my grip loose until I started extending the disc forward and straightening the wrist, where I'd squeeze hard.

On the good news front, I have been able to stop the problem of slipping early with a straight pull. How I fixed it was by altering my grip pressure and timing, which was because of a great email from Joshua:
"Your grip strength is determined mainly by your forearm muscles. Your wrist extension and flexion is also determined by these muscles. If your wrist is flexed, your forearms are utilizing a portion of its strength, taking away from your grip strength."
So I grabbed a GripMaster hand strengthening thingy, and gave it a go. Squeeze with wrist straight - no problem. Bend your wrist like you're flexing your bicep, and there goes about 50-60% of your strength. Now extend your wrist open and squeeze, definitely losing some degree opening as well, but substantially less than when the wrist is closed.

Light bulb flickering for sure!

I would set my grip pressure during the back-swing. Then the wrist would bend at the right pec, and I would lose my grip strength.

Re-squeezing at that point was out of the question, I'd already set my squeezing limit and the gig was up because the pressure I had on the rim was too low to hold during the redirection of the disc.

But by focusing on squeezing after the wrist un-loads, all the sudden I was back to holding to 3-4:00 with the straight pull. The later squeeze seems to happens naturally during the wide-rail because of the redirection. You don't even try to squeeze hard because of the direction change.

I do believe that a straight pull backhand is a very useful shot, as is the wide rail - but as I am learning the wide-rail, it's nice to have know that I can be a little bit more accurate throwing on a line. I won't ever stop throwing a straight back-swing, as it seems to do certain things easier - and I'm just really happy that I've worked out why I was slipping off the rim!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Best Coast

Ian and Mini-Me plotting to overthrow the world.
Ian Anderson (ccdg.discgolf.io & youtube.com/user/CentralCoastDiscGolf) has become one of the most laid back voices associated with disc golf videos. Tournament video was once the realm of VHS & DVD's - edited & printed long after the winner's cash was spent. But with the advent of the longer format youtube videos, suddenly there was a new market: a guy with a camera could follow around any card, recording to his heart's delight, do a little editing and release coverage of the event within hours!

The problem: even a die-hard disc golf fan might glaze over without some commentary to spice things up, give some insight, and in true CCDG fashion, be honestly amazed at what the best players in the world can do with a disc. And that's what had me instantly hooked on Central Coast videos: it was two friends clearly mesmerized by 550' drives and players who seem to miss putts only from outside 80' (from a knee/blind/uphill/buried in a bush).

So without further pre-amble, I give you the greatest news I've had as a disc golfer: I got to do some commentary with Ian on a true super-card! Ian was kind enough to offer me a seat at the virtual announcer's booth for Round 1 of the Worlds: McBeth, Lizotte, Doss and Brinster.

"Enough talking, let's watch some disc golf!"

2014 Worlds MPO Round 1 Super Card

And, in true HeavyDisc fashion, I couldn't let Ian slip away without sitting him down for an interview!

Okay Ian, let's start off with a nice soft-ball question. How long have you been playing disc golf, who do you play rounds with most often, and how did you get hooked?

I've been playing since 2003. I play the most with my buddy Brett Camack, and my buddy Derek Kurtti (u/The_Warwolf). I met both of them going to college at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA. Funny enough I met Derek playing racquetball which I think has some decent crossover to disc golf with the whole snap thing. I play with a bunch of other awesome people on the Central Coast when I visit there. My partner in crime, the spokesman for the forehand shot, and the guy that helped me get this whole CCDG thing going Kevin Estrada being one. I'm hoping to record some more commentaries with him around Christmas time.

I got hooked the first time I played. My roommate in college Ben dragged me out, and it was love at first flight. It reminded me of growing up and throwing the aerobe around a soccer field with my cousins. It also reminds me of all the hiking I did as a kid with my family. My parents were big on backpacking, so we did a ton of that growing up.

You've shot a ton of footage of the best players in the game, what would a couple of the biggest lessons that you've learned bet (in terms of your own game)?

Things I've learned from watching the pros. A lot of form things. Reaching away on your back-swing, not opening up too early, staying in, and over the hit. I think those are some big ones. It's really amazing to watch them throw in person, they're on a whole nother level. Another thing you can see when you watch them play is their mental game, and how that affects how they play. The players that can forget that last not so awesome shot will have the best chance for future success.

Is there a tournament that stands out as work that you're really proud of (commentary or filming) and let's clue in some of the more green camera-ops with some hard-learned lessons in terms of shooting good coverage?

The tournament I'm most proud of the product is probably the Wintertime Open, or the Masters Cup. I feel like I covered those events really well. Hopefully that answer will change to 2014 Pro Worlds once I'm done with it! With the help of Juha Alkkomaki (lcgm8), Stu Dunn, Alex Olguin, Ben Baker, and Ran Szulczewski we covered that tournament like no one else has. We filmed close to 25 rounds, many of them dual camera, and filmed the final 9 for MPO, FPO, and the Masters division. The Masters division came down to the last shot, and we were the only one's to film it, so that's pretty cool.

Lessons learned. The big things I like are:
  • Film drives from behind the Tee
  • Film putts from the side, or at an angle so the viewer can gauge the distance
  • Bring lots of extra batteries and SD cards
  • Use a monopod, or some kind of shoulder mount

In the world of the MPO, there's a pretty wide swath of personalities and sometimes players go on full-tilt and lose their tempers. There's been quite a bit of conversation about the filmer's responsibility to edit out various amounts of ribald language (nice SAT word!) before publishing tournaments to the web. Any interest in putting your opinion out there?

I think it's nice to keep the vids clean. Kids watch them, and I don't want to be a bad influence. That said I think you can put some of the onus on the disc golfer that swears while he's being recorded. I've dropped some s bombs, so I'm not innocent either. I don't blame Marty at all for leaving it in. It's a lot of work to listen to the whole round for random swears, and he puts out those vid fast!

Let's talk about discs that you've known and loved. Any surprising discs that are in the bag?

Discs I've loved. I grew up (disc golf wise), as a one disc chucker, and that disc was a champ sidewinder. I loved that thing. I could bust out the most ridiculous hyzer-flips. I also loved my original barstamp buzzz. I got an ace with on my first drive with it(13A at Morley).

Surprising discs... My bag is pretty boring I think. Enforcer or Destroyer for my drivers. Teebird/River/Firebird for my fairway. Drone/Buzzz/Comet for my mids, and I putt/upshot with an Ion or Judge. I've got some other stuff in my bag, but that's the core.

Last question, and I saved this tough one for last: I know you have helped many players on r/discgolf with form requests. You know where I fall on form, as I have written probably more than I should have - but what would be the biggest break-through in your own form and what was it that helped it click?

O man backhand form is such a complex thing. To get it perfect is a serious accomplishment. My biggest aha moments were:
  • Weight transfer.
  • Reaching away from yourself on your back-swing (enables you to pull on a line)
  • Pulling on a line and not rounding (early or later releases are still mostly accurate)
  • Lead with a high elbow (helps you pull on a line and not round)
I think those are the biggest, and have helped my game the most. My form is far from perfect, but it's worlds better than a couple years ago!

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Okay, Jason here again. So, that's that! I would definitely ask that if you like Ian's videos (and why wouldn't you!?) please subscribe and give his videos a "thumbs up" and you can do what I do, which is to buy Ian a virtual beer by actually clicking on his video advertisements during the lead in to his videos.

Those ad revenues can definitely help put a little extra coin into Ian's hands so he can pay for gas, camera equipment, buy his kid a stack of putters, or to just get out to a never-ending list of tournaments.

Happy Disc'n Amigos!