Friday, December 12, 2014

Tyler Liebman: Eagle drive form breakdown

I was hoping that Tyler would have some time to chime in on this post, but he (like most of us) has been very busy. Hopefully we can connect soon for an interview. I wanted to do a quick form break down, because he's got very solid form from footwork to extension.We got to play a practice round together and I was very impressed with his control.

Step 1. Eyes on the target. Visualizing the exact flight of the disc before starting the step is a fantastic habit to get into. If your mind isn't exactly sure where the disc is supposed to go, how can we expect to put it there?

Step 1
Step 2. First stride, head still on the target and now the shoulders are aimed at the target. Body has transitioned sideways to move down the teepad. Disc is held loosely in front of your chest.

Step 2
Step 3.  Tyler's x-step is really more of a x-hop. Dead vertical, shoulders still aimed at the target, no leaning backwards or forward and eyes still on the target. Notice how there's no leaning backwards or forwards - this is a huge key in keeping yourself balanced through the entire motion. Getting leaned back or forward here is going to cook your goose.

Also it's very important to note where the disc is. Still has not started the back-swing.

Step 3

Step 4. The back-swing is a counter motion to moving your plant foot forward. If the plant foot is not moving forward, then you are not initiating a back-swing! Back foot: heel never touched the ground. I preach this all the time: an easy way to get your posture more athletic is to stay on the ball of your back foot. Weight is transferring into the plant foot toes first and into the instep.

Step 4
Step 5:  Weight shifts into the plant leg. Look at the difference in the location of Tyler's hips from step 4 to 5. They've shifted into the brace. Loading the plant foot - you can see what the weight is doing to his plant shoe. He's braced hard against the instep.

Eyes/head perpendicular to line you're throwing on. Hand on the outside of the disc as the elbow is driven forward.

Step 5
Step 6: Hips open! I was excited to see that the video frame caught this moment. The wrist is being loaded, pulling towards his forearm.  I've been focusing on resisting the bending of the wrist, trying to keep the wrist from bending too deep.  His hips are driving the upper body around a rotational axis now - which along side the bracing of his forward momentum is going to be huge for the next step.
Step 6
Step 7: This was the next frame I could grab, which goes to show how much force you can generate with a solid plant and rotation. The momentum is going to blast your upper body around the axis. By shifting the hips into your plant leg, your momentum goes up your body into your arm instead of having your momentum carry your body forward off the end of the teepad.

Now you can let your shoulders pull your head through the follow-though. The plant toes come up to release pressure on your knee and allow the plant foot to pivot open.
Step 7
Step 8: Follow-though on the plane you released the disc on and watch your disc hum out to the basket for an eagle look!
Step 8
Watch the whole thing full speed here:


  1. Excellent work! Thanks for the breakdown Jason!

  2. In step six. Is he trying to forcibly straighten his arm or is it loose and inertia is causing it to extend?

    1. I can only speak for myself, but there isn't really time to straighten the arm. The momentum of your forward motion going into your arm is going to blast your disc forward. The harder your bracing, the more the sensation becomes holding onto the disc, instead of throwing it.