Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Get your heel off the ground, sir!

So I called out Brian in today's video. He's been writing for heavydisc - and I don't want him to think for a second I'm being harsh. He's making steady progress, and I just want to smash this point home... because I used to have the exact same issue.

I was the worst. In fact, I think we should take a trip down memory lane and see where I started this trek of form fixing!

That was where I started. Out of balance, driving off my heel, strong arming... the whole pile of bad form issues.

So with that in mind - let's take a look at today's video:  Link for mobile users.


  1. How does the stance change for a hyzer? Is it a more neutral or open stance?

    Anhyer and straight shots feel natural to me, but hyzer feel a bit awkward. I'm wondering if it's because I've been practicing stand still shots with a closed stance.

    1. For a hyzer, I would just tilt my spine forward (more over the disc), keeping everything else the same so that my body changes the angle of the disc. Anhyzer, I would tilt the spine straight up and down.

      Changing the trajectory (or how high or low you want the apex of the disc flight to be) - I change where the back swing puts the disc:

      Low back swing to higher release point = higher trajectory
      Higher back swing with lower release point = lower trajectory

  2. I think that second to last sentence in the video was key, for me at least:

    "...it's going to generate so much more force than coming in down the tee pad and then trying to slam on the brakes..."

    I think I heard the sound of a penny dropping. Weird. Thanks!

  3. I have a couple of observations regarding the heel up (toe down) of the non-plant foot. I do not necessarily have conclusions, but I believe there is a bread crumb trail in these observations I have never seen pointed out explicitly, and I am wondering about your thoughts:

    1. The Beato Right Pec Drill - He uses a skate board kick to initiate his turn from a stand still. (This helped me start getting rotation when I focused on it in my practice sessions.

    2. However, watching Will's standstill, he leaves his heel on the ground.

    So I went back and compared their pivots. Beato actually has 'somewhat of a reverse' pivot! I say somewhat because it's actually towards the back of the ball of his foot. His weight is well centered over the plant foot, and his torque is so strong. That is what I think creates his pivot, but is he really getting the fullest power (as if he needed more)?

    Ok, here is the bread crumb trail. Watching Will (and other pros), notice the angle of their plant foot. It is markedly closed. As they transfer from toe to heel, everything seems to uncork from there. Because the angle is closed, the reverse pivot is almost impossible, and certainly not natural.

    Back to heel up. With a closed stance in a stand still, stepping forward, focused on a placing the toe of the plant foot down and having the heel come down closer to the target, the weight coming off the back (non-plant) foot must go to the ball or toe of that non-plant foot. It happens naturally, too.

    So I am wondering if the focal point is the angle of the plant foot, and not necessarily the what is touching the ground on the non-plant foot.


  4. Will's form is tough to emulate because he's so flexible. He rolls off the back foot like a pitcher coming off the mound, off the whole foot - but he can then get his knee to swivel forward. I can't do that very easily at all.

    Beato, I completely agree. for the right pec drill, which I personally think of as a DRILL only, not a thing to practice - he's skate kicking as you say. The drill is really to point out, IMO, where the extension should happen by forcing the player to get the disc to the right pec.

    The universal key, that I think is much easier to get to with the heel off the ground and the plant foot closed, is that the real power of the hips is the torsion you can create when you get it correct.


    Have that plant foot and back foot grounded and connected before you bring the disc forward.

  5. Excellent. Thanks for your input. I actually went and used my lunch hour to go try out focusing on what I described, the closed plant foot angle, and I was just as apt to reverse pivot as ever, so no real breakthrough. I'll next try just focusing on staying off that heel.

  6. Here's a question I've not been able to answer with lots of searching and can not figure out on my own: Is the pivot on the heel of the plant foot a "conscious" lifting of the toes/swivel of the heel, or is it just a natural response to the violence of opening the hips and staying grounded on the plant heel? (Or something else?)

    1. I think it varies by physical build. For me, it was originally a mental note to release the torque by lifting the toes. Now I don't think about it at all - it's just a physical response to the pressure.

    2. I think the times I have swiveled on the heel, instead of a reverse on the toes, I have also had better focus on keeping my head/weight on the inside the plant foot. Thanks!

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