Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Disc Golf Pro Tour

Warming up pre-tournament. Always fun.
I don't typically get into tournament stuff, but Steve Dodge has always impressed me with his tournaments and how he handles himself. So when the DGProTour reached out to me to cover there new announcement - I said, "That sounds cool, but I gotta ask you some questions." They didn't mind, so here's the low down:

Hey man, this is interesting... so tell us what are the long term goals of the Pro tour?

To keep it short, in the long term we plan on being the premier pro tour in North America

Okay, bearing that in mind, you would basically be replacing the national tour in 2017 or beyond. Does that mean that all N-Tier tournaments would be under the umbrella of the DG Pro Tour?

Our goal is to increase the Pro Tour to have 12 to 14 events and to have every event in the tour be a premier event. If, in the future, the PDGA likes what we are doing and therefore decides to stop executing the National Tour, we would of course welcome any and all NTs to apply to be on the Pro Tour. The National Tour and Pro Tour are not mutually exclusive. In fact, our inaugural event, The Maple Hill Open presented by Vibram, is both a National Tour and a Pro Tour event.

Why is Steve hugging my grand mother?
Do you guys have goals for cash added or payouts that you're aiming for?

We would like each event to have a minimum $30,000+ FPO/MPO payout. The minimum amount of added cash that we ask is $10,000.

Big Jerm, dancing. Nobody understood why.
It doesn't take many tournament sign-ups to realize how quickly things get filled and pushed into long wait-lists. I believe Steve has had dedicated spots available in the past so that top level players aren't left in the cold if they can't get to a phone/computer at the right time. There's been some epic facebook/DGCR "discussions" about these situations. How are you planning on handling what will likely be a big # of players looking to get into these events?
At this point in time we are going to be giving recommendations to our events on how to go about doing a tiered registration process, where higher rated players have the ability to sign up first. The Maple Hill Open is already an event that players must qualify to play, and the Ledgestone Insurance Open already has a tiered process where 990+ rated players have first crack to sign up. As our events grow we will look to implement a consistent process to take care of the sign-up issue.

Any idea on the size of the events? #'s for MPO, WPO, Masters, Juniors, etc?

Our events will be focused on the showcase MPO/FPO divisions and those are the only divisions that will earn points towards the Tour Championship. In the long run, we foresee our events including the MPO and FPO divisions only. Pro Tour events will not be focused on age protected or junior divisions. Every event will vary in terms of the number of players, but our goal is around 15 to 25 FPO players and over 100 MPO players.

Anything else we should know?

Every event will have live coverage, scoring and statistics. Additionally, we will be building a festival concept within each tournament with the plan that this will draw in newer players and spectators to the game.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Shift Shift Pump the Breaks

HELLO. It's Jason. Whoooo? I know, I know. I sorta disappeared.

I'd call it a long stretch of blogging vacation. I had to check out of the internet world for a while, because of 2 big things:

1. Renovating my basement has taken up a vast majority of my free time. Concrete demo sucks.
2. I needed a break from the self analysis.

I wouldn't say that I ever lost the love of fieldwork, it's just that I started to miss the game of disc golf. I decided to (temporarily) pull the plug on form tweaking and blogging because I felt like I was too much in my own head and I really needed to get out and put the disc where it needed to go.

In the basket.

So let's get down to business. My fellow form nut, Sidewinder22 passes around Shawn Clement videos all the time, even though Clement is a ball golfer. Clement is a master of the golf swing and more importantly, he's very good at describing what we should be doing.

The beauty is that a ball golf swing is similar to a disc golf swing in all the key areas. So watching one of Clement's latest videos - he said something really amazing.

I'm going to paraphrase for the disc golf throw: during the back-swing, imagine that you're lined up to play tug of war with a person standing behind you. At the extension, imagine that you're lined up to play tug of war with a person standing IN FRONT of you.

I really want you to get up, outta that seat and keep your spine up-right, but set your hips and the pressure of your feet to be in the back-swing. (Some fools call it a reach back.) Maybe have a wife/girlfriend/boyfriend (who tolerates your insanity) hold onto your hand.

Feel the pressure. Ball of back foot only, HEEL UP. Keep your stance closed like it should be. The video above is able to show the forces of bracing back and then forward because I'm on a rug. Tug of war behind me, drives the rug backwards - then tug of war in front, drives the rug forward.

Switching to the extension of the disc (arm forward), set those hips to be ready to pull against that person in front of you. You're playing tug of war in TWO directions.

Now, here's the key: move from position 1 to position 2 and feel what happens to your body. Move back and forth! There's an axis through your core that is going to keep you in balance. If you're too far forward, you're going to start tipping. Too far back, you'll tip or get on your heel. Just right, through the axis of rotation and it's perfectly balanced and if feels so ridiculously powerful that you know you're onto something.

What I see very often in form critique requests, is that humans are good at setting up for the initial tug of war with the guy standing behind you. But when it comes time to brace to counter-balance your weight shifting around the axis, we fail to pull against the guy in front of us.

Ways I personally failed:
1. Zero front side bracing.
2. Barely front side bracing.
3. Too far over my disc front side
4. Not enough over my disc
5. Chin too far down
6. Back to #2
7. You name it, I was doing it wrong

If you can brace against the front side, then when you're pulling back on the rim of the disc during extension - you get a very powerful ejection.

Period. It's on par with feeling what the hit does for you. Timing of that brace with the disc extension is a big piece of the engine.
Below is Eagle McMahon winning the tug of war on the front side.