As I’ve mentioned in some of my work, I find a lot of players struggle with release angles when they work on advanced throwing techniques (hucking, upwind hucking, scoobers, etc.). Players also fail to appreciate the release angle (even if slight) many players use to execute flat 40 yard throws (hint, it isn’t flat).
To talk about this further, I wanted to add a few thoughts to Elliot Trotter’s “Scoober of Justice” video (trademarked throwing name, you gotta appreciate style…).
Props to Elliot for taking the time to put this out there, and I agree with much of what he says. I’m pretty sure Eliott is aware of the following points.
Let’s set aside the ‘helix scoober of justice’ he talks about at the end of the video. Here are two photos of Elliot demonstrating the need to hold the disc with more vertical tilt (these were the most vertical examples in the video, I believe).
I think many viewers would think that the angle in the photos above (about 35 and 45 degrees) would be more than enough for the throw he executes.
So what happens in his ‘live’ release?
Significantly more vertical tilt. Probably about 65 degrees. Now, I’m not trying to nitpick Elliot here, he does a very good job indicating the importance of vertical tilt when throwing scoobers for distance. I just wanted to use this as an example of how easy it is for players who are learning new skills to assume something is correct based on how they view the throw or how they view a coach’s presentation (and yes, I realize this includes their interpretation of my work as well). We have players seeing hucks fly flat who then try to throw hucks with a level release, therefore not accounting for the phsyics of disc flight (or the physics of their own movement).
As I discuss here and here, even when players understand they need to tilt the disc at a certain angle, they often lose that angle when they try to execute the throwing motion. Hopefully I have laid out some tips in those links to help coaches, captains, and players troubleshoot this issue.
So check out Eliott’s video (it’s good stuff) and check your own release angles. What other interesting release ‘hacks’ can you learn from freeze framing top throwers? For a starting point, here are a couple freeze-frame, huck releases that I used to help a player who was working on throwing for distance.
And here is a backhand huck from Nick Lance in 2012 showing significant invert on his release, with the disc barely having any invert at the end of its flight (and low wind conditions based on the trees).