Re: Flick Huck

This has been hinted at before, but flick huck power has
very, very little to do with arm strength. it has much more
to do with some core strength, flexibility/limberness in
your wrist, and just really good mechanics.

There are two fundamental problems that most people face.
Either their mechanics feel good but they just lack max top
end distance. This is rarer than people think. This doesnt
just mean that their throws are fine from 30 yards and not
60 yards, but if the person throws it as far as they can,
it's a beautiful release, and a beautifully spinning disc
all the way to the end of the flight, where it lands flat,
but not as far as they want. I am guessing this isn't your
problem from how you wrote the post.

The more common problem is that in a certain comfort zone,
the flick travels fine, but as soon as you need to amp up
the power your mechanics betray you and the disc turns over
too soon.

You can go to alot of sites to read on how to improve. a few
things that i think help up your range considerably.

1) someone mentioned a tight grip of the disc. this is true
but dangerous if you don't know exactly what is meant. if
you are working with the two finger grip, the finger that
should really take most of the pressure is the middle
finger. the index finger should be closer to the middle
finger than the 70 or 90 degree gap you might have been
taught when first learning a forehand. Some people have them
together. If you keep 10 or 20 degress of separation because
you're worried about stability thats still pretty much ok.
Just make sure youre index finger isnt putting on quite as
much pressure as the middle finger. The disc should really
sail off that middle finger.

2) Alot of newer throwers, or even intermediate throwers
feel they really have to "crush" their windup or their arm
speed when throwing a forehand. This may be true at the
upper bounds of distance, but you'd be amazed how many
handlers get very good distance with only about 75% of their
maximum effort. And unlike a backhand, which is relatively
robust to a somewhat inprecise release, a forehand is alot
less forgiving (but also capable of more precise and
delicate shaping).

In that sense, i equate it to a golf swing. You could try
and crush it and hit it 300 yards if you're a decent but
inconsistnent golfer, or swing at 75%-80% of "going for it",
and hit the ball 90% of the distance. The mechanics and
timing of your relase in both golf and a forehand matter
much more than the raw power.

I'd start working at maybe throwing at 75% of your potential
for a few days, then maybe 80%, and so on until you feel
uncomfortable and start to lose consistency. Then you
ratchet it back by a tiny bit, but keep pushing the
envelope, until at say... 90% youre comfortable where you
werent before. Then if you must, after a week of working on
90% power, try 95% power, and then gradualy step into a
throw and let one rip.

3. This is going to be controversial and possibly bad advice
but so be it. One of the biggest problems with teaching a
forehand is that you are throwing off an unnatural pivot
foot. In baseball, you pivot off your right foot if you're
right handed. Golf, you could lift your left foot (not a
good idea per se but you COULD), and you could still make
contact. Tennis, if you hit off of one foot it would be your
back foot (your right foot if right handed).

Your righty backhand is sort of the equivalent of a left
handed tennis swing, golf swing, or even baseball sidearm
throw, in that the most "natural way" to throw would be with
the opposite handed pivot foot.

In ultimate, in almost all situations, it's much better to
pivot off your left because of the obvious reason that you
have much more range and are harder to mark. Still, hucking
righty flick off a right pivot foot should give you one edge
(that's mostly inapplicable in games), specifically, your
arm won't be as far from you're core even if it's fully
extented. and in some sense it's harder to screw up the

If you're really struggling for distance or power,
deliberately try a few throws with a bad pivot foot. If they
go the distance you want, you probably dont have as much of
a core/arm/wrist problem, but more of a footwork problem. If
your throws are still lacking in spin/power/shape, then you
know your throwing motion definitely needs help.

4. In line with number 2, alot of newer throwers think their
throw needs to sail high in the air, football style to go 80
yards or whatnot. Defnitely not true. If anything, alot of
releases are deliberately low, and the throw starts off
pretty low, and its the natural speed, and spin, and
possibly the angle of the nose of the disc (assuming some
sort of I/O delivery) that will give you the backlift you
are looking for.

One thing to try is to huck a deliberately low, very
slightly IO, line drive. No more than 6 or 7 feet off the
ground. See how far it goes. Then try to make sure the huck
never goes more than 8-9 feet off the ground. Try that for a
while, then gradually give it just enough backlift to get
that higher elevation that will prevent it from being picked
off mid flight. Work this into your routine as you throw. At
some point in the process as you struggle you won't struggle
on 100% of the throws, but only 50%, and your muscle memory
will pick up very quickly the difference between a solid
huck and a lame duck of a huck.

5. Similar to the drill jimmy suggested. To show just how
much you use different parts of your body, deliberately
throw from ridiculous positions. try one knee, both knees,
or sitting legs in front of you. Even sititng legs in front
of you with out the ability to get much toruque, you can
still throw at least 50 yards no problem with solid
technique. Once you have that down, you know your upper body
mechanics are fine, then it's just coordinating your hips to
open up and explode into your throw at the right time to
truly get massive distance. --
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