Teach Throwing With The Body First

University of Washington Women’s coach Kyle Weisbrod commented on Benji Heywood’s throwing article from yesterday with a bit of disagreement. Here’s what he said.

[quote]While not hard data, here’s some weighty anecdotal information: Paideia has produced a number of elite level throwers – George Stubbs, Josh “Cricket” Markette, Dylan Tunnel, Leila Tunnel, Paula Seville, Sophie Darch, Adam Simon, Miranda Roth, John Stubbs, Paul Vandenberg, Mark Vandenberg – as well as a lot more that would probably be considered elite level throwers if other parts of their game didn’t dominate and/or they left the sport early (Jolian Dahl, Grant Lindsley, Harper Alexander, Rebecca Simon). There are others but I think this gets the point across.

Most of these throwers all have similar styles of throwing rooted in their HS playing days. Paideia (due to Baccarini) has a very core focused throwing style. For forehand throws, the queue to “open the curtains (with the non-throwing hand), throw the through window” drives upper trunk rotation. On the backhand side, there’s a strong push for low-around throws to throw breaks for new throwers as opposed to high backhands (If you want to make Baccarini apoplectic, just throw a backhand break without stepping out) .

There’s no lack of creative throwers, quick throwers, or throwers with various release points in that bunch listed above. Cricket is one of the top 5 most versatile throwers in the game. Most of them have developed shortened throwing mechanics over time or for certain situations. Paula apparently never got the low break backhand message.

I believe the reason is that once you learn how to use your full body in a throw, from the ground up, you can then understand how force moves through your body efficiently, eliminate unnecessary movement and tailor your throws for various situations. The book The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin discusses this concept (as applies to Push Hands) and calls it “Making Smaller Circles.” Here’s the most relevant excerpt (http://theartoflearningproject… ). I highly recommend this book.

Alex Snyder in her great High Release article “World Class Throwing” wrote: “Beginner throwers, especially women, should be encouraged to practice throwing harder and farther than they would typically feel comfortable doing to push their boundaries, build strength, and to get past the fear of making mistakes and not having the disc go exactly where you want it to go every time.”

I agree entirely with this. You should focus on getting the full movement down first and then refining for situational throwing rather than developing a part of a throw and then having to integrate that in to your full motion (which it may or may not fit).[/quote]

  1. Charlie Eisenhood
    Charlie Eisenhood

    Charlie Eisenhood is the editor-in-chief of Ultiworld.You can reach him by email ([email protected]) or on Twitter (@ceisenhood).

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