Addressing the Disc

Addressing the DiscI was practicing my counter airbrushing in high wind the other day and I had an “ah ha!” moment. You see, I have been great at brushing clock in high wind for a while, but only recently have I decided to seriously practice counter in high wind. In the past I was happy to have just enough counter skill so I could control the disc to pass or immediately catch it. More recently, I’ve decided it’s time to master counter. It’s actually quite challenging, but in a different way then when I learned clock. Now when the wind is high – I know I can brush clock all day long and have a blast. But, if I start brushing the disc counter, after two or three brushes, it soon drops or blows away. Maximum frustration.

So, the other day the wind was up past my comfort zone with counter. I decided to “pay my dues” and just keep at it, no matter how frustrating it got. This is what lead me to my “aha!” moment. I found that when the disc was getting away from me, when I had to make my maximum effort to get to it, I’d arrive to a place where I could reach it, but not at a place where I had options to make a save. I was literally putting myself out of position to make the play.

“Why is this, what am I doing wrong?” I asked myself. One of the most important skills I had learned early on was to judge where the disc was going to land, then calculate where I could meet it before it hit the ground, and then run straight to that point. This was the skill I was applying, but it was letting me down.

I had apparently learned a more nuanced skill with clock spin, but not realized it. The spin of the disc changes how the disc flies through the air. More wind makes this even more pronounced. A clock disc will tilt to the left (forcing my body to twist toward the right) and a counter disc will tilt to the right (forcing my body to twist to the left). The tilting of the disc, of course, changes the flight path, but it changes another thing as well: the it’s direction relative to the wind, i.e. where the nose is pointing.

As I pursued the counter spinning disc, I was considering the flight path, but not the disc’s direction to the wind. My muscle memory for clock spin was causing me to arrive at the counter spinning disc with the nose pointing off to my left, leaving me with limited options. I needed to not only meet the disc, but meet it at a place where I had the maximum options for addressing it. In other words, I had to get “behind it”, which is a different place for counter than it is for clock.

Making this adjustment was quite challenging. It was a little like fighting against an instinct. The more I forced it, the easier it got and soon I found options for saving the disc that were not there before. As this adjustment became more natural, I started to see the counter spinning disc falling into the pocket for more catches! This shift in thinking opened up my counter brushing game and gave me a deeper level of insight into freestyle skills.

If you are working on your brushing game, here’s a tip: as you pursue the disc, consider it’s flight path and it’s tilt relative to the wind and run straight to the place that gives you the most options. I call this place “behind the disc.” This way, as you brush it back up into the wind, the nose will be pointing away from you, causing the disc to float out, and then right back to you. 

Need some more airbrushing advice? Here are some great videos and another informative article.

How to Deal with Low Spin

In this video tutorial, Ryan Young teaches us how to deal with a disc with low spin. His strategy is to quickly and precisly set the disc and make a catch. This is a great skill to master as it allows for using more of the spin before catching and for recovering from errors that use up most of the spin.

Ryan gives excellent detail in the video, but the gist is this; delay the disc in the center as long as possible. Then, spiral out to 10 o’clock for clock spin, or 2 o’clock for counter spin, and just touch the rim long enough to set the disc do it falls into the pocket.

How to Practice the Kick Tip

Learn how to practice a kick tip, also called the toe tip or toe tap. The goal is simple, kick the disc with your toe to pop it back up into the air.

Kick tips are great for a couple reasons. First, it is a gateway trick to begin integrating feet into Freestyle Frisbee. Second, kick tips a great way to save a disc that can’t be reached with the hand.

To practice, set the disc flat in front of you just under leg’s length. This can be done with a self set throw, or from a center delay. Now, point your tow towards the sky and kick the center of the disc with medium power. The goal is to lift it back up to chest height to regain control.

To improve your kick tip, watch the disc intently. You want to aim your toe to hit the center. To judge how close you came to the center, watch the wobble of the disc. If there is no wobble, you hit the center correctly. The more wobble there is, the further from the center you contacted. As you watch, you’ll get the feel for how to hit the center every time.

Have a kick tip story? Let us know in the comments below.

How to Do a Behind the Back, Right Hand Skid With Clock

 

In this video I explain how to do a behind the back, right hand skid with clock. This is an against the spin move that adds the extra restriction of pulling the disc behind the back before performing the against the spin pull.

To perform this trick, basically throw or set the disc on an angle at your left hip. Step forward with your left foot, reach behind your back and hook the rim with your nail. Now swing down and then back up. As you swing the disc up turn to your right.

Extra credit points if you can go from this move to another against the spin move.

The Against the Spin “Push” (Crank) to Invert Hold, by Lori Daniels

The inverted (nail) delay/hold is one of the “control” moves that many freestylers incorporate in their routines and jamming.  There are many ways to get into an inverted delay, and one way that is additionally difficult is to add an Against “push” of the disc from a center delay  (what’s also called an Against Crank) to an invert holding delay.  The way to do this is to establish a center delay (either clock or counter spin), then lower the disc to about waist-level of your body.  Then, walk around the disc while still maintaining the center delay.  (Imagine that your body moves around the disc more than the disc is moving)  By walking around the disc, you’ll naturally lower the disc even more in order to keep delaying the disc under your arm and then your hand will be now “inverted.” It may take some slight hand movements with your inverted hand to delay the disc in the center again, but with practice – this can be done.  The faster that you can move your body around the disc from the first center delay to the inverted hold at the end can make this a bit easier; but, just like every other freestyle move, timing is important. With a bit of practice walking around the disc, you’ll eventually be able to get the timing down to move both your body and the disc in order to get this move completed even faster. 

Going Against the Spin

In this video I explain what an against the spin move is, and then describe how to do one of the easiest against the spin moves, the skid. To understand an against the spin move, it helps to have a little background.

Interestingly, a spinning disc on a nail delay (center or rim) will naturally gyrate in the same direction as the disc is spinning. Consequently, the easiest manner in which to manipulate the disc is to make movements that follow this spin pattern. For example, a with the spin crank on the rim is a fairly good move to learn early on since the disc will naturally move in the direction of the crank.

It is possible to force the disc to gyrate against its natural direction. This is the crux of an against the spin move. It’s nail delay trick where the disc is forced against its spin. Since it requires such precision, many consider an against the spin move to be a restriction by itself.

The skid is one of the more basic against the spin moves that uses the rim delay. To practice a skid, throw yourself a steep backhand. For counter, throw left and skid right, for clock throw right and skid left. Throw it at about shoulder height, so the disc is about 45 degrees to the ground and to your body, with the top of the disc in view. Now, invert the skidding hand. Reach around and hook the rim with your nail. Meet the disc so your nail travels almost the same speed as the disc is falling so as to apply very little pressure. Now, swing your arm down and back up behind your back. As you swing back up, accelerate your arm speed and turn your body towards the disc. It will pop out from behind your back on the opposite side of your skid hand.

Stay tuned for more tutorials on against the spin tricks. If there are any in particular you’d like to know more about, let me know in the comments below. Also, you can see all other tutorials on again the spin here.

How to Catch a Triple Fake, by Matt

In this brief video Matt demonstrates how to catch a triple fake. It’s a nice alternative to under the leg or behind the back for a disc that is in the waist zone. As a blind catch, it can be more difficult than it looks. With practice, it looks quite graceful.

To execute, do a self set or have someone throw to you. Watch the disc. Reach across your stomach and around towards your back. As you reach, spin your body around to propel your hand towards the disc. Keep you eye on it as long as possible. As you begin to lose sight, snap your body around faster and make the grab.

Matt’s key is to pivot on one foot. Then, a simple bend at the knee allows for adjusting to the height of the disc.

Matt Gauthier Demonstrates the Osis Catch

The osis movement is one of the more difficult movements to wrap your head around. In this video Matt demonstrates the most basic osis behind the back (BTB) catch. So, what is an osis? It’s anytime your body rotation is moving in the same direction as the disc. As Matt demonstrates, a BTB is either static or you twist towards the disc to make the catch. For the osis, you must rotate away from the disc as you catch it. This makes for a very small catch window as your hand can only stay in the right place to catch for so long…your rotation will pull your hand away. It’s really all about timing. Also, as Matt points out, osis is a blind catch in a way. You have to watch for as long as you can over the opposite shoulder and then, at the last second, snap your head around to make the catch. Of course, unlike other blind catches, with the osis it’s ok to turn and face the disc as you catch it, watching in into your hand. 

One cool thing about osis is it can be added to most catches. A flamingo can become a flamgosis, gitis becomes gitosis, chair becomes chosis, and bad attitude can be a bad attitosis. All these catches are extremely difficult and can be quite beautiful to watch because they require precision timing and body mechanics. What’s your favorite version of the osis?

By the way, I’ve heard Chipper “Bro” Bell call it a reverse pull when you do an osis pull.

Ryan Young Demonstrates the Back Roll

Ryan Young explains how to back roll. The back roll is like a chest roll, except the disc rolls down the backside of your arm and then across your back. Many people finish by letting the disc roll to your elbow and turning fast to shoot it back up. This is the style Ryan calls “the buckle“.

Ryan explains how this is done in masterful detail so give it a watch. If you need more, here’s another video and explanation. If you have any questions, leave a comment.

 

Bad Attitude

In this video, I explain how I catch a bad attitude. For another example, check out Lori’s video. The catch is useful one because it uses a unique body position where the player stands upright on one leg and catches the disc around the ankle of the other leg. This gives it visual appeal from a variety perspective.

The AttitudeBad attitude is named after the dance position called attitude, except it’s a bad version of it. I am the perfect example of how bad the attitude can be. My flexibility is limited so the window to make the catch is very small. Besides stretching, what helps me are two things. First I stand on, or jump from one leg and then bend at the hip to bring the catching hip upwards. This means I don’t have to bend the catching hip as far back. Next, I rotate so the catching hip forward which means I can get my hand around my foot and ankle just a little easier.

Sue StraitOf course when I do it, it’s not so pretty. But, when done properly, it can be quite beautiful. Here’s Sue Straight showing us a proper bad attitude. Don’t worry if you don’t look like Sue. The bad attitude is a fun, explosive, and surprising catch that will grab attention no matter your form.