Ryan Young does an excellent job breaking down the body mechanics of catching a phlaud. A phlaud is one of the more difficult catches in Freestyle Frisbee. Like a gitis, it is a cross body catch where one arm reaches around the opposite leg. But, while a gitis is like an under the leg or a flamingo, a phlaud is like a chair in that the both feet are planted and the catch is behind both legs. Another subtlety of a proper phlaud is the extension of the opposite arm. Watch the video for a breakdown of how it’s done.
If you can do tricks with one disc, imagine all the tricks you can do with two or three or ten. Paul Kenny explores the world of multi-disc tricks and gives away a few of his secrets in this video. Mainly, how he is able to catch so many discs in one hand.
The secret lies in transfer. The disc is caught between the fingers and the thumb. Then it is moved and helded between two fingers, leaving the thumb ready to catch another one.
I believe Paul’s record is 9 (Paul, please correct me). How many can you catch in one hand?
Ryan Young outlines how he got so good at doing trick catches with a frisbee. Basically its practice and repetition. In the video Ryan goes over a great target, 5 catches in a row for each trick catch you want to master. Ryan suggests under the leg, behind the back, chair, and flamingo are the best to start with.
One interesting observation I’ve made about doing drills. I play freestyle frisbee for the jam. It’s so much fun to succeed with your friends in the jam. Drills seem like work, not fun, and the jam is never about doing repetitions. However, my desire to be a better jammer overcame my distaste for work. I did the drills. In my living room, bed room, at work, on walks, I just kept trying skills. It turns out, the better I got, the more fun I had in the jam. Because of that, the drills never really feel like work. And yes, I still do them. As does Ryan.
What drills do you do to get better at Freestyle Frisbee?
Ryan Young gives some hints for catching the elusive scarecrow catch. This is one of the harder trick catches to master, yet so one the most useful.
Ryan gives us 4 tips. First, your need a consistent set. To really practice the scarecrow you must first practice giving yourself the exact same set every time, whether that is from a throw or a set from a delay. Making a consistent set is actually a very useful skill in and of itself, but it turns out that catching a scarecrow is very different from one angled set to the next.
Second, when you go for the catch, really turn you hand over. This will line up your grip with the disc.
Third, step into the catch with the opposite leg. So if you’re catching right handed, step with your left foot. This will help with the body and shoulder twist so the hand grip lines up.
Forth, practice each angle separately. As mentioned earlier, the angle changes how you catch the scarecrow. To truly master this catch you want to be able to catch it on any angle. Try steep. Try Flat. Try with the nose going toward your back. Each of these is a skill all it’s own.
Here I describe various types of under the leg catches.
In one version you reach your arm under you leg to catch the disc.
In another version you swing your leg over the disc so that the disc travels under your leg while it is in flight. Then you catch it. James Wiseman would say this is technically a “the” catch since your hand is not restricted and it is not blind. However, I believe that the body mechanics and timing involved make this catch more difficult that the previous one.
Lisa Hunrichs describes the chair catch.
Basically, this is a catch with the body in a seated position, with one arm reaching behind both legs.
Lisa demonstrates a little catch called the Piccolo.
This catch is a variation of the behind the head catch. It’s called a Piccolo because you grab it with two hands, similar to how you would hold a flute or piccolo when playing.
This catch is actually blind because as you spin into it you turn your gaze away from the disc.
To catch it, set the disc up flat over one shoulder. Then watch it as long as possible as you turn away from it. As the opposite shoulder passes under the disc, grab it with both hands.
Making the Piccolo sound is optional, but will gain you bonus points :-).
Ryan Young demonstrates three of the primary trick catches in Freestyle Frisbee: Under the Leg, Chair, and Behind the Back.
Under the leg (UTL) is where you reach under your leg with one hand to make the catch.
Chair if where you reach behind both ankles while in a seated position.
Behind the Back (BTB) is where you reach around behind your back.
To practice these catches it helps to string them together in a drill. Give yourself a light toss close to your body and then make an under the leg. Then quickly move to the Chair and then the Behind the Back. Also, be sure to catch and throw with both hands. This will ensure that no matter what spin this disc has and where it is you will have a trick catch that you can use to finishing your series of tricks.
The ScareCrow is one of the more challenging trick catches in freestyle frisbee as it is blind. The position to catch a scare crow is with the arm extended straight and the thumb down. Bend over and twist at the waist so that as you twist you lose sight of the disc. Your arm swings around and you catch it just as you lose sight.
To practice, give yourself a light toss about head height over one shoulder. Toss is either flat of with a slight nose pointing behind you. Then watch the disc, bend and twist and try to find it with the hand opposite of the should you tossed the disc over.
The secret is to watch the disc as long as possible. Turn your head and your eyes toward the disc so that you lose sight only at the last possible moment.
Another tip I forgot to mention in the video is to open your hand as wide as you can. I sometimes will stretch my first finger and thumb to get the opening as wide as possible. This way there’s less chance of the disc hitting your thumb as you come around.
Moon Dog is a new freestyle catch by Matt Gauthier. He shared the idea for the catch on the drive from Portland to Seattle on July 3, 2014. Later that day, he tried it and completed the catch at Green Lake Park. The next day, he caught Moon Dog in competition at the Potlatch freestyle championships in Redmond, Washington.