Another Easy Combo to Practice

Ryan Young shows us another easy combo to practice. This combo is a good one in that it included consecutive moves of multiple skills.

Set the disc flat under your right leg, then tip it under your left leg. Then pull it under your left leg and do a rim set to a piccolo catch. If you can do this one, make a variation and post a video of yourself doing it…link in the comments below.


Stay in your laneNow that you know to face the wind and to jam in a line, the next step is learning about lanes in the jam. This is a natural extension to the two previous skills. You might already be using this concept without knowing it. Basically you can think of a lane like a swimmer has a lane in a race. In the jam, the lane moves into the wind.

Each player moving in the line has their own lane going into the wind. As the disc moves between the players, each is responsible only for his or her own lane. So if the disc is in my lane, you do not move in front of me to get it. Rather, you wait for me to set it into your lane, either on purpose of by accident, and then you take over. In the same way, I will never go into your lane. If I lose control and the disc flies into your lane, I won’t step in front of you, even if you are not ready.

Why? This way we don’t crash into each other. This gives us each the opportunity to shine without encroaching on each others space. This keeps us safe. This let’s us know when we should go for it or when we should hold back. We all play better when we respect our lanes. And soon, a whole new level of magic forms because we can read each other’s movement.

I can not tell you how many times someone has jumped in front of me and “poached” a disc that was in my lane. It is very intimidating when someone who is out of control (or even in control) runs at you at full speed trying to save the disc. If you lose it, let it go. The person it goes to will save it and be a star. And when they lose it, you will be the star. Just hang out nearby and wait for your chance.

I’ve also seen newer players be afraid to step up into their lane. Don’t be afraid..that is unless you know the person next to you doesn’t respect the lane. Then look out! But if you’re next to me in the jam, be ready. Stay on my hip, in your lane. I will set it to you and I will expect you to crush a gitis! Nothing is more sad then when a perfect set comes your way and you don’t go for it. If you are properly situated in the line, in your lane, and the disc comes to you, it’s yours. Go get it. This is what lanes are all about.

So how do you know where your lane is? How wide is it? Does it go in a straight line? As a general rule, your lane is as wide as your reach to save and control the disc. So imagine your arm span. Can you brush or catch the disc from fingertip to fingertip? Hint: I can. If you can’t yet, keep working.

Lanes in the Jam

The wind is coming from the camera position.

The direction of the lane is formed by the wind and the jam line. The most basic jam line forms perpendicular to the wind direction. The lanes move directly into the wind. Here there is a small subtlety, based on the tilt of the disc. Since a disc spinning clock will tend to tilt out of the wind to the right, the lanes bend slightly to the right of the wind direction. Also, the people on the left of the disc can be slightly upwind while the people on the right can be slightly downwind. Of course, counter is a mirror image: the lanes bend left and the people on the right can move slightly upwind.

However, this is all based on the current tilt of the disc. If the disc is directly in the wind, your lane goes into the wind. As the disc tilts, so does the lane. And as you become better at predicting how and when the disc will tilt, you can shift your position and direction slightly ahead of time.

Of course, the lane and disc tilt are very subtle and advanced. So if you’re not sure, just run into the wind with the person next to you while keeping your lane width.

If someone comes between you and the person next to you, shift over and form a new lane. Also, you may cross and form a new lane between others is you feel it’s appropriate. Always cross behind so as not to block the run or cause a wind shadow. Also, don’t constantly push others away from the disc. It’s usually best to cross just after you’ve passed the disc, if you see too large of a gap, or if you are planning to hoop.

Speaking of hoops, those are a whole other matter. Keep watch for an article on hoops. But basically, you close the lane gap (get close to the person about to receive the disc) but do not block the wind or their view. Just make a hoop, and get/stay out of the way.

What do you do if someone comes charging into your lane? Well, get out of the way. Then you might yell “poacher” or “encroachment”. At least that’s what you’ll hear in Seattle ;-). I also find that I tend to stay farther away from those who poach or who try to run me over. And, as a result I don’t pass to them nearly as often as I do for those who understand the lane. So, if I’m not passing to you….

Have you ever been poached in a jam? Tell your story in the comments below. And, yes, I poach sometimes. I hate it, but sometimes I just make a mistake. Sorry if I’ve ever poached you. I’ll keep working on it.

Jam in a Line, Not in a Circle

Jamming in a Line Like Cousin Matt

Jamming in a Line Like Cousin Matt

When I see a jam I can instantly get a sense for how experienced the players are in that jam even before I see a trick attempted. How? By their formation. Most new players tend to stand in a circle while in a jam. As players become more experienced they will tend to jam in a line. So, here’s a hint for the new players who try to form a circle. It is much easier to be in a line, than in a circle. Here’s why.
Imagine you are playing catch with one other person. If one of you is up wind and the other is down wind, the person down wind will have a hard time. That is because the wind will cause the disc to fly faster and drop faster. The ideal position for a game of catch is cross wind. Then both players get equal float. Now image the jam. In a circle some players will always be down wind. In fact, I’ve noticed that the newer players tend to go down wind in the circle as they hesitate to move with everyone else. They don’t realize they are making their lives harder. All the throws going down wind will be harder to handle.
Then there’s the wind shadow problem. Players upwind will be blocking the wind flow from those downwind. So, the flight of the disc will be unpredictable making it much more difficult to complete a trick.
Then there’s the mob-ob. In other words, jams often consist of players passing the disc from one to the next. Just like throws, this most easily accomplished cross wind. In fact, if everyone in the line is facing the wind, one player can set the disc out into the wind and across the jam to another player. The disc will float right in for a catch, pull, brush, or roll.


Seattle Jams in a line too!

Seattle Jams in a line too!

Yes, the line is where it’s at in the jam. So what do you do as a new player? Well first realize that the most experienced players will naturally jam in a line. So don’t worry about making the other jammers uncomfortable. Now, when someone has the disc, get cross wind from them. Not to close, but not to far either. Just think of a good distance for a big Z throw. As that player moves, follow them so you stay crosswind. They may set it to you. Or they may catch. Now you are in a great position for a good throw. If they run fast into the wind, you have the option to follow them, or just hang back and wait for the next throw. Basically try to keep the line formation. If you get to far from where you started, go back and then be ready for down wind throw.
If there are many people in the jam, you don’t have to be directly next to the person with the disc. Instead just try to keep of the line formation. And note that often 2 – 4 people may go on a run. If you are part of it, stay in the line until a catch or drop. If not, stay back with the group, in line for the next throw.
Try this next time you jam. You will have more success when in a line vs being in a circle. Knowing where to be in the jam is a skill all it’s own. Please post other positional tips or questions in the comments below.

The Lacer Pull

Ryan Young demonstrates the Lacer Pull.

The Lacer pull is a great with the spin move that is easy to learn and can lead to many other consecutive moves. With clock spin, set the disc flat. Then step your left foot forward around the falling path of the disc. With your left hand, bend over and reach under your planted left leg. Watch the disc over your left shoulder and position your body, hand, and nail so the disc lands on your left nail. Now let the disc fall to the rim and do a with the spin crank so the disc comes out between your legs.

From there you can get the disc back to a center delay and/or set it up again for the next trick. Also, you can use more complex sets to get into the lacer pull, like a flat under the leg set. The lacer pull is one of the most useful tricks to have in your bag.

Ryan Gives Some Hints for Catching a Scarecrow


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.

Ryan Young Demonstrates Simple Under the Leg Sets


Ryan Young demonstrates Under the Leg (UTL) sets, also called Leg Over set. Once you have gained control over the center delay, this is the next step in improving control and in beginning to do tricks with the center delay. UTL sets are probably the most used restricted set in freestyle frisbee.

Start with a center delay. Bring the disc low while keeping your upper body upright. Then left one leg and move it over the disc. Now, set the disc into the air by lifting the delay hand quickly. Put your leg back down and regain the disc on a nail delay.

Ryan also shows us all possible combinations of hands and legs. A great challenge for new players is to try to learn each one. And then ask yourself, is this really all of them? How else might I restrict my movement to gain more control over the frisbee? If you come up with another option, let me know if the comments.

How to Cove

Matt Gauthier explains how to Cove the disc. Cove is an intermediate difficulty move that is against the spin. To learn Cove you should begin by trying to crank the disc on a high angle. Once you understand the nuance of that high angle crank you can progress to the cove. Set the disc from your right hand to your left hand behind the back, then let the disc drift with the spin until it hits the crank angle and pull it through. Watch to learn more.