I/O Turnovers – Part Two

Inside breaks are relatively hard. But do you find that I/O forehand breaks are even more challenging than I/O backhands? That’s certainly the impression I get, though I don’t have the stats to back it up.

Jim Parinella mentions in this blog post that forehands were turned over about 50% more often than backhands in his team’s matches.* That’s likely related to the shorter, snappier  throwing motion, which gives less time for adjustments and corrections than you would have on a backhand.

[Interestingly, if a little off-topic, a biomechanist I talked to explained that consistency in expert performance seems to be much more than the ability to repeat an action. Tests on truly elite athletes, in relatively closed skills (like bowling in cricket), show that they don’t really do it the same each time. What makes them expert is that when (for example) the elbow is in a slightly different position, they can compensate with the wrist, or whatever – they can achieve the same outcome for the skill despite differences in the way they do it. They seem to make adjustments during the performance of the skill. I’m prepared to believe this is more difficult for a forehand than a backhand.]

So perhaps a large part of the apparent problem is simply that all forehands are more difficult. Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that inside flick breaks are an additional challenge.

But I think there might be something specific going on as well. My impression is that many of these I/O flick turnovers result from a lack of touch – lasering the disc past the receiver such that any slight error in the direction of the throw renders it uncatchable.

In order to lead a receiver more easily, you generally give yourself a margin of error by having the disc stall a little – floating† it in the space in front of the receiver rather than hitting them at a hundred miles an hour – which should if anything be easier when we throw I/O, since the majority of such breaks will be thrown from low.

A low-to-high flight path is a strong recipe for a disc that will decelerate, as we generally achieve that flight path by lifting the front edge. The angle of attack to the air will stall the disc for the receiver to run on to.

Is there some reason it would be harder to achieve this leading-edge angle on a forehand than a backhand? Very possibly. Try it. Reach down in a low backhand stance, with a backhand grip. Now try to turn your wrist (without moving the elbow or body from your normal low-release stance) and lift the front edge so that the disc is vertical. This is easy and natural. You can probably come close to turning the disc completely upside down, in fact.

Now do the same on the forehand. You’ll find it much more challenging. Most likely, your elbow will want to come forwards and you’ll feel your weight shift slightly backwards. Obviously you don’t need to turn the disc that far to throw, and it’s certainly not impossible to lift the front edge of the disc a little, but it will nevertheless affect your technique and your balance in ways that simply don’t happen on the backhand.

I had a theory that most players would naturally hold their wrist, at the start of the throwing motion, at a comfortable angle – low-release backhands with the front edge up, low forehands with the front edge more down. So this weekend, I popped down to a match between Glasgow and Edinburgh to take some photos of how players were holding the disc in a low-backhand or low-forehand stance (without, of course, telling them what I was hoping to see).

20131130_125300 20131130_125249 20131130_130132 20131130_13014420131130_125721 20131130_125736Doug (left) obliged rather wonderfully.

But almost more interesting is what happened to some of the other people. I photographed half a dozen folk, and the two others shown here (Shaun and Jonny, respectively) are the two whose photos show the most front-edge lift on the forehand.

You might think it looks like they’ve disproved my original idea – they’ve managed to get the disc into what looks like a goodish position (one with an in-front-of-the-knee technique, and one from behind the knee, interestingly). But look at Shaun’s balance in the forehand photo – you can see his weight is backwards to make that throwing position easier.

That was a consistent theme across all participants – everyone was either well-balanced or leaning very slightly forward on the backhand, and everyone was leaning back on the forehand.

Jonny looks almost balanced in that last forehand photo, and has the disc at a nice upward angle – but that’s actually his second attempt (sorry Jonny!). He was one of three players (50%!) who fell backwards when attempting to hold that low forehand posture, waiting for the photo to be taken. Nobody had any trouble holding the backhand stance.

And it’s worth pointing out that these three shown are all very good throwers – two GB U23 internationals and the individual stats leader from UK Nationals this summer. I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with the techniques these guys are demonstrating – merely that it’s inherently harder to get into and maintain good posture for those low forehands than for the low backhands.

Most people, I suspect, will need to compromise their balance and/or technique more than they would like. Few of us are able to stay down in that position, or make late adjustments to our throw, because our balance is fleeting in a way that just isn’t the case on the backhand.

That’s not to say that you can’t get really good at it, but it does offer a possible reason why it’s that bit more difficult to complete these throws. And it offers something to work on, too – once you’ve developed the ability to throw a low forehand, perhaps you should spend some time working on your balance in that position, while still having control of the disc angle. Shaun might look like he’s leaning backwards a little, but actually he’s done this enough that he is able to maintain that posture comfortably – he wasn’t one of the guys who fell backwards.

Good balance might be the only way to develop consistency on these throws, and it’s dangerously easy to overlook.

*Jim’s data set is relatively old, but certainly doesn’t jar with my qualitative impression of the modern game. I don’t imagine that we’ve suddenly got that much better at forehands – but if anyone has up-to-date data on this sort of thing I’d be keen to see it!
†I don’t mean literally floating it out there stationary in front of the cutter, but clearly there’s a continuum between a flat laser and a completely stalled disc, and you want to choose a throw that will get the disc there as fast as you need but also give some hope of a catch if you slightly miscue. ‘As fast as you need’ will vary a lot – top teams will expect their throwers to be accurate, and their receivers to be comfortable with fast discs, so may be more interested in speedier throws that gain more yards, and less interested in a big margin of error. But for everyone, front-edge control is a crucial part of the throw. And every low throw will need the front edge to be up a little.
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30 Responses to I/O Turnovers – Part Two

  1. Eamonn says:

    Deadly post, I started off skeptical as soon as you said: “forehand breaks are even more challenging,” but after finishing, I’m convinced on nearly all your points. For me throwing forehands (in the dry) has been easier & more comfortable than backhands since about 1 year of playing but I can definitely see that generally speaking this is not the case.

    Speaking anecdotaly; I’ve observed that there is a lot more variance in forehand throwing stance, grip and release position. Why do you think that is? Maybe it’s the discomfort of the throwing position or perhaps because every player learns the throw from scratch when they first begin playing (so everyone learns their own little tricks)? Whatever the reason I think it’s indicative of difficulty you describe and that introducing certain aspects of continuity from player-to-player and coach-to-coach may help.


    • Thanks Eamonn. I think you’re right – the variation on the forehand is probably caused by learning from scratch, by the fact that ALL grips feel weird at first (so there’s no obvious preference), and possibly because most short to medium forehands require relatively little body motion (meaning that people are relatively free to assume any posture they like). And because your knee is pretty much /exactly/ in the way for that low release, that causes a clear distinction between those who throw in front of it and those who throw behind it (or those who do the splits…). In that sense, it’s definitely the difficulty that causes the variation.


  2. brady747 says:

    You and I must be having a mind meld lately 🙂

    Re: Leaning back to achieve that front lip edge up. I exaggerate the tilt in the video link, but I truly believe those disc angles are ‘full’ body adjustments much of the time: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lU8fOlOPcFU As mentioned, I often use body position to correct people turfing throws.

    Re: Touch pass and disc flight: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGEjVgF0aV8 I think I should link to your text explanation, it does more justice to the issue then mine 🙂

    Re: In throw adjustments: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85HQ5dCQ2ts I can definitely believe the studies about bowling in cricket. I have felt myself adjust release point/angles during my throwing motion on my OI break backhand (based on where the marker and defense are). Obviously this could be occurring during more of my throws sub-consciously and I’d not know it…but those occasions when I sensed an adjustment always had me wondering. Very interesting research on that issue, I really appreciate you sharing it.

    Keep up the good work. Enjoying it.


  3. Thanks Brady – some interesting stuff in there. I’d only seen one of those three videos before ( I must stay more up to date with your stuff, it’s all good!). I confess, I particularly like that you fall backwards from a low forehand pivot at the end of the ‘position’ video – 😉 – I sometimes do the same on forehands, and I think that’s pretty much exactly what this original article says we expect to happen.

    I agree with you on the body position thing generally, but I do think there’s a difference between backhand and forehand – I can definitely adjust the angle of my backhand /without/ adjusting my torso, but lifting the front edge of a forehand is very definitely a full body motion.

    What are your thoughts on the question of throwing flicks behind or in front of the knee? I’ve always been in favour of releasing behind, because it seems to me to put less pressure on the knee joint – but also because I tend to coach forehands with more of a pushing motion than a pronounced ‘whip’ from the elbow. If you lead with the elbow on the forehand, it becomes very difficult to throw from behind the knee, I guess. Do you have a strong preference, and why?

    (Actually, just thinking about it, you could argue that behind-the-knee would do a better job of ‘owning the space’ – you’d generally need to pivot more upfield to get that break throw out, whereas a thrower in front of the knee tends to pivot out more sideways and throw at a sharper angle to their body position… Hmmm.)


    • William says:

      Personally I think behind the knee gives you a wider release point, result in less pressure on the break throw.


      • Sean Tuxill says:

        RE: throwing from in front of or behind your knee – I think foot angle plays a major role in this. If you turn your foot way out (>75 degrees to your pivot would be my rough guess), it leads you to have your knee further back compared to your shoulder. This in turn leads to more space in front of your knee, though you can’t utilize properly if you don’t keep your hips pointing upfield.

        I will add that this is insanely uncomfortable to hold for extended periods of time. It’s like doing a lateral squat and doing a core twist in the same motion.


        • Some people certainly do turn their foot a long way back – and that’s the thing I look at and wince. Some people are relatively comfortable in that position, but I still believe they’re unnecessarily risking injury. There are ways to throw in front of the leg without putting quite so much stress on the knee, but I’ve yet to see a really good explanation of the advantages. I don’t doubt people have found some advantages, and these might possibly be enough to make me think about doing it that way myself – I don’t know. I would, though, need very strong reasons to coach other people to do it that way – the injury risk just looks too high.


          • Gwen says:

            Low-release forehands can be used for inside-out breaks, around breaks, and even open side passes. You never see anyone throwing in front of their knee while throwing a low-release around or open side pass, and I think that trying to throw low-release throws a different way for IOs is a recipe for worse consistency. The in-front of knee release is tempting for throwing a really acute angle IO – but as discussed in Part I, that isn’t necessarily a good thing.

            Especially for women, who are at greater risk of knee injuries, I would never recommend throwing low release forehands from in front of the knee. The women who have the best IO low-release flicks (Julie Baker, Alex Snyder, Michell Ning come to mind), all throw from behind their knees and are able to maintain great balance and consistency.


    • brady747 says:

      Late getting back to the show. Thanks for the kind words. I do feel some difference in how much my torso shifts in forehand v backhand, but I’m not sure if that is just a different ‘feel’ or an actual difference in how much different body parts play into the motion (maybe your research will find out).

      Forehands behind or in front: I used to be (about 5-8 years ago?) a behind the knee guy, and I was very successful with that. Now, I am in front of the knee (though I am still behind the knee in some situations: hucks, ‘owning the space more’ like u say, and some other unique situations, etc.). I feel a lot of control in front of knee, especially for inverts. Subjective feeling obviously. When I teach, I go with whatever the thrower seems to be comfortable with, assuming they seem to have healthy movement (i.e. assuming they are NOT putting pressure on that knee joint 😉 ). My hip/ankle mobility seems to allow me to throw in front of the knee for the better part of a decade pain free, so again (based on some evidence) I think either is acceptable.



  4. Thanks Gwen. I agree with all that – it does seem silly to have two different I/O flicks unless there’s a huge advantage to both in different circumstances. Clearly you’ll need more practice to develop consistency on both, and the time might be better spent getting good at just the behind-the-knee one. Is there anyone out there who is going to stand up for the inside-the-knee option? I see so many people do it, there must be someone who can explain why!


    • Eamonn says:

      I’ll do it! Remember, you asked for this.

      As a long-legged, handler, I was never able to throw low enough BHFs and still get enough power / spin. Most of this is my preferred pivot which is 3 o’clock. In this position there is very little room behind my knee for me to wind up and generate a smooth motion of release. I used to hit my knee constantly before releasing until I eventually started trying to throw IFFs (even then it took like 6 months to throw one successfully in a game).

      While probably not the best for i/o throws the 3 o’click pivot has always given me the most flexibility to throw whatever becomes free while I’m in that position (basically because I can see, and throw to more of the field while in this position – open, break, or deep). I also find that this pivot will draw a mark further across, making a BH around break easier (nice bonus).

      The alternate solution to throwing i/o IFFs is to switch the pivot to a 1 or 2 o’clock position, but if you are as tall as me and thus have a massive pivot once you get to this position you usually don’t need to throw from a super low position, which renders the knee position irrelevant in most scenarios.

      In response to the injury concern, it’s defiantly something to be mindful of and when I do practice I can feel the strain on my knee. It’s never set off the alarm bells yet but it is something that I’m mindful of. My best solution is to never just jump into something like this, ease your way in, both in the long and short term. Make sure that payers who prefer this method progress slowly, building balance and strength as they go (luckily the position is unnatural enough that this almost happens naturally). In addition once you know how to do it, make sure you warm up, stretch and throw some smaller pivots before going for broke.


      • Interesting. (And thanks for biting the bullet and taking on the argument!) So from your 3 o’clock pivot, if you want to hit the open side at 45 degrees instead of the break side, does that come from behind the knee? Do you have both throws, depending on the angle you want to hit?

        I can see how there’s a slight advantage in deceiving the mark about your intentions, but given the disadvantages of always pivoting to 3 o’clock (strain on the knee for the inside flick, not ‘owning’ the space you’re throwing from, needing to learn two throws etc.) I’m not sure I buy it. In particular, whilst getting the mark to bite further might make the around-backhand slightly easier, having a pivot that looks like an open side throw doesn’t seem a good way to get off the I/O flick – surely the defender will be drawn across /further/ if he’s expecting open side? (Indeed, that’s what you’re relying on to open up that around option – I’m not sure I could call the easier around a ‘bonus’ when it’s more of a trade-off from making the I/O more difficult.)

        Also – the easiest places to pivot to /next/ and keep your balance are likely to be (no more than)* 180 degrees to where you are now. So from a 3 o’clock pivot it should be relatively fast to get across to 9 o’clock, but it seems to me relatively slow to get to 7 or 8 o’clock, which are more likely pivots for the around backhand, unless the force has considerably overcommitted. Pivoting forwards to release behind the knee probably makes it faster to get across for the around break.

        (* Going from e.g. 2 o’clock to 10 o’clock is also relatively easy – if your weight is forward, it’s not too hard to bounce across to the opposite side. But beyond 180 degrees – e.g. from 4 o’clock to 7 o’clock – is much more challenging. You’d need to have your weight back, but your non-pivot leg has to pass in front of your pivot – unless you turn your back – which is slower and less balanced.)

        I guess I’m not a huge fan of the constant 3 o’clock pivot. And given that I’ve only met one or two people with longer legs than me (I’m about 6’5″, with a shortish body) I guess I ought to buy your argument more than most! 🙂 Fun discussion though.


        • Eamonn says:

          If I’m in a 3 0’clock pivot position and want to throw an open throw or a huck I generally do not have to worry about the height of release, I will more than likely release from somewhere just above waist height which would make the knee a non-issue and allow for the longer throwing motion we all love. If I did for some reason want to release from low (perhaps against a front force) I feel like I would still use an IFF out of muscle memory and instinct more than anything else but this is a best guess.

          I defiantly agree that the 3 o’clock position is not best for an I/O break, my point is rather that it is the best all-round position because (at least for me) throwing open flicks (particularly hucks) from 1 or 2 o’clock is substantially more difficult than throwing I/O breaks from 3 o’clock.

          If the defender leaves space for me to move forward to 1 o’clock for the I/O and I spot that opportunity on time, I’ll do it, but the release point will be again above the knee. If on the other hand they cover this space then I will probably consider the I/O not-on. If I can’t pivot forward then I defiantly can’t get the throw off just by getting lower, but the pivot from 3, to 7 or 8 o’clock will most likely be a lot easier and allow me to hit the same cutter further on the break side.

          This can all be summarized by saying: When I throw low flicks it is usually as a result my slow reaction to the available throws, because of this I will not be in the ideal body position (3 o’clock). Given the challenge of throwing an I/O from 3 o’clock, for me, the IFF is the only way to go.

          As an after-thought I think it’s worth thinking about the torso position in both options. Thinking about it in my head I feel that a BHF would require me to lean further over to gain the low release position while the IFF allows me to stay relatively upright. I only mention this as an alternative perspective on the balance comparison while the IFF sacrifices some stability due to the foot positioning and angle, the torso is allowed to be more upright and may contribute positively to the players balance. I wonder…..


    • brady747 says:

      I wouldn’t say ‘never’ open side Gwen (guilty as charged). And, I think we can all agree that any technique carries risks if not performed correctly. The questions seems to be:

      1. Does in front of knee carry more risk of inury? or is it tougher to teach? or tougher to maintain when exhausted? etc.

      2. Does in front of knee offer advantages (such that it may be worth investing more time into doing it in addition to, or in place of behind the knee). If the answer is yes, there may be situations where one would choose this then even if the answer to #1 is also yes…(it would just require more careful attention / discipline / etc.).

      3. Does the thrower in question have full range of motion, healthy tissues, and are they able to move properly (running, jumping, landing technique, etc.). If not, there is an argument we may have bigger issues even if #1 is yes (obviously here we are focusing on throwing, but there may well be overlap in other movements (for example: deficient hip mobility)).

      4. How much extra time does it take to train both methods for a given thrower (to the extent we can predict this). Is it significantly more then learning how to huck versus throw touch passes? Is it more then learning to ’tilt’ the disc for outside ins and inside outs?

      Obviously, we would ultimately want to know the cost/benefit for the entire spectrum (which is what I guess I’m driving at and what you guys discussed above). Based on my feeling / experience. I tend to think:

      1. Given a player with full human potential (or close to full movement capability), I would say possibly…maybe probably…but I think there would only be a slightly different risk of pain/injury.
      Given the average ultimate player, I would say there is a good chance of more ‘chronic knee pain’ and potentially other issues (though on the other hand, we can use this to show this ‘average player’ how much healthier they need to get physically and train them on that as well (ideal world…I know…)).

      2. It feels like it does to me…though I need to think through how best to explain it / verify it / test it / think thru the angles, etc. hmmm. Part of this is probably bias in seeing this throw most often (initially) from Kevin Cho on Machine (he had a reallyyyyyy good invert, which may be another reason I started throwing this way)

      3. n/a

      4. I think it probably takes significantly more time for most people, and therefore it is not useful in most situations to teach both methods..
      It is worth noting that I can’t even recall when I switched to in front of knee. I learned it REALLY quick. At that point, I had been competing a high level for probably 10 years or so…so I’m sure it was similar to asking a skilled musician to apply his technique to a piece of music he hasn’t played before. I think I just screwed around with it for a few minutes or so and then starting doing it in drills.

      The other thing that pops into my head (#5?) is does learning in front of knee create any limits in throwing flicks (until one learns behind the knee). I worry it might affect ability to learn to huck, though I haven’t had a chance to see that play out yet. Obviously, something like that would make this a very questionable choice to teach to inexperienced players.

      Can you tell I’m spending time typing inside because we are buried in snow?


      • Thanks Brady. That’s a good summary. One thing though – other people in these comments seem to be suggesting they get more power from inside the knee, whereas you would choose to huck from behind. I think that’s really interesting – we have people who prefer one or the other, and we even have people able to do both who nevertheless prefer different options for hucks!

        It really seems there’s not a huge amount in it, and I guess it probably does come down to personal preference. I think I’ll probably continue to coach mostly from behind (not least because I understand the mechanics better, but also bearing in mind the merest suggestion of putting pressure on people’s knees) but also make folk aware of the other option if they feel it suits them better.

        Looks like that knee really is so /exactly/ in the way that there’s not much in it. More research required… 😉


        • brady747 says:

          Actually, I read their comments after I posted and got thinking about it…I think I may actually huck in front/side/above knee as well (or at least some/most of the time). I may have converted fully, I need to go out and throw, but…..few feet snow drifts in my way. At some point when my office clears out there will be a fool standing next to my desk hucking flicks to see how he does it…:)


  5. Felix says:

    I think it’s easier to put touch on an outside-in throw, because as the spin on the disc decreases, the angle returns to flat – prolonging the hang time – whereas with an inside-out throw, the angle will only increase & make the disc drop faster.

    I see behind the knee low release flicks as kinda ‘oldskool’ – I’d guess that at the highest levels in the UK, players that learnt how to throw in top uni teams / GB squads after around 2007 mostly use the ‘elbow in front of knee’ technique. From 2006-2011 I coached both techniques equally, and suggested players use whichever felt more natural, but recently I’ve switched to favoring coaching the in-front-of-knee method.

    The switch was mostly due to numbers. I had quite a few players switching to throw in front of the knee and saying it revolutionised their flick, or that it removed all kinds of problems from their throw. I saw loads of new players learn the technique and not need as much coaching on their flicks as players learning the behind-the-knee technique – also they developed more accurate and consistent flick throws.

    When it comes to the mechanics of which is technically better, I’m not strongly opinionated. I feel turning the foot outwards (a necessary change to bring the knee sideways/backwards) opens up the throwers hips and can help to incorporate more core strength into the throwing motion. It’s also the mirror image of not pointing your foot backwards when you pivot out for a backhand (toe should point directly away from pivot or a little towards your target) – which is definitely a good thing for the backhand stance, so it follows it should be a good thing for flick stance.

    Though it does put a little strain on the knee at first, I’ve never seen or heard of anyone who has developed any kind of knee injury from pivoting like this. In fact, isn’t it possible that this strain, if gradually introduced, actually has a strengthening effect on the knee? I’m not a physiology expert so that’s just a guess.

    Personally I’ve tried to change my technique to elbow-in-front-of-knee (or at least pointing foot outwards) since seeing it in the top US and new UK players circa 2004-6, and I’d say it’s helped my consistency and even given me extra distance on my huck – if you use your non-pivot foot to push back as you throw, it can help add flick and power to the throw by really getting your legs involved (I noticed Mike Grant’s momentum took him backwards after pulling with amazing flicks in the Paganello finals around 2003).


    • Interesting – thanks Felix. I’m still struggling to understand /why/ you’re seeing the effects you are, but I don’t doubt you. I’m just interested in what biomechanics are involved that enable players to more easily control the in-front throw. It’s clear that there are very good throwers utilising both techniques – I just can’t come up with a good, fundamental explanation of why!

      Also – could you explain how the first paragraph fits in? I agree with it, of course, but I would find it relatively easy to throw a low roll curve from behind the knee, and relatively hard from in front – I’m guessing you find the opposite? Interesting.


      • Felix says:

        The first paragraph was just a response to “floating it in the space in front of the receiver rather than hitting them at a hundred miles an hour – which should if anything be easier when we throw I/O, since the majority of such breaks will be thrown from low.” – although angling the disc upwards helps with touch, I think spin and velocity need more emphasis.


  6. Graham says:

    Like Eamonn, I also used to hit my leg constantly throwing low release forehands, either at the point of release or in the follow through. This obviously shortens the length of your throwing mothon/follow through, and so reduces the power of your throw. This effect increases even more when trying to throw an I/O break. When I changed to releasing in front of my knee, it immediately increased the power/distance I could get on my low release forehands.


    • One of my long-standing coaching points is that the best way to generate power is to have a longer throwing motion – which equates to a later release – so I can definitely see how you could be restricted by your knee. I think if you have a whippy elbow-led style of throwing forehands, then you’d definitely have trouble getting a late release from behind the knee. Unless you can get your elbow all the way out past your knee (with a very severe lean from the waist maybe) that elbow is going to have to start whipping early and the release point can be no further forward than the length of your forearm.

      However, some of the very best throwers I’ve played with have more of a push motion, with relatively little whip from the elbow. These guys can throw a late release around the knee much more comfortably – since it’s much easier to get your elbow past the knee with the wrist ahead of the elbow than with the elbow leading the wrist.

      Not incidentally, overextending that elbow tends to cause plenty of injuries in itself in my experience, so perhaps people at risk of elbow injuries are the ones who are then forced to put themselves at risk of knee injuries! That’s all very speculative though… As Felix suggests, there isn’t a huge amount of evidence of knee injuries caused by different techniques – maybe it looks dangerous but is actually fine. I just don’t know.

      (On the other hand, I do know a few of people with fairly severe elbow pain from using a very whippy flick motion, some of whom have subsequently fixed the problem by switching to more of a push, with no loss of power – and an increase in spin. But we’re talking about a sample size of 2 or 3 here, so no certainties. Some of the very best throwers in the world seem to recommend whipping the elbow.)


      • Graham says:

        I can’t see how pushing your wrist ahead of your elbow can generate as much power as whipping, but I don’t doubt your word. I’ll try to remember to give it a go next time I have a chance.


        • My best explanation just now is that it allows a longer throwing motion – when whipping, it’s often necessary to let go that bit earlier, otherwise the disc will fly off to the left (as the forearm comes around more in a circle once the elbow has stopped). By pushing it through more, you can release at the extent of your reach. It’s also easier, I think, to keep your bodyweight into the throw when pushing, as opposed to the almost falling-back that Felix mentions.

          But maybe all that is nonsense – it’s just an untested thought. I agree that the whip seems intuitively likely to generate more power, but I’ve definitely seen big throwers using either option. And anyway, it’s all a matter of degree – I’m sure everyone’s elbow whips to some extent; I just wouldn’t coach anyone to focus on that style of generating power. I’d always focus on letting it go as late as possible.


  7. Daragh says:

    Would it be possible for you to do a video that shows the differences between the pushing motion forehand and the whipping motion forehand? I’m fairly sure I do the whipping motion but I’m having difficulty trying the pushing motion.

    I throw my low release i/o forehand break from in front of my knee by getting my elbow past my knee to release. I used to hit my knee when I started go for those throws and ever since I’ve changed it It has been a lot better. I pivot between 1 and 2 o’clock.

    I throw my o/i low release from slightly behind my knee or in line with my knee as I mentioned getting my elbow past the knee earlier.

    I think there is merit in having both throws. You talked about the advantages of behind the knee for o/i, widening the angle. I think a worthwhile advantage of releasing the disc in front of your knee for the i/o is that you can attack the mark throwing through holes in the mark. potentially getting fouled but releasing from a point that is beyond the mark reducing your chances of being hand blocked.

    Thanks for doing all of these articles, they’re great.


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