There’s lots of good reasons to throw a disc high in the air. Unfortunately I see lots of folks thinking that height means you’re going to throw far. That’s not true, most discs thrive when thrown 8-20 feet high.
Many people end up throwing a disc high into the air that wastes a lot of its energy getting to the top and then fading out. Discs are designed to fly flat through the air. Having them rise takes a lot of extra energy and will mean a shorter flight. If you find that your discs are shooting up high into the air keep reading. My dad calls it Sky-itis when a disc flies up higher than it goes distance wise. Both of us were prone to Sky-itis when we started throwing but here’s some tips on how to overcome it.
So let’s talk first about throwing the disc level. If you watch any form videos you’re going to see the instructor show you a level pull through. The video I just linked is one of my favorites. Paige Pierce is a 5X World Champion and she’s got some of the best form in the sport. Seriously if you want to improve your game in 10 minutes, this is the video to watch. She throws through level and it shows.
The disc will naturally rise.
It’s true! When you throw you’re cutting through the air with your disc. The rim of your driver is designed to cut through the wind. When it’s doing that it’s starting to pull up as well and that gives your disc the lift it needs. You don’t have to do anything extra to get it to rise up.
Repetitions will lead to consistency over time. That’s what this sport is, consistently executing shots over and over. I’ve written about field practice before, and how you shouldn’t throw max drives over and over again because it’s tiring. When you’re throwing and focusing on level throws the same rule applies. Make each throw its own, don’t rush through your 6 or 10 throws (however many you choose to do). Don’t worry about left or right, just focus on getting those discs that are 8-20 feet high.
If your discs are all doing the same thing.
Going up high and sort of flopping over and finishing really sharply down and left. You’re throwing it too high. This generally happens because you’re dropping the outside wing of the disc and pulling from low to high. Like you’re starting a chainsaw. Imagine that level throw as if you’re a baseball ump calling a player safe. The other reason this may be happening is the disc is too fast for you. Wide rimmed or high speed drivers have their weight on the outside rim. This means that they’ll be more likely to tilt down and away from you.
What can you do to practice? How do you find out if it’s disc speed, or pulling low to high.
Have a friend watch you. If you don’t have a camera your friends watch you throw all the time. They can tell you if you’re pulling from low to high when you need to be drawing straight across your chest.
When should I throw high in the air?
So now we’ve covered when it’s good to throw shots high into the air, how to fix your throw if you’re always throwing it high, and some things to focus on in practice.
Is there any other reason that you might see yourself throwing a disc high up into the air? If you’re suffering from Sky-itis make sure to practice some drives and focus on a level pull through, you should see your distance improve soon.
May your discs miss all the trees,
Andrew Streeter #70397
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We’re reaching an interesting time in disc golf. Where we’ve got a massive crop of talent at the top. Plenty of other touring pros cash frequently enough without scratching the top 25 in talent and can tour with their winnings and sponsorships.
So let’s take a step back from calling anything other than a win a failure. Improvements from year to year on a course could be a win for some of these players. Finishing top 10 should be considered good for young players. The days of players dominating and winning every single weekend are basically over. Competition is tight at the top, and it’s only getting better.