My name is Max Rick and I play for the Montreal Royal. I wanted to share some useful tips that have helped me get to where I am today! My first Blog is about throwing alone both effectively and efficiently!
You hear it all the time at practice; from coaches, captains, and teammates… “Be sure to work on your throws outside of practice.” Even the Ultimate media is letting us know we should be practicing our throws more. Although I admit I fall short of the goal of throwing every day, I have attempted to heed this advice and throw as much as possible. One challenge to this is that there isn’t always someone to throw with. However, going out and throwing can be as simple as heading over to a field with just yourself and a pile of discs. I have found that going to throw on my own has been quite rewarding and beneficial for my growth as a thrower. Below are a few pieces of advice from my ventures.
Make it feel real. Wear cleats. Don’t trust me, how about this guy?
2. Use a ton of discs.
I personally use 10 identical discs. I previously tried using the misprint bundle, but various factors altered my decision -- one, we don’t play with red and blue discs and two, the quality of the misprint can vary. But, you still shouldn’t pay full price for 10 of the same disc. To get quality discs at a reasonable price, I suggest seeking out a local organization you can barter with to buy in bulk at a discount, perhaps a local youth or college team that is doing fundraising; typically these teams are happy to make a deal if you are buying more than one. Plus it’s nice to help with their fundraising and support a local organization.
3. Create a mark.
My personal recommendation if you are on a grass field is to use some Orange Driveway markers and set them a few feet apart. You can also use lacrosse goals, the narrow side of a soccer goal, the bag you bring your gear in or an extra disc to set a mark to throw around. Honestly, just be creative and use anything at your disposal.
4. Create a target.
Again, you can use the driveway markers, especially for shorter throws. For longer throws, I suggest a Lacrosse/Soccer/Field Hockey goal or a set of four cones to make a landing zone.
5. Set up a warm-up routine.
For my warm-up, I always throw a set of exercises for both Forehand and Backhand: 10 Outside-In, 10 Inside-Out, 10 as Flat as possible. I do this in a there and back fashion so that I end up doing 20 of each throw with 10 going one direction relative to the wind and 10 going the other direction.
6. Visualize then attack.
Before every set of ten, picture exactly how the throw should look. What angle do you want? How fast should the throw be? How much float? Where would the receiver be cutting from? Where is the sideline? For example, what would a perfect IO Forehand Huck look like… this.
7. Mix it up.
For one thing, it can be boring to do all of the same throws. Secondly, as described by Tommy Li there are a ton of different ways to throw and elite throwers use a plethora of variables to mix up their throw. In addition to mixing up the throw, mix up the pivot sequence before the throw, no pivot, long pivot, shoulder fake, etc.
8. Find your limits and set goals.
See how far away you can be and still hit your target seven out of ten times. See how far or fast you can pivot and still hit your target. You should constantly be challenging and assessing your abilities. This will help you determine when something is “game ready.”
9. Don’t stay too long.
For me, diminishing marginal return typically sets in between forty-five minutes to an hour depending on the day. If you are starting to get bored or feel like the session is no longer productive, start to wrap it up. The goal is not to make the throwing session feel like a chore but a chance for improvement.
10. Finish on an on a “near win.”
Some research suggests that having a near win can be extra motivating. I have found this to be true for myself and my addiction to throwing. If you walk away and pick up on a set of ten where you narrowly miss the goal, you will feel the itch to get back out there.
With summer in full swing, now’s the chance to the bring these tips into action. Interested in learning more Ultimate tips and tricks? View Taiga’s blog post You Can’t Teach Height.
PHOTO: Gaetan Dussault