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BEGINNER Series_FINAL_TM

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[MUSIC PLAYING] Welcome to disc golf instruction. My name is Will Schusterick. I'm a three-time United States disc golf champion, and former number one player in the world. I started playing disc golf when I was 13 years old, and by the time I was 16 I was traveling, playing professionally with some of the best players that have ever played the sport. By the time I was 18, I became the youngest United States disc golf champion, and one year later I became the number one ranked player in the world. Now I travel around the world teaching disc golf, as well as playing some of the top events. This is the disc golf instruction series. I'm here to teach you the technique that took me from being a 13-year-old kid to being the number one ranked player in the world within five years. The technique that we're going to go through is going to be fundamentally based and go through every aspect of throwing a disc golf disc the proper way. [MUSIC PLAYING] Disc golf is played and scored just like regular golf, but instead of hitting a golf ball with a club, you throw a plastic disc into a metal basket. Just like in golf, you play from where your disc lands, no matter what location. In disc golf, the same rules apply whether you're under a tree, in long grass, or in a bush. You must play from directly behind your disc, parallel to the basket. Sometimes you have to slide your foot under some foliage to create a stance, but that's just part of the adventure of playing disc golf. Disc golf discs, which are much different than a regular Frisbee, are designed to have many variations of flight patterns, and are offered in many different types of weights, and many different types of plastics. The types of discs are putt and approach, mid-range, fairway, hybrid, and driver, very similar to golf. What makes these discs unique is the edge of the disc, which is also similar to an airplane whenever it flies through the wind, which will determine how fast it flies and what direction it turns or fades. Disc golf discs are designed to be smaller than a typical Frisbee, which make them faster through the air, and the design of the disc also gives it a natural fade when the disc slows down. When the disc fades off, that means that when it runs out of speed, it will trail off in a certain direction. For a right-handed player throwing backhand, all these discs will fade off to the left when they slow down. If you're left handed, it will be the opposite effect. The putter, just like in golf, is the easiest the control, followed by the mid-range, fairway, hybrid, and of course, the driver. In this beginner series, we suggest that you stick strictly to putters and mid-ranges until you have the correct form to move up in your disc selection. The reason is that discs above a mid-range need much more speed on the throw to have the correct flight characteristics needed for them to be useful. A driver thrown by a beginner with no arm speed is going to fall to the ground quickly because it doesn't have enough speed for them to fly correctly. The putter and mid-range discs are designed to fly at a slow speed and have minimal fade. Therefore, they're very beginner friendly. Typically, it takes the average beginner player in disc golf over a year to learn to throw a driver correctly. This teaching series is going to expedite that learning process and get you to throw a driver comfortably in as little as a few weeks. We recommend that you purchase one putt and approach and one mid-range disc to play your first round of disc golf. With these two discs, you'll be able to throw with the correct form and also learn to enjoy the game the right way. To find your first disc golf course, we suggest the disc golf app UDisc on your handheld mobile device to find the nearest course to your town. UDisc will provide you the type of course, if it's rated well, and how to keep score. Otherwise, a quick search on the internet will be able to pull up the nearest course in your town. Before you get to the course, we are going to go over the technique that you will need to throw your first disc golf disc. [MUSIC PLAYING] The first chapter in this beginner series is how to grip the disc correctly. Your grip on the disc is going to be the most important piece before you start to throw. Disc golf is a very unique sport in reference to throwing a disc. There's not a direct comparison in any other sports that can relate to how a disc is going to feel flying out of your hand. Just know that for the first few throws, it will feel a little different. But throughout the round it will feel much more comfortable, especially if you're following these rules. All hands are slightly different sizes and function slightly different as well. The main things that we're looking for in this grip is going to be pressure on the disc, consistent release, and if it's comfortable sitting in your hand. There are different grips for different shots, different lengths, and they all have their positives and negatives behind them. But in this beginner series we are going to strictly focus on the power grip, which are going to be using when you're driving off of the tee pad. What you're going to want to do to grip the disc is to put your fingers towards the middle of the disc. And then you're going to want to slowly squeeze, which will bring your fingers towards the back of the disc. They're going to end up being stacked. From here, you're allowed to slightly deviate, but the main thing you do not want to do is to keep your fingers straight like this. You want to have your fingers at a slight angle towards the back of your hand. And you can either tuck your fingers underneath the rim, or you can leave them out towards the middle. This is going to be called your power grip. It's very key to note that you're also going to put this pointer finger on the inside of the disc. You do not want it on the outside of the rim, because it's going to hold back the disc whenever you're about to release. Your fingers are going to take a few throws to get used to release, but remember that you want to keep on throwing, and it's going to become fluid by the end of the round. To test your grip, grab it with the power grip, and then try to have your friend pull it from out of your hand. You want to make sure that your fingers are nice and tight, and you're also having a nice strong grip on top of the disc. We're going to refer to this grip as the power grip because you will use it whenever you're throwing from the tee pad, and you'll be looking to get as much power as possible when throwing with this grip. The next piece with grip is going to be your thumb position on top of the disc. The thumb is going to stabilize the disc in your hand because of the pressure being applied to the top of the disc. It's ideal to have your thumb roughly an inch away from the edge of the disc so you can allow the combination of pressure and release to keep the nose of the disc down, which allows it to be more aerodynamic upon release. The nose of the disc is going to be the angle which you release on whenever it comes out of your hand. Once you have your power grip nice and comfortable, try to have someone grab the disc out of your hand. Make sure that it feels nice and strong, and your thumb on top does not feel like it's about to slip or fall off. With a weak thumb, the disc will feel like it's falling out of your hands, and will go straight up into the air whenever you try to throw it. It's very important to have the thumb stabilize the disc in your hand so it can feel powerful and controlled upon release. Make sure that you can squeeze the top of the disc with your thumb after you have found a comfortable grip underneath the disc. [MUSIC PLAYING] When it comes to a disc golf drive, you will see advanced players execute a short run-up on the tee pad to build momentum, which will gain you distance. This technique is called the X Step. Because the X Step requires several balance steps while walking up the tee pad, and specific timing with the steps, mixed with the reach back, we're going to teach in this beginner series the ABCs of disc golf, which is always being controlled. This method is designed to cover the most important parts of the disc golf throw, all while being easy to understand and easily executable, even for the earliest of players. These specific techniques are proven to be the foundation for a well-rounded, consistent disc golf game, and are tested and proven at the highest level, because they focus on the most important parts of the disc golf throw: stance, body position, reach back, and follow through. In this beginner series, we're going to strictly talk about standing still while throwing to maintain balance and maximize the potential of your throw. The ABC techniques you're about to learn in the upcoming chapter will be essential pieces in your disc golf game, and will lay the foundation for you to reach your full potential. Learning the correct stance and body position will be the first layer of the ABC method. Correct body position is going to allow you to be balanced, gain distance, improve accuracy, and overall maximize the potential of your disc golf throw. To start your stance, you're going to want your feet shoulder width apart with your dominant foot leading towards the direction you are wanting to throw. You're going to want to bend your knees just slightly, and lean over to stick your hips out and keep your nose over your toes, meaning you want to slightly arch your back at least 10 to 20 degrees. In this stance, you should feel like somebody should walk up and not be able to just push you over. Just like we had the power grip earlier in the lesson, this stance is going to be called your power stance. Now, as you are lining up on the tee pad, the tip of your toes should be able to draw a line straight down to your aiming point, or target, and back towards your back foot. Your shoulders are going to be what provides the accuracy. When you draw the line through your feet, your shoulders also are going to match this line. It's best to line up with your feet and have your disc out in front of you pointing towards the direction you want to throw, so you can look down your shoulder before you start your throw. As you can see, when I change my foot position and draw the line towards my target, my shoulders are also lined up on that same line. This method will allow you to point and throw at whatever target you choose to throw at, and also starts to create a routine for you to follow before each throw. Each and every time you throw, make sure you can draw the line with your stance, and have your shoulders parallel to the same line. [MUSIC PLAYING] Now that we have gone over the correct grip and body position, the next step in the ABC method is how you're going to reach back properly. Reach back is the term used to describe the motion you will take that reaches behind your body before you throw the disc, which builds the momentum and speed on your disc before you release. In the previous section, we talked about drawing a line and staying committed to that line if you want to maintain accuracy and gain distance. Even if this is the first time you've played, having the correct reach back will give you immediate distance. To get started, you will want to be in your power stance, and it's best to start with the disc near your stomach. Referencing the drawing the line when you line up, we are now going to draw a line with our reach back, and we are going to try to stay on that line throughout the reach back, and while we're pulling through. This technique requires you to pull through with your elbow bending and leading the way when you start to pull through. Any movement outside of this line is wasted motion, and you will lose distance before release. Think of pulling someone from behind you. That should be the feeling that you're having. As you can see, I am reaching straight back and leading with my elbow as I pull through to throw. [MUSIC PLAYING] When the disc is released from a drive, it has the potential of exceeding 90 miles an hour from some of the top players in the world. Even for those who are not top players in the world, we can still exceed the 40 to 50 mile per hour mark within just a few weeks of throwing. There's going to be a lot of momentum bringing your arm through when you release your disc, and that continuation of your arm in body is called follow through. Following through is an essential part of your disc golf throw, because with so much momentum being pulled through at such a fast speed, the body needs a way to naturally slow down to decrease the risk of injury. And following through will also increase your accuracy by continuing on the direction that you released on. Just like in regular golf, after the player hits the ball, they have to continue the club head through their shot to slow down the club speed so they don't get injured, and to continue on the intended line they want to play on. Let's take a comparison directly into our disc golf technique. With our reach back, we are building momentum to launch the disc by pulling through. Once we pull through, and that release happens, we need to continue to allow our arm in the angle we intend to release on, and allow our body and arm to slow down as it continues on that angle. For example, with a low reach back, and pulling through our core to slightly higher, we need to continue our arm with the momentum created from our reach back, which will bring our arm to about the height of our shoulders. It is important to note that with too much of a follow through, the disc will fly too high, causing it to lose speed quickly. It's important to really make sure you hit the follow through angle as perfect as possible upon release. [MUSIC PLAYING] When you land short of the basket in the woods off the tee pad, or if you are too far away to putt, it's time to throw an up shot, which can also be referred to as an approach. The upshot can become the most fun part of your disc golf game when you learn the proper technique. Learning to land by the basket with the potential of the shot going in always creates some excitement during the round. In comparison to regular golf, the upshot is compared to playing out of the sand or hitting a short iron shot to the green. Just like in golf, the upshot is much more about technique and having the touch to land it close than using pure power. Being able to have the correct angle of release with the proper spin on the disc ultimately makes the shot accurate, and also travel at the correct speed so it doesn't travel too far or too short of the basket. Since disc golf is played through trees, typically, you will be faced to curve around them when landing off the fairway to get to the basket. Because of that uniqueness to the sport, there are dozens of different types of up shots you can learn to navigate to the basket accordingly when landing off of the fairway. Since this is disc golf instruction for beginners, we are going to simply focus on throwing back hand approach shots. The back hand approach is the most standard shot when approaching the basket. The same ABC principles from the previous back hand drive segments apply to up shots as they do throwing a drive off of the tee pad. When you stand behind your disc looking to approach the basket, you want to continue drawing a line with your stance, and matching that line with your shoulders, which continue into your reach back. When driving off of the tee pad, we learned the power grip, which made it possible to squeeze down nice and hard to be able to throw the disc further using our whole body. Approach shots do not require a large amount of power. It's much more of a touch off the fingertips with a combination of angle of release and spin. In the approach game we are going to use what's called a fan grip. The benefit of the fan grip in the approach game is that it's much easier to apply spin on the disc with a short quick movement of the wrist, and allows a very clean release towards the target simply by opening your hand. The reason it is called a fan grip is because we are going to take our hand and fan out our fingers towards the middle of the disc. The fan part is when you start to spread the middle two fingers out with the pointer finger laying on the side of the rim, and pinky finger with light pressure on the back side of the disc, both of which will control the angle of release. The two middle fingers will control the spin required for the shot. It's important that the middle fingers can work together with the thumb to hold the middle of the disc, also called the flight plate. By using the thumb pressure and middle two fingers, you're creating a stabilized grip that will create spin on the disc with just a flick of the wrist. [MUSIC PLAYING] As the old saying goes, drive for show and putt for dough. Putting is going to be the most valuable part of your game, but it can also become the easiest by learning the correct form. If you've watched disc golf online before, you will find many different types of putting forms from the amateur ranks all the way up to the professional ranks. Among professionals, there are several very important techniques that all successful putters use, and that's where we are going to start. The grip is something, once again, that can vary from player to player. The putting grip very closely mimics the fan grip from the previous approach lesson. What you want to do to find the most comfortable putting grip is spin the disc in your hand to get a feel for the most comfortable position. The typical putting grip has two middle fingers towards the middle of the disc, which are holding the disc in the palm of your hand, while the thumb pressure stabilizes the top of the disc. The index finger is going to lightly be laying across the edge of the disc and barely be underneath the rim. The pinky will not have a lot of pressure, but it's important because it will hold up the back side of the disc while it's in your hand. This grip is very similar to the fan grip, as we mentioned, except for the fact that you're going to be gripping the disc much lighter through you're putting stroke. The stance for putting is all about being balanced, just like in driving. We want a stance where someone can't just come push you over. You're going to put your dominant foot in line towards the pole of the basket and angle it a few degrees towards the inside of your body. The back foot is going to be about shoulder width apart, slightly off being straight in line with the basket. The back foot is going to have a little bit more of an angle to it, because we are going to be leaning back on it to create a slight rocking motion. By making this rocking motion, we will be distributing our weight back, and then straight at the target to generate some power behind the putt. The next step is your putting stroke, which you can choose one of two ways. The first way is typically called a push putt. A push put uses more of a weight shift and momentum of your arms swinging to propel the disc forward. A good way to visualize this is trying to throw a heavy book onto a table and trying to land it flat. The push putt is more of an up and down motion, with the arm staying in a straight line coming on the inside of your thigh and straight up, slightly forward, towards the basket. The next type of putt is called a spin putt. The spin putt, in comparison to the push putt, has a lot more spin on the disc, and is more of a throwing motion. With the spin putt, you line up the same way as the push putt, but instead of going up and down, you would come above your waist and flick the disc towards the basket using your wrist. No matter what technique you go with, you want to always follow through as much as you can. As we said earlier, you're going to be using a rocking back and forth motion to generate power on your putt. When you rock forward and release your putt, you want to continue your hand out towards the basket and reach out as much as you can. By doing this, you're continuing to guide your desk in the direction you're aiming at. Although there are benefits and disadvantages to each of these, the most important part is the follow through towards the target after release, and remaining balance throughout. [MUSIC PLAYING] I'm Will Schusterick. Thanks for watching disc golf instruction for beginners. [MUSIC PLAYING]

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Duration: 22 minutes and 35 seconds
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Language: English
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Posted by: schusterick on Jan 17, 2018

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