, 2021-04-01 15:43:32,
BY CHARLIE EISENHOOD
One of the best elements of ultimate frisbee is that it requires every player to be versatile. You can’t just be a receiver; you have to be a thrower as well. If you’re an offensive player, you have to play defense if you turn it over.
As a result, learning the basics of throwing is one of the first tasks on every new player’s to-do list — and even 20-year veterans still strive to improve their throwing.
Let’s talk about how to throw a backhand, one of ultimate frisbee’s foundational throws. Even brand new players need to be able to complete a short backhand throw.
The good news is that many players have some familiarity with a backhand, as it is the first throw most anyone learns when they pick up a disc, even if they are just casually tossing with a friend. It is also generally considered an easier throw to learn compared to the forehand, ultimate’s other fundamental throw.
Let’s break down the elements of a good backhand throw so you can start to master this crucial skill!
Every ultimate throw starts with a good grip. Holding the disc correctly ensures that you are transferring the energy of your body, arm, and wrist into an accurate and powerful throw.
The most-used backhand grip is called the FAN GRIP. The fan grip has the pad of the index finger on the underside of the disc, typically with the crease of the first knuckle on the edge of the rim, and the other three fingers “fanned” out in a comfortable way on the bottom of the disc. This provides additional stability in the throw and increases accuracy.
Another common grip is called the POWER GRIP, where all four fingers are tucked tightly against the underside of the rim of the disc. This grip maximizes the power of a throw and is typically used on pulls and long-distance hucks. It is generally a less accurate throw but the trade-off is that you can throw further with this grip.
For both grips, your thumb should be on the flight rings on the top of the disc, typically pointing forward at an angle. The specific placement and angle will depend on comfort based on the size of your hand and simply what feels good to you.
TIP: Typically, you need a firmer grip for more powerful throws.
Regardless of what grip you are using, it is crucial that you not put your index finger along the outside of the rim of the disc; while this is a common beginner’s mistake, it reduces…
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