Throwing is one of the most important aspects of ultimate, but it can be difficult to improve and challenging to master. Take a look at some of the resources below to see what you can do to continue to practice and refine your throws!
Advice from Jenny Fey
Throwing On Your Own
For a lot of people, throwing a disc with other people is the essence of ultimate and the experience we miss the most about our sport when we are physically distanced. Ultimate players around the world right now are in all sorts of different situations from a health and safety guidelines perspective, as well as from an access perspective in terms of free time, discs, space, and/or humans to throw with.
I myself have a fair number of discs, and live near some open fields, but I don’t live with anyone who is particularly interested in throwing, and I’m not seeing anyone outside of my household. Still, I’ve found that I can keep myself fairly occupied with a few individual throwing routines, and also that they help me retain my excitement and optimism about getting back on the field whenever that opportunity becomes a reality.
I have here some ideas about how to approach solo throwing practice. None of these are revolutionary drills, but when I give myself deliberate focuses such as these, I find I am more productive and grow more from the experience.
If you have lots of discs…
Pick one throw and run through it until your pile is gone. Try to keep your body position and motion as consistent as possible. Walk, gather, repeat.
Find a tree, sign, or other bulky object to use as a mark to throw around and go through your pile that way. Vary your release points and disc angles.
Find two trees (or signs) some yards apart (can also use cones). Step around the near object and curl your throws in relation to the farther object. If you are throwing OI, get as close as you can to the far object without passing it (stay on the inside); if you are throwing IO, get close as you can get to the object while passing it (try to land the disc just on the far side).
If you only have a few discs...
Throw one disc and then see if you can get the next one to land in the same spot. Try this at a number of distances until you land them all.
If you only have one disc...
Practice your hucks by going for maximum time aloft or, depending on wind conditions, practice more generally the art of self passing with various angles. See how much height you can get while still getting the disc to come right back to you (without having to move) and also see how much ground distance you can cover while still catching your own pass.
Stay safe and enjoy the process!
Throwing form can be really hard to reflect on and even harder to fix. Use the playlist above to look through examples of how top womxn players throw in order to see what small adjustments you can make. These videos were taken by Joseph Marmerstein as part of his amazing "Throwing Form Project" in which he's videoed many of the best throwers. The playlist above includes only the womxn but check out the rest of the videos on Ultiworld's YouTube page!
One of Ultiworld's most popular weekly segments are their "Tuesday Tips" where they have guest authors write articles on a way to improve one very specific aspect of your game. We've taken some of our favorite articles relating to throwing and compiled them below!
Tuesday Tip (Throwing Alone): This article is extremely relevant in a time of self-isolation and social distancing. If you're allowed to leave your house and go to a park (take a look here for your state-specific guidelines), make sure you read this piece and see if any of the drills pop out at you! If your situation allows for it, a cancelled or shortened season can be a perfect opportunity for working on throws and coming back better than ever.
Tuesday Tip (Flick Huck): This short articles from the coach of Brüte Squad focuses on one of the hardest and most useful throws -- the flick hucks. Ariel breaks down the mechanics of the throw from your footwork to your grip. Grab a bag of discs, go to a park and see what you can discover about what works and doesn't work for you!
Tuesday Tip (Touch on Throws): Adding touch on a throw can be elusive for even the best handlers. In this article, Rowan McDonnell (2018 AUDL MVP) offers insight into taking control of the spin on your throw. He illustrates when touch can be critical before delving into how to master it, even offering specific drills. If you like what he has to say, be sure to check out his YouTube channel where he posts all sorts of videos from trick shots to advice on improving basic throws.