Tuesday, March 15, 2005

hips baby.. the hips

I've been pondering hips lately. Well.. turning them anyway. Watching a newer team such as the tech ladies has shown me that at least they, and maybe most newer players throw primarily with there arms. That made me think about my throws, and I find that I throw pretty much with my arms also. So I popped in my tapes from finals of old and checked out the throwers and by and large all of the good ones involved rapid twisting and not alot of arm movement at all. More arm speed. Lori went over this when she was teaching me to pull, its certainly something I wish I knew back when I would practice throwing occasionally.

Anyway back to coaching college womens. I think that the hip turn is the key to power.. and maybe the key to alot when you lack significant arm strength. The physics of throwing with your arm or your body is a similar execution, however when you're turning your body you appear smoother and gain more velocity which causes greater distance on the throws. Lori mentioned how chris o'cleary throws with a huge torso snap. Theres got to be more in this. Anyway that may be the key to jack it. I still can't do it.. but perhaps with a little throwing one afternoon I could figure it out.


wood said...

Ok, so I had SPSU work on pulls last week. One of my newer players does just what you talk about, throws with just his arms. He came to me frustrated, saying he's throwing it as hard a he possibly can and it's still not going very far. So I tried to get him to get his torso more involved. He started using more of his torso, but he doesn't seem to have the ability to get any power out of it. His torso doesn't 'snap' at all, it look like he's in slow motion. Not sure what the answer is, I told him to keep working on it. I had been thinking previously that using a medicine ball to do upper body twists could help increase power and possibly help on big throws. It doesn't seem to be strength so much as quickness or explosiveness.

Noah said...

I definitely think the hips/torso/lower back are crucial for throwing pulls and backhand hucks - but definitely not for flicks. In fact, a small handful of players (college women mostly, in my experience) rely on the hips to throw their flicks and, in my opinion, their throws suffer as a result. For pulls, it is a matter of getting the legs, hips, torso, and shoulder/elbow/wrist all working in conjunction to generate maximum spin. Also, taking a step or two or doing a run-up/"dance move" that goes naturally into your release is fairly important. For the distance thing, he said he is throwing it hard, which is good - but a hard throw will only travel throw if it has a ton of spin as well.

Also, sometimes my pulls travel farther when I turn my back to the direction I'm throwing - not all 180 degrees, but pretty close.

aj said...

I actually think the hips/torso are very important on the BIG flick also. You can throw the medium range flick with just arm and wrist, but I think the big one comes from the core. 2 years ago, Tim Halt used to come out and work with my kids on flicks. He preached leading with the hip, I think it's a good way to look at it.

I am interested though - where does the power come from if not from your torson on the big flick? Also Noah, have you seen a video of yourself when you throw your big one? As I think about your form it seems to be all torso as well - maybe i'm remembering incorrectly.

Noah said...


Point well taken, I think I may need to think about this more. I do agree the hips/torso are involved in throwing the big flick.

(Disturbing mental image: I just took about a minute to practice the "wind-up" to the big flick.)

Upon closer inspection, and I don't know if this is proper form or not, I find myself thinking that rotating the hips will not be good for the throw but that using the torso to generate extra spin will be effective. However, leading with the hip (stepping into your throw) can be good for the flick (though I would argue that stepping into the big backhand can be but is not always a good thing).

So yes, I agree with you that the big one comes from the core.

PS: For what it's worth, the power in my "big flick" (if you can even call it that) comes from massive wrist strength and blinding quickness. Didn't you know?