This is the latest installment in the Comprehensive Throwing Guide Series. The previous posts are here: Post 1, Post 2
The fact that I’m writing a post about pivoting and breaking the mark is probably amusing to those that know me, as I’m really more suited to writing posts about dumping at low stall counts, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.
I keep starting this post and then getting scared off because describing this is pretty confusing. For the purpose of this post, imagine that you are suspended in mid air looking down at a thrower who has a circle drawn around him. The player is facing forward at what I’m going to call 0 degrees on the circle. Directly to the player’s right is 90 degrees, directly behind him is 180 degrees and directly to his left is 270 degrees.
For right-handed invert flicks (trying to break a flick mark), I teach right leg at 55-70 degrees, in other words forward and out. I have seen good players just step out to get maximum extension (90 degrees), and I have seen other good players just get low quickly to throw the invert. I prefer forward and out (55-70 degrees) over just out (90 degrees) for a couple of reasons: 1) I think forward and out gives you a better angle to throw the break mark throw and you’re closer to your mark giving him less time to react 2) You can pivot more quickly to the around backhand if your leg is forward – it’s really just a question of distance – the more forward your right leg is the less distance you’ll have to cover to get your leg in position to throw the around backhand.
For right-handed around backhands I teach 250-260 degrees. In other words just a little bit back of directly sideways (the marks position can change this). I like this position because I think around break mark throws are primarily about extension. Also, the quicker you’re able to pivot over from the IO flick the more time you’ll have to make this throw, which is why I preach 55-70 degrees on the IO flick.
These two throws should be used in conjunction with each other – use one to set the other one up. There are a few exceptions, but generally I use the invert to set up the around. I’ll usually hold the disc with a flick grip and extend to throw the invert, if I can’t get it off, I’ll immediately transition into the around backhand. I’ll almost never go back to the invert because if I wasn’t able to get the throw off on the first invert or the first around, it’s probably not available anymore. This brings up a related point – one of the biggest problems my players have is that they pivot TOO MUCH when they’re trying to break the mark. Just throw the damned thing – if you weren’t able to throw the pass in 0-1 fakes/pivot you shouldn’t be throwing it.
For right-handed around flicks (when trying to break a backhand mark), I teach stepping back a little bit more than on around backhands. I’d say somewhere in the neighborhood of 125-135 degrees. The reason for this is players tend to get more extension on their around flick than on their around backhand and because you can throw the around flick more quickly and with a more compact motion than an around backhand. As a result, the marker is forced to really commit to stopping the around flick if they want to prevent this break. It is an advantage for the thrower to pull the marker back as far as possible because it gives the thrower more room to pivot and throw the invert backhand.
For the right-handed invert backhand I teach stepping more forward than I do on the invert flick. I’d say somewhere in the neighborhood of 325-335 degrees. Again, I think you’re always advantaged on inverts when you can get more forward because it gives you a better angle to throw through and it makes it easier to pivot to the other throw.
These two throws should also be used in conjunction to break backhand marks. Personally, I tend to use the around flick to set up the invert backhand, although that may be somewhat counterintuitive. I can pivot much more quickly from a forehand to a backhand than I can from a backhand to a forehand. I think this is because you use your quad to go from forehand to backhand whereas you use something else (more hamstring?) to pivot from backhand to forehand.
Anyway, sorry this post was so confusing – any thoughts?