Matt Gauthier Teaches the Flamingosis Catch

Matt Gauthier teaches us about the famingosis catch. This is one of the more challenging catches to master. Also, it has a intriguing look due to the unique body rotation involved.

First, some nomenclature. The basic osis catch is covered here. It involves catching behind the back as one spins away from the disc. A similar spinning away movement can be applied to almost any catch. In this example, Matt is showing us the flamingosis, which is a flamingo with the osis style rotation. There is also gitosis, chosis (chair osis), bad attitosis, and probably a whole host of others. So, take your favorite catch and try to add an osis to it. It can open a whole new world.

Now for the flamingosis. Set the disc up and then spin. If you spin to the left, as Matt demonstrates, then plant on your right foot, kick your left foot out, and reach behind your right leg with your right hand and make the catch. As you spin, watch over your right should as long as you can, then flip your head around quickly and watch the disc into your hand over the left shoulder. Matt points out that the motion is very similar to a phlard. So, one way to begin is by catching a pharld but move your hand to the other side of your leg. This will help you with the motion.

There are also some subtle variations here. For example, the raised leg could travel over the disc before the catch is made. Or, it could move into position before the disc is low enough for the leg to go over. Or it could never go past the disc flight path at all. All are valid but it changes the aesthetic. My guess is that, with a little creativity there are other possible variations as well. If you think of any, please share in the comments below.

 

Ryan Young Explains How To Make Your Gitis Look Great

Ryan Young explains how to improve the look of a leaping gitis. Many people learn the leaping gitis without considering form. In fact, that’s my style…for me it’s traditionally about making the catch, with no thought to it looks. As a result, I look all compact and hunched over.

Ryan takes his gitis to another level by focusing on the form. Basically, as I understand it, the goal is to keep the knees straight, point the toes and kick the back leg backwards as you leap. This creates straight lines and splayed out look that is pleasing to the eye. I am certain Ryan learned this leap in ballet and has translated it into the gitis catch. In the video, Ryan goes over warmup and how to practice the form, even before trying to make the catch. Thanks to Ryan’s inspiration, you may see me trying to improve my form.

Matt Gauthier Demonstrates the Osis Catch

The osis movement is one of the more difficult movements to wrap your head around. In this video Matt demonstrates the most basic osis behind the back (BTB) catch. So, what is an osis? It’s anytime your body rotation is moving in the same direction as the disc. As Matt demonstrates, a BTB is either static or you twist towards the disc to make the catch. For the osis, you must rotate away from the disc as you catch it. This makes for a very small catch window as your hand can only stay in the right place to catch for so long…your rotation will pull your hand away. It’s really all about timing. Also, as Matt points out, osis is a blind catch in a way. You have to watch for as long as you can over the opposite shoulder and then, at the last second, snap your head around to make the catch. Of course, unlike other blind catches, with the osis it’s ok to turn and face the disc as you catch it, watching in into your hand. 

One cool thing about osis is it can be added to most catches. A flamingo can become a flamgosis, gitis becomes gitosis, chair becomes chosis, and bad attitude can be a bad attitosis. All these catches are extremely difficult and can be quite beautiful to watch because they require precision timing and body mechanics. What’s your favorite version of the osis?

By the way, I’ve heard Chipper “Bro” Bell call it a reverse pull when you do an osis pull.

Ryan Young Teaches How To Cuff to Flatten the Disc During a Brush Run

Ryan Young demonstrates how to cuff the disc to flatten it while on a brushing run. Often times, especially when in high speed wind, the disc will become too steep during a brushing run. This can cause the pace of the run to suddenly change, which creates break in the flow of the jam. It also can cause a loss of control as you run into or past the disc. In more severe wind, the disc can blow behind you and roll away. By using the skill Ryan is demonstrating you can maintain control and even avoid any break in the flow of the jam.

OK, so let’s break it down. There are three steps; brush to add spin, cuff to flatten, and brush to continue the run.

Let’s say you’re on a run and the disc becomes to steep. On challenge may be that it is spinning quite slowly. Of course, cuffs use a lot of spin. So, Ryan suggests first doing a quick brush to add spin. This is step one. I often do this before a cuff as well and not just for this circumstance. With practice, the brush-to-cuff becomes a single move instead of two. The key to success here is to change the height of the disc as little as possible. Think “stun it”.

Now it’s time to cuff it flat. With clock spin, touch it lightly at 3 o’clock with the back of your hand. With counter, touch it at 9 o’clock. If your hand is wet, all the better…the wetness reduces friction. However, this is not required. As you touch, slowly lift and left the disc glide. As you lift your hand the disc will flatten out. Ryan suggests slowly moving your hand towards 6 o’clock. Just remember, soft touch and let the disc glide.

Once the disc is at the desired angle, it’s time to brush it again and continue the run. Exactly which brush you use will depend the situation after the cuff. But, as Ryan suggests, this brush must happen quickly. The key here is to use this brush to maintain/regain control. It’s not about adding spin or perfect placement. Just get it back into the air where you can deal with it. And, be ready to brush with either hand, especially in a strong wind, because the disc could now be quite high in the air. Or, in lower wind it might be falling really fast so even a kick brush or kick tip may be in order. Ryan suggests trying to connect the cuff to the next brush. This is a great suggestion as the cuff-to-brush will eventually become a single move. My latest adaptation is to let the cuff turn into a guide so I can, with a single contact, flatten the disc and then push it forward gently to give myself enough time for next trick…no third brush required. 

This brush–cuff-brush skill, though not sexy, will greatly enhance your ability to maintain control over disc that’s become too steep and is starting to get away. We’d love to hear your strategies for maintaining disc control. Let us know in the comments.

Lori Daniels Demonstrates the Chicken Wing Throw

The chicken wing throw is similar to a back hand throw. However, instead of throwing across your body and using the pull back to generate spin, this throw curls the arm under the armpit and uses an unwinding motion to generate the spin. Many players, especially women believe this to be the throw that generates the most spin. In this video, Lori Daniels demonstrates how to execute this throw.

Grip the tightly. Then bend at the wrist, the elbow, and the shoulder. Tuck the disc under your armpit. Now step back on the opposite leg and twist your back for a little more windup. Then, unwind like a spring, releasing the disc at the end. The motion will seem to pull or rip the disc out of your hand.

When I first started learning this throw, I found the disc would release from my hand much earlier than I thought. It took many practice throws by myself to gain the ability to predict where it would go. However, I’ve always felt I could generate alot of spin. Now, this is one of my favorite long distance, left handed throws (I’m a righty). Tell use what you think of the chicken wing in the comments below. Can you generate a ton of spin with it?

Ryan Young Demonstrates the Back Roll

Ryan Young explains how to back roll. The back roll is like a chest roll, except the disc rolls down the backside of your arm and then across your back. Many people finish by letting the disc roll to your elbow and turning fast to shoot it back up. This is the style Ryan calls “the buckle“.

Ryan explains how this is done in masterful detail so give it a watch. If you need more, here’s another video and explanation. If you have any questions, leave a comment.

 

Jake Demonstrates Eating Crow

Eating Crow is a third world scarecrow. First, place the disc upside down in your mouth. Bite down on it so the rim is just behind your canine teeth. Bend forward and then toss your head back, throwing the disc up with a third world spin. As it spins count the rotations to get the timing. Now, catch a scarecrow. Time the catch with the disc rotation so the it is flat when your hand arrives.

Once you perfect this trick, then next question, what trick leads up to having the disc in your mouth. If you have an idea, let me know in the comments.

 

3 Ways Disc Golf will Improve Your Freestyle Game (Part 2)

In Part 1, I explored how Freestyle will improve your Disc Golf game. In this article, with help from the panel of experts (list below), I investigate the reverse, how does Disc Golf improve your Freestyle Game?

Throwing ZZZs

Juliana Korver Turn AroundIn Disc Golf, long drives require tremendous grip and arm strength, yet you still need a high degree of control to maintain accuracy. In Freestyle, throwing a disc with high Zs (spin) requires exactly the same; strength and control. Juliana Korver was able to translate her Disc Golf skill quickly, “It took me about 10 minutes to feel comfortable with the chicken wing throw and I think I had a decent amount to spin on my clock throw right away.” 

Ideas for Midair Attitude Corrections (MACs)

Happy MattMuch of Freestyle is about creativity. Any time you’re out tossing some plastic (or even just watching a disc fly) there’s an opportunity for inspiration. For Matt Gauthier, Disc Golf helped him with midair attitude corrections (MACs), “I’m not a very good golfer so many of my throws would hit things. Turns out that was useful. I would throw a little too high and skip off a tree branch or too low and skip off the ground. I’d hit some surface and the disc might changes angles 180 degrees. In the beginning it meant an extra stroke (at minimum). As I began to understand how the disc would deflect I could use it to my advantage. Skip the disc in under the basket for example. Over time I started to understand that I could use my body to apply pressure to edge of the disc in the same way a tree branch would. For me, it opened up all 360 degrees, top and bottom of the disc for cuffing.”

Mental Focus

Crazy John BrooksI’ve noticed that in practice I can hit some challenging putts, but when it’s the difference between birdie and par, I often choke. In Freestyle I tend to rely on my reflexes, but Golf is really all about mental focus. Practicing this focus can help one attain “being in the zone” in any sport. Crazy John Brooks remarks, “As you may have seen in both freestyle AND Disc Golf, the situation can be similar in that when a player reaches a certain level of Zen with their mechanics and environment (on any given day), the results can be mind-blowing.” 

So it seems that playing Disc Golf can help one’s Freestyle game as well. Greg Hosfeld adds,  “I was an over-aller for quite a while. But I gravitated to freestyle and golf. To me, they’re my Yin/Yang. Golf is slow, plotting, methodical. Freestyle is quick & reactive. But, in both there are rhythms and depths of game that seemed endless.”

If you have experiences in cross training between Disc Golf and Freestyle, please share in the comments.

Special thanks to the Panel of Experts:

  • Juliana Korver (Part 1 & 2)
  • Crazy John Brooks (Part 1 & 2)
  • Glen Whitlock (Part 1)
  • Lori Daniels (Part 1)
  • Greg Hosfeld (Part 2)
  • Matt Gauthier (Part 2)

3 Ways Freestyle Frisbee Will Improve Your Disc Golf Game (Part 1)

As a five-time Freestyle Frisbee world champion, I have spent more time playing Freestyle than any other disc sport. However, I have been known to dabble in others. Disc Golf is one disc sport that I have always appreciated and admired. I used to golf on a weekly basis. Seeing Juliana Korver take up Freestyle has piqued my interest in the benefits of cross training between Freestyle and Golf. I know I brought my Freestyle skills to my Golf game, and that Golf improved my Freestyling. So, I’ve assembled a panel of experts (list below) to help explore this topic.

This article covers 3 ways that Freestyle Frisbee will improve your Disc Golf game. Part 2 will cover 3 ways that Golf will improve your Freestyle game.

Flight Path

When I asked Glen Whitlock for input, he said that learning Freestyle can help you, “…see more flight path opportunities to get around obstacles.” This is true for a number of reasons.

First, Freestyle is all about reading and controlling the disc’s flight path so you can get into position to do your next trick. Because there are so many situations (e.g., up-wind, down-wind, cross-wind, through a hoop, long throw, short throws), a player develops multiple solutions for any situation.

Second, in Freestyle one learns to throw a variety of throws, all with finesse. Juliana Korver says, “I see some players who have never thrown anything other than a golf disc. Unfortunately some of them also think that they need to throw the most overstable disc they can find. Someone with freestyle skills would have better knowledge of the flight of a Frisbee and wouldn’t get caught in this macho mistake. It takes skill, knowledge and finesse to throw an understable disc on Hyzer and let it flip up to flat and then slowly glide to the right at the end of the flight (right hand back hand shot). Having experience throwing other Frisbees will make it more likely that a person will have this shot and understand the need for this shot.”

Wind Sense

John Brooks OliviaSince Freestylers are constantly tracking and controlling the flight of the disc, reading the wind becomes second nature. No matter if I am playing or just walking around, I can tell where the wind is coming from, how strong it is, and how consistent. I am certain this helped me on the tee as I would change my disc and/or throw based on this sense. Crazy John Brooks agrees, “I found that after learning so much about the nature of the wind and different types of breezes and ‘swells’ while pursuing freestyle, I was able to comprehend a lot more of the conditions on the Disc Golf course. For instance when things were calm on the Disc Golf course, there was a need to put a little more strength and punch into the throw. This was needed to create more penetration and manage a more direct line to the target. On a windy day, I soon found success in adding things like float, stall, skipshots, an occasional air bounce putt or short tricky approach from the deep rough, and of course allowing the wind to work for me when it is in a helpful setup.”

Fitness

Lori Utl

Photo By Oren Meron

For getting your arm in top throwing shape, there’s no better way than to play speed flow. Speed flow is the act of playing catch friends with some trick throws and catches mixed in for fun. One goal is to flow seamlessly from the catch to the throw. With this style, you will attain the highest number of throws-per-hour possible, which is great training for throwing strength. Ken Westerfield says, “Just like in any professional sport, athletes look for different but complimentary training activities that will add to their playing skills and fast-freestyle is the perfect complementary exercise to add to any disc sport.”   Lori Daniels adds, “It takes a lot of stamina to walk hours through a Disc Golf course and still maintain concentration to throw with accuracy. Freestyle and Ultimate are keys for me staying in shape and maintaining endurance – which definitely makes a difference with not feeling as fatigued after playing 18 or 27 holes of Disc Golf.”

The experts agree, training in Freestyle can help improve one’s Golf game. Juliana Korver adds, “If you play Disc Golf, it must follow that you love or at least appreciate the beauty of the flight of a disc. Seems that is the perfect baseline to be attracted to freestyle.” 

In Part 2, I’ll explore how Disc Golf can improve one’s Freestyle skills. Read part 2 here.

If you have experiences in cross training between Freestyle and Disc Golf, please share in the comments.

Special thanks to the Panel of Experts:

  • Juliana Korver (Part 1 & 2)
  • Crazy John Brooks (Part 1 & 2)
  • Glen Whitlock (Part 1)
  • Lori Daniels (Part 1)
  • Greg Hosfeld (Part 2)
  • Matt Gauthier (Part 2)

Matt Demonstrates Learning the Center Nail Delay

The center nail delay is the basis for much of Freestyle Frisbee. It is the act of spinning the frisbee on your finger nail. Matt explains how to practice so you can master this skill.

First, give yourself a two handed throw. Be sure you choose the spin, clock or counter, that you want to practice. This throw is good because the disc comes to you perfectly flat. Now, let the disc land softly on your finger nail. Most people use the index finger, but any finger nail works. In fact sometimes I use two, or all five (the claw). Keep the disc above your head so you can see the center. As the disc slides on your fingernail, move your finger so it stays in the center. This may mean moving your feet to pursue the disc. Stay loose and chase it around. If it falls all the way to the rim, no problem. That’s called a rim delay. Just let it spin there, trying to keep only your fingernail contacting the disc. The rim delay is also a useful skill. As you get better at both the center delay and the rim delay, bring your arm down until you have control while looking at the top of the disc.

Have advice for someone trying to learn this skill? Let us know in the comments.