How Throwing a Frisbee Can Help Your Swing Sequence
Sat Oct 15, 2016 by Liam Mucklow
Liam Mucklow is a presenter at the 2016 World Golf Fitness Summit. His topic is titled "Changing the Kinematic Sequence Using Multi-Sport Application." This is a short preview of what he'll discuss.
One of the more common challenges I see for adult golfers is their ability to shallow the club shaft during transition allowing them to create an In-to-Out club path and positive Angle of Attack. For most recreational golfers this is an ideal delivery pattern the driver as it allows them to create maximum distance with minimal effort. I find that the biggest barrier for most players in being able to create this outcome is due to lack of coordination between the torso and arms during the transition. Many players that suffer from an Out-to-In Club Path and down ward Angle of Attack have the arms start rotation towards the target.
Over the years I have found that it can be a lot easier to address kinematic sequence issues by using multisport modalities as a vehicle for the golfer to acquire a new pattern. One of the most interesting to me is using Frisbee throws to tackle the connection between the torso and arms.
3D motion capture systems can provide us with measurement information that tells us what happened, but its up to us as coaches to accurately screen and diagnose the cause. From here we then need to develop a constraint based learning environment that will allow the athlete to develop the “feel” of proper sequencing. For me the Frisbee throw fits all of these, but only when paired with the simple screening tactics outlined in the video below.
This graph is a great representation of how throwing the disc can help players learn the feel for allowing the arms to lag behind the upper body. You can see that the torso begins rotation towards the target nearly 30m/s before the arm does! While this would be an excessive amount of stretch in the golf swing it can be a great mechanism for teaching people what the transition should “feel” like for them. The beauty of this drill is that if they transition out of sequence they wont be able to get a stable throw with the disc. This means it forces an efficient sequence.
Hopefully that gives you an idea of how you can quickly and easily diagnose the root cause for an undesirable pattern. Here are a couple keys to helping people throw the disc properly.
- For both Forehand and Backhand throws the forearm should be parallel to the ground at the release
- Most people will have a greater challenge with their non-dominant hard regardless of their golf swing dexterity
Using this type of multisport training approach will allow your athletes to perform developmental skills, such as Frisbee throws, at maximum speed without having any detrimental affect on their golf performance. This type of minimally invasive approach will lead to greater transferal, without getting trapped in the old cliché of “you have to get worse before you get better”.