How to throw a forehand frisbee
How to throw a forehand / flick
The forehand throw, also known as the flick, is a commonly used maneuver in Ultimate Frisbee. Below are 7 steps to teach you the foundation of how to flick.
1) Turn the doorknob. Imagine there is a door directly above you and to open it you must turn a doorknob with your arm in an L-like position. Practice this a few times. Notice that you are using your wrist entirely to do this. There is extremely little arm movement when flicking short-range. In order to grasp the forehand throw you have to realize that most of the discs spin and momentum comes from the wrist. Accepting the fact that your wrist does most of the work brings us one step closer to executing the flick.
2) Make a gun. Make an L with your thumb and pointer/middle finger, or as my inner childhood calls it, a gun. This is the form most Ultimate players use. However, some players spread their pointer and middle fingers out making a piece sign (thumb still out. Now let’s fire off some flicks.
3) Grasp the Disc. Use your newly made gun to take hold of the disc. First, put the rim of the disc in the crotch of your middle and ring fingers. The right side of your middle finger will rest on the inner rim of the disc while your thumb bends over the top to take hold of it. The disc may feel like it wants to flop out of your hand, make sure you have a tight grip with your thumb while still holding form.
4) Execute. Hold the disc parallel to the ground at about shoulder height. Use the door knob motion to pull your wrist as far back as you can then release it forward. The disc should fling off of your pointer/middle finger and travel about 10-20 feet. Note that this is not the appropriate height for a real forehand which is normally thrown at mid-torso height. For learning purposes, I chose shoulder height to teach the motion of forehand than we will fine-tune it as we become more comfortable with the throw.
5) Experiment. Everybody’s hands and arms are different so I recommend trying a few different things to see what works, and what doesn’t. Try adjusting your grip and changing the torque of your wrist. Make sure to also pick a target every time you throw. This way you can adjust accordingly to eventually hit your target more times than not. Perhaps add a little arm motion for more power. After you found a comfortable position we can flick our way into the next step.
6) Repeat. Your flick is going to be rough at first. It is as if you just gave birth to a newborn and you must nourish it until it can fend for itself. It will take you at least 200 throws of trial and error to learn accuracy, power variability, and muscle memory to be able to flick without having to think so much. It will take at least 2,000 throws before you can effectively curve the disc and/or huck it down field. The best way to learn is to throw yourself right into the heat of battle wielding nothing but a forehand. What I mean is every practice, every game, every toss session with friends, use the forehand throw. This tosses us into the final step.
7) Be Patient. Everybody has the capability of flicking so if you’re not seeing results give it time. It took me a solid 4 months to be able to send a confident, un-wobbly, flick to midfield with accuracy. If your new flick isn’t looking as sexy as you hoped or you can’t seem to get the disc to fly straight, there is a help section below to fix some of the most common problems with the forehand.
– We are only throwing 10-20 feet. Baby steps. Once you learn this perfectly we can increase the distance.
– All of the discs momentum comes from the wrist. Lock your arm and elbow in position and only turn the doorknob.
It’s normal to encounter problems with forehand
-Before throwing the disc it should be parallel with the ground. Even if you think it is, that may change when you actually execute the throw. Find a friend or record yourself flicking because what your brain thinks your doing and what your actually doing may be different.
– Another problem could be too much arm movement. When first learning to flick, 95% of the discs spin and momentum should come from the wrist. Lock your arm in place and use the doorknob technique described above.
The disc wobbles:
-This is the hardest problem to fix on the spot. A wobbling disc isn’t necessarily a bad thing because it goes away on it’s own with time and practice. The wobble is caused by a lack of spin on the disc and/or a poor grip when releasing. Try snapping your wrist harder and make sure the disc gets released by flinging off of your pointer/middle fingers only. To be honest, this was the biggest thing I struggled with when I first learned. After about 2 weeks of annoying my team with wobbly throws it went away on it’s own.
– If the disc is going far to the left you may be releasing it too late, if it’s far to the right it may be too early (assuming your righty). This can be fixed with trial and error by changing the release time. Also experiment with changing the angle of your body.
Goes up and then backwards:
– Make sure the disc is parallel with the ground and that you have a good grip before you release.
Once you have learned to confidently and accurately flick 20 feet using only your wrist it is time to move on to the next step. We will learn how to add arm movement in combination with your wrist for more power. We will also learn how to lower the release down to the appropriate height which is the mid-torso area. The page I’m referencing is on it’s way. Like us on Facebook to get updated on when it officially comes out.