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Ultimate coach Sarah McNamara: Hi, I'm Sarah McNamara and I'm a USA Ultimate coach.
I'm looking forward to showing you the basics of a throw so that you can teach your child and they can enjoy this sport as much as I do.
McNamara: Hey Tyler, how you doing?
McNamara: Good. This is the disc we are going to use today.
McNamara: Here, you take hold. You see these ridges on the outside? We're going to use those when we throw.
Learning how to throw and catch a disc is relatively easy and inexpensive. All you need is a disc and a little bit of space.
The basic throw, which we are going to cover today, is easy to master and a lot of fun.
Step one: Find a disc that's going to fly and work with their small hands.
Most adults use a larger disc. This is 175 grams and it might be kind of hard for them to control.
You might want to try to find one like this. It's about 9 and a half inches across and it's 145 grams.
Frisbee is the brand that's most well known, but there are other options.
Whatever disc you pick, you want to make sure that it's nice and flat across the top. You do not want to use a disc that has a raised center.
Additionally, you want to find one that has ridges or flight rings around the edge. That's gonna help your child know how to grip it.
Step two: Forget how to throw.
McNamara: If you were going to throw a ball, how would you throw it?
Tyler: Like this.
McNamara: So today, to throw a disc, I want you to forget everything you know about throwing a ball.
What they will learn is how to put spin on the disc. And that's what will allow the disc to sail through the air, which is what makes throwing a disc fun.
Step three, the grip.
Have your child hold their hand out like they're shaking hands and place the disc at the base of their index finger. Have their thumb come down on top of the flight rings. Their index finger curls around the edge and their other fingers curl under.
That's the basic grip for the backhand throw. It's the easiest throw for pretty much everybody to learn, adults and children.
There is an alternative grip that gives the throw a little more power and a little less stability. For that power grip, move your index finger around to the back, and grip it the same way you are with your other fingers. So your fingers are curled around the edge not pointing out to the center of the disc. That's the power grip or the regular grip.
Step four: Keep it flat. I tell the children that I coach to imagine a glass of water balanced on the top of the disc.
They need to keep the water in the glass on top of the disc the entire time that they're throwing.
From the grip, to getting their body into the right position, all the way through the throw and release. They even should keep that water in the glass as it flies through the air to the person catching.
Step five is body position. Have your child turn so that their hips are not facing directly toward the person they are throwing to but off to the side. They'll be bringing their shoulder around so that their shoulder of the arm that's holding the disc is also facing their target.
Now, get their arm into position. You want have them bring their arm across their body the way you would for a backhand in tennis.
Make sure that their wrist is bent in a little bit toward them. This is going to help them put spin on the disc.
McNamara: And at the very end, you're going to snap your wrist.
Tyler: Like that?
McNamara: Like that. But see how your eyes are looking at the ground? You want to look up….
Tyler: Right at the target again?
McNamara: Right at the target. You got it.
Step six: Move and release. There are a number of parts to this motion so I'll break it down.
The first thing is that they should have their weight on their back leg. They're going to be shifting their weight from the back leg to the front leg.
The second part of the motion is what to do with their arm.
They are going to bring their arm back across their body and point straight at the person they're throwing to. They should be aiming for the person's torso, between their shoulders and their hips.
When the disc leaves their hand, they will be back to the handshake that we started with.
But the most important part is to snap their wrist at the very end.
Finally, notice that the glass of water is still in place.
McNamara: All right Tyler, so we're going to put it all together now, okay?
McNamara: Okay. Shift your weight. Bring your arm up across, bend it around. Now look where you are going to throw and you're going to move forward and let it fly.
McNamara: I'm ready.
McNamara: That was a good try, huh?
Tyler: And it wobbled a little.
If the disc is wobbling as it flies through the air, the problem is there was not enough spin.
If the disc is not flying flat, it probably was not parallel to the ground when it was released. The water spilled out.
If the disc is flying to the left or the right, the problem is probably that your child is not looking directly at the target or is releasing the disc too soon or too late.
It may get frustrating, but keep it fun. It takes time to learn to throw.
McNamara: Oh, that was gorgeous, Tyler!