Why is throwing in the wind so important?
There are several reasons:
- A team will generally run a zone defense against your team when it’s windy – hence your handlers should be confident throwing in the wind
- When it’s very windy, the number of people who can actually throw in the wind is surprisingly low – so if you can than you’re one of the exceptions
- It will make your throws in no wind stronger and more consistent since you understand how important it is to have spin on the disc
The first year I started playing, I was taught about edges (either throwing inside-out or outside-in). This is similar to a draw or a fade in golf. In ultimate, throwing inside-out means that you’re releasing the disc with the edge furthest away from you pointing at the ground; throwing outside-in means that the edge closest to you is pointing at the ground.
Throwing INTO the wind (upwind):
When you’re throwing INTO the wind, it’s preferable to throw inside-out (whether it’s backhand or forehand). This is because when this release, the disc starts lower and can be released with a much more extreme angle than an outside-in. Sometimes when I’m pulling or hucking, I will release the disc almost 90 degrees vertically. The angle of release depends on how windy it is and the best way to read the wind is to warm up all of your throws before the game. When you’re warming up, don’t always throw flat throws; the majority of throws in a game have a bit of an angle to them so the best way to warm up is by throwing angled throws.
Throwing WITH the wind (downwind):
The most important factor in throwing in windy conditions is spin – you can throw the disc as hard as possible but without a nice tight spin the disc won’t go very far and won’t stay in the air for very long. The spin is generated by rotating your body, snapping your wrist and releasing the disc along a straight plane(this doesn’t mean the disc is release flat – this means that you need to hold the disc the entire time at the angle which you are going to throw at).
Check out this video which talks more about getting spin on your throws.