Throwing

Learning to Throw From Others

Over the years, there have been numerous instructional videos produced – some good and some bad. On Facebook a few days ago, I shared a post that said “just because you are a good player does not mean you can teach“. I was referring to a few people because I think there is a real issue and a real concern with people who teach others to throw the wrong way. Learning to throw the wrong way is inefficient and can cause injuries if that player practices a lot throwing the wrong way.

Creating an Unbreakable Mark

This tutorial video for the Calgary Ultimate Association talks about how to create an unbreakable mark and how to beat an unbreakable mark. The key points in creating an unbreakable mark are: Focus, Thrower Awareness and Holding the Force. The key points in breaking an unbreakable mark are: Get the marker off balance, Less fakes and Fake using your whole body.

For more info on playing ultimate in Calgary,
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Video produced for the Calgary Ultimate Association.

Where It All Began

Eleven years ago, I bought a frisbee at the University of Alberta’s club week from the University of Alberta Ultimate team. I started throwing that disc in a field close to my aunt + uncle’s house and would throw 3-4 nights per week for an hour each time.

Looking back, it’s easy to see how I started and how far I’ve come. I really appreciate all the support of my fans over the past 2 years and look forward to providing you more videos and articles to help you improve your game.

Ultimate Rob Bootcamp – Calgary, AB

Ultimate Rob and ATP Personal Training & Bootcamps are excited to announce that they are going to be joining forces for a series of Ultimate Frisbee Bootcamps beginning in May in Calgary, Alberta.

Beginning May 1, we will be running a bootcamp for 10 weeks from 6-8p. The bootcamps will be held at Riley Park in Kensington.

The bootcamps will have 2 goals over the course of 10 weeks:

1. Improve your fitness (cardio, endurance, speed, power, recovery, flexibility)

2. Improve your ultimate skills (throwing, catching, cutting, handling, defending, reading the disc, field awareness, rules)

Three Tips to Prepare for Tryouts

In this video, I give three tips I feel will help you prepare for tryouts for an ultimate frisbee team. With only 3 months before summer, I think the most beneficial things you can do is practice throwing, get stronger in the gym and get faster/better endurance by doing interval training. I also talk about why I think playing indoors during the winter isn’t very beneficial and should only be done if all the other 3 things are done first.

The Best Advice I Ever Got

I was inspired to write this today because in thinking back over my roughly 10 year ultimate career thus far, I got thinking about the moment that really changed the course of my game. It wasn’t hard to remember that day, nor was it hard to remember the advice given to me. Advice that would both humble and inspire me to work at my game with such dedication and passion that I would surprise even myself with how good I would become at throwing.

The Basics of Throwing

The specifics and mechanics of throwing are the subject of much debate; everyone has their own technique. However, there are undoubtedly core elements, which are key to making good throws; the fact that these may be achieved by a wide variety of styles and approaches means that throwing is more of an art than a science.

The elements that are key to throwing are:

  • Stance/balance:
    • Feet should be apart (shoulder width) and knees slightly bent (soft)
    • Weight should be distributed evenly on both feet
    • The thrower should feel relaxed and comfortable

Drills: Bread and Butter (Stack and Cut)

This is a great drill for the beginning of practice since it gets everyone working on all of the basics – throwing, catching, cutting and marking. You can also set goals in this drill (i.e. 10 completed throws in a row before switching to a different throw).

Number of players – unlimited number of players; all the discs

Skills emphasized – pivoting, leading a receiver, throwing past a marker, cutting, catching conditioning, marking a thrower (varied marks)

The Basics of Pivoting

Pivoting is a very workman-like skill that is rarely noticed but is invaluable in allowing a thrower to create enough space to throw. Pivots should be smooth and well directed: generally a pivot is employed once a potential receiver has been identified, otherwise thrashing around making aimless and inefficient pivots may leave a thrower out of position at the crucial moment. Having identified a receiver, throwers should try to establish eye contact with them before pivoting, so that they continue the cut and anticipate a pass rather than aborting their cut because they think they have not been spotted.

Free Throw Analysis – Send Me Your Throwing Videos!

I’ve been working on an idea for the past little while since I’ve had a lot of requests from fans via email to help with their throws.

As much as they try to describe what their problem is, I truly believe that if someone knew exactly what was wrong, then they could fix it.

So what I’m offering is a free throwing analysis. Send me a video of you throwing including a description of what you’d like to work on to rob@ultimaterob.com and I’ll send you back my thoughts and suggestions on what you can improve.

To Huck or Not To Huck


A general rule of thumb I like to follow is this:

Huck from Zone A; don’t huck from Zone B. In Zone A, use shallow/deep cuts (ie horizontal stack); in Zone B, use break side/open side cuts (ie vertical stack).

Several factors affect this general rule:

  1. What the Defense is running against your Offense – if they’re running a zone then maybe you want to try and work it up the field. Or maybe you want to huck right away for field position so you don’t turn the disc over close to your end zone.

The Basics of Forcing in Ultimate

If you’re a regular visitor then you’ll know that my focus has been primarily on throwing. In my videos, in my articles and on my dvd, I consider throwing to be the most important part of ultimate. A team full of good throwers/catchers can beat any team since ultimate is a game of possession (in the most general sense).

However, I’m going to start including more videos and articles that delve into the other aspects of ultimate which are also very important and will go a long way in making you a better overall player. I will also provide resources which coaches/captains will find useful in trying to teach new players the game of ultimate.

The Anatomy of a Backhand

The key to advancing from short throws to long throws is not about using more effort, it’s about using more of your body. In your throwing practice you should think of your arms as being loose like the strings of this monkey drum.

220023-monkey-drums-indiv

Seek velocity and distance in your throws not from the strength in your arms, but from the motion of your hips and core which transfer kinetic energy to your arms the way rotating a monkey drum handle swings the beads to hit the drum.

Throwing a hammer

Why is it important to know how to throw a hammer?

The more throws you are able to throw the better because you will be more of a threat to your opponents and the harder they will have to work to cover all of your players when you have the disc. By having the hammer as an option, you will be a huge asset to your team and you will force the defense to be more aware when you have the disc.

When should you throw a hammer?

You will hear many different things from many different people, but there are several cases in which I think a hammer is useful:

How to Throw a Backhand

Why is backhand so important?

Since in a game you are going to be marked by someone, you will want to be able to throw both a backhand and a forehand. A backhand will give you more separation from your mark than a flick since you’re getting further away from your pivot foot on your throw. As well, a backhand gives you more control over the disc since you have greater range of motion on your wrist flick with the backhand. Having a good backhand is crucial to being a good handler.

Throwing forehand

Why is throwing forehand (flick) so important?

Since in a game you are going to be marked by someone, you will want to be able to throw both a backhand and a forehand. Generally, most teams force you to throw forehand so having a good forehand will benefit your team greatly.