The video below is cued up to 11m22s. The whole video is good and worth a look for sure, but disc dog freestylers should be interested in this part because most freestylers do not read the dog, and as a result do not have a reasonable plan of action.
You are not most handlers.
Performing freestyle at any level requires some sort of situational awareness, the handler has to read the situation, and to some degree, the dog. But as the situation gets tougher, that situational awareness often falls apart because the situation has too many, or unexpected variables to read.
The wind is a good example. The wind gets all of us. It doesn’t get the super pro types out there on the raw performance front. Most pros can throw in the wind, but the additional requirements in reading and planning that wind conditions demand makes the doing quite difficult.
This happens up and down the foodchain as far as talent goes. New players will find the wind super challenging, impossible even, until that that day that you get it. Now that wind problem is not so bad, or you have a plan. Execution, that’s another story.
But it’s not. Those shortcomings and the impossible nature of certain aspects of the game are not a failure of ability, but the failure to read and assess the situation. Or it is the failure of the plan from the get go – A lack of, or an improper read dooms the plan.
You can drill your throw or your flip all you want, but if you ain’t reading it in flow a good portion of the time, it will still be trouble on the fly or when dropped into a sequence.
Creating a plan is rather easy if you get a chance to actually look at the situation. If you know where the dog lands and in what direction he is facing, you can then base that as your starting point to execute your plan. (See how important that Read is?)
A new plan should be super simple, familiar, or slow. There is no reason to do something new at live speed from the start.
Be sure to execute your plan as soon as you are free to do so. You can begin to move as soon as you release your flip toss, or right after your dog leaves your back for the back vault. You’ve got the read. You know what the play is. Do it.
Be present while you are doing your thing.
Play right this moment, not that miss that just happened or the one coming up that is super tough. If you are playing right in this moment, you’ve gotten a good read, and made a decent plan it’s hard to be rushed or flustered.
Be present on all out throws. Attend to them. They are not throw away tosses to give you time to get discs. Out-throws are Glory! That’s your chance to show how competent a thrower you are and how badass your dog is… while you pick up those discs.
You are free to Do as soon as your current job as a handler is done, not before. Juggling a few jobs at once, if it is not planned is not a good plan.
As soon as you have released the disc for the flip you can (and should) move. There is no need to wait for your dog to land or look at you.