Disc Placement is more than distance and height, there is a 3rd variable required to achieve the delicate balance of a guaranteed leaping catch: Time. The longer the disc hangs at your target the more likely the dog is to hop up and leap for it. A sense of time is required to deliver discs to a leaping dog on the run.
Throwing into the wind increases time and float. Downwind throws get pushed down to the ground and actually have less time aloft. Reduced time aloft means more speed, straighter lines, and more outrun after the catch.
Vary the distance of throws to explore the depths of the game; inside, midrange, and outside; close, near, far; short, medium, long. Hovering discs over the target for a leaping catch demonstrates mastery of depth, and makes the team and your dog look amazing. Such is the Way of Depth and Time.
You can’t look cool if you don’t look competent. And struggling is not a good look on anybody. The need to have more releases (cool throws) will be balanced against the ability of the handler to deliver them. To struggle with throwing on the field in order to look cool is the handler’s choice.
Successful catching with intent to leap becomes a habit. So does struggling to get a catch.
Play 10x as much catch with a human as you play with a dog or do drills. Learning through play is far easier than learning through live fire and drilling.
Throwing is about more than cool throws. Discs need to be caught, and caught with style, every time. Balance these three aspects of throwing to make a habit out of your dog looking good. If you always leap and catch in style, it is easy to drop a nasty technical throw in there, with the expectation and experience of leaping.
Young dogs need to be taught the catching habit. Developing dogs need to experience different spins and be taught to leap while maintaining the catching habit. Peak performers need to experience crazy throws every once in a while, but not nearly as much as they need to stay tuned up on the catching and leaping habits.
Throwing is more than looking cool with the crazy throw. Watching a dog chase down a bunch of thoughtless, wobbly, off the mark throws isn’t very cool and weakens the catching and leaping habits.
Throw with purpose and intent. Throw clean. Make your dog look amazing on every throw. Once you can do that, then get fancy to make the team look cool.