Clock Throws Go Clock and Counter Throws Go Counter.
What Does It Mean?
The spin of the disc should be in the same direction as the dog’s flank. The throw should resonate with the direction that the dog is moving. This is taken from the 13 Laws of Flatwork
Throws with Clockwise spins should be thrown to a dog that is moving on the clockwise flank. Throws with counter clockwise spins should be thrown to a dog on the Counter Clock Flank. If the disc’s spin goes the opposite way of the dog’s flank, the throw will be blind, meaning that the dog might not see it in the backswing.
Practically this means that clockwise spinning throws should be made to the handler’s right (Lefties flip it like usual), or to the throwing hand side of the body. Counter clockwise throws should be thrown to the left side of the field, the off side in terms of throwing hand and the handler’s body.
If the dog is moving left to right, the dog is on a Clockwise Flank. From right to left, it’s a Counter Clockwise Flank. Throw a Sidearm throw, which spins counter clockwise out of the hand, to a dog moving clockwise from left to right and the throw will be blocked by your body. It will be hard for the dog to initially pick up the target.
It’s also not easy to make a toss where the spin does not resonate with the flank. Making the Backhand toss 90 degrees to the left feels like you’re a tyrannosaurus; like your arm is kinked or something. There is a similar weird aspect to a counter spin being thrown on the Clockwise Flank.
Why Does It Matter?
There is a reason a blind toss can score better in a contest; because it’s hard. A blind throw means that the dog can’t see the disc or the handler can’t see the dog. Unintentional blind throws are probably not going to score the additional points, and blind tosses that are not likely to work from a mechanical standpoint are not going to help you score either.
Your job as a handler, even before looking cool, is to deliver a good solid throw to your dog. The best way to do this is to make throws where the dog and handler are connected and aware of which direction the team are going. Working and exploring the Law of Resonant Spins is a great way to experience and reinforce well connected play and successful throwing and catching.
The body blocking nature of some throws and the direction of movement and position they are thrown from can make a blind toss completely invisible to the dog for much of the disc’s flight time. It is possible for the dog to not pick up initial targeting of a throw until it gets 6-10 yards away from the handler. It can be quite startling.
Throwing blind throws without knowledge will lead to many misses, lower scores, and much frustration (Been there, done that…). There is no reason for it other than not knowing and a lack of release diversity.
Posing. If a handler poses and the dog can’t see it, is it even a Pose? Your dog can’t see the pose if you’re body is hiding it.
How do I Do It?
Make sure you have one solid throw that spins in each direction and use the heck out of them. For most people the Backhand throw will be the strong throw for Clockwise resonance with precise placement.
Either the Overhand Wrist Flip or Sidearm is usually the strong throw to the Counter Clockwise Flank. Choose the strongest throw for each direction and use that as a primary release.
Discover and develop these throws via flowing catch. Once you’re competent with a throw, add it into the mix. Make throws to the dog on both flanks in warmup, in flatwork, and in your zig zag, and use your primary release most of the time.
Revisit your Around the World. Try both clock and counter clockwise. The dog will choose the direction very clearly. If you struggled with the Around the World, odds are your dog’s natural direction is counter clock, as right handers struggle with counter clock delivery.
Practice delivering your strong counter clock throw ( likely a Sidearm or Overhand Wristflip) to the dog on that flank.
What Will happen?
For some of you, this will be completely game changing. Many of us are running counter clock biased dogs in clockwise fashion all the time. Imagine playing the game left handed or with one hand tied behind your back. Not fun. Those with strong counter clock dogs should experience a rapid increase in available skills and a different scale or type of performance.
Most all players will catch more discs. Blind tosses hurts the old execution score. A lack of practice on the weak flank can screw up a zig zag pretty good. Most players should also experience a bump up in Team Movement and Throwing scores and develop enhanced creativity due to the the new shapes created and the ability to deliver targets to highlight and exercise those shapes.