Learning to Curve for a Self Correcting Throw

Disc dog handlers get driven mad by those discs that curve off to the left or right. It seems as if sometimes we just can’t get the disc to go straight. For some of us that is most of the time.

Einstein once said,”The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” He was a pretty smart guy. I bet he’d love to watch some of us throw discs, eh?

So why is it that when some of us try to fix our throws, that we keep trying to make them fly straight? Wouldn’t it be better to try something different in order to get a different result?

Disc as a Wing

The front of the disc as it is flying towards the target functions as a wing.

Think of the disc as an airplane. If the front of the disc is pointing up, the disc will go up or stall out. If the front of the disc is pointing down, the disc will dive to the ground. If the left side of the disc is pointing down, the disc will bank left. If the right side is down, the disc will bank right.

Curving Left

For a right handed thrower, curving left means that the part of the disc furthest away from our body will be pointing down towards the ground (lefties, like usual, you’ll have to flip this…). This will set the wing of the disc on a leftward bank. We need to do our best to maintain this angle and disc orientation throughout our throw.

This is called Hyzer in the Frisbee world, but it’s really just curving away from our throwing hand side.

If we have problems curving left, we can always reduce our criteria and throw shorter so that we’re able to get the disc oriented on that left banking angle. We should not be afraid to reduce our criteria in order to get success. If that means dropping down to a 1 yard throw, similar to a toss for a flip, so be it. It’s easy to up the ante if we are working off of success. We can get to a decent distance in no time while curving the disc if we have a successful start.

Another thing that might be helpful is to try to Throw Up! It sounds silly, but it really works.

Curving Right

When we curve right, the part of the disc furthest away from the handler will be pointing up to the sky. This is a bit awkward, but it’s not so bad.

If we have problems curving right, we’ll just need to reduce our criteria and get our success at a shorter distance. Once we’re successful at say, 1-5 yards, then we can start to up the ante and increase our distance.

This is called anhyzer in the Frisbee world, but it’s really just curving towards our throwing hand side.

The Self Correcting Throw

If we’re having a problem with our disc curving in one direction, all we have to do is to overcorrect in the other direction a few times. Overcorrection is very important in order to correct a mechanical problem that we have no control over. If we can’t throw it straight, why should we think that trying to throw it more straight is going to work?

What we want to do here is to overcorrect and establish the polar opposite curve. So if our discs are curving hard to the right, we’re going to purposefully overcorrect and curve hard left. When we are reliably curving the disc hard left, then we can start to try to dial it back to the middle.

Master the Curve

If we have mastery over curving the disc, both left and right, then it goes without saying that we can deliver a disc without curving. We achieve mastery over the curve by working it without our dogs, with a throwing partner perhaps, or towards a vertical target. Curve one left… then curve one right… curve one left… then curve one right.

We can work a heavy curve, nearly vertical, and we can work a subtle curve, nearly horizontal. We also need to work on various distances. The longer distances are particularly important. Here at Pawsitive Vybe we work on dropping this curve on our target at 50-60 yards.
We need to have the ability to achieve whatever angle we want, at various distances, on demand. If we can do that we’ll have mastered the curve and will be able to achieve a self correcting throw. It takes time and practice, but it’s worth it.

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  1. caro

    This is going to help me so much. Again, clarity. Thank you.

    1. Ron Watson Post author

      Very cool, Caroline! Glad you got it. It’s super important and so simple.

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