Forehand

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The forehand (also known as the flick or the two-finger, or the side-arm in the UK) is a staple of the disc fan's repertoire, as well as the bread-and-butter throw of Ultimate players. Focused in the wrist, this throw takes little time to execute.

  • Grip: The index finger is extended and laid against the bottom of the disc to provide stability for the throw, the middle finger is pressed against the rim of the disc, and the edge of the disc is tucked under the thumb. The disc is cocked back at the wrist, and the arm is extended out from the body.
  • Throw: A flick of the wrist imparts spin off the middle finger as well as some forward velocity. Some snap of the lower arm can provide additional power. After release, your index finger should point to your target.

Note that 90% of this throw is below the elbow, and most of that at the wrist. A common mistake is to attempt to use the upper arm and shoulder to add power to the throw. Usually, this results in little or no spin being imparted on the disc, which causes it to fall quickly. It's also common for the flick of the wrist to pull the outside edge of the disc up; to compensate, hold the disc somewhat loosely, so that the outer edge hangs down slightly. Experiment with the cocking and flicking motions to determine how best to produce a level throw.

As you learn how to throw a flick, it may help to tuck your elbow in towards your body; this is a bad habit to get into if you play Ultimate, but may assist with preventing you from using too much shoulder and arm. As you improve, work on extending your arm out away from your body. Advanced throwers will note that the arm and wrist action is much like a bullwhip cracking sideways; the addition of whip-like motion in your upper arm, shoulder, and even upper body (by rotating the hips) can impart more power onto your throw, but is difficult to control.

[edit] Variations

The forehand is an extraordinarily versatile throw, and can be adapted to many different situations.

  • Most upside-down throws (see below) use the forehand grip and throw, and are therefore variants of the forehand to some degree.
  • The Push Pass: A little-used variant of the forehand, it is thrown with a grip similar to a backhand (index finger on the outer rim of the disc, thumb on top, fingers curled underneath) but is released on the forehand side. The wrist "pushes" the disc forward while spin is imparted "backwards" by rolling the disc off the index finger. A final flick of the index finger finishes the release. Frequently, very little spin is actually imparted, which makes this throw tend to flutter and fall more often than not. However, with use one can learn to add much more spin to this throw and it may become useful over short distances.
  • The High Release: Used to get around an object (or a person), the High Release is thrown above the thrower's shoulder, and is completely powered by the flick of the wrist. In order to be thrown flat so that it will travel without curving, the index finger is pulled in to the edge of the disc with the middle finger and the outer edge of the disc is rotated down, so that the disc lies at a slight angle to the line of the knuckles.

[edit] See Also

  • Teaching Beginners How To Throw Forehand
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