I like to people watch. More specifically, I like to watch people play disc golf. There are as many approaches to the game as there are people playing it. Head out to your home course and look around, you will see some crazy ways to throw a disc. Go out and take a video camera, you may find that you have some similar quirkiness in your own throw.
Where do all those different techniques come from? Why doesn’t everyone look clean and smooth like the pros do? The answer lies in how we have built our throws. For most of us, our throws are a collection of habits (both good and bad) that we’ve accumulated over the years. As we try to improve, we just add new habits. What we don’t realize in many cases, is that we are building on a flawed base to start off with.
This is where those extra steps, crazy run ups, weird flailing arms, off balance finishes, and a whole host of other examples of poor form come from. We’ve taken not so perfect technique and made it worse. Before we know it, we’ve built a throw that has bad habits that were implemented to cover up other bad habits.
I want to make sure it’s clear that I’m not judging someone who doesn’t throw like a pro. God knows I don’t. What I’m trying to point out is that we have two choices as disc golfers. First, we can continue on the path we are on, full of flaws in our form and holes in our games. We can probably develop a pretty competent and enjoyable game of disc golf like that. Lots of people will play their whole life with a 300 foot max drive and a 20 foot putting circle. They’ll have an awesome time doing it, too.
The second approach requires some pain and a few steps backward. It requires that we forget everything we think we know and start with a clean slate. This is not an easy path. But it is one that results in the ability to play some amazing disc golf. It results in distance and accuracy that can be achieved in no other way.
In the end, if you are having fun out there, that’s all that really matters. Just make sure you know the destination to which you are headed. Make sure you are comfortable with where your game is going. If you like what you see, no matter what it is or what someone else thinks, stay on that path. If you want to end up somewhere different, you will need to change direction.
If you find yourself in need of a directional change in your game, I cannot recommend a better place to start than with the Heavy Disc blog. It’s not an easy path that they have laid out, but it is a rewarding one.
As usual, what is true in disc golf is also true in life. Look at where you are heading. Do you like the path you are on? Do you like where it is taking you? If so, keep on truckin’. If not, it might be time for a change.
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