4 December 2006

Photos of grips

Here are some photos of forehand grips.

I am only looking at forehands here because they are harder to learn, less intuitive (ask any non-ultimate player to throw a disc, and they will generally throw a backhand, not a forehand), and there is more variation in them, among Ultimate players.

Most players should use a power grip. (Scroll down to 3.2). I am certain about this.

Power grips

Jeff Cruikshank, Furious George, thrower extraordinaire. I recommend having your your ring finger and pinky fingers straight, and supporting the outside of the disc, like Jeff does.

Miranda has the pinky and ring fingers bent.

Tom Rogacki, Chilly, who has huge hands

A Kiwi


Mad Dog

Hybrid grips

Meg Campbell, Ishtar


Split finger/Beginner's grip

Still looking for good examples...

The first step of helping a beginner...

...is of course, make Ultimate fun so they come back for more.

But the next "first step" is GSWAP.

I took the time to throw with a beginner on my Hat team on Sunday morning. After two throws, it was time to help him with the most fundamental thing - throwing.

And the most fundamental step is grip.

The guideline for teaching throws is the acronym GSWAP.


Grip comes first in this list. Because it is the first step in the throwing action, and the most important.

Advise beginners to use the power grips for forehand and backhand. See here.

Folks with small hands are allowed to use beginner's grips. But tell them to try the power grips on 20 throws first.

So back to our beginner. With a proper forehand power grip, his wobbling 6 metre throws became stable 15 metre throws. Improvement -> confidence -> enjoyment.

And of course, don't forget that with beginners less is more. After you offer advice, let them practice and play with their new grip/cut/stance/endzone play. Ask them how it is going.

You need to offer more compliments than criticisms or suggestions. Every time.

Portable whiteboard fun

At World Clubs, all the captains received a free whiteboard/clipboard.

I found it really useful at the Melbourne Hat this weekend.
  • I could write our teamname on it (being in Spanish, we really needed to write it down - especially me, Mr visual learner).
  • We played Hangman on it.
  • We played Mr Squiggle on it.
  • We kept the score on it when one of our games didn't have a scoreboard.
And of course, I could use it for the obvious use - drawing up a set play for the team to learn/discuss.