Note: Due to copyrights, Frisbees in Ultimate Frisbee are simply called Discs. Me referring to them as frisbees is for the layman.
I was going to take a break this week to work on my resume and job applications. I then realized that it would be a disservice to myself as well as my reader(s?)
Now that Spring is fully here, this also means that sports are coming back and, besides Wiffle Ball, I also play pickup Ultimate Frisbee. Whenever I play, people say “John, how do you flick a Frisbee?” Flicking is when, instead of curling your arm in to throw, you bring it outward like you’re spanking the air. The technical term is called a forehand. Through tedious repetition I was able to teach myself and now I want to teach you! Here are the basics of throwing a flick.
Personally, I don’t feel that feet position does a great deal to help flicking. However, if it is your first time, I think it helps to stand as if you’re throwing a ball, keeping your dominant foot out. The picture demonstrations may seem wonky. It is because I am a lefty.
As for body position, I always feel that my flicks go farther when my body is twisted to the side of my throwing hand. It’s as if I’m priming myself. If it’s your first time, I wouldn’t focus too much on body position and worry more about throwing a straight flick.
How to Hold It-
Take your index and middle fingers and put them inside the Frisbee, along its edge. Keep your fingers together. Some people like to set their middle finger near the middle, believing it stabilizes their throws. I would not recommend this way. Keep your thumb on the outside edge of the Frisbee.
Next, hold the Frisbee to the outside of your body. Keep the Frisbee parallel with the ground, angling it upward slightly in the direction you want it to go.
Your first instinct is to throw it the way you would throw a ball. If you do this, the Frisbee will simply drop at an angle and roll toward your target. The most important thing to remember is:
It’s All In The Wrists
Forget the use of your whole arm. This throw depends on how you “flick” your wrist. If you’re used to throwing balls it may feel unnatural at first. It takes some getting used to but once you’re used to it, it’s second nature.
Focus on your target, be it a person, garbage can, etc. Twist your wrist back and release. If your first throw comes down at an odd angle, remember to keep the Frisbee parallel to the ground at a slight angle. If your throw is successful but doesn’t seem to go anywhere, that is okay. Watch where your feet are pointing as well. Practice getting the form down before trying for distance. Me and a few friends spent a whole summer before we felt comfortable enough to throw in a game. The harder you flick your wrist, the farther it should go. Then you can incorporate the body movements.
I should mention that it is entirely possible to throw successful flicks at weird angles. Tilting the Frisbee toward you or away from you can be a very effective use of a flick. That said, I wouldn’t recommend trying it until you are comfortable throwing one straight on. It may encourage bad form.
I hope this tutorial helps. I have friends ask me all the time how to throw and I thought it would be nice to try and write up a tutorial of my own. Below is a video of me flicking a straight throw as well as angled flicks.
Also, here is Brodie Smith’s flick (forehand) tutorial. Roughly the same as my description but goes more in depth with the body movement.