Throwing Backhand

The backhand is the throw most of us used the first time we picked up a disc. For most new ultimate players this is the easiest throw to learn for throwing accurately over a useful distance.


Get a Grip

There are many different ways you can grip the disc for a backhand, and as your comfort level with throwing a disc evolves so will your grip. Below are the three most common variations. The main thing is that you understand the principles and get out there with a disc to figure out what works for you.

For all three grips your thumb is on top of the disc on the rim and your fingers are curled underneath. The three graphics below show each grip:

1. Split finger

  • Has the most control, but the least amount of power

   

2. Single finger

  • Medium control and power

 


3. Power grip

  • Most power, but the least accurate

  


The Body Position

Your body should be positioned so you are looking upfield toward your endzone. Stand on the balls of your feet with your legs shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.


The Moves

RIGHT-HANDED throwers

  • Pivot. Keep your left (pivot) foot firmly planted and raise your right foot.
  • Lunge. Swing your right foot all the way onto the other side of your body so you are now lunging to the left. You should be stepping almost perpendicular to the direction you want to throw.
  • Wind up. At the same time as you lunge, curl your right arm around your body with your elbow more or less over your right knee and pointing in the direction you want to throw.
  • Unwind. Keeping the disc flat and at chest height, uncurl your arm toward the space you want to throw to.

  

  

LEFT-HANDED throwers

  • Pivot. Keep your right (pivot) foot firmly planted and raise your left foot.
  • Lunge. Swing your left foot all the way onto the other side of your body so you are now lunging to the right. You should be stepping almost perpendicular to the direction you want to throw.
  • Wind up. At the same time as you lunge, curl your left arm around your body with your elbow more or less over your left knee and pointing in the direction you want to throw.
  • Unwind. Keeping the disc flat and at chest height, uncurl your arm toward the space you want to throw to.

The Release

Before you release the disc, it should be flat and your arm should be extended. To release the backhand:

  • Snap your wrist.
  • Let go of the disc at the end of the snap.

The faster you release the disc the more spin it will have. Spin provides accuracy, distance and lets the disc fly flat.