If you’re familiar with my philosophies, then you probably already know that I’m a huge advocate of video analysis on form. There are many ways to make this process simple, yet it still involves some effort and has one significant deficiency. Video analysis observes the past so your muscles don’t get used to the feel of form adjustments in real time.
So why am I refuting a technique that I so passionately advocate? I do so in order persuade you disc golfers to add an additional technique to your training repertoire! A technique that’s also great if you’re stuck inside due to cold winter weather.
Check your form in a mirror.
It’s a simple concept that sounds like something a 6th grader would do while practicing for a dance routine in a talent show. But it works! It works because you can adjust your form in real time by using visual cues and your muscles can feel the adjustment. This way you already know what the form adjustments should feel like when you get on the tee pad and don’t have a mirror handy.
I hate to admit it, but I don’t have any hard data for you on this because collecting this type of data would be difficult and time consuming. However, I can provide my qualitative experience. While I’ve used this technique throughout my disc golf career, there have been two times where it’s been extremely important.
The first was my power drive. Six years into playing disc golf I moved in to an apartment about 2 miles (3.22km) from the MSU Disc Golf Course. This course is wide open. It’s seriously in the agricultural events field, a wide open field. The course has since been modified, but at the time scoring favored long drives over accuracy. I took this opportunity to increase my driving distance and utilized the large sliding door mirrors in my apartment to adjust my form. In particular, I focused on my reach-back. By using the visual to set my reach-back further, I could pay attention how it felt to reach that far back and then remember how that felt when I got to the course. In the span of that summer I increased my drive from about 385 ft to 425 ft.
The next time I relied heavily on the mirror form-check technique was recently while attempting to reset my from after numerous injuries. I wasn’t rotating properly, I wasn’t pushing off of my back leg, and I wasn’t getting my elbow through early enough. This was largely a timing problem and one of the best ways to address a timing problem is to slow the process down and proceed in order, component by component. Using a mirror I could visually ensure each component of my throw fired correctly in order and I could pay attention to how that sequence felt. Of course later I needed to speed the sequence up, but watching in the mirror and feeling the sequence allowed me to essentially reset.
Perhaps one of the best parts of the mirror form-check technique is that it requires very little time or effort for potentially high returns. Simply grab a disc and stand in front of a mirror, just make sure your kid’s Lego pieces aren’t underfoot. You can do this any time that is convenient and you may find benefits from a multiple 2-3 minute sessions spread through the day.
It’s as simple as that, so go find a mirror and try it out! Test it for a couple weeks and then let us know if you’ve noticed any difference in your game and please share this article if you found it useful!