Should I Learn to Throw with My Opposite Hand

lefty1

A Feeble Left Handed Toss

It is very tempting to learn how to throw with your opposite hand. For me using my left hand didn’t exactly come naturally, but I could do it and not look too stupid without any practice. Same went for batting left handed, I just knew how to do the motion. It is not as smooth as my normal hand but I can get it done.

Since injuring my shoulder I have been thinking about throwing left handed more and more. This is because my forehand shot will not be an option for several months. So in order to throw a right fading hyzer I have contemplated throwing left handed.

When I first tried this I had a few realizations. First I began to understand why new players have OAT or off axis torque. For some people the back hand throw comes naturally and for some it doesn’t. I had been throwing Frisbees long before I ever picked up a golf disc so I cannot pin point the time when I ‘got’ the hang of throwing back hand.

However when I try to throw left handed I have a ton of OAT and putters and less stable discs flip easily. This showed me how new players seem to throw. I was bringing my arm around my body and pulling through properly. The solution is to slow your shot down and practice the steps of the throw. Start with the release similar to the pec drill and the video in my last post. Then incorporate more of the throw and eventually the run up and X step.

So the question is, should you go through the trouble of learning to throw with your opposite hand? Well I would need to know why you intend to do this. Is it because you think forehand shots are bad for you? Is it because you stink or cannot throw forehand shots? Is it because you cannot use your dominate hand at all? Or do you just want to be able to say you can?

If you are worried about the forehand being bad for your body you may be justified, see my post about the forehand and your body here.

If you stink at throwing forehands than I suggest you practice them with stable discs. In the case of the forehand, OAT might be a body saver. If you throw understable discs forehand you will need to hyzer flip them which means your elbow will be above your hand. This puts a lot of strain on the elbow and shoulder. Whereas if you throw an over stable disc and make it ‘S out’ you will throw the disc on an anny line and your elbow will be below your hand. This puts less pressure on your body. It isn’t perfect but it is similar to a baseball pitcher that throws ‘3/4 sidearm’.

If you cannot use your dominate hand at all due to injury than you don’t have much choice. Learn to throw all over again with your opposite hand by practicing step by step. Get your grip down, then your release from the elbow out. Next work in your reach back and eventually your X step. Throw putters and midranges so that you can see errors in your form easily. If you are flipping discs over then you are using too much OAT. Do not mistake this for ‘putting too much on it’. I (and probably you as well) can throw stable putters as hard as I can for 300 feet and not flip them. But if I try with my opposite hand it sometimes flips easily due to OAT.

I don’t think the forehand shot is bad for you at sub maximal effort, which means if you are not using full power. For up shots and even fairway shots a forehand won’t hurt you. If you are trying to crush it over 450 feet over and over again, that is when things could happen to your body. Remember everyone is different and you need to decide what is right for you. Just because it works for Ricky Wysocki doesn’t mean it will for you, but it doesn’t mean it won’t either.