Sidearm Technique


Grip: Place your palm up and make a “gun” with your middle finger, pointer finger and thumb.  Tuck the disc into the space between the pointer and thumb (pointer/middle on bottom, thumb on top).  Feel the inner rim on the underside of the disc with the side of your middle finger. Secure your grip with your thumb on the top of the disc, near where your pointer finger knuckle is on the underside.  The other two fingers can simply rest on the edge of the disc.  The grip should be firm but wrist should be flexible in order to create the “whip” during your stroke.

Footwork/Hips: For a right handed player, line up the left side of your body with your intended trajectory (you will be standing sideways on the tee with the right side of your body closest to the back of the tee).  Take a step with your left to initiate the footwork, then replace the left foot with the right foot in a low sliding motion, exploding forward off the right foot onto the left foot, rotating your hips forward to face your target as you throw the shot.  Finish the shot by releasing your right foot during your follow through.  If possible, get low during the release point to maximize the use of your lower muscle groups and create added power.

Arm Motion/Hips: Grab the disc with a sidearm grip and cock your wrist back as far as possible.  Reach your arm back with the disc slightly wing-down and your forearm as flat as possible. Bring your arm through in a straight line with the disc flat in a whip-like fashion slightly leading with your elbow. As your arm comes through, your hips should rotate to face your target. It’s very important that your elbow be tucked close to your body in the middle of your stroke to avoid injury, but as you release the elbow should extend and arm should follow through toward your target.  Finish the shot by pointing your throwing hand at your target. 

Watch the video from just after the 16:00 mark until 25:00 to watch a brief sidearm demonstration

  • Visualizing a similar motion that is familiar to you can help you find your sidearm.  Try to tap into memories of hitting a forehand shot in tennis, fielding a ground ball and throwing a sidearm to first base in baseball, or even skipping a rock on a lake.
  • Watch videos on YouTube of sidearm throwers and tutorials.
  • Video yourself throwing sidearm and compare your body positioning, armswing, wrist movement, hip engagement and tempo from experienced sidearm throwers.
  • Start without footwork, and get comfortable with the disc coming through your body flat and snapping your wrist to your target.  Then, incorporate your hips/core and adjust your swing so the disc comes through your body flat.  Finally, add the footwork, adjust your swing again and develop a rhythm that works for you.
  • As you develop more snap and learn to power from your feet, through your hips and core, your stroke will naturally change and you will have to constantly adjust the angles your throw and disc stabilities you choose.