The Search for My Perfect Swing — Part 7

My Grip(s)

I basically use two different grips with a third variation, pitching from 30 feet. All grips are used with the Snyder EZ Flip. Two of these grips are the same, just turning the shoe over. I’ve painted my shoes red, to better show what the grip looks like in my fingers. It is extremely important to maintain consistency, and that I grip the shoe exactly the same for every flip and/or turn. So, I go through a little grip routine while stepping to the foul line. Further, it insures that the center of gravity of the shoe is located exactly the same each time. Remember, it is the center of gravity that I am trying to throw/pitch at the stake. I am not wearing gloves in any of these photos, but, under normal circumstances I use leather motorcycle gloves.

The Flip Grip

The photo below shows index finger dangling the shoe prior to taking the grip for either flip. I simply crook my index finger and dangle the shoe at the tip of the hook from the first joint in the finger. From there, I will take the two flip grips. More importantly, it establishes how the shoe will flip through the air. With the grip taken in this orientation, it insures that the shoe will be slightly turned when it hits the stake, which helps with bounceback. If I turned the shoe so that the tips were parallel to the ground the shoe would fly very much like a regular flipper.

Dangle prior to grip

Dangle prior to grip

The next two photos show the two flip grips, which are essentially the same. With the caulks up, when I grip the shoe, I insure that the shoe will hit the ground with caulks down. If you’re pitching in sand or dry clay, the shoes will slide on the caulks. So, sometimes if you’re a little short, you may salvage a ringer. I’ve done a little experimenting with throwing one shoe one way and the second shoe the opposite. I would like to study whether the shoe orientation affects the arrival of an opponents shoe. I’ve come to no conclusions on this yet.

Shoe lands caulks up

Flip landing caulks up


Flip landing caulks down

Flip landing caulks down


The next two photos will show each shoe in the two flip grips, one caulks down and one caulks up. I feel the caulks down grip is more stable. The thumb rests on the flat top of the shoe while the index finger fits nicely at the back of the underside caulk. See the grip above.
Flip--caulks down landing caulks up

Flip--caulks down landing caulks up


Flip--caulks up landing caulks down

Flip--caulks up landing caulks down

The Turn Grip

In this grip I dangle the shoe from the corner of the caulk from the first joint of my thumb. To take the grip I simply close my fingers around the caulk with my index finger almost touching my thumb and my middle finger right below the point of the caulk.

Turn grip

Turn grip


Turn grip for 1/3 turn

Turn grip for 1/3 turn

Warming Up for the turn

When I was experimenting with various grips of the shoe, I discovered that taking the turn grip and rotating the shoe slightly, permitted me to throw the shoe without any rotation or flip. Throwing the shoe this way for 20 or 30 warm up throws, insures that I’m not adding any manipulation with my hands.

Part 8 will discuss the release and exactly where it occurs. I spent a night and about $45 to purchase components and build a frame 5 feet x 10 feet which will sit 2 feet above the ground and permit me to read releases that go as high as 7 feet and downrange 10 feet. I have used multicolored string to create squares 3 inches apart vertically and horizontally. I am hoping that my little Canon S230 will be fast enough to create a video of the release location while using my electronic glove.

Continue to Part 8
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