Q&A - Distance-Accuracy Strategy

by Bob, Chuck & Ron

What is your strategy in Distance-Accuracy? i.e.. How many long throws vs. shorter throws do you make? How do you get the dog to retrieve quickly?


Bob - Longer throws will usually produce more points. There will be times when you will want to make a shorter throw on what you believe will be your “next to the last” throw. Thus, allowing the dog to make the “short” catch and return the disc to you in time to get off a final long throw.


Chuck - The only way to develop a Distance-Accuracy strategy with your dog is to practice using a stop watch and a field with markers set at 20, 30 and 40 yards. My personal strategy is three 40-yard throws, one 20-yard throw and one last 40-yard throw as the final seconds are winding down. I know that if I make a bad throw in my first three attempts that I probably won't have time for two final throws. So I practice mini distance, tirelessly. If you can't consistently throw the Frisbee 40 yards or your dog is a slow retriever then your strategy will differ. You can do the math - are six 20-yard throws worth more than four 30-yard throws, etc.? In the month prior to a Regional Competition I will make 2,000-3,000 mini distance throws without Donnie. I have a bag of 50 Frisbees devoted exclusively to mini-distance so 200 throws generally adds only 20-30 minutes to my time at the park. Donnies' total mini distance practice will consist of about 150 throws spread out over 10 to 15 workouts. Regarding retrieve speed, you might try using more encouragement and/or turn and run in the opposite direction. Aside from these two suggestions I'm open to suggestions – FlyGirl is so slow at retrieving it's painful to watch.


Ron - Unfortunately, I don't yet have the “ideal” strategy for Distance-Accuracy. Typically, I try to get as many maximum distance throws in as possible. Because Chili Pepper is so good at this, I've become satisfied. In a regional format (40-yard field) some try to get in 3 40-yard throws, a 20-yarder, then a 40-yarder as time runs out. Now that is an ideal plan, but it takes much, much practice. 3-time champions Gary Suzuki and Sam were masters at this. As far as getting your dog to retrieve quickly, there are two factors involved: natural tendency and motivation. Your dog will naturally tend to retrieve fast, slow or somewhere in between. The only way to improve the retrieve is positive motivation: words of encouragement, hand clapping, a reward of praise, the expectation of another throw. Discover what combination works best for your dog and keep it up!