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Accuracy and Proprioception with small ammo (Read 366 times)
PalouseSling
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Accuracy and Proprioception with small ammo
Apr 24th, 2020 at 3:28pm
 
This is just a thought, but as I've been practicing I've noticed something that really improved my accuracy when using smaller stones.

As everyone I'm sure has experienced, there's a decrease in accuracy once the ammo gets to be too light. But I also really don't like the force I put on my arm with lots of throws using heavier ammo, and most of the good round rocks around me are small. 

I've been using a figure-8 technique. When I'm using small rocks (the size of a grape) I've noticed that if I start the down-stroke of the windup with a quick pull, then slow down to normal as the rock swings back above my arm in back, my accuracy is MUCH improved.

My understanding of proprioception is that movement accuracy depends on providing enough force to activate the nerves in the joint capsules and muscles and give an accurate sense of position to your brain and/or spinal motor synapses. So, too light a rock just doesn't given enough feedback to your body to judge a consistent release.

My thought is that this quick swing loads my arm muscles more and improves the proprioception of the weight of the rock.  I slow the swing down again during the point where the rock is swinging upward and my body is sensing the timing of the release motion. As I speed up again at the release the weight better matches what my body sensed in the first part of the swing, and thus my release is more accurate for the weight of the stone.

Mind you, this is just a hypothesis, and everybody throws differently. I'm also not that horribly accurate yet. But, this let me keep 20 or so throws mostly inside a 4 foot square at 10m with this kind of really small ammo. Throwing with an even speed windup I was either pulling to the left,  or high and right, with almost half my shots. It's been that way for two days now when I switch between the two methods. So, I thought I would offer it up and see if others have had similar results.
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Mersa
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Re: Accuracy and Proprioception with small ammo
Reply #1 - Apr 24th, 2020 at 7:42pm
 
I think that it may be related to your “lag angle”
The weight of stones in figure 8 seems to directly effect the lag angle so the pause can adjust this by letting the sling catch up a little and may just be in s better position as you begin the powerstroke.
Hard to say without any video or photos but from what you described it could be this or what you’re suggesting or both
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Shakli
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Re: Accuracy and Proprioception with small ammo
Reply #2 - Apr 25th, 2020 at 7:05am
 
PalouseSling wrote on Apr 24th, 2020 at 3:28pm:
My understanding of proprioception is that movement accuracy depends on providing enough force to activate the nerves in the joint capsules and muscles and give an accurate sense of position to your brain and/or spinal motor synapses.


I think you are on to something here.  I knew I needed at least 20g to feel the ammo in the sling and today I shot while really concentrating on feeling the weight of the ammo.  It feels like after 20 shots or so my accuracy started getting better.  I have yet to test it but going to keep playing with this idea. Smiley
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PalouseSling
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Re: Accuracy and Proprioception with small ammo
Reply #3 - Apr 25th, 2020 at 10:51pm
 
Mersa wrote on Apr 24th, 2020 at 7:42pm:
I think that it may be related to your “lag angle”
The weight of stones in figure 8 seems to directly effect the lag angle so the pause can adjust this by letting the sling catch up a little and may just be in s better position as you begin the powerstroke.
Hard to say without any video or photos but from what you described it could be this or what you’re suggesting or both


I think I agree with this. Going fast throughout is horrible for accuracy. I may not have been clear in writing it originally, my usual delivery is the same speed as the pause. It’s the increase of speed to start the stone moving Into the first swing that seems to help me.

Awesome Shakli. Anything that makes you more accurate seems worth maintaining.
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Just starting out. Waiting for the water to go down for some smooth rocks. Railroad ballast is good enough for government work. I now know all the places with decorative river rock in town.
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duckdiver
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Re: Accuracy and Proprioception with small ammo
Reply #4 - Apr 27th, 2020 at 5:51pm
 
caution; rant to follow
proprioception is always “On”, it allows your brain to know where your body parts are, what they are doing in relation to both gravity and the environment.  when you smoke a joint while thinking deep thoughts, it lets you target both your mouth and ashtray without looking or consciously thinking about the actions, among other functions.  Many schools of rehabilitation, one technique related to your question is to increase the weight of a spoon for instance to increase awareness and improve targeting say to mouth or plate, w mixed results in my experience.

What I think your question is a really asking is about are perceptual-motor strategies for practice and functioning.

To me, it’s easiest explained via white meat and dark meat functions even though humans are more grey meat like pigs, but the concept is easy to visualize next time you cut up a bird.

Dark meat aka slow twitch is aerobic (fat or latic acid burner), slow to fatigue, primarily moves one joint, low ratio of nerve to muscle fibers, controlled mainly by the cerebellum and some would say a smart spinal cord.  Provides core movements likely via reflexive, learned as learned generalized scripts.  Throwing a pebble, egg, baseball or bowling ball may look the same but would require sig different scripts.
White meat aka fast twitch muscles are anaerobic (sugar burners), quick to fatigue, cross/move multiple joints, have a high ratio of nerves to muscle fibers, also use scripts but in addition to applying gross force, also provide endpoint control or “English” to an action., and is controlled by the cerebral cortex.
To visualize them in action watch practiced and unpracticed rock throwers chuck a few rocks or better yet skip rocks across water or pretend to...
Unpracticed rock throwers will typically just pick up different rocks and throw them, possibly w some success or improvement.
Practiced throwers will not only carefully select their rocks, but prior to throwing them will jiggle/settle/reposition the rock carefully in their hand prior to throwing, especially if try to skip them. This feeling of the rock is your cerebral cortex using experience to analyze the flight characteristics of that particular rock compared to previously thrown rocks what english will be needed for spin or whatever concurrently w distance needed, target movement,...

When you first learn to do an activity such as writing, its initially very cortical (cerebral cortex) in that it takes all your attention to shape the letters, with practice as scripts are developed the process becomes subcortical (cerebellum and spinal cord), and you can takes notes in class while hopefully following the teacher, checking out other students and day dreaming simultaneously.  You only need to focus (cortex directed) on writting when it has to be neat or size matters form gives you 1/2” for your name and you need 1”. 

This is one reason that developing good technique or basic motor scripts is so important, you can compensate for bad basic techniques but it will require increased attention (brain fatigue) as well strain/fatigue the fast twitch muscles that are working to compensate.

One trick you can try when learning a new technique is to use a rubber band to keep the pouch closed, while can practice different twirls and vector changes.  Careful w this as jit converts a sling to a long sap which can really f you up.

hope this is helpful, i obviously have way too much time on my hands now.


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PalouseSling
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Re: Accuracy and Proprioception with small ammo
Reply #5 - Apr 29th, 2020 at 1:19am
 
Perhaps I was using the wrong word, but the process you’re describing, of learning a new dynamic action is what I was trying to describe.

Essentially the “jiggle/settle/reposition” you mention may be the same sort of subconscious judgement...in this case though, a super light rock swinging largely with gravity gives about the same force feedback as the sling itself. Speeding it up a little magnifies all the force and combined with the known force your wrist puts on it, might improve the judgement of the mass. A motion as complicated as slinging involves all the different mechanoreceptors, and some of them are less sensitive than others, so training that judgement might be improved if the feedback is magnified in situations where the force would normally be harder to judge.

But, I am hardly an expert, and it’s definitely a hypothesis I wouldn’t struggle to defend. I’m an ecologist not a physio. This comes from discussions with my cousin who is a DPT, but I have no dog in the fight as I’m sure others know more than me. I’ll answer questions about fish with more confidence and dogged determination.
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Just starting out. Waiting for the water to go down for some smooth rocks. Railroad ballast is good enough for government work. I now know all the places with decorative river rock in town.
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duckdiver
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Re: Accuracy and Proprioception with small ammo
Reply #6 - Apr 29th, 2020 at 3:25pm
 
like most rankers, im afraid that I worried more about showing off my smarts than answering your question/concern. Given that though, my concern that I didn't really address abour your question of technique is that;
Instead of developing a smooth swing, it seemed to me that you might be training a “hitch or jerk” into your technique that might inhibit later improvement or the development of generalization for your basic swing to accommodate different weights of ammo.  I think you would be better off dangeling, jiggle,...to program your brain to the weight before. you start the swing, then with a smooth swing, you can use your “attention”  to modify the lag time per Mersa’s comments.
Im having the same problem as you but w golf balls which are way lighter than the rocks I usually chuck, but now that I volunteer at a golf course have unlimited access to them for free.  Just an OT here not a PT, so your cousin is likely right😉
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timpa
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Re: Accuracy and Proprioception with small ammo
Reply #7 - Apr 29th, 2020 at 8:30pm
 
I have used the slingshot-size of ammunition in mini-sling:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EiXyx9nTmZQ
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PalouseSling
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Re: Accuracy and Proprioception with small ammo
Reply #8 - Apr 30th, 2020 at 12:40am
 
There is no doubt that a smooth swing with larger ammo works far better. But with the grape to blueberry sized rocks I still find that it helps for whatever reason.  But, I’ve gotten more picky in my ammo.

I’ve been going out and throwing 25-50 at a target per day. I’m really starting to notice some marked improvement in accuracy. I’m also surprised at how accurate it can be at longer distances than I expected. But, there’s still more to work on. When it’s on, it’s dead on. And when it’s not...it’s really not. Lol! Meditative focus on the target and an athletic, knees bent, stance seem to be very important.
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Just starting out. Waiting for the water to go down for some smooth rocks. Railroad ballast is good enough for government work. I now know all the places with decorative river rock in town.
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Tony Hedgewolf
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Re: Accuracy and Proprioception with small ammo
Reply #9 - May 22nd, 2020 at 6:08am
 
What a great thread.
Also just starting out, I'm finding it very difficult to sling with lighter stones. They either fall very early, with little to no power, or get hooked horribly and disappear into the woods.
In both cases, it plays havoc with my 'tennis' elbow, which is exactly NOT what I want from this sport!

My assumption so far has been that I need to minimise the weight of the sling (particularly the pouch) in order to have more feeling from the projectile. Is that a reasonable place to start?
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Re: Accuracy and Proprioception with small ammo
Reply #10 - May 22nd, 2020 at 9:05am
 
Tony Hedgewolf wrote on May 22nd, 2020 at 6:08am:
My assumption so far has been that I need to minimise the weight of the sling (particularly the pouch) in order to have more feeling from the projectile. Is that a reasonable place to start?

Based on what I've heard, you would want your cordage to be thin and light, but your pouch to have some weight.  If the cords, pouch, and projectile are all very light in weight, it could be difficult to use because the sling and projectile will have hardly any momentum of their own.

NooneOfConsequence recently made a sling with a weighted pouch.  You can see toward the bottom of this page: http://slinging.org/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1172017416/5715.
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Re: Accuracy and Proprioception with small ammo
Reply #11 - May 22nd, 2020 at 9:35am
 
Tony Hedgewolf wrote on May 22nd, 2020 at 6:08am:
My assumption so far has been that I need to minimise the weight of the sling (particularly the pouch) in order to have more feeling from the projectile. Is that a reasonable place to start?


I'd start from pouch design. I've used 13cm and 20cm thin split pouches for years. 20cm split pouches didn't have a consistent clean release with light/ small stones. so you have to match the split pouch size to your intended ammo. for stiff solid pouches like egyptian style slings I just use more power , so the opening timing resembles split pouch.

1. adjust size
2. adjust design
3. adjust weight

I always prefer to keep the sling lighter than the ammo I use.
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Morphy
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Re: Accuracy and Proprioception with small ammo
Reply #12 - May 22nd, 2020 at 11:25am
 
I wouldn’t necessarily minimize the weight of the pouch in relation to the stones. I would just use heavier ammo if that’s an option. I’ve only very recently begun slinging again after a long hiatus and using small tennis balls I was instantly reminded why I never liked them to begin with. Well...for accuracy anyways. For safety they are excellent.

What I’ve found through trial and and error is that there is usually a sweet spot for ammo weight based on the length of the sling, the speed you are slinging and possibly to a lesser extent the weight of the pouch. What all these things have in common is they affect the “felt” weight of the sling pouch during the throw which up to a certain point tends to increase your ability to control it.

Long story short, too light and you can’t control the position of the sling as easily and too heavy and it becomes unwieldy and difficult to control, but right up to that point of too heavy, or perhaps an ounce or so less than that point you hit a perfect weight for accuracy.
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Re: Accuracy and Proprioception with small ammo
Reply #13 - May 22nd, 2020 at 11:51am
 
Morphy wrote on May 22nd, 2020 at 11:25am:
too light and you can’t control the position of the sling as easily


while what you say is true , I think it can be trained.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMxYv8PU0R8  @1:35  4.5gram 10mm bb ammo with very light sling, got pretty close, which is counterintuitive for such faint feeling from the sling.

edit: missing words
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