Tennis-overhand (Weaver) Style Overhand Release - Mark Weaver
This method of throwing is used by my family members and I. My dad taught me, and he learned from his brother about 30 years ago. These instructions are for a right-handed slinger.
Stand with your left foot in front of your right, with your body turned about 45 degrees right of your target, like you’re going to throw a ball at it. The pouch is held in your left hand, with your left arm held out in the direction of the target. The right hand is held down in front of the right hip.
There are various ways to hold the ends of the sling. I prefer a bowline that loops around my middle finger. The cord looped to my finger passes between my pinky and ring finger, while the other is pinched between my thumb and index finger.
With this method, the sling will complete approximately 1-3/4 revolutions, with one of the revolutions completely behind you and perpendicular to the ground. The left hand releases the pouch and projectile. The right arm, staying straight, swings directly away from the target. Once the right arm is parallel with the ground, pointing directly opposite the target, the right arm bends at the elbow, and the pouch and projectile are rotated behind you. Once the pouch has rotated behind you and passes your feet, the real throwing motion begins. The hips turn the torso and shoulders towards the target, and the right arm completes the revolution and the throw with a motion similar to throwing a baseball. See the following video clips for the throw from beginning to end.
Key Points / Variations
In teaching people this method of throwing, there are several key points to remember:
(1) You don’t have to rotate the sling very fast at the beginning, the speed comes at the end of the throw, once the pouch is behind you and down by your feet. The entire motion should be smooth so no slack is created in the sling.
(2) After releasing the sling from your left hand, make sure it swings directly back. This is done with the right arm. The plane the sling is rotating on should be completely parallel with the intended direction of the projectile. If it is, you’ll get a great backspin on your projectile for loft and distance. If the rotational plane is tilted, you’ll end up with slices and hooks as in golf.
(3) Avoid bringing your right hand up over your head, this can cause slack in the string. Just bend your arm at the elbow, and the sling will stay taught.|
(4) Practice, practice, practice. These method may seem unnatural at first, but with practice, you’ll find a good rhythm and the motion will seem very natural. You’ll find you can get a low of power from the hips, shoulders, and stomach with this throw.
Once the basic throw method is learned, you can add a skip and a step to increase the distance and power of the throw. You step onto your right as you drop the pouch, and hop and land on your right again as the sling rotates behind you, then step onto your left as you complete the throw. Watch the video to see this variation in action.
- Mark Weaver