It’s a widely accepted theory that throwing stable to over stable discs typically improves the consistency of your throws. Certainly there are exceptions and some large trade-offs, but hyzer throws (all other things being equal) are statistically more forgiving of errors than anhyzer throws, as described by www.heavydisc.com.
In 2013 I suffered a shoulder injury which forced me to change my form and throwing style, and I’ve mentioned in past articles that I took this opportunity to clean up my game and improve my fundamentals. Besides improving my putting accuracy and discing down when able, one of the most drastic changes I made was increasing the average stability of my bag (Bag Average Stability or BAS). Practically speaking it means I’m currently throwing my overstable Prodigy M1 more than my understable Innova Leopard. Analytically speaking it means recording the stability of every disc in my bag, taking the average, and adjusting so that the average stability of my discs increases.
The purpose of this disc golf analysis it to determine if increasing your Bag Average Stability (BAS) improves your consistency. The first step is to list all the discs in your bag along with their stability rating. I used the net stability rating from www.inboundsdiscgolf.com for my measurements, but there are a few considerations that you may wish to make:
My current BAS is 32, here’s how the table looks:
- You may wish to adjust the stability rating of some discs as they break in (as seen in column 3 ‘Adjustment’)
- The stability rating may not reflect exactly how you throw the disc. Adjust the Inbounds numbers according to your game.
- This stability rating is a combination of High-speed Stability (turn) and Low-speed Stability (fade), you may decide that using only High-speed Stability is more appropriate
- I carry 3-4 Crushes in my bag, I only counted one but you may find it beneficial to count each disc
- It may not be worth including putters that you only use inside 50ft since putts may not display true stability (I excluded my Magic)
Compare this to my bag from 2010 with a BAS of 24:
You’ll have to take my word that my game has become more consistent since I haven’t provided that data here, but I assure you that it has. In my case, throwing more stable discs (and thus increasing my BAS) has led to that improved consistency. To track your own consistency I recommend keeping track of the number of errors you make and poor lies you have due to throwing errors or taking risky shots. You could simply track total bogies since it’s easier but bogies aren’t always a matter of consistency.
Rodney also included his BAS table to give you a better idea of different values you may expect to see:
There are a few things that are important to remember if you’re going to track your BAS. First and most importantly, the ultimate goal of this exercise is to improve consistency and there is no point to altering your bag for the sake of increasing your average stability alone. The stability of your bag is meaningless if you carry discs you don’t throw. In fact, a more actionable analysis would be to take the average stability of each throw which would result in a weighted average (this article will be coming soon, but it takes longer to gather data!).
Second, increased consistency has improved my scores, but some players may not realize the same outcome. My increased consistency has resulted in sacrificing distance on some throws and often not seeing as many birdies because I throw fewer risky shots, but I also throw fewer bogies. It is possible that some players see decreased distance and fewer birdies but don’t see the decrease in bogies as well, especially if those players already throw appropriately stable discs. Remember, throwing unfamiliar discs always introduces the possibility of decreased consistency as well.
Finally, there is a good chance your BAS will correlate with your arm strength. Discs thrown with higher power tend to fly on a less stable flight path so many players with high arm strength tend to throw more stable discs than players with low arm strength. That means it’s probably not too helpful to compare you BAS to someone who’s arm strength is largely different from yours.
As with all of my analyses, this is only one gauge to assist in evaluating your disc golf game as a whole. The metrics themselves are never as important as the reason behind why they are what they are and it’s crucial that you investigate. Below you will find an Excel template to calculate your own Bag Average Stability and I encourage you to try it out (just be sure to delete values for blank rows to ensure accurate calculations). I have no standard of expected or accepted BAS so please share yours with us and let us know how it’s changed over time!
Read about the weighted metric Throw Average Stability (TAS)
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