CORNHOLE ARTICLES / Variations on Stance and Pitch
Variations on Stance and Pitch
The positioning of the feet is paramount in athletic endeavors. Think of baseball, boxing or power lifting. The same applies to cornhole. While hitting a fastball or knocking someone out may not be your goal, getting that bag to stay on the board certainly is. Success starts at the feet and continues with the pitch.
Pointing the toes is a common tactic in throwing darts that provides optimal body alignment and increased hand-eye coordination. Therefore, start with the foot of your dominant--or throwing--side forward. Square up to the opposite board with the toes of the non-dominant foot roughly at the heel of the lead. Make the hole the center of your focus and you are ready to let the bag fly. Either an overhand or underhand release works with this position.
For this approach, the foot of the non-throwing side is planted after one step is taken. The pitch is brought up from behind and incorporates the momentum into the toss, just like with bowling. This is typically executed with an underhand, palm up release. However, an underhand, palm down toss and works. Either way, the objective is the same as with the staggered stance: to square up and release with perfect unison of force and accuracy.
Hip thrust stance
The hip thrust or "potty shot" stance is seldom used, but when implemented achieves deadly accuracy. Think of young children learning to shoot a basketball. They squat down, hold the ball between their legs, then stand and release. The same action occurs with the hip thrust. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and squared to the hole. Squat into position with the bag either between the legs or just off the knee of the throwing side. For this toss, the bag must be held palm down and released with the flick of the wrist, like a backhand in tennis. Rise up, snap the hips open and release the bag at eye level. The delivery may be awkward, but when the bag snaps onto the board, or better, into the hole, it is worth it.
Try all the variations of stances and find what works for you. Possibly a dart-throwing, hip thrust combo with an underhanded pitch might fit perfectly. Also, watch others and analyze the flaws in their form. Use their faults to perfect your own and implement an unspoken cadence or mental cue: Square, step, release. By the time your competition is frothily into their beverages all you will need to do is plant your feet, strike that perfect form, and then yell, "Hole!"