Throwing for Clutch

As the sport of axe throwing continues on and on, the need to hit clutch consistently grows and grows. The blunt bottom line is that if you cannot hit clutch almost every time, you cannot compete at a high level. Which is discouraging. And we don’t want that. So we’re here to help. On behalf of Total Axe, here are three small tips that might be able to up your clutch percentage just a little bit. We can’t promise anything, obviously, but we do hope something here works for you.

The Pace

Everyone’s pace is different. Which is expected. That’s fine. So, you need to find your pace. Are you the type who overthinks? If I lose this round I’ll be eliminated. There’s money on the line. My whole family is watching the live stream. I can’t believe I tried to kiss Jen in 8th grade, in retrospect she wasn’t interested in me at all. So, if you’re the over-thinker, as soon as you get back to the line, set up and throw. Don’t rush your setup (because that’s a whole different problem), but don’t let yourself start thinking about the situation. Get in, get set, and get throwing.

Or, if you’re the opposite—where you get caught up in the action, and the adrenaline is hitting you like a crash test dummy hits a wall, take a second. Breathe. Look at the target. Look at your axe. Think about what you have to do. Set up. Step. Plant your foot. Extend. Release. Jump for joy. Post in The Sport of Axe Throwing about your first 81. Don’t let yourself throw just to throw. Throw because you’re ready to throw.

The Throw

Slow down. Slow down, slow down, slow down.

Hey. Slow down. And don’t throw that hard.

Throwing for clutch is just like throwing any other throw.

A slow, gentle throw will be perfect. When you step, plant your foot. Don’t even worry about your throwing arm until your foot is firmly planted on the ground. You’re not going to be able to hit the spot you want if your body is still moving all over the place. Then, gently throw it. What are the chances you’re going to release at the right time if you’re launching it in? Slow your arm down, and your margin of error diminishes.

The Strategy

Throw clutch 100% of the time in league. It doesn’t matter what the context of the match is. If you’re tied? Both of you go for it. If you’re up? End the match, go for it. If you’re losing? Show some confidence, go for it. Out of reach? Nothing to lose, go for it. Practice, practice, practice.

Like we said, you need to be able to hit clutch to compete at the high level. Maybe your season average won’t be the best—but that’s fine. After two seasons of 100% clutch calls, your average is going to even back out, and then be on the rise. When playoffs come, go for the wins, play smart. But the only way to be prepared for anything in playoffs, is to train during the regular season.

We don’t claim to be the leading experts on clutch technique. But we hoped this is something you can keep in mind next time you’re throwing for clutch. There’s an infinite amount of tips out there from top-tier throwers. Reach out. Ask your favorite thrower what their strategy is. The only way to get better is to try to get better. So try what we said, and try what the community says. But overall, it comes down to figuring out your throw, and what works best for you.

throwing for clutch

Axe Throwing Tips

It doesn’t matter if it’s your first time throwing axes, or if you’ve been doing it for years—there’s something to learn. What’s so nice about this community is that everyone is so willing to help each other out, and help each other grow. No one in this community wants to see anyone else fail. So no matter how helpful you find the tips in this list, just remember you can always ask a veteran thrower for more.

5. Simplify your throw

This is a perfect, long-standing theory when it comes to axe throwing. All of the other axe throwing tips in this list will fit into this category.
The less moving parts there are to your throw, the more successful it will be. Simplify everything. The simpler it is, the easier it will be to diagnose problems in the future. Don’t go around flailing your arms and taking running starts. One step. One arm movement. A little wrist if you need it. Simple. No sweat. Easy, breezy, beautiful, Cover Girl. That’s you. You’re a Cover Girl now.

4. Throw gently.

You do not need to throw the axe hard. Plain and simple, you don’t. The very sharp blade of your wood slicing tool will have no trouble slicing through the wood you’re throwing at. If you’re throwing too hard, it will be impossible to aim properly. Controlling your hand’s release point if your hand is rocketing through the air is much more difficult than if you have a calm, and smooth throw. Also? It’s much safer to throw it gently. Click here to learn why.

3. Step, then throw.

Plant your foot before you even consider releasing the axe. If your body is physically moving through space, it will be much harder to hit your target. It’s the same reason why baseball players, quarterbacks, and basketball players all try to release from a stationary position, and why plays like these are so cool to watch. You can see the difficulty go up. But axe throwers aren’t in a rush to make plays or beat the clock. We have the luxury of taking our time. Plant your foot. Then throw it. Then repeat that process until you’re a national champion.

2. Experiment with axes.

Everyone will feel one way or another about each axe. Some are too light, some are too heavy. Some are heavily modified and illegal under certain rule sets. My point is, try as many axes as you can, until you find one that’s right for you. Everyone’s different. It’s all about finding the axe that makes your throw the easiest for you. Some people really like throwing Cold Steel Axe Gangs, a lighter axe with a straight blade. Others really enjoy throwing vintage Plumb axes, which are usually heavier and always rounded. Or, if you’re lucky enough to be a professional blacksmith, just make your own. It can’t be that hard. Easy, even. Breezy, some might say. Cover Girl, of course.

1. The fun comes first.

Don’t sacrifice the fun of hanging out with your friends and family for over-focusing on the competition. You’ll throw better if you’re having fun. None of these axe throwing tips matter if you aren’t enjoying what you’re doing. Remember to laugh and smile. You can keep all these tips in your back pocket, but not the forefront of your brain. Don’t over-complicate your event here at Total Axe!

The Axe Throwing Community

As I write this, The Sport of Axe Throwing Facebook group is just shy of 4,000 members. The members of this group, and the axe throwing community, hail from all different countries, states, provinces, and towns. All different venues, organizations, and clubs. All different targets, boards, or stumps. But the one thing everyone can agree on, is that Kid Rock is the greatest musician of all time.

Kidding. It’s that axe throwing is unlike any other hobby. Not because of the axes, or competition, but because of the people.

The Axe Throwing Community Loves Love

Total Axe clearly cannot speak on every individual league. But we can speak on our experience. If you ask any of our league members, or the members of the community who are ingrained in the culture, you’ll find that the most important part of the sport is always the people. People are accepting, proud to be themselves, and unafraid to be different.

The people in the axe throwing community really do love each other. That’s why some people even travel internationally, just to see their axe throwing friends again at the next tournament. Winning and losing doesn’t really matter. What matters is that we’re all together for the weekend, hanging out, and making memories. Even if Kid Rock wanted to come to one of these tournaments, we’d let him. Maybe.

Testimonials

A faceless blog post isn’t going to do the community justice, though. I could go on and on about how much more this community means to the sport of axe throwing than the axes themselves. But instead, I’d rather let the community itself tell you.

“This community is the most supportive and fun group of people I have come across… Joining a league could form more friendships than you have had since high school. It truly is amazing how everyone has the same goal, yet cheers for their peers, and mean it, even if it means they fall short themselves. It is something that can’t be explained, you just have to experience it. “—Keith Gibbons, Chopper’s Hatchet House

“Joining an axe throwing league was one of the best decisions of my life. I’ve made lifelong friends and I wouldn’t change that for anything.”—Carly (Seven) Chalom, LA AX

“It becomes your family. It keeps you grounded. [It] lifts you up when you are down, leaves you alone if you need to, but they let you know they are there for you. The best thing that’s happened to me since I moved to this country.” —Miguel Angel Tamburini, Got Wood Axe Throwing

“To me, this community and the people in my league is more like a family. Every week when we meet up for league, it’s like going to see family. It’s always a positive energy and everyone is always there for each other, for the good and bad. It’s those few hours where you get to have fun, hangout and just forget about life for just a little bit.” –Ashly Holland Figaniak, Mazhu Axes

“I could care less about what people think. I’m a devil without a cause.” –Kid Rock, The Internet

“The people at every level of the axe throwing world have changed my life. League members, employees of venues, GMs, and so on. Not only do I get to be unequivocally myself within the community, I get to keep discovering who I am. Thanks, everyone.” -Jimmy “Jimmy Bagpipes” Wyatt, Urban Axes Philadelphia

Total Axe: Not Just Another Axe Throwing Venue

Listen up, reader. A lot of our blog posts are mainly informative, with a side of jokes. We let you know the deal, while keeping you engaged. It’s called “writing well.” If you don’t know what we mean, check out our blog posts for enjoying a night out, having a holiday part, and learning if axe throwing is fun to get a taste.

Not this one, though. This one is all facts. No jokes. We need to hit you with some pretty important information. Rumor has it that some of these axe throwing venues in the world are just handing guests axes and saying “have fun.” Well we’re here to tell you that that isn’t the case here at Total Axe. Here, we’re dedicated to making axe throwing an experience. We’re not just another axe throwing venue.

We’ll make it a real event for you.

When you make a group reservation at Total Axe, you aren’t just coming to haphazardly launch axes into planks of wood. Our goal at Total Axe is to give you an experience. When you come in, a coach will go over some brief but crucial safety protocol. Then, your coach will give the group a lesson on how to properly and effectively throw an axe. Then, your coach will explain all the gameplay, and how to play matches. After that, your coach will run a tournament for the group, all competing for the title of champion of your friend group. Finally, the last hour is reserved for the extra stuff: grudge matches, throwing stars, and whatever else you want out of the group.

We don’t want you to just come in and throw stuff at a wall. We want you to feel the excitement. Friendly competition, learning new things, and getting to walk away a champion (hopefully).

Our coaching staff coaches.

Our coaching staff has been expertly trained to ensure that you have a successful outing. Beyond the initial group training session, our coaches will work with you one-on-one for the entirety of the group to make sure that you get some points on the board. It not fun to drop axes for 2 hours. So we’ll make sure you don’t. If you do not stick an axe or star, it is company policy to give you a full refund. The absolute last thing we want is for you to pay money to not have fun. It doesn’t matter if a group of 13 year olds come in for a birthday party, a bunch of guys come in for a bachelor party, or if the retirement home has event here, our money-back guarantee stands.

Extra Stuff:

-Different throwables: We’ve got throwing axes, throwing stars, throwing cards, and even a tactical shovel for you.

League options: We have two different types of leagues. IATF sanctioned leagues, and the Total Axe original “Michigan Style” leagues.

-Total Axe is offering a $5,000 bonus if a Total Axe thrower wins the International Axe Throwing Championship.

-Owner Chris Ross is constantly consulting with other axe throwing businesses, axe throwers, and freelance consultants to bring the customer the best experience, and be the best axe throwing venue.

-Total Axe has the most transparent pricing. We even did the comparison work for you, here.

Need to Plan a Bachelor Party?

So, you’re in charge of planning the bachelor party…

That’s a lot of responsibility, huh? The entire weekend falls on your shoulders. If it goes well, that’s great. But if it doesn’t? That’s between four and sixteen guys who blame you for a bad weekend. Plus, studies say that the success of a marriage can be determined by how fun the bachelor party was (this isn’t true). You don’t want to get blamed for a divorce, do you (you won’t)? So, we’re here for you (we are). We’re going to take a little weight off your shoulders, and make a little of the planning easier. Book a group reservation at Total Axe Throwing, and make sure the weekend starts off right.

First things first,

Total Axe is great for anyone and everyone. You won’t have to worry about making sure everyone in the party is having a good time—that’ll take care of itself. Bachelor parties are made up of all the groom’s best friends from across his life. This typically means it’s a pretty wide range of interests and skillsets. But this will be great for his Game of Thrones enthusiast friends from high school, his lacrosse friends from college, and his Wall Street friends from his fancy new job on Wall Street (God, what a sell-out). Everyone will be able to enjoy chucking axes, throwing stars, and tactical shovels at a target.

Plus,

You can bring food in, or get it delivered. Two birds with one stone. Order a pizza, grab some sodas (no alcohol is permitted in the building), and enjoy the event. Eating here while you throw will free up some time for the rest of the weekend. The crew can crush some pizzas and Diet Dr. Peppers as you throw, and then head out to the next thing. It doesn’t matter if you leave here and head to a bar, a casino, or a fight club. All that matters is that you won’t be hungry when you get there.

We’ll see you soon…

We know that there’s hundreds of things you could do to celebrate your best friend getting married. But we want to help you celebrate, and have the bachelor party of a lifetime. We promise to make the day special for him, and the rest of the crew. We’ll give everyone a quick safety lesson, teach you all how to properly throw an axe, and then we’ll even run a tournament for you. We’ll make sure the competitiveness in the group comes out, and someone walks out of the building a champion. It would be cool if it was the future groom that won the tournament. Which begs the question: would you let him win? Or would you ruin his day (and, again, the marriage) by taking the championship home with you? I guess there’s only one way to find out.

Bachelor party at Total Axe