Pre-Round Rituals: Nate Doss’ Taped Finger

A close up of Nate Doss' taped index finger holding a Discraft Avenger

It’s probably one of the most asked questions for professional disc golfers: What’s your pre-round ritual? Everyone wants a glimpse of how these players get their minds and their bodies prepared for an excellent round of golf. I forget when it was, but at some point in the last year I saw current World Champ Nate Doss taping up the index finger on his throwing hand. It wasn’t the strangest thing I’ve seen, but as I started to think back to all the videos and clips I’ve seen of him I realized he always tapes up that finger.

We can all relate with sore fingers, especially when playing in cold weather or practicing drives for an extended time- but I’ve seen no other players tape up the pads of their fingers on a regular basis. Here’s a bit of insight that Nate offered up to DGSquared earlier this week:

“The tape comes from an injury that I had about 5 seasons ago. I was getting a nasty blood blister on the end of my finger and I could never get it to go away. At the time I was completely against the use tape on my fingers, but due to pain of the blister I was forced to. When I made that decision I was worried that it would affect my game. I spent hours perfecting the tape job and even more time practicing with it. I was able to get over the tape and now I cant even throw a disc without it. The tape is apart of my game now and does not affect me in the least bit…”

What strikes me about this isn’t so much the cause and effect of blister to tape, but the mention of spending, “…hours perfecting the tape job…” The determination of a professional never ceases to amaze me, even down to the most minute detail. It would make sense to slap some tape on a sore finger tip, and it would also make sense that it would effect your game. How many times have we almost slammed our hand in a car door and then thought, “Thank goodness I didn’t hurt my throwing hand!” But the attention to detail and preparation goes a bit beyond common sense.

You can see his taped finger here, after winning the 2011 Players Cup

It clearly works for him, and was worth the effort too. You can’t win World Titles or National Tour Events (or even a casual round for that matter!) without being confident in your whole game; driving and putting alike.   So maybe I’ll give it a try and tape up my whole hand… of course I’ll spend hours doing it first… how many strokes could this take off my average?

***Pre-Round Rituals: This will hopefully be a recurring theme for Fridays as the season goes on, so please check back and if you’re able to offer some insight on your own pre-round rituals- click on the submit link and share! You don’t have to be on the National Tour to offer a little insight!

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