Rob McLeod compares throwing a Frisbee to hitting a golf ball – until a golfer goes to the range and works on his game, he’ll never become a better player.
A similar repetitive practice, which began with a white Frisbee in his aunt and uncle’s backyard more than a decade ago, will now bring the Woodstock native to China and into the Guinness Book of World Records.
The current Frisbee distance world champion has been contacted by China’s longest-running entertainment show. It plans to broadcasts McLeod’s Guinness World Record attempt to a national audience of 50 million.
He will travel to Beijing later this month and is guaranteed entry into the record book as he will complete in an event that doesn’t currently have a record associated with it.
McLeod, 29, will attempt to knock 50 soda-sized cans off a 26-metre long table one throw of the Frisbee at a time. The speed of the feat will set the world mark.
“Ever since I was a kid I bought the Guinness Book of World Records through the school book order; I dreamed of one day having my name on those pages,” said McLeod, who attended Woodstock High School and was its athlete of the year in Grade 12.
Eleven years ago, McLeod bought a Frisbee in his first year of study at the University of Alberta and started throwing the disk three or four hours a week in a field owned by his aunt and uncle.
“I love throwing a Frisbee, it’s my form of meditation and to see all the opportunities that have come from doing what I love is truly an incredible feeling,” he said. “In order to become a better thrower, you must first practise throwing for many hours.
“It’s been said that in order to master a skill you need to put in 10,000 hours and I feel I’m there.”
McLeod’s Frisbee toss has been measured at 180 yards – nearly two football fields – and he has accomplished a loft time of 12.5 seconds.
He has about 14 various Frisbee world records in mind that he wants to set.
McLeod, who now lives Calgary, also runs a website that teaches people to play ultimate Frisbee.
“The (Chinese) program actually found a bunch of my YouTube videos online on my website,” he said. “They then contacted me and asked if I could come up with a demo video of records I could attempt.”
While McLeod has played in several competitive ultimate Frisbee leagues – including with a Dalhousie University team – his skill and interest lies particularly with distance throwing, maximum time of loft, and throw and catch.
But with the tight constraints of a television studio space, McLeod has decided to showcase his precision game and then go after long-distance records later this year.
This winter in Calgary he will go for two more world records, attempting to break existing distance traveled and time in the air records with a Canadian twist – he’ll do it on ice.
“We have a big lagoon here and it freezes,” McLeod said.
McLeod works at a fitness club in Alberta, but wants to turn his Frisbee skill into a full-time job. He has been paid to accompany an ultimate Frisbee team to Mexico and also runs clinics on the sport.
He will take another stride towards his goal by travelling to Beijing on Nov. 30 to appear on China Central Television.
“When I was asked at first I thought it was fake, I didn’t believe it,” McLeod said. “I didn’t think I would have an opportunity like this.”