I first met Simon Lizotte in 2013 at the WFDF World Overall Flying Disc Championships in Norrköping, Sweden. Simon was the only person to throw over 200 metres in the Distance event and he finished second in the Self Caught Flight event. I got to spend more time with Simon in the fall of 2014 during the Fall Desert Wind Open, a distance event in Primm, Nevada, where Simon broke the World Distance and World Mini Distance World Record. Simon is an incredible athlete, a great ambassador for disc golf and is only 22 years old. I polled the interwebs and collected a list of questions to ask Simon. Here are his responses:
Was disc golf the first disc sport you tried? Regardless, how did you first get into disc golf?
Yes, disc golf is the first disc sport I’ve played and by far my favorite. My Dad got me into it when I was really young. When I started playing we never had a course to play, since the sport was really small in Germany. So I started aiming for trees, poles and even trashcans. That’s why I’m still stoked when I get to a course that has real baskets on it. I’ve tried some other frisbee games, of course. But disc golf is the funnest for me.
What are your long term goals in the sport? Where do you see yourself in 5/10 years?
It’s hard to see the future of a sport that is growing so fast. Who knows where we will be in 5 years. If we keep up the pace I see a very bright and fun future. My goals are to stay healthy and keep playing for as long as possible. I want to elevate my game to the next level and challenge McBeth. Most importantly, keep impressing the frisbee world and do what I can to bring a smile to people’s faces.
How long did it take you to break 350 feet?
I honestly don’t remember exactly. I just had to grow for me to be able the throw farther. I guess I could throw 350 feet when I was about 12 or 13. Every year probably added 50 feet. I get a lot of questions from kids how to throw farther. I usually just answer “wait“.
When can we expect you to throw over 900 feet? Over 1000 ft?
Good questions. Breaking the 900 mark is definitely possible and in reach. I hope I get another chance next year to go for a new record. 1000 feet sounds pretty crazy too me. But, I will try!
Where in your throw do you apply full power?
On max distance drives from the first second I start my run up. Every step, every move is full power. On the course I’d say once my reach back is fully extended. I don’t really think about throwing the disc “hard“ though. It’s more a thing of timing and speed.
How do you practice (driving, putting, upshots)?
I do not have a routine. That’s something I want to work on for next season. When I was younger I used to go to a field almost every day and throw my arm out. Those sessions probably only lasted for about an hour. As upshot practice I like to play catch. It’s a fun and interactive way to practice 150 footers. Also it keeps you active and in shape. Putting is obviously the most important aspect of the game and I’ve probably worked on that most, I never really saw it as practice since I really enjoy going out and putt for an hour. Practice was always more fun and games for me.
How do you practice your mental game?
Mental game is so hard to learn and super hard to teach. It’s really something you have to figure out for yourself. The more I was in pressure situations, the better I got at them. It’s all about confidence and a positive attitude.
Do you have any good drills/games for players looking to improve both putting, drives and upshots?
Take your whole bag and go to about 150 feet, throw every disc at the basket and then try to make every putt with the disc you threw. Repeat until you get all in with two throws. Repeat with sidearm.
What’s the most common mistake you see amateur players making?
What’s the most takes you’ve had to do to get a shot on video?
67 haha 🙂 I don’t know
What has been your favourite trick shot?
The one with the four putters.
How much better do you think you’d be if you spent the time used doing trick shots to practice your golf game?
5 rating points.
What are your favorite five discs that you are currently throwing?
PD2, FD3, PD, FD, MD3, P2 I use 6 🙂
PD2, FD3, PD, FD, MD3, P2 I use 6 :)Do you throw every new Discmania disc that comes out? What is your process for testing them out?
Yes. The process is pretty simple. I go to a field and throw them.
What are your favorite non Discmania/Innova discs?
150g Flick by Discraft
It’s a 4 vs. 4 disc golf battle to the death. Each team has 1 player for backhand, 1 player for forehand, 1 player for upshots and 1 player for putts. What’s your position? Also, who do you pick for the 3 remaining positions on your team?
If not disc golf, what disc sport?
You have the World Speed Record. Any plans to play Guts in the future?
No. Every time I play I injure myself or someone else. But I like the game.
Do you have any plans to visit Järva Disc Golf Park in 2016?
Yes, of course. The European Masters are next year.
What are you most proud of from everything that you’ve accomplished so far?
Winning the Ledgestone Insurance Open and every round I beat McBeth 🙂