Aipod, you are somewhat right on your idea of "touch." What you are trying to do is decrease the forward velocity on the disc while maintaining the stability. The stability, as rrudnic points out, is a result of having enough spin on the disc. Spins are put on the disc in one way: wrist snap. But the speed of your forward arm motion can act as a multiplier on the spins. Many new players get to the point of throwing the disc stably by using their forward arm motion to increase the spins. The result is that the disc is stable but going very fast (doesn't have a lot of "touch") and this can be difficult to receive.
I work with a lot of young players on improving "touch" and there are two primary ways to do this:
1. Decrease the arm motion while maintaining the spin. To do this you'll need to work on your wrist snap. There are a few ways to do this. Here's a couple of ideas
- Throw with a partner at very short distances isolating your wrist motion (not using your arm at all)
- If you don't have a partner, try throwing the disc in place (flat) and putting spin on it. Throw as if you are going to try to spin it on your finger in front of you
- If you don't have a disc (or find the 2nd tip very difficult) get a pack of playing cards and try to spin them on to a nearby target
- Alternatively, you can take a towel and practice snapping that (although snapping a towel typically includes greater arm motion). Roomates or siblings can be helpful in letting you know how much snap you are getting on the towel
2. While the mechanics change above is really your long term goal, you can also improve your "touch" by improving your angle of release. Throws released completely level travel fastest due to their aerodynamics. To slow a throw down, put the nose up a little bit - opening the bottom of the disc to the target just a bit. A couple of words of warning about this: first - you'll need to be wary of the wind here. If you are throwing upwind, throwing with the nose up too much will force the disc up much higher. Throwing with a strong wind behind you will push the disc down to the ground. Secondly - even in no wind the nose up will push the disc higher. The best way to deal with this is to work on releasing the disc lower to the ground. This will also help you break the mark as you extend further away from your pivot and get under the markers hands!
In no-wind or low wind situations most good throwers release low to high (meaning throw from knee level or below and aim for chest to chin) and lots of wrist snap. If they are looking to throw further they just add the additional arm velocity and core strength.
Hope this helps.