Learning how to layout in ultimate frisbee can be mentally daunting. It goes against all of our instincts of self-preservation to dive on solid ground. That’s why we need a progression to ease us into laying out.
Most of the frisbee players I’ve spoken to who are hesitant to layout have an exaggerated idea of how much it’s going to hurt. This progression is designed to help you discover that laying out isn’t painful at all (on wet ground) if executed properly. On dry ground, you’re likely to get turf burn or get otherwise scraped up wherever exposed skin contacts the ground.
But as far as the fear of impacting the ground goes – try to open your mind to the idea that it’s not going to hurt that much once you have better technique.
It’s also a good idea to learn how to layout on wet grass. Most of the pain I’ve experienced due to laying out in the past has come from laying out on dry turf or field. So you can practice this in the rain, or during the late spring or early fall when the ground is naturally soggy, soft and wet.
Once you’ve built up your layout confidence on softer ground, diving for discs over less forgiving terrain will become much more doable for you.