Why is reading the disc so important?
There are two big reasons:
- When you’re on offense, if you can read the disc well then your chance of catching the disc will be much higher
- When you’re on defense, if you can read the disc well then your chance of getting the D is that much higher
What does “read” the disc mean?
A very basic definition is that “reading” the disc means that you will be able to know where the disc is going based on how the disc looks in the air. For example, a disc which looks like this will go from right to the left. On the flip side, a disc which looks like this will go from left to the right. Stay posted for a video which will show the disc in different flights and how that will effect where it lands.
Your ability to read the disc can be improved several ways:
- Practice throwing – the more you throw (and the more you put different angles on the disc) the better you’ll become at knowing where a disc will end up simply based on how it looks while it’s in the air
- Practice catching – the more you practice catching and reading the disc, the better you will become
How do you get an early read on the disc?
The way to make sure you’re ready anytime a disc is thrown in a game is to always be aware of what’s happening on the field. If you’re on offense, always try to take a snapshot of the thrower so the second the throw is released you’ll be able to get a read on the disc and know before your defender where the disc is going. This will help you beat your defender to the spot. If you’re on defense, do the same thing; take snapshots. The difference on D is that you don’t have to catch the disc; you have to make sure your man doesn’t.
Reading the disc…and getting the disc…
Many players are great at reading the disc, but on offense they get D’d a lot and on D they get beat a lot.
Why is this?
Well, although they may be able to read the disc really well, they’re not so good at reading the disc.
In order to become better at catching the disc, practice jumping for every high disc instead of waiting for it to drop. The extra time you gain by jumping to catch the disc will result in many more receptions on O and many more knock downs on D. Good players read the disc relative to how high they can jump so practice doing just that. Work on learning your apex (the highest point in your jump) and work on reading with your apex in mind. There are many ways to improve your vertical (I prefer Air Alert – although it’s intensive so it should be done in the off season) and just keep practice jumping. The quicker you can get up high the quicker you can catch the disc.
Also, don’t try to outread the other guy…many times a good defender will suck you in and make you misread the disc and then before you can react, they change their approach and they’ve caught/D’d the disc. Learn to go to where the disc is going to be. Beat your man to that spot and go up high to get the catch.