Ok, another example.  Check your shoulder on buttonhook cuts.

When cutting away, look back at the thrower (aka “check your shoulder) before you plant to come back or even start to slow down.  You see it all the time when you set up a drill that involves a buttonhook cut that cutters run toward a cone facing away, then plant and whip their head around all at once.  Perhaps the thinking is that by running deep and facing deep that looking back will tip off the defender that you plan to cut back… or maybe this comes from timing routes in football.

The way i teach this type of cut is to put your head down for only a few steps as your accelerating, but then look back at the thrower to see what to do next.  Why:

  • You and the thrower are on the same page.  Ever see someone cut in and the disc is sailing deep to nobody?  That’s why you look back before you even start to decelerate.
  • You’ll visually pick the disc up earlier and the thrower can throw it earlier.
  • The thrower can give you a non-verbal cue (i.e. pump fake, shake of the head, point).
  • You can time your cut better.  If the thrower lays out, bobbles, or does something to delay their preparation to throw, you can delay your in cut by taking two more steps or throwing a hitch in your run or whatever.  This keeps your from being too early.  You’ll maximize yardage on your in cut and avoid being on top of the thrower and being looked off for being too close.
  • Your awareness increases.  Usually when you’re cutting deep there’s very little in front of you, the action’s behind you.  When you turn toward the action, you can better decide what to do.  Maybe someone else is going to that space already and you should continue deep.  Maybe the disc quickly swung to the other side of the field.  Maybe your defender has poached off you or fallen down.
  • If the deep throw goes up, you will see the release and get an early read on it.

I’m sure i can think of other good reasons, but these should be plenty for now.  Never blindly buttonhook back.  Don’t let your teammates practice bad technique in drills where there’s a prescribed buttonhook.  Always check your shoulder before turning.

From Brian Lo’s ultimate frisbee blog: http://bestperspectives.blogspot.com/

Written by Brian Lo

I’ve been playing this game long enough with and against some pretty damn good players to learn a few things from them.