Cutting

Handler Cutting

The Basics

There is a principle I want to start with here that transcends the position on the field that you’re making your cut (downfield, handler, whatever). This is probably the most important cutting principle anyone can learn: take what the defense is giving you. If my defender playing off me 5 yards to contain the line cut, I’m not going to cut up line. If my defender is backing me by 10 yards because of my 40 inch vertical, I’m not going to go deep (initially). It’s a fairly simple concept, but I see so many young players learn one method of cutting (5 hard steps out and under) and make that cut no matter how the defense is set up. If they’re going to play off of you as a defender, then take the open cut, it’s simple.

Lane Cutting Drill – Drill of the Week

The drill of the week is called the Lane Cutting Drill and comes from Playspedia. This is a great drill to work on cutting, recognizing open space and defending a cut.

Along with this week’s Drill of the Week from Playspedia comes a huge feature update. You can now add a video to a play you have created. What I like about this new addition is that along with reading the description of the drill/play and the illustration, you can also provide a video that you or someone else has created to further explain/teach the drill/play that you’ve created. This will only help to improve the benefit of Playspedia and the ability for players to learn. I’m so excited to start using this and I have quite a few videos planned which I will be adding to many of the plays that have already been created on Playspedia.

Timing Horizontal Cuts – Drill of the Week

The drill of the week from Playspedia is all about Timing Horizontal Cuts. I find this drill especially useful since running the horizontal correctly is all about cutting to space and this drill will help your players understand where the space exists and how to move there.

  1. Set up in 3 lines.
  2. 4 sets up for an In-Cut. 2 and 5 watch and prepare to set up their cuts.
  3. As 4 cuts in, 2 starts to set up for an In-Cut, 5 can slowly set up but mostly watches.

Cutting Into Space

This tutorial video for the Calgary Ultimate Association talks about how to cut into space. The key points are: Know where the open and break side are, cutting to the break side is easy space for the cutter; requires a break from the thrower, cutting to the open side requires the cutter beats their defender; is an easy open throw for the thrower, cut with speed – don’t jog, don’t get too close to the thrower.

The Canada jersey I’m wearing is sponsored by VC Ultimate: http://www.vcultimate.com.

The shorts I’m wearing are from Lululemon: http://shop.lululemon.com/products/clothes-accessories/men-shorts/Core-Short-32404?cc=0001&skuId=3433213&catId=men-shorts.

Cutting with Flow

Years ago a friend of mine linked me to a blog post where the author was speaking to an ultimate team about their strengths and weaknesses. One of the players highlighted “cutting with flow” as their primary strength. Unfortunately I can’t find the original post but since reading it I have often thought about cutting with flow and how I can improve this aspect of my game.

Cutting for Connections

In my previous post I highlighted the importance of connections within ultimate. I’d recommend having a read of the full post. As a recap, the interactions between throwers and receivers is an example of where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. By recognising that there are two people involved in any pass, appropriate steps can be taken to ensure that the connection is successful.

In this post I want to focus on the receiver’s aspect of the connection. As a receiver, what actions can be taken to help with the success rate of the connections on the field?

Check Your Shoulder – Give-Go

Last example for now.  Give Go.

Handler’s at the brick with the disc.  Ho-stack setup with 2 dumps and 4 across.  A few cuts get looked off, open side dump’s defender sags into the lane.  Handler swings to the poached dump and immediately runs up line for the give go.

Give go handlers in this scenario tend to watch the thrower expecting the disc back.  Good handlers will still take off immediately after throwing the swing, but will take a quick look over their shoulder at the lane while they’re in motion.  Check your shoulder!  Why?

Check Your Shoulder – Buttonhook

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.

Mastering the Art of Cutting in Ultimate

Cutting is the art of getting free from a defender at a time and in a position that enables the cutter to be thrown to.

There are a few fundamental points that a cutter should remember:

  • Firstly, a cutter should ‘know the thrower’.  This means knowing what the thrower likes to throw and what they are capable of throwing: it is no use being 10 metres free on the break force side if the thrower cannot complete an inside-out or hammer!
  • Secondly, a cutter should know what the thrower is expecting to throw (as determined by the team’s offensive structure)

Drills: Bread and Butter (Stack and Cut)

This is a great drill for the beginning of practice since it gets everyone working on all of the basics – throwing, catching, cutting and marking. You can also set goals in this drill (i.e. 10 completed throws in a row before switching to a different throw).

Number of players – unlimited number of players; all the discs

Skills emphasized – pivoting, leading a receiver, throwing past a marker, cutting, catching conditioning, marking a thrower (varied marks)