Backhand

Three Tips to Prepare for Tryouts

In this video, I give three tips I feel will help you prepare for tryouts for an ultimate frisbee team. With only 3 months before summer, I think the most beneficial things you can do is practice throwing, get stronger in the gym and get faster/better endurance by doing interval training. I also talk about why I think playing indoors during the winter isn’t very beneficial and should only be done if all the other 3 things are done first.

The Basics of Throwing

The specifics and mechanics of throwing are the subject of much debate; everyone has their own technique. However, there are undoubtedly core elements, which are key to making good throws; the fact that these may be achieved by a wide variety of styles and approaches means that throwing is more of an art than a science.

The elements that are key to throwing are:

  • Stance/balance:
    • Feet should be apart (shoulder width) and knees slightly bent (soft)
    • Weight should be distributed evenly on both feet
    • The thrower should feel relaxed and comfortable

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)

Free Throw Analysis – Send Me Your Throwing Videos!

I’ve been working on an idea for the past little while since I’ve had a lot of requests from fans via email to help with their throws.

As much as they try to describe what their problem is, I truly believe that if someone knew exactly what was wrong, then they could fix it.

So what I’m offering is a free throwing analysis. Send me a video of you throwing including a description of what you’d like to work on to rob@ultimaterob.com and I’ll send you back my thoughts and suggestions on what you can improve.

To Huck or Not To Huck


A general rule of thumb I like to follow is this:

Huck from Zone A; don’t huck from Zone B. In Zone A, use shallow/deep cuts (ie horizontal stack); in Zone B, use break side/open side cuts (ie vertical stack).

Several factors affect this general rule:

  1. What the Defense is running against your Offense – if they’re running a zone then maybe you want to try and work it up the field. Or maybe you want to huck right away for field position so you don’t turn the disc over close to your end zone.

The Basics of Forcing in Ultimate

If you’re a regular visitor then you’ll know that my focus has been primarily on throwing. In my videos, in my articles and on my dvd, I consider throwing to be the most important part of ultimate. A team full of good throwers/catchers can beat any team since ultimate is a game of possession (in the most general sense).

However, I’m going to start including more videos and articles that delve into the other aspects of ultimate which are also very important and will go a long way in making you a better overall player. I will also provide resources which coaches/captains will find useful in trying to teach new players the game of ultimate.

Ultimate Quick Tips Reference Checklist

I’ve done a lot of reading of other blogs, books, and I’ve talked to a lot of people for many hours about ultimate. In all of that time, I’ve come up with a bit of a quick reference checklist that I think will help any level of player, captain and team before going into a practice, game, and especially a tournament.

Let me know what you think of my list of tips. What ones should I add?

  1. Shake the confidence of the other team by scoring on hucks

The Anatomy of a Backhand

The key to advancing from short throws to long throws is not about using more effort, it’s about using more of your body. In your throwing practice you should think of your arms as being loose like the strings of this monkey drum.

220023-monkey-drums-indiv

Seek velocity and distance in your throws not from the strength in your arms, but from the motion of your hips and core which transfer kinetic energy to your arms the way rotating a monkey drum handle swings the beads to hit the drum.

How to Huck Backhand

What is hucking?

Simply put, hucking is when you throw the disc far – to a receiver. When you huck, you almost always want to throw to a receiver. So it’s not just throwing the disc are far as possible (although when you’re at a high stall count this can sometimes come in handy). There are many situations when a huck is helpful so it’s not only important to know HOW to huck but also WHEN to huck. I will talk about the HOW and the WHEN with more of a focus on the HOW.

In order to huck well, one needs to:

How to Throw a Backhand

Why is backhand so important?

Since in a game you are going to be marked by someone, you will want to be able to throw both a backhand and a forehand. A backhand will give you more separation from your mark than a flick since you’re getting further away from your pivot foot on your throw. As well, a backhand gives you more control over the disc since you have greater range of motion on your wrist flick with the backhand. Having a good backhand is crucial to being a good handler.