As an intermediate player I used to wonder why our captains and coaches insist on running the same drills over and over again. Frankly, I found it boring! I assumed drills, like warming up and stretching, was a waste of time. I used to be all about the scrimmage at the end of the training session. I slacked off during drills, didn’t really focus on what I was doing. To me, then it was about doing enough reps before the captain/coach let me play ‘actual’ Ultimate.
This post was in response to a fan who had a few questions about handling and marking both on offense and defense.
I’m a combination handler/cutter for I just had a few questions about handling against tight marks and vice versa, marking tough handlers.
I’ve only been handling for a few months, and I’ve found that in the three tournaments I’ve played at I feel like I’m usually just cycling the disc back to an upline handler or dump rather than making throws to cutters. I’ve only turned the disc once across those three tournaments while handling, which I guess is good but most of the throws I have made haven’t been that long of a throw to get turned, if that makes any sense.
The Playspedia drill of the week is called 3 Cone Speed and Catch. This drill is executed with full speed, it works on agility, change of direction, speed and catching on the run.
- Sprint from 10 to 11
- Hard cut to the right, sprint to 12
- Hard cut to the left, sprint into the open field; the handler throws the disc
- Reset; the runner is the handler now
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.
The 3 person weave drill is great for faking, handler movement, cutting to open space, resetting and seeing the field. The progression is as follows:
- 3 handlers line up horizontally
- 2 cuts up the line, 3 moves in, 1 fakes the pass to 2
- 1 passes to 3, 2 cuts across the field
- 3 passes to 2, 1 slides up the field
- 3 Handlers are back in horizontal
- Repeat the pattern: 3 cuts up the line, 1 moves in, 2 fakes the pass to 3
- 2 passes to 1, 3 cuts across the field
An example of simply outstanding play at the deep deep position in zone D.
The game is Brute / Riot at 2010 Worlds. The player the video focuses on is Gwen Ambler of Riot. As good an example of how to play the position as you will ever see.
Marking drill that requires markers to change angle of mark and positioning, as well as approach to the thrower and requires many repetitions. Presented by Doug Huseby.
This drill is designed to simulate coordinated cutting by 4 cutters in a horizontal offense. Cutters move from point to point among three lines of cones forming multiple diamonds. Being careful not to run into each other and cut in coordinated fashion, the cutters make their way across the field.
This video is in response to a fan question. A lot of players try to speed up the release of their throw by moving their arm and body faster but this usually makes them lose control of the throw. The key to speeding up the release of your throw is to work on your technique and make it as smooth as possible.
I’m often asked by players who have just started playing ultimate if I have any tips for how they can get better. I have answered this question enough that I felt it was worth posting it as an article. Leave a comment and let me know what your best tip is for a newbie!
Throw, throw, throw. Either on your own or with a friend. The best way to improve your throw (and the muscles used for throwing) is to simply go out and throw. Be aware of your body and don’t push it so you get hurt. Figure out what technique works best for you for certain throws and work to improve your throw – if there’s something going weird with it, ask for advice. Keep working on it…you can never stop learning!
I was inspired to write this today because in thinking back over my roughly 10 year ultimate career thus far, I got thinking about the moment that really changed the course of my game. It wasn’t hard to remember that day, nor was it hard to remember the advice given to me. Advice that would both humble and inspire me to work at my game with such dedication and passion that I would surprise even myself with how good I would become at throwing.
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?
- Shake the confidence of the other team by scoring on hucks
Stacked (the DVD) was an ultimate frisbee dvd released in 2003 by Bodhisattva Films. The highlight reel featured 3 members of Furious George in the 3 man marking/throwing drill. Enjoy!
One of the best drills I’ve done is called the 3 Man Drill. Basically, it involves one throw, one marker, one catcher and one disc. The flow of the drills works as follows: mark, throw, go. As you’ll see in the video below, it’s all about the thrower trying to fake out the marker, and the marker trying to prevent the thrower from getting a clean throw off.
A huge benefit to the ultimate community being global is that we have the collaboration of coaches and players who contribute drills and plays to help other teams work on their skills.
One of the best sites for creating plays and drills (and seeing other people’s creations) is Playspedia. Every week I will add a play or drill of the week and link them below. If you have a drill or play that you think is worthy of being mentioned, contact me.
04/08/2013: 3 Person Weave – Drill of the Week
04/17/2013: Frozen Squirrel – Play of the Week