Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Defensive Principles - Your Thoughts?

Defensive Principles (rough draft #1)

1. Successful Defense moves from a to b to c (but is still successful if all we do is a):
a) frustrating the offense (ie: forcing them to make more throws than desired)
b) causing a turn-over (ie: forcing a bad throw, getting a point block, or a D)
c) converting the turn into a break-point

2. Execute Individual Fundamentals
a) we play pissed off D (ie: we're giving them our disc on our field and we want it back)
-mentally decide you are not letting your guy touch the disc (because you are better than him)
-take away what he wants (ie: if he wants to go out, give him the in)
-run harder, faster, and longer than your guy
-decide when to bid (layout)
-execute proper form
-start stall count if you miss the bid
-run through disc if you get the D (unless you catch it)
-get between the disc and your guy (unless otherwise otherwise decided)
c) MARKING 101
-don't get broken (keep force)
-start the count immediately (get quieter as count gets higher)
-stay balanced and on your toes
-hands pointed down with arms out but up (ie: it is always easier to move them down)
-vary distance on the mark
-initially in game, see how close you can get before drawing a foul
-back off slightly as stall count increases as not to draw a foul that resets the count
-follow the eyes of the mark (not their body or disc)

3. Execute Team Fundamentals
a) communication (especially for switches, dump, and set defenses like zone)
b) keep pull in-bounds always (never give up a brick and allow as few touches as possible by the offense)
c) field sense (ie: everyone keeps their head on a swivel, no swill ever gets caught by offense)
d) take away as much space as possible (ie: smart poaches and zone)
e) exploit all possible weaknesses in offense (on going discussion in each game)
f) bigger sideline presence - (also known as 8th man)

4. Adaptability - do what works until the offense figures it out

5. Know the rules - (ignorance come spring season is unacceptable)

-Defense is where the new and or worst players play
-It is okay to let the offense score (ie: they're supposed to)


Lukester said...

when I ask your thoughts, I'm curious whether this would be teachable, useful, or otherwise accurate as information concerning principles related to defense?

Anonymous said...

all seems pretty accurate, except that part about keeping your hands high because it is easier to move them down.

I have a different opinion on this matter. Because it is the hands natural reflex to shoot up and protect the face, it is also easier for them to shoot up and get the D. Im not saying put you hands by the ground, but they should not be high up.

The Pulse said...

Some comments about defense in general:

Defensive tactics are different based on what level of ultimate you play at. At the average high school level, there is no reason you should let the team have an easy catch or throw - if you pressure them enough, they'll make a mistake and you'll get a D.

But at high-level college and club, it becomes almost impossible to get D's simply by "playing hard." Hence you get junky, baity D's like clam or sockeye's sideline trap. It becomes worth it to throw a make or break D - one that once it is broken is an easy score for the offense, simply because there is a higher chance that you'll get a turnover.

Now some more specific comments:

" -take away what he wants (ie: if he wants to go out, give him the in)"

I think this is backwards. Make him take what you want. Dictate. If the thrower can't huck, force him out. If he's taller than you, force him under but be on his hip. I don't like using the phrase "give him." It shouldn't be a free pass.

" -run harder, faster, and longer than your guy"

Smarter is probably more important here. Know when their cuts are viable and when they aren't. If they're making a doomed cut, you can let them go and set a quick poach, or catch your breath a little, cut off another throw, etc.

" -hands pointed down with arms out but up (ie: it is always easier to move them down)"

I agree with anonymous - it's easier to shoot them up. Also, hucks and more damaging breaks generally come from lower releases.

" -follow the eyes of the mark (not their body or disc)"

This can get you in trouble. I think that watching all three, or trying to, will be more effective.

For additional individual fundamentals, I would stress the importance of putting your body between the cutter and where he wants to cut. This is part of dictating. Also, some teams I've played on have a rule that you should never be farther away than one "fist to elbow" length if we're playing hard man defense.

Also, you should always be aware of where the disc is on the field, who has it, and the stall count. This allows you to adjust your positioning quickly downfield.

" a) communication (especially for switches, dump, and set defenses like zone)"

I'd also stress that the sideline telling the mark "IO" or "around" will help them a lot.


I have lots and lots of thoughts about defense. This is just scratching the surface. I love defense.

Anonymous said...

I agree w/ anonymous 12:51, it is easier to move your hands up quicker than down. It is a common misconception. It uses different muscles, so although you work against gravity, you have stronger muscles which more than make up for gravity.

Anonymous said...

I feel it is better to have your arms up a little. I never really thought about whether it is faster to move you arms up or down, but it is easier to throw above low arms, than it is to throw below arms at about chest level. My thinking about this is mainly that if I can force my defender to throw below my arms, there is a better chance the disc will hit the ground.

The Pulse said...

In practice though, break throws are either low release IO throws, low release around throws, or high around throws. 2/3 are low release.

And personally, I love it when a defender marks me with high arms, since the mark takes nothing away then, as I can so easily throw underneath their arms.

Alex Walker said...

To add to guarding 101, when you are guarding a man, watch their hips. They can do all the head fakes in the world, but their hips will tell you where they are going (as our team says, "Hips Don't Lie"). This works the best in dump defense, but can be used all over the field.

Jackson said...

-hands pointed down with arms out but up (ie: it is always easier to move them down)

I'm not exactly sure what you mean by this. In my opinion you do want to have your hands low (as other comments have stated), but I don't think that you want to have your arms pointed down at an angle. I think that your arms should be out at a nearly 90 degree angle (I mostly thinking about a straight-up mark right now). You cover more area when your arms are straight out than when they are angled down. You get your hands low by bending your knees, not by angling your arms down.

When putting on a directional mark, then I would probably angle one arm down a little bit to take away the low IO break.

Kyle Weisbrod said...

Ok, a lot to comment on, but I'm going to stick with the marking stuff in the interest of time.

The height of the arms will mostly be low because that is what happens when you get your butt low to the ground which you need to do for balance and mobility.

They should NOT be at nearly a 90 degree angle - they should be angled down lower than that. Any decent high school thrower will easily be able to throw under a mark whose arms are near 90 degrees.

In windy situations, when the offense is going upwind, your arms should be even lower, forcing releases that open up throws to the wind. When the offense is downwind, arms are higher forcing throws that get pushed down into the ground. (this is the logical reverse of the cue: release low when throwing upwind and high when throwing downwind).

I certainly disagree with "initially in game, see how close you can get before drawing a foul." The rules state what a foul is on the mark, you certainly shouldn't be trying to foul which this is getting close to suggesting. Also, if you do this to a good thrower they are going to a. break your mark and b. call a foul when they release it getting a free throw in the process.

Follow the instructions of your sideline teammate who is yelling "IO", "Around" and "Strike." If they are not there, follow the hips and/or disc which are usually both near enough to see all at once.

Finally, move your feet. This is kind of included in "stay balanced and on your toes" but it's important to stay balanced while shuffling back and forth - with your teammates instructions or the throwers movement - while always able to move laterally in both directions (don't lunge/put too much weight on one leg).


The Pulse said...

Also, with poaches, communication is extremely important. Smart poaching can ruin an offense, but if not everyone is on the same page, they will run down the field continually hitting the open man.

Sticking a guy in the lane won't work unless you tell last back to switch onto the man streaking deep, etc.

In a poaching defense you'll either want to clog the passing lanes and force endless dump-swings, or alternately pressure the defense into making difficult cross-field throws while taking away both the open side and the dump.

Lukester said...

great stuff guys. i'm already working on a rough draft #2 and will include a lot (if not all this).

pulse and kyle, thanks especially for your suggestions and thoughtful annalysis.

Anonymous said...

the only thing i have to add is that the defense is not successful if all they do is a. the purpose of defense is to create a turnover, and that purpose is achieved through pressuring offense. pressuring the offense but then getting scored on is not a success. it may have looked pretty, and you can build on it and feel good about it, but it's only a victory if you stop them.