Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Offensive Principles - Your thoughts?

I've been working on the basic fundamentals we want to teach new players, and was curious what other people think about the following Principles and then basics on styles of stack offense... I won't take offense at anything said as this is still a very rough draft...

Six Principles of Offense:

1. Move the disc as simply and easily as possible into the end-zone while retaining possession
2. Execute fundamentals with hard cuts, high percentage throws and consistent catches
3. Develop Field Sense with balance in patience and urgency to make best of potential situation (ie: holding for best pass while desiring to move the disc as fast as possible)
4. Understand essentialness to taking and creating space in the lanes
5. Respect the need to do this as a Team
a) communication - both speaking and listening b) importance of 70 seconds on the line before receiving the pull - (ie: listen to captain) c) learning your team-mates tendencies (throwing preferences, speed, cuts, etc) - especially between handlers on the dump
6. Take what the defense gives you and be willing to adapt and be original

2 Major Stack Variations:
1. Vertical Stack
a) 2 handlers, 5 cutters

b) often use a slight angle to setting stack to create space in the live side (but this changes as what side movement is desired, ie: move stack to live side for dead side flow
c) cutters are assigned a number for set play, but flow often dictated without set numbers and known order

d) typically use 'lupa' cuts to create space for yourself (ie: taking your person out first and then back into the disc, but always take what the defense gives you)

e) cuts are repeated until disc reaches the endzone

f) when breakdown takes place, disc is reset to dump

2. Horizontal
a) 3 handlers, 4 cutters across the field 'horizontally', typically 20 yards in front of handlers

b) a need for greater handler presence and movement between those three

c) cuts come in pistons, but can use diamond and even flat cuts where space is given.
d) communication between cutters imperative and often done as partners either in middle or on side

e) a special emphasis on fast movement of disc and use of 'dish' passes back to handlers following hard in cuts

f) when breakdown takes place, disc is reset with one of two dumps
g) when disc reaches the endzone, offense will more than likely shift to a Vertical Stack to create better space.


The Pulse said...

One thing I've found makes offenses work so much better, both as a team and as an individual, is constant motion downfield. If you never stop running, you will be open up and down the field as the advantage is taken away from the defense - they end up following you around.

Even if you're not open or don't get the disc, continuing to run and clear hard opens up space for other cutters.

Everyone wins. Don't stop running.

Also, don't clog by clearing across the field - clear out by busting deep along the sidelines.

gapoole said...

Generally, cutters want to set themselves up so they have at least two distinct spaces to cut to. Most defenders will not be able to shut you out of both spaces, and will be forced to give you something. If you don't have two spaces to cut to, however, then you aren't forcing the defense to give you anything.

Also, the "dishy" pass can be used effectively in vertical stack offenses, not just horizontal. It keeps the disc moving quickly and puts it back into the hands of a thrower who already sees what is going on downfield.

Alex Walker said...

This may not be a principle, but I think that in a stack offense, unlike a zone offense, the defense has to react to the offense. In this situation, the offense has the opportunity to impose itself on a defense by outcutting defenders, breaking the mark repeatedly, taking the aggessivness out of the defense and in general, forcing the defense to react to the disc movement of the offense. Basically, the offense knows far more about whats going on (Using The Principles of Offense No. 5) than the defense and takes advantage of that.Be Proactive, not Reactive, against a defense

collin s said...

I would stress the importance of clearing and switching positions after cutting in a horizontal stack. i.e. if the middle cutters are working together, a middle cutter should clear quickly to the side and switch with the person there if he makes a cut and finds himself in a position that he can't make another viable cut within a few seconds, rather than jogging back to the middle.

Also in a horizontal, the handlers should clear away from where the disc needs to go, aka to the dead side when feasible.

This looks good, though, and it's a good idea to organize all the ideas. Good luck Luke!

Kyle Weisbrod said...

Luke, I'm not sure how helpful these offensive principles are. They lack specificity or are obvious to anyone with a background in sports. I do like "Take what the defense gives you and be willing to adapt and be original." I think I would adjust 4 to "Understand where we our cutting lanes are and how to make and utilize those lanes."

I would add "deep cuts originate from the opposite third" or "don't throw to receivers cutting directly away from you" or some such principle that helps identify good deep choices in whatever offense you run. Similarly, "Don't throw from the line, down the line, to the line" is a great one that will improve offensive decision making - although two on decision making on long throws may be a bit much.

-Balance risk and reward in throwing - reset and open side throws should be higher percentage than throws that gain big yardage and/or field position.
-Cut constantly, cut hard, and cut with purpose - (this goes along with what Ryan was saying) you may know that you won't catch the disc on your designated cut but will create space for someone else and make your defender play you.
-Position the reset(s) appropriately (distance and angle) and early. Move the disc to the reset as soon as you've checked off downfield options.
- When you catch the disc pivot in the appropriate direction (this is SO important and fundamental, it's surprising how many top players do it and how much it reduces a team's scoring percentage).
- Once you've checked off your downfield options look to reset the disc even if the stall count is only 3 or 4.

Ok, for the next post on to the "stack variations."

Kyle Weisbrod said...

OK, I also have a lot to critique on the 2 major stack variations so take or leave what you want.

I know this isn't the way that most look at it right now, but I see the variations in Ultimate not as where the cutters line up to start, but where the cutting lanes are. Almost always in a vertical stack those lanes are the sides of the field. The typical horizontal offense utilizes the middle of the field as the cutting lane, but some use the whole width (this is complicated but Furious does this) or the middle and one side (Bravo, CU).

Anyhow, on to other stuff:
I've played vertical stack with 1 reset (2 handlers?) and 2 resets. I don't think this should be defined as only 2 handlers and 5 cutters - there are other variations.

In the horizontal, depending on what your cutting lanes are, cuts will typically originate from the sideline going deep (at an angle) and then come in hard to the middle of the field (at an angle) before clearing to one side or the other.

PS. for more of my thoughts about skills, tactics and strategy check out the UPA Skills, Strategy and Drills manual as well as the Level II Coaching Clinic Manual. Both are not all mine but much is collected and shared as well as peer reviewed before being published.

Also, Michael Baccarini and Tiina Booth's excellent book on Skills and Strategy (I've read much of it) should be available from Human Kinetics in March. If you're going to buy one book - I'd buy this one.

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