Saturday, September 15, 2007

Principles - 2nd Draft

2nd Drafts for The Principles of Defense & Offense
(And, a quick overview of one way to teach Vertical & Horitzonal Stack)

Thank you to all who have posted and sent me their thoughts on how and what to teach. And let me remind you that this is just a 2nd draft. There have been many who have probably done something like this, and most of us at least have it in our heads... But, putting it down in words has really been helping me put into perspective what is most important and what progression to go through in teaching ultimate.

Special credit should be given to Kyle W. and ThePulse for each of their valuable comments.

For the full 2nd draft, you need to click the 'continue reading...' link (otherwise this post would take up way too much space). As I get more comments, I'll continue to revise this and potentially make another draft.


DEFENSE
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 offense 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: MARKING
a) Have Field Sense (be aware of cuts, where your people are, etc)
b) Keep decided upon force and or plan (ie: don’t get broken or don’t let the around out, and don’t get greedy for hand/foot block)
c) Start the stall count immediately (get quieter as count gets higher to keep offense in the dark)
d) Stay balanced and use feet to shuffle back and forth (be on toes and move whole body without lunging)
e) Dictate what throw you want to give her (ie: against the wind low arms, forcing releases that open up into the wind, while going downwind, arms higher, forcing throws that get pushed down into the ground)
f) Vary distance on the mark (give space as stall count increases to avoid drawing a foul that resets the count)
3. Execute Individual Fundamentals: GUARDING
a) Have Field Sense (know where the disc is, who has it, and what the stall count is at to be able to adjust position as while knowing where your girl is at all times)
b) Mentally decide you are not letting your girl touch the disc (because you are better than her)
c) Dictate what you want to give her (ie: if the thrower can't huck, force her out, if she's taller than you, force her under but be on her hip)
d) Generally put yourself between cutter and disc (her cut will follow her hips)
e) Run smarter than your girl (ie: doesn’t always have to be harder, faster, or longer)
f) Decide when to bid (execute proper form, initiate stall count if you miss the bid as you land, run through disc if you get the D unless you are able to catch it)
g) Balance aggressive man D with taking away as much open space as possible (ie: smart poaches and zone positions)
4. Execute Team Fundamentals
a) Play pissed off D (ie: get yourself in the mindset that we're giving them our disc on our field and we want it back…)
b) Constant Communication (especially for switches, dumps, and set defensive plays like zone, junk, etc)
c) Keep pull in-bounds ALWAYS (then value distance, float, and difficulty to catch)
d) Cover Pull (Get down as fast as possible to allow as few touches as possible by the offense)
e) Exploit all possible weaknesses in offense (every game will be different, and every team will have weaknesses)
f) Bigger sideline presence (Both encouragement and specifics like IOs, Arounds, Picks, Ups, Strikes, etc)
5. Adaptability (do what works until the offense figures it out)
6. Know the rules (ignorance is unacceptable)


OFFENSE

1. Successful Offense keeps possession and moves the disc as simply, quickly, and easily as possible into the end-zone 2. Execute Individual Fundamentals: THROWERS
a) Have Field Sense (know your cutters, what they want, what they can do, what they cannot do, etc)
b) Make high percentage throws (balance in patience and urgency to make best of potential situation by holding disc for best cut while desiring to move the disc as fast as possible)
c) Create space for your release point (use proper fakes and balanced stepping out)
d) Develop widest range of possible release points (from high to low, backhand to flick)
e) Be aware of stall-count (make sure to turn to dump at designated count)
3. Execute Individual Fundamentals: Cutters
a) Have Field Sense (know your thrower, what they can throw, what they cannot, and where the best cut is, etc)
b) Make smart cuts (always harder, always into space that best gives opportunity to advance the disc)
c) Take what you want from him who is guarding you (do not let them dictate what you get; take it)
d) Move into your opponent and make them turn their hips (get them to choose a direction and go the opposite way)
e) Keep your body between the disc and your opponent (lowers the successfulness of a bid on you)
f) Catch the disc (“If you can touch it, you can catch it”, and get two hands on the disc as much as possible)
4. Execute Team Fundamentals
a) Play chilly O (ie: the disc is in our possession and we are in our happy place just playing catch)
b) Constant Communication (on the field and on the line before receiving the pull)
c) Move the disc as fast as possible off the pull (punish teams for their bricks and laziness getting down)
c) Bigger sideline presence (Both encouragement and specifics like zone, move the disc, etc)
5. Adaptability (take what the defense gives you and be willing to change if things are not working)
6. Know the rules (ignorance is unacceptable)


OFFENSE: Two Major Stack Variations

1. Vertical Stack - (the bread and butter of ultimate)
a) Lay-out
-2 handlers & 5 cutters
-Stack set ‘vertically’ in the field (placement can be from the live side to the dead depending on desired flow)
-Front of stack should be somewhere between 5 and 20 yards off the thrower (closer in the end-zone)
-second handler (dump) sets up perpendicularly 10 yards away from the handler with disc
b) Play called on the line (who will handle the disc initially, and cutters assigned order and whether they will be in or out cuts)
c) On pull, stack is set-up immediately and handlers look to move the disc into the middle of the field
d) Cutters initiate by going into their opponent. Cutters are looking to get her opponent to turn her hips. Then cutter takes the direction her opponent’s back is facing and thus not able to cover.
e) As cutter makes catch, first look is back to the handler if they are moving faster than their mark. Second look is back up field for continuation cut from next cutter.
-If the disc goes back to the handler, then the cutter returns to stack as fast as possible, the dump moves up field, and the handler with disc looks for an out cut immediately.
-If the disc goes to second cutter, handlers communicate with first cutter where to go (often they will push them to clear out and return to the stack, but dump could move into the stack with the first cutter now becoming a handler/dump.
e) As the disc moves up the field, the stack keeps moving up the field to keep open space between thrower/dump and stack.
f) Cuts continue until disc reaches the redzone (the space within 20 yards of the endzone). Often, the thrower and dump will move the disc into the endzone on their own by up field cut or simple back dump cut and around to front of the stack (see g below).
g) when cutter is looked off by thrower and stall count reaches 5, or if the thrower simply commits to the dump for a reset (often when the disc is on the sideline), the following must take place:
-Stack immediately ceases in-cuts to give space in front of thrower for dump
-Dump makes one of the two cuts:
1) Dump cuts up field and she has open huck look, back of stack cuts out for continuation throw
2) Dump cuts down field and she has around look, first in the stack cuts to dead-side for continuation

2. Horizontal - (classic HO stack)
a) Lay-out
-3 handlers & 4 cutters
-Stack set across the field 'horiztonally'
-Distance should vary depending on our throwing ability and weather (wind/rain) (typically 20 yards forward from handlers)
-second handler (dump) sets up perpendicularly 10 yards away from the handler with disc
b) Play called on the line (who will handle the disc initially, and cutters assigned order and where to cut)
c) On pull, stack is set-up immediately and handlers look to move the disc into the middle of the field
d) Cutters initiate by going into their opponent. Cutters are looking to get her opponent to turn her hips. Then cutter takes the direction her opponent’s back is facing and thus not able to cover. Often though in a H stack, opponents will try and team up to cover cuts. If this takes place, cutters can often flood the one opponent with both players and splitting them.
e) As cutter makes catch, first look is back to the handler if they are moving faster than their mark. Second look is back up field for continuation cut from next cutter.
-If the disc goes back to the handler, then the cutter nearly always becomes a dump, the furthest handler moves into the stack, and the handler with disc looks for an out cut immediately.
-If the disc goes to second cutter, handlers communicate with first cutter where to go (in an H stack, the cutter will most often become a handler and furthest handler will move into the stack, but this is not set in stone especially if cutter is not confident in handling).
e) As the disc moves up the field, the stack keeps moving up the field to keep open space between thrower/dump and stack.
f) Cuts continue until disc reaches the redzone (the space within 20 yards of the endzone). At this point, the H stack shifts into a V stack to create better space… Otherwise, the defense will simply play under our cutters and force us to throw low percentage over the top throws. Often, the thrower and dump will move the disc into the endzone on their own by up field cut or simple back dump cut and around to front of the stack (see g of V Stack).
g) when cutter is looked off by thrower and stall count reaches 5, or if the thrower simply commits to the dump for a reset (often when the disc is on the sideline), the following must take place:
-Stack immediately ceases in-cuts to give space in front of thrower for dump
-Closest dump cuts up field and she gets the disc and has open huck look, someone (best option) cuts out for continuation throw. If closest dump cut does not get the disc, then she keeps clearing out into the stack while second dump cut immediately comes over and does one of the two cuts:
1) Dump cuts up field and she has open huck look, back of stack cuts out for continuation throw
2) Dump cuts down field and she has around look, first in the stack cuts to dead-side for continuation




5 comments:

The Pulse said...

I haven't read through everything completely, but here are some initial thoughts/notes.

The specific stack variations, cuts, and dump throws would be better served with diagrams.

Four rules of throwing:
* throw high percentage throws
* throw to space
* throw where the offense can get the disc
* throw where the defense can't get the disc

Five rules of cutting/clearing:
* cut deep from shallow
* cut in from deep
* never cut past the front of the stack
* clear out by busting deep along the sidelines
* after a cutter releases the disc, clear away at at least a 90 degree angle from the direction the disc is thrown.

Jackson said...

Under cutters I would say that if you are not cutting, you should be actively creating space for your teammates to cut to (in one of many ways).

I think that a sideline presence if very important, but I think that useful information is much better than just being loud.

Regard Ryan's comment above about clearing out: I don't agree that clearing out by busting down the sideline is an effective way to clear out. As a defender, when my receiver makes that cut, I don't view it as a very viable cut. A deep throw to that cut will be low percentage (it will either have to fly to the opposite side of the field over the stack, or blade around the cutter, or fly over his head). I would say it would be better to clear out by cutting to the opposite corner of the endzone where you could be hit after a dump-swing.

Anonymous said...

jackson,

it's not a cut up the sideline. it's a clear up the sideline. the D can't poach on it b/c they'll be wide open, in which case it IS an easy throw...for some people at least

Anonymous said...

what do you guys think about crossing over lanes when cutting in a horizontal stack?

Anonymous said...

When playing a game with observers, one shouldn't get quieter at a high stall. The observers have got to hear what you are saying in the event of a disputed stall call.