Tuesday, September 23, 2008

System versus fundamentals

The coaches have a tough job the first week of the year and especially approaching the first tournaments. This is to teach Ultimate at the same time we're teaching our team system. We're walking a balance between making sure the rookies walk away with good basic skills, and knowing that we can't teach everything before the first tournament.

At practice today we split up the returners and freshmen so that the returners could get a concrete grasp of our cutting system, and pass that on consistently to freshmen from this point on.

Questions came up to the tune of "when this happens, shouldn't I..."
Here's the flowchart to answer these yourself:
1) Are you poached? Yes: Go get the disc, No: go to 2.
2) Are you cutting someone off who's coming in? Yes: Clear. No: Go to 3.
3) Is the thrower looking at you? No: Clear. Yes: Go to 4.
4) Are you making significant yardage OR better field position (break side)? No: Clear, Yes: Communicate, and act.

For the most part, however, and especially this early in the season, these situations will be few and far between. For the most part, it's better to skip a minor gain in favor of a reset dump and back to the system. Here's why:

Here's a breakdown on the fundamentals of offense, and which parts of our offense address them.

RULE #1: If your team doesn't turn it over, you will score a point.
Got it? Good.

RULE #2: Always, always, always DICTATE. Make the opponent react to you.
This is more important on the defense end, but the way our cutting system does this is:
a) We set up by striking deep, and should attempt to score deep early in the game. At that point, they'll be so afraid of our deep looks that our in-cuts for yards can be the staple of our (more conservative) offense.
b) We're going to be working more later in the fall with the dead side of the field (breaking the mark). If a team is afraid we can throw it wherever we like, they'll be forced to hustle on the break side of the field as well as the open.

RULE #3: Take what they give you.
Since we're making the defense worry about certain things, above, we're punishing them for the things they get lax on. If they don't back us, we can score by hucking from the brick. If they back us, we're going to move the disc with pretty big gainers. If we hit anyone who's poached, they'll be forced to play us honest.

RULE #4: Know where the important space is.
Always cut and throw to open space, so that the cutter can run onto the disc.
Easy test: think about our system. Where's the important space our system creates and exploits?
It's the corner two thirds of the endzone to huck to, and the center of the field on an incut. In other words, we go deep in the center so that the hucks go to the outside of us, and we cut in to the center of the field.

RULE #5: Get out of the important space the instant you're looked off.
Just because it's at the bottom of the list doesn't mean CLEARING is the least important.
If you're in the way, no one else can go to that space; if you leave, you can then go back and get the disc in the right place.

Any questions?

Read Rule #1 again. Then go throw.


Kirin said...

Questions came up to the tune of "when this happens, shouldn't I..."
Here's the flowchart to answer these yourself:
1) Are you poached? Yes: Go get the disc, No: go to 2.

Wait... what? Presumably if you're being poached downfield, your defender is somewhere between where you are and where the disc is, so cutting to the disc is going to be difficult. That's why you haul your ass to the haus (or to open space).

Seamus said...

@ kirin
re: poaching

Not if you're effective at making poachers pay-- which means moving the instant he looks/turns away from you.

The preponderance of the time, he's either going to be helping someone else deep, in which case you should cut straight to the disc, or he's hopped in the openside lane, in which case you should just go get it for the reset. If you dont make an ass of yourself screaming 'poach' and making yourself very open, the thrower will likely throw it to your poach, and wouldn't you feel like an ass then?