30 May 2006

Disrespecting the D

I played winter league last night.

There was one play where I was cutting in towards the disc, my defender busy being somewhere else. The cutting lane wasn't huge, but adequate. A good throw was required (in this case, good = partly throwing around the disc-marker, and leading me a little) but didn't come. My teammate hit his dump instead.

I suggested to my teammate later that he ignore the marker and throw whatever he wanted to, as long it was a good option, ie the marker could not stop him. It appeared he took this to heart, throwing at least three strong break throws later on, independent of his marker's effort (however, coincidence is more likely).

I think I learnt this mindset after several years play. I see elite level teammates who have also learnt to throw whatever they want, irrespective of what the marker is doing.

And I see some elite level teammates, and a lot of the up and comers, who are the opposite - when they hold the disc, they believe the marker is stopping them throwing certain throws. Yet they have the throws when unmarked.

Take the Pete Gardner challenge - count how often he holds the disc for more than two seconds in a game. His marker is better off moving upfield and double-teaming someone else. And look at his win percentage. Correlation is likely.

More disrespect of the D = more offensive options, and more bam-bam-bam-goal flow.

But like most things in ultimate, the skill or knowledge is worthless unless taught effectively.

So what are the best ways to introduce this mindset to people? Just telling them to throw more breaks? Certain game variations? Positive reinforcement of breaks?

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