26 September 2007

Marking the disc

There are some key tips for marking the disc, that most experienced players know: be on your toes, arms out, watch the thrower's navel or body language, learn their fakes, etc.

But there is another I never hear mentioned: keep your arms back. By this I mean, don't wrap. Ah, those Queenslanders need to practise this.

If you do wrap your arms around the thrower, they will throw under your arms or draw a foul easily.

Let's see how these markers are doing:

20 September 2007

Frisbee DVDs

Here are the DVDs out there that introduce and explain Ultimate.

If you buy a Whammo disc at Rebel Sport, it comes with a DVD. Moses, Fortunat and others demonstrate backhands, forehands and hammers as the narrator explains them. The basic rules are explained as well, from memory.

Play Ultimate & Beyond The Stack
According to playulty.com, this DVD includes:
* History of Ultimate Frisbee
* How to play
* Basic throws
* Proper catching
* Offensive and defensive positioning
* Strategic formations
* Introduction to Spirit of the Game
* And much more...

How to throw a frisbee
The website looks a lot more amateur.

Any others out there?

5 good drills

jdr asked me what my 5 favourite drills are, since I called for a fatwa on dump-swing-score.

I haven't done an exhaustive look through the drills I know, so here are just 5 that I like. In no particular order.

Thrower marker drill aka 3 man drill
Anecdotally, I have marked the disc better in games where I do this drill before the game. I also like doing it with a one-way force and copping pushups for getting broken. Also, see an animation here.


This drill teaches a guarder to constantly get into good position relative to a cutter. It is a bit like mirror drill except the guarder aims to always be between the cutter and a thrower standing at one cone. There is a pushup for the guarder, each time the cutter gets on the wrong side of the guarder, announced with a "bzzzt". And on 10 seconds the thrower has to throw to the cutter. Extra pushups if the disc is caught - more if the disc is caught "under".

Circle drill

A good drill for introducing the idea of a cup, and for learning how to throw through a cup. Has the disadvantage of a bit too much standing around, so I prefer to run it with no more than 10 players.

One Chance
This drill has a thrower, a cutter and guarder. From a stack, the cutter moves out horizontally to a cone. They can then only cut vertically: either cut in, cut out, cut in then out, or cut out then in. They only have "one chance" to change direction. The guarder tries to get the D. This helps the cutter with sharp 180 degree cuts and communication with a thrower. It also helps the guarder judge the threat of an in cut versus an out cut, and judge who the thrower is.

3 man weave
A simple way to warm up, get some throws in and practise give-go skills. Doesn't require any cones to set up.

The first 4 drills let O and D practise their skills simultaneously. And a drill with D is more realistic.

Of course, I really like scrimmages with rule modifications, but I don't know if that is a drill. Examples are here and here. Hmmm, that looks like another post. "Drill" seems to imply rigidity, rotating strictly through the roles and a sharp focus on one skill, unlike a game/scrimmage.

Aah, I've been meaning to compile the ideas of others and my ideas into a central AFDA resource - a handbook or wiki or database or some combination. I think having it easily printable is valuable. Drawing on what is out there. Who wants to help (contribution or organisation)?

19 September 2007

Queueing in drills

Let's say the aim of a drill you're running is to improve skills (as opposed to say, getting warmed up for a game).

Ideally the players get lots of opportunities to practise the skill you want them to improve. Improvement requires practise of the skill. This is not rocket science.

To do this, you should minimise standing around and queueing.

One of my bugbears is seeing drills run for beginners that require only one disc. Not only is 18 players using 1 disc an inane idea, if there is a drop or poor throw, 17 players get to stand around even longer watching one player jog over, pick up a disc, then jog back to the drill. The drill is stopped by an error. And errors happen with beginners!

Therefore I am proposing death to dump-swing-score. There are so many better drills out there.

In general, pick a drill that requires multiple discs. The drill usually won't be held up by an error. And the number of disc touches per player per hour (TPHs) will be much higher.