26 January 2009

Ready stance

Last weekend, the AFDA hosted a Coaching Development Course.

Idaho, from Sockeye, was the presenter for the weekend, and shared a range of concepts that he uses when coaching in Seattle.

One of them was the ready stance for a thrower - always having the disc ready to be released as soon as needed. This is useful if a cutter suddenly gets open, or the stall count reaches 9, or the marker starts bumping you. You can throw immediately.

Holding the disc with two hands by your waist - generally not good.

Having the disc out from your body in one hand - good.

This ties in with Idris' earlier point about not pivoting, unless there is a specific need to. Always be ready to throw.


  1. I would add that 'ready' includes being 'wound up' to some extent. If you have to wind up from your ready stance to make a short throw, it's not really immediate.

    Obviously hucks take a bit more work, but getting the shoulder/elbow tandem pulled back (forehand) or being wound up at the hips/torso (backhand) and being comfortable in those positions will also add significantly to this time.

    Totally agreed though--disc in front does nothing to engage the mark or help you throw.

  2. What about a stance that lets the thrower throw either side (FH or BH) in the shortest amount of time on average? I.e. to have equal threat of break throw or open pass.

    A more neutral (central) stance from this perspective could be better. Although your arm could still be out one side without much time loss to the other throw.

    (Note when I think about it, many break passes are inside out anyway, which is a factor.) Thoughts?

  3. In terms of being wound up, I think a lot of it can come from the wrist being cocked. The majority of throwing options that are only open for a split second are under 20 metres. And a wrist snap throw can cover that distance.

    For hucks, any body position that minimises the time needed to throw is also handy.

  4. Goldy, if the disc is halfway between a backhand and forehand, it will take a period of time to get it out to either side. Half the time it requires a grip change and a step across. This could be ok if you wanted to have backhand and forehand equally ready, but I'd rather have one of them ready for an immediate throw.

    I came across a concept from Idaho that might be an answer to throwing on either side quickly.

    Idaho used what I called a scarf pivot to keep his throwing threat. From a forehand stance with a normal height forehand, he pivoted over via a forehand blade, hammer, high backhand, to normal backhand. It looked like he was putting a scarf on. If he received a bump anytime during the pivoting action, he could immediately throw the disc forward 10 metres. This gives a free throw when fouled by the marker.

  5. I am definitely going to try the scarf pivot.

  6. The scarf pivot is the most awkward movement I've tried in ultimate since throwing a forehand for the first time. You're supposed to change the grip when the disc is behind your head or somewhere around there. I understand the reason for it, but it'd take a bit of getting used to.

    I naturally tend to stand with a forehand grip and wrist cocked, especially when being forced forehand. If I want a backhand, I'll fake a wrist flick to change the grip and bait the marker, then wind up as I'm stepping across to throw as I put my foot down. Never really thought of a more efficient way to do it.

  7. One clear advantage of the scarf pivot (and the "around the world" pivot, its bigger cousin) is that the disc isn't caught in between 2 bodies at any point. But that still hasn't sold me enough that I am using either yet.