26 July 2011

Specific feedback for your O game

Giving quality feedback in ultimate can be challenging.

Here is a draft of a list that can help selectors, coaches and team leaders give more meaningful feedback to players than "work on your throws and cutting".

Each dotpoint has some specific examples after it.

List of Offence Skills

Players create easy offence by
  1. throwing to teammates wherever they are (throw hucks; throw hammers)
  2. throwing to make teammates open (throw break or open-side to favour teammates, not defenders)
  3. throwing quickly (throw as soon as an opportunity appears; prevent the defence from getting a mark on)
  4. throwing safely (keep throwing completion rate high; seeing where defenders and help-defenders are)
  5. moving to make teammates open (clear the break side, open side, deep and under as needed; regularly draw their defender with them)
  6. moving at the right time (run downfield while their defender watches a huck; get to dump position early; cut one way then another at the right time for the next pass)
  7. being athletic (catch swill that is high or wide; outrun defenders; outaccelerate defenders)
  8. working within the team O structure (talk to teammates on field; know and use the team's patterns; don't ask teammates to make hard throws or cuts with your cuts or throws)
With eight categories listed, it is now easy to choose, say, two strengths and two aspects to work on. This keeps feedback concise, but specific.

Try them out on yourself now!

Any skills to add or change?

23 July 2011

Positions on offence ain't positions on defence

Just because you are a handler on offence, doesn't mean you will always serve your team best by defending handlers.

Just because you are a receiver on offence, doesn't mean you will always serve your team best by defending receivers.

Those were the main messages I got from this article on basketball matchups.

In fact, the traditional convention of 3 handlers, 2 mids/cutters and 2 longs/receivers might have served a purpose for assigning pull reception roles for a few plays in the past, but it doesn't describe what most players are doing in most systems these days.

I know that the 2008 Dingoes had a variety of roles.

Player A: on offence, a handler who didn't huck and was a semi-regular deep threat; on defence he defended handlers
Player B: on offence, a handler and in-cutter; on defence he defended handlers and under cutters, but got blocks when he could afford to poach off his man
Player C: on offence, an in-cutter; on defence he defended handlers
Player D: on offence, a long; on defence he defended handlers or cutters

So a different system might be needed to describe roles, particularly for defence. Being called a "handler" doesn't tell you what your role is on defence.