Monday, July 18, 2005

more on drills

I didn't mean to be so negative last time about drills. I was mostly commenting on drills for advanced club teams, not for beginning teams that need to work on basics like catching and 20 yard passes that don't turn over. If that's your team, then it'd be very inefficient to spend much valuable practice time on subtle skills (maybe a little just to get players thinking and to make it fun).

My wife is putting together a women's team and I sat in on their practices this weekend. They had low numbers, so had to do drills and just drills. They ran a nice combination of break-mark throws and cutting to the break mark, with plenty of time for each group of O and D to discuss what went right and wrong and how to improve.

They also did Idris' cutting drill (make a move within 3 steps, decide within 1 or 2 steps whether to continue, and if not go the other way), which went well but suffered a little because the D wasn't that good. (Even when I was running through on D as 3/4 speed, I was still making plenty of mistakes, but I don't think they read the mistakes at all, and instead went through their planned motions. I had read them my new "five rules" of cutting, and they seemed responsive, although I don't know how much they were able to incorporate.

Anyway, I thought of a couple things you could do by yourself with 6-10 discs.
1. Throw long passes to an exact point, or to a small marked-off area (say, 5 yards by 10 yards).
2. Throw successively longer passes. Begin by throwing at a target 30 yards away. Your next throw has to be longer than your first. Continue until you fail. Long passes often fail because you're just throwing to throw them too hard. Most golf shots are not hit at 100%, because they aren't nearly as controllable.
3. Discathon. Set up a course, or go through a sparsely-wooded area. Two discs. Throw one, run after it, throw the second just before you pick up the first.

With two people:
1. Throw and run, pretending you're making specific cuts.
2. Throw in a crowded area with restricted passing lanes, say, a street with a bunch of parked cars, or again, in a sparsely-wooded area, or around the house. This forces you to contemplate the throwing lanes, and will help you figure out how to deal with poachers and cloggers.
3. Throw standing still, pretending you have a marker who occasionally fouls you.


parinella said...

This is from a followup email:
The way that I ran the drill was to have the disc near the sideline, and one line of cutters and defenders 10-20 yards downfield in the middle. I told them to imagine that there was just a swing pass from one handler to another, and this was a continuation middle cut that could go either long or comeback for yards.

We had only 6 or 7 players running the drill, so what we could do was limited. If you have more, you can actually include that
handler-to-handler pass (without defenders) so the cutters can see it and get the timing down a little better.

I had them set up 15-20 yards downfield, and that was actually a little too far for a legitimate going away cut. But maybe for guys it wouldn't be.

It's probably better to have a thrower get 5-10 reps in a row, then have him move into the other line(s). It doesn't matter if you have a separate cutter and defender line, or if you have one line and the next two in line become cutter and defender.

I told them that in those first three steps, they're not simply just taking up space, but they're trying to get their defender to change from being in good position to a bad position, at which point they make their 1-2 step hard move, at which point they decide whether to abort that move or not. I pointed out that defensive positioning is dynamic, as what is good one moment is not good the next if the disc or cutter changes position.

heacox said...

I wanted to tuck this somewhere, but I found this link following one of the "ads" or whatever they are at the top of the blog.

It is interesting what they note that makes a drill "good." I would have to agree that the majority of ultimate practices I have been to involved too much standing around in lines and not enough just getting people to touch the disc. I am sure a lot depends what level your team is playing at, but I have to imagine you could follow their guidelines and spend you time much better then just having twenty guys doing a three line drill for half an hour and then scrimaging.

Anyway, I realize that's all pretty vague but I liked the philosophy these people have and wanted to share it.