Thursday, July 07, 2005

Rules for cutting

Rules for cutting

1. Cut sharp.
2. Cut hard.
3. Cut decisively
4. Think, but only before or after the cut.
5. Know when to just run.

Cut sharp. Don’t round your cuts. Plant on one foot, push off hard, and go. The longer it takes you to change direction, the less separation you will get from your defender.
Cut hard. Don’t jog out there when you are actively cutting. One place where this is especially important is at the start of a deep cut. For your first 3-6 steps, go all out without looking up or back, until you’re near top speed and have some separation and can check back to see whether the throw is up and where it’s going. Further, cut hard when you’re the decoy in a called play, or else an astute defender will know that it’s a fake.
Cut decisively. As Idris said, “Oh, you had ‘em.” You really only have time for one or two efforts before you become a clog. Commit to something, if that doesn’t work, quickly try something else, and if you don’t think you’re open in the first three steps, get the hell out of the way.
Think, but only before or after the cut. During the setup phase of the cut, you might have a chance to think about what you’re going to do, and can try to manipulate the defender into giving you a straight path to the disc. But once you are in motion, you can only react. You need to internalize all the small details (defender body position, field space, playing conditions)
that let you know whether you’re open or not without having to think about it. After the cut, you can think about what it was that made it work or not so that you build up your experience, until eventually it will become more of an instinct.
Know when to just run. You need to learn when you can just sprint in a straight line and be open. Fortunat calls these “opportunity cuts.” These arise when you know that the disc has changed positions but the defender does not, because you have kept him busy enough that he can’t check in. But this also arises in the middle of a faking sequence, when you can recognize the exact moment that the defender has committed himself to another direction and you can cut behind him.


Idris said...

opportunity cuts seem so simple, but I find they are one of the most difficult things for [younger?] players to pick up on.

I find that with most teams/players there is so much useless cutting going on that I'd rather not add to the chaos, instead I prefer to be a cutting opportunist [this is great, people say I'm lazy, I'll just say I'm an opportunist].

This is something people should do more of I think... if only to practice spacing, vision, etc. Maybe play a game or tournament where one or two players (per point) have the position of "cutting opportunist"... the only cuts they are allowed to make are cuts that become open because of x-y-z. [this is sort of an extention of the old idea of having people fill the roll of creating space/staying out of the way during a point]

Justin R said...

You left out one of your rules (i think) that I like the most. That is: Take what they give you. It really is my favorite rule.

I can't count the number of times in pickup/summer league that a wide-open receiver runs downfield TOWARDS HIS DEFENDER, or the stack, who was 10 feet away, when they were already wide open for a short pass.

parinella said...


That's a subset of #5, know when to just run.

This was a slightly different set of rules than the "famous one" of "take what they give you; trick them into giving you what you really want; do something and see what develops", which is more philosophical. This one is intended to give more concrete tips, and could be used as part of a 15 minute cutting talk/drill.

luke said...

i've played 2 tourneys this month. one is a 'big' one... solstice. one is a big 'coed' one... potlatc.

here is what i have to say.

the biggest thing that separates good teams from mediocre teams is 'mid' play. that is... continuation cuts.

It seems like an easy thing to do... read the swing, start a deep break, and then cut under for a gain.

but, losers tend to WAIT for a pass before a break. so, anyway, the good cut comes from anticipation and planning.

it's fine to say that jonny should take the 'opportunistic' cut, or make his move simply...


I think that a 'smart' cutter

1 reads the game
2 gets down field early
3 makes his move BEFORE the defense knows that it's 'on'....

I think it's still an offensive game.

get in position.
get the frisbee.

and as a 'fatsass', i believe it's very difficult to make a diving comeback block....

can you catch???

parinella said...

So, Luke, you're saying that the emphasis ought to be more on teaching how to set up the cut, that players don't really have problems with cutting itself, but that the game is already lost by the time they make their move (if they have competent defense).

So, what magic words would you like to tell these people so that they get it? How do you teach field sense to a clueless cutter?

luke said...

uh, get the hell out the way?

back to an earlier thread... cover/ watch someone who's really good at it?

some guys are just so fast, it's never an issue. along those lines, what about the guy who's open, but... big deal, cause he's open for 8 yds on a 1 count.

Like the tall guys who get backed, so they just jog in... which, is nice and all, but, isn't it great to see a big man who moves around the field well, and bites off huge yards, instead of standing 9 yards in front of some ego maniacal thrower...

i guess, proper demonstration, so cover someone good, watch someone good, and hope you have a 'knack'

something you said about mentoring... or was that alex. or marshall? my recollection was that I never got any tips when I wanted them, and then I got way too many, from people i didn't want to talk to... later...

nuff for now...

i'm feeling a post of my own coming on... about a subject other than my rigorous training schedule, and xbox gaming.

speedyb said...

another important cut is when your defender is poaching off you. cut to open space, whether open side, break side or deep and stay there until your defender catches up. you're not clogging a lane if you're poached