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What To Concede & What To Take Away

by Chris Talarico

This one is pretty straightforward: as with any player, you have to determine what you want to give up and what you want to take away (or try to, anyway). You're going to want to deny any player's greatest strength or whatever facet of his game is capable of hurting you most. If this guy has beaten you repeatedly with his throws, it doesn't seem like a very good idea to allow him to get the disc underneath - even if he has caught a couple hucks today. You're forcing him to do something he's not as good at, which is preferable to allowing him to do what he's best at. 

So, without allowing him to come under (which, again, is a BAD idea), you have a couple options: 

1. Continue to use the same defender(s) you've been using. Make it very clear to your team that this guy now wants the deep pass, so expect the huck and stay in a position that will give you a shot at it if it goes up. Also, make sure your other downfield defenders are looking to help on a deep shot. Still deny the underneath cut first, but don't give as big a cushion (stay 1 or 2 yards underneath him if you had been farther off). This is the least strategic option, but if you're confident in the guy(s) who you've had guarding him, this might be enough. 

2. You're probably going to need to guard this guy with someone who is faster than he is. Put your best, fastest deep defender on him and continue forcing him out. He's still going to have looks deep, but now he has to beat your best guy if he's going to be successful. Clearly he has been a top option for the other team - your best deep defender will hopefully make them think twice about jacking one to him. 

NOTE: If your best deep defender is not noticeably faster than this guy, you may have to go to someone who is not as great in the air, but can beat the guy with speed to gain position (i.e. beat him to the spot). 

3. If you don't have anyone who can both deny the under and contest the deep throws, you've got to make more drastic changes. Throw a zone. Play a switching man that keeps at least one defender deep. Play any other defense you have, because clearly you don't have a one-man answer for this guy. 

Or, if you don't like these options, you can go back to shutting down the deep and allow him the underneath...and kick yourself after you lose for allowing the same guy to beat you the same way. Again.

huddle Issue 3 Defending A Hucker

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

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