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Body Positioning On The Comeback Cut

by Chris Talarico

The best thing I ever heard of for improving your receiving skills is this game called "catch"... 

There's no replacement for repetition. You just have to do it over and over until you forget what it's like to drop a frisbee. 

The next step is simulating game situations. Personally, I feel like the most valuable catch to be 100% on is the in-cut: running full speed toward a disc coming at you. It's probably the most common play in the game, but can be an extremely difficult catch with a defender breathing down your neck There are two things to work on here: making the catch out in front of your chest with arms extended, and body position to block out the defender. Oh, and also, RUN THROUGH THE #@$*^%! DISC! Few things frustrate me more than seeing a teammate slow down to catch a pass, only to have their defender lay out in front of them for the block. It's absolutely inexcusable. 

Anyway, you can work on running through the disc and catching with arms extended with a simple drill: 

Set up in one line in the middle of the field facing a thrower. First person in line cuts out, plants, cuts in at full speed and catches a pass from the thrower. Drills don't get more simple than that, but I like this one because it puts the cutter on display for the rest of the team. Everyone can see him or her, and give instant feedback, criticism, or encouragement. 

Body positioning is all about feel and awareness. I think most players know the term "boxing out" from basketball and have an idea of how that applies to Ultimate. Simply, it means putting yourself between the disc and your opponent, thereby forcing them to go around you in order to get to the disc. You see this a lot on floaty passes where players are jockeying for position before the disc is low enough to jump for. What is probably less common, is applying this same principle to chest-level passes. It's difficult to convey without seeing it and trying it, but the idea is to: 

1. Be aware of where your defender is. (Hopefully behind you, of course, but to your right or left). 

2. Determine as soon as possible where the pass is headed. (Again, to your right or left). 

3. Adjust your path to the disc so that you are always between it and your defender. 

This means you may not take a straight line to the point where you'll make the catch—you may veer slightly to your left (if your defender is on your left side) and catch the disc on the right side of your body, for example. It's not a natural thing to do, and takes a lot of work to get good at. 

Finally, here's a random tip that I learned my first year of playing: when laying out for a disc, if you can get two hands on it, do so. Grab the rim on either side of the disc. You'll never doink a pass this way.

huddle Issue 8 Catching

Tuesday, August 19th, 2008

Anticipation & Focus
by Gwen Ambler

Making It Routine
by Tully Beatty

Teaching Catching: Two Drills
by Lou Burruss

Honing Your Weaknesses
by Matt Dufort

Regimented Catching Practice
by Adam Goff

Practice Ideas
by Greg Husak

Getting An Extra Foot Of Space
by Miranda Roth

Catching The Pull & Transitions
by Nancy Sun

Body Positioning On The Comeback Cut
by Chris Talarico

Eliminate The Unforced Turnover
by Mike Whitaker




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