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The Goal Is To Make It Easy To Score

by Adam Goff

Every time a team moves the disc, this changes the defense. It puts the defensive players out of position, if even for a short period of time. The greater change is better for the offense, and this means putting the disc as far from where the defense wants it to be as possible. If a team is forcing you to throw forehand, and you get a chance to complete a pass straight up field, you just made a good move. If you get a chance to go a little more—30° say—then that's a little better. But breaking the mark is just a successful throw that happened to go that way. 

I almost never think about breaking the mark. (I almost never think about the marker at all, really.) I know where I want the disc to be, and I know where the defense doesn't want the disc to be. If I get a chance to put the disc there, then I need to be ready to take advantage of that chance. To me, this is no different than being able to take advantage of any open cut—open side, break side, anywhere. I want all of those throws to be as easy as possible, and to do that, I need the mark to move enough to make it easy. 

I think that every move that a thrower makes has to be a legitimate move to make a throw. Every move you make as a thrower, you are communicating to the mark, to your cutters, to the defenders upfield. Every move must communicate something. A "fake" doesn't do that. Idris Nolan wrote somewhere on the Internet that he never fakes. I believe that a fake is just a throw you didn't let go of: it has to look the same. Now the marker doesn't know what you're doing, and moving your mark is simple. If I make a move to throw a backhand swing against a forehand mark (if everything I've done so far is something I could've thrown) then the marker moves just enough that I can throw little IO. 

When teaching newer players (or those up-fielders who just don't get it) about throwing some of the more difficult throws, I almost never teach about "breaking the mark." I talk about the importance of it, but I teach about moving the mark with controlled, committed motion. Every move could be a throw. Every move is done with balance. 

Another thing that I work on with players which aids in breaking the mark is working on the shape of every throw. It's important to put the disc in the right shape (flat to a straight cut, a little roll into the receiver, always leading the cut). Working on all of these shapes helps players break the mark, even if that's not the topic at hand. 

One more thought: remember that the goal is not to "break the mark." The goal is to make it easy to score. It's ok to take two throws to get it there. If there is a gimme throw up the gut to someone who can then easily push the disc over the break side. It's just happened about as fast if you did it. It might be safer, and you're still putting the defense out of position almost as quickly. 

huddle Issue 14 Breaking The Mark

Tuesday, March 9th, 2009

Scoring Consistently
by Chris Ashbrook

From The 2000 UPA Finals
by Tully Beatty

You Never Have To Break The Mark If...
by VY Chow

Mark Breaking
by Jeff Eastham-Anderson

The Goal Is To Make It Easy To Score
by Adam Goff

Allowing Mistakes, Deceiving Marks
by Lindsey Hack

Utilizing Your Arsenal
by Brett Matzuka

Every Fake Must Be A Viable Throw
by Chelsea Putnam

Plan Ahead
by Kath Ratcliff

The Shimmy
by Miranda Roth

Beating The Mark
by Adam Sigelman

An Easier Way
by Chris Talarico




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