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"Beating" The Mark

by Adam Sigelman

When most players think about breaking the mark, they envision a thrower throwing around or over a stationary mark. However, I'd argue that the majority of break throws in high level ultimate don't happen this way. Most breaks I see are simple forehands and backhands thrown in motion with the mark trailing behind the thrower. 

You can be a great at switching fields with the Frisbee and have terrible "break throws". Here are three keys. (Note that this scenario assumes the disc towards the force sideline and you set up slightly behind or parallel to the disc. However, these same principles can apply in other scenarios as well). 

1. Separation. Breaking the mark starts first with your legs. It makes your life much easier if you can get a good few yards of separation. The typical (but not only) move is to drive your defender a few yards up the line. Wait until she turns her hips, plant, and then go back towards the line of scrimmage. The defender has to respect the up-the-line cut, giving you a chance to create separation going back towards the Frisbee. 

2. Positioning. Once you have some separation, you need to make a key decision in a split second. It comes down to whether you want to secure the reset or go for a break strike. Lots of factors play into this decision; the competency of the thrower, the conditions, where the mark is standing, etc. If you decide to secure the reset, angle your cut to make the throw easy, regardless of how it sets up the break throw. If you like your chances on a slightly more difficult throw to space, you want to curl your cut towards the break side of the field. The thrower should lead you in this direction with a somewhat floaty throw. Make sure that you put your body between the disc and your defender. When you catch the disc, you are moving in the direction you want to throw with the defender behind you. Getting this angle right is an art not a science, and mastering it is key to getting this break off easily. 

3. The Release. Don't stop. You have two and a half steps to throw the disc without committing a travel violation. Use these steps to maintain separation. Throw in stride. (You may need to set a very quick pivot foot to get off a forehand, but not necessarily with a little backhand flip.) It helps to practice catching and throwing the disc on the run, working on making your release as quick and accurate as possible. 

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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