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Scoring Consistently

by Chris Ashbrook

What I like to do is to not let the mark dictate the throw, but for the thrower to dictate the markers positioning and movements. In doing so, I find teaching young players to break the mark that you must first teach them to make themselves a threat while holding the disc. I consider the way I hold the disc similar to what is called a triple threat in basketball. To me, this means holding the disc in a throwing position. The throwing position that I teach young players is:

  1. Feet placement is shoulder length apart, maybe slightly wider.
  2. Knees are bent.
  3. Balance is centered.
  4. Hold the disc with a flick grip, ready to throw.
  5. Face the mark.

Steps 1-3 allow the thrower to have a strong base position. This type of positioning allows the thrower to easily step out for the forehand and to pivot to the backhand. Many young throwers tend to be intimidated due to an aggressive marker straddling their pivot foot; this type of throwing position helps to reduce the amount of straddling

Holding the disc in the flick grip, regardless of the force, provides the thrower with the greatest advantage for two reasons. First, holding in the flick position allows you to throw the flick, the hammer, scoober, and (if you are a good enough thrower to rotate the disc into a different grip) a thumber. Secondly, you are forcing the mark to respect the flick regardless of the mark's force. Also, the rotation from flick to backhand is much smoother and easier than the rotation from a backhand to a flick. 

As stated in step 5, I teach the thrower to face the mark. The benefits of facing the mark are that the mark is no longer able to position closely to your pivot foot, thereby allowing you to pivot more freely; and you force the mark to respect the flick regardless of the force. The flick is a very quick throw, so to break the mark you will only need to step out slightly and throw to space. 

What this positioning has done is you have forced the marker to make a decision. The marker can play you straight up, and you are able to get a quick and easy break mark throw off. Alternatively, they can overcompensate to the flick side which will then allow you pivot to break the mark with an easy backhand. Many times, with an aggressive mark, you will note that they overplay the flick position to start, and with a simple pivot they bust to stop the backhand (which they will do aggressively as well) opening up the easy flick break. 

Another reason to face the mark, the closer you are to the sideline force, the more important it is to move the disc off the sideline, which will usually require some type of break throw. 

Lastly, I try to teach throwers to recognize the angles and space to which they are throwing. I try to have them envision themselves in a triangle with the receiver. The third point being the space to which they are throwing. This works best with live people, as the throwers are able to see how the angle or place to where they are throwing the disc impacts the difficulty of the throw, and in turn the completion percentage. 

A 3 or 4 person drill used to help develop the easy break throws was to set up a 10 yds x 10 yds box. A thrower and maker would be at the bottom halfway between the bottom left and right corners, with the receiver and defender at the upper right corner. The marker would then mark at the appropriate 45 degree angle (flick) protecting the upper left corner. The thrower then initiates the throw to the upper left corner (either flick or around backhand) and the receiver trys to catch the disc within the box. Keep repeating. This helps the thrower learn how to move the mark and where the space is for break mark throws. 


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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