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Limitations To Matchup Theory

by Greg Husak

Defensive matchups can be a positive aspect of successfully implementing a defensive strategy, but they can also serve to be a limitation. There are certain instances where a defender just has another players number and as a team you would be foolish to not consider that, but if you let certain matchups become the focus of the defensive strategy it may prevent you from running the defenses that are most successful for the team. As a defensive captain, I have always tried to set the defensive philosophy and then let matchups occur within that strategy. 

If a defender feels that he can shut a particular player down, then he'll usually get a chance to try his hand, but if the player is demanding a matchup they better also feel the pressure to deliver some results. The teams I've played on have always set their own assignments on the line, so if a player makes a request for a matchup they usually get it. Frequently this will lead to the defender putting some extra pressure on themself to succeed, and hopefully get their full attention and effort into the matchup. The key is to balance this within the defensive team play and make sure that, on balance, the team has good matchups. In this way, I think the assignment of a matchup coming from the defensive player, rather than initiated from the coach/captain, gives the defender a chance to succeed because they feel the most responsibility for the outcome of their matchup. 

The matchup for the best defender would really come from the style of the other team. If they have one big target that the offense likes to throw to, that would be an obvious choice for the best defender. However, if the team is a patient team that relies on resets around the disc, I would put the defender on a handler who the team relies on for resets. Again, putting the defender on a player that they are confident matching up with will most likely have the best results. 

huddle Issue 17 Using Defensive Matchups

Tuesday, April 27th, 2009

May The Best Man Win
by Tully Beatty

Three-Legged Stool
by Lou Burruss

The Right Adjustments
by Adam Goff

To Rotate Or Not To Rotate?
by Lindsey Hack

Limitations To Matchup Theory
by Greg Husak

Maximizing Defensive Assets
by Kris Kelly

Maximizing Impact
by Brett Matzuka

Who Should Guard Their Best Player?
by Ted Munter

Matching Up With Defensive Characteristics
by Kama Siegel

Give Your Defenders A Chance
by Shane Steward

A Theoretically Helpful Exercise
by Seth Wiggins





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