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by Brett Matzuka

This is a skill that many of the top defenders possess which generates lots of lay out blocks. There are 3 key components to a successful baited block. 

1. Knowing the offense (thrower/cutter) 

To many, this is just knowing how far away you can let your player get before you can't make up the ground in time to get a bid on the pass. Knowing how much ground you can make up on your player when the disc goes up is the most important part to knowing the offense; if you can't regain the ground when the disc is thrown, you surely won't get the block. However, also knowing the current offensive circumstance and the thrower will be the icing on the cake. A good thrower is patient and confident with the disc and will look off an even slightly questionable pass for another option, or if they choose to throw it, are more likley to place it far enough away to prevent the opportunity for a bid. An average thrower, however, will be more likely try to unload the disc quickly, which should give you the opportunity for the baited block. Other key factors to consider are: Did the thrower just receive the disc with a zero count, or is the count high? are they trapped on the line or at center field? Is the there offensive flow currently or not? All these questions will have a big affect on whether the bait and bid is successful, or whether you may overcommit and expose your defense to a devastating blow. 

2. Be on your toes (literally) 

If you are baiting for a block, be ready to actually get the block. Too many times a defender has given up a few steps unintentionally, sees the impending throw to their man, and actually manages to make up the ground but doesn't get in position to convert the block. To turn this from a run past and expose your defense to an unmarked man to a lay out D, you have to prepare a few steps before you are within striking distance. Simply put, when you are 3 to 4 steps away from making a play, get low and maximize the amount of spring you can get from your legs, (much like a lay up in basketball) take your 2-3 short step routine to prepare to explode, and then execute. If you don't prepare to bid a few steps before, it will pass you by. 

3. Desire 

This sounds cheesy and much like a cliche, but it is honestly the truth. You can have both of the above and still not manage to get the block. This last part completes the package. You give the offensive player enough steps to look like a viable option while still maintaining enough distance to make a bid. The throw goes up and you make up the ground while preparing for the bid by getting low and going through the lay out routine. However, if you lack the passion, determination, or desire, you will hear a lot of people congratulating you on a nice bid, and just that, bid, not D. Desire here isn't just defined as your thirst for the disc, but as the focus and attention to any inconsequential detail or deviation that might potentially prevent the bid from becoming a block. That millisecond that you explode horizontally into the air, you have to be so focused and hungry for the disc that you keep your eye locked onto the disc (where it is going, where the offensive player plans to catch it, etc.) and position your body, limbs, and hands in a way to deflect/catch the disc while accounting for any deviation from your initial preparation that has occured along the flight path. This, simply put, is desire. Not letting any hiccup prevent you from making your lay out eventuate into a D. 

If you can manage to learn these 3 components, hurling yourself through the air will be the easy part that puts the icing on the cake. 

huddle Issue 19 The Layout Block

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Bide Your Time
by Tully Beatty

Recognition & Position
by Jeff Eastham-Anderson

An In-Cut Adjustment Illustrated
by Adam Goff

The Value Of A Layout Block?
by Greg Husak

by Brett Matzuka

Team Glory
by Ted Munter

How To Get A Layout Block
by Al Nichols

by Miranda Roth

The Holy Grail Of This Sport
by Adam Sigelman





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