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The Value Of A Layout Block?

by Greg Husak

I'm frequently torn between the value of a layout block versus just shutting your guy down to the point that he's not thrown to. Layout blocks, at least at the elite level, are typically the result of a bad decision or throw by the thrower, because it is very tough to get around elite receivers, and you're generally just not going to make up enough ground to go from a guy being open to you blocking him unless the throw is in a bad spot or the receiver does a terrible job of sealing you. That being said, I think there is definitely an art to putting yourself in this position so that when the opportunity comes you can take advantage. 

The primary factor is desire. Whether it's the desire to keep your guy from getting it, to get the disc or win the glory of making that play, something has to be ticking in the defender's head that will make him hurl his body at the disc. Learning the game in California we would occasionally work out and play on the beach where the potential for injury dramatically decreases and you start to think that maybe that's possible on grass too. However, despite training and practice, at some level the layout block is an uncontrolled action with the prime motivation to get the disc. The mind just has stay out of the way and let the body do its thing. 

I've seen a lot of great blocks in big games, many of them for or against the team I was playing on, which can bias me. However, one that I saw early in my career, at my first nationals, is one of the few I remember that didn't involve my team. It was Boston DoG, and I believe it was their epic semifinal of 1997 against Ring of Fire. Boston pulls during their epic comeback (they were down like 7-1 to start the game) and one of the markers in their clam/zone is sprinting down and the first pass is about to get thrown right by him. As he's sprinting he somehow launches his body at a nearly right-angle to his left and about chest high. I actually cant even remember if he got the block, but I know it was a super-human effort for a pass that, while it was his responsibility, wasn't really to his man. As he came do the ground he didn't get up and the word was that he tore his ACL, or something in his knee. Boston went on to win that semifinal, and ultimately take down Sockeye in the final. 

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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