huddle banner

Handling: Vision

by Deb Cussen

Having great throws is one thing, but what makes a great handler is how those throws are used. A lot of characteristics that apply can be said about any great player, like the ability to consistently get open, especially late in the stall, and in a dangerous place to make the next throw. The great ones blend taking opportunities and making opportunities. With handlers, I think what separates the great ones, beyond just having great throws, is vision. 

Vision involves being able to see the field; the whole field, not just the primary cutters or the play in motion. Spaces are opening and closing, cutters are changing directions and speeds. A great handler takes all of this in, anticipating cutters' motions to hit a new space she's cutting into, or hitting her just as she plants and turns under for max yardage gain. Reads the body language of a poacher as he starts to step off his man, pump fakes to get him to bite and then hits his man on the break side. That weak-side handler or h-stack cutter sneaking down the far sideline can catch his defender sleeping when the handler sees it developing and puts up the throw. 

Besides reading the field in the moment, a great handler will anticipate changes on the field over the course of a game. Every defense gives up something, and having vision is knowing where the vulnerabilities lie and how to take advantage of them using those great throws. A great handler will also manipulate the defense, capitalizing on areas of weakness and forcing them to change, opening new opportunities to strike. Take a few deep shots early in the game in order to set up the easy, big yardage gain in-cuts later in the game when the defense starts backing. Throwing a few swings around the cup and entice the off-mark to slide over away from the middle into that lane and bite on a fake, then hit a popper through the cup. 

All of these scenarios involve solid decision-making based on calculated risks. A great handler knows when that big incredible throw is likely to pay off, and when it's better to rely on the consistent throws and basic offensive strategy. 

huddle Issue 21 Team USA On Specialities

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

Well-Rounded Deep Threats
by Gwen Ambler

What Else Makes A Good Handler?
by Cara Crouch

Handling: Vision
by Deb Cussen

Defensive Handlers I Admire
by Kathy Dobson

Schwa's D-Handler
by Chelsea Putnam

Handling: Doing The Little Things
by Jon Remucal

D-Line Handlers
by Adam Simon

Deep Cutting
by Dylan Tunnell

Cutting Thoughts & Techniques
by Bart Watson

Defense From The Handler Spot
by Seth Wiggins





  • Issues

  • Features

  • Authors

  • About

      huddle issue034   huddle issue033   huddle issue032   huddle issue031   huddle issue030  
      huddle issue029   huddle issue028   huddle issue027   huddle issue026   huddle issue025  
      huddle issue024   huddle issue023   huddle issue022   huddle issue021   huddle issue020  
      huddle issue019   huddle issue018   huddle issue017   huddle issue016   huddle issue015  
      huddle issue014   huddle issue013   huddle issue012   huddle issue011   huddle issue010  
      huddle issue009   huddle issue008   huddle issue007   huddle issue006   huddle issue005  
      huddle issue004   huddle issue003   huddle issue002   huddle issue001      
      huddle feature026   huddle feature025   huddle feature024   huddle feature023   huddle feature022  
      huddle feature021   huddle feature020   huddle feature019   huddle feature018   huddle feature017  
      huddle feature016   huddle feature015   huddle feature014   huddle feature013   huddle feature012  
      huddle feature011   huddle feature010   huddle feature009   huddle feature008   huddle feature007  
      huddle feature006   huddle feature005   huddle feature004   huddle feature003   huddle feature002  
      huddle feature001                  


  • Authors

  • About / Get Involved