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Well-Rounded Deep Threats

by Gwen Ambler

In my experience, the toughest match-ups on receivers are against those players that are as big a threat going deep as they are coming under. Playing defense against a player like this, it is not obvious how you should play them. If you force them away, they'll burn you deep and/or sky you for the score, but if you force them in, they'll have a chance to use their throws to put the disc into the endzone. 

Leslie Calder in her prime is the perfect example of this type of player. As an incredible athlete, she had a great top speed, could turn on a dime, jumped well, had amazing hands, and could lay-out for passes that were well out of range for most players. Her throws were also superb, and she could break the mark and huck with pin-point accuracy. Being a lefty also helped her team as she could open up the field in different ways from her teammates. Miranda Roth and Georgia Bosscher both earned Callahan awards for this type of double-threat play. 

Against players that have only one clear superpower, it's easier to plan ahead to take that threat away, even if they are really, really good at that one thing. 

For this reason, I think that receivers with big aspirations should make sure and not focus exclusively on the skills that get them open (speed, turning, explosiveness, juking, timing) or that secure the disc in their hands (catching technique, reading the disc, lay-outs, hops), but also need to make sure that they can be potent once they have possession (fakes, breaks, hucks, field vision, decision making). 

It takes time to develop into that type of well-rounded player, so first a receiver would need to make sure and become at least a single-threat by being able to get open reliably. In my opinion, the easiest way to do this is through working on timing and learning how to get a defender on her heels. If you could work on one physical aspect, I would suggest focusing on top speed.

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





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