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Getting The Advantage

by Kurt Gibson

Catching a 50/50 disc is not an exact science just like every other aspect of Ultimate and unfortunately there aren't a lot of aspects you can practice if you're looking to sky the best receivers in the game. Superior athleticism and your ability to read the disc almost always win. However, there are a few things (besides improving vertical leap, experience, etc.) that can set you apart from the rest of the pack if you want to have an advantage at catching a disc over someone of similar or greater ability. 

The first thing may seem obvious but you won't believe how many of the best receivers in the game have a preferred hand to catch with, and/or will always catch with the same hand in a big moment. As an elite receiver you should be 100% confident with either hand at any moment during the game. 

The second is body position. As an offender on a 50/50 disc you need to be able to anticipate where the disc is going to be where you can catch it at your highest because you have to assume that with two or three other defenders on you, someone will be at least as good a jumper/reader as you are. As soon as the huck goes up you have to get yourself to where you can make a bid for the disc at the peak of your jump without letting the other defenders get position. You have to get to the spot where you will catch the disc at its peak regardless of where the defenders go around you. Don't let the defense dictate where you can position yourself. 

The last important aspect of catching a 50/50 disc is the drop step. Again, even many of the best receivers have a preference of which foot they jump off. It is very important to be able to drop step/jump off both feet. ou never know when you need to go off your right foot and catch with your left hand or vice versa to be at your highest point depending on where your defender(s) are. 

An example where you can win a 50/50 using all of these skills. Let's say you and two other defenders are all running underneath a moving disc and all of you are 5'10 and can catch a disc at 10ft in the air. The disc is hovering at 11 ft and as an offender you need to come down with this disc. The disc is bobbing up and down and is about to come into the 10ft range so everyone drop steps and prepares to jump, however, you and the other defender see as you do that that the disc bobs right back up. One defender goes up too early. That leaves you and one other defender. As soon as the defender missed the disc it starts to come back down close to the ten foot range. Because you can jump off both legs you only have to take three strides to drop step again and jump off your other foot. The defender has to take four strides and jump off the same foot. You jump first and go up with the hand opposite the leg you jumped off of and catch the disc because you can catch/jump confidently with both legs/feet. The first defender was only confident in jumping/catching off one foot/hand and he also gave up body position by jumping early. The second defender couldn't jump off the other foot confidently leaving him one stride behind you despite maintaining position. 

You've just saved your team a turnover and possibly the game if you can catch with both hands confidently, jump of both feet confidently, and maintain establish position first. 

huddle Issue 23 Catching 50/50 Discs

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009
Getting The Advantage
by Kurt Gibson

Catching Priorities
by Lindsey Hack

Make Them Make A Play
by Morgan Hibbert

Positioning & Approach
by Greg Husak

Avoid The Pile-Up
by Ray Illian

Beating The Pack From Below The Canopy
by Brett Matzuka

Retain That!
by Miranda Roth

Winning On Both Sides Of The Dis
by Chase Sparling-Beckley

How To Get Into The Sky Club
by Kiran Thomas





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