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Avoid The Pile-Up

by Ray Illian

We've all been there before. The throw goes up, the disc catches some wind, and just hangs. As the intended offensive receiver, you are forced to slow down and track the path of the disc. It soon becomes quite crowded around you as multiple players converge on what seems like the optimal position to vie for the disc. Soon it's time to jump for the disc and hope everything works out. If you can maneuver through the tangled mess of limbs and actually extend your arm(s) into the air unfettered and catch the disc, then pat yourself on the back. You completed a low percentage catch, and the thrower owes you a burrito/sandwich at the next team dinner. 

For the rest of us who aren't Alex Nord or Brodie Smith, our best chances of catching the disc arise from exploiting the weaknesses of the pile-up. The first of which is a speed mismatch. Crowds of people vying for the same position are usually moving pretty slow. Take advantage of this and always be moving faster than the crowd when you prepare to jump for the disc. Sprint towards the pile, take the extra long step to lower your center of gravity (and load your calves like a spring), and use the extra space around you to translate your horizontal momentum into vertical momentum by propelling your off-jumping leg and catching arm upwards in one motion. This could very well give you the extra inch or two you need to sky the pile, as those trapped in the pile are usually unable to jump at their maximum height. 

Another weakness for those in the pile-up is perspective. The farther away you are from the crowd, the better your grasp of the situation becomes: You have a more complete view of the path of the disc and the movement of other players which gives you a better idea of where the disc will end up. This information can help you take the best course of action, whether it's trying to sky the pile, realizing the pile has the wrong read on the disc and beating them to the right spot unobstructed, or strategically positioning yourself to pick up the trash after a deflection (which is more likely than the disc being caught). 

Truth be told, the intended receiver rarely is the one to win these 50/50 type scenarios. Rather, it's the heads-up offensive player on the other end of the field—surveying the situation and acting accordingly at 100% - who is going to come down with the disc. Avoid the pile-up.

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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