huddle banner


by Adam Goff

There are a few key tricks that I have found make an effective mark. Some are commonly talked about and pretty well agreed. I do think that not all of these are universally agreed. This is mostly a list of key points, rather than in depth on each one. 

The first is mental. It's very easy to relax when you get to a mark. It's important to remind yourself that you are responsible for more of the field than any other single defender on the field. I see players lose this focus at the biggest points in the biggest games. There's no trick to this: you simply can't relax when you are marking; any good thrower will recognize that you have let down your guard. The more intense you are, the better your mark. Sidelines can be key in this. Get on the marker—provide information about what's going on, but don't just let the marker relax. This isn't the time rest. 

The second is also mental. As a marker, you cannot do everything. Do not try. It's very easy at the highest levels to start to think you can do more than you can. The downfield defender that spends too much time worrying about other players usually gets beat. The same is true for the marker. If you worry about trying to block the thrower from getting the disc to the whole field, you will likely not stop anything. You will be at the mercy of the throwers fakes. I usually tell players that you can stop 90° of the field, and you can harass throws in a little more (maybe 45-60° more). But you cannot stop a good thrower from throwing into even half of the field. In the diagram, T is thrower and M is marker, and the force is backhand. The dark blue is the area that you should block—definitely. You should try to harass throws in the light blue, but not at too much risk to your dark blue area. 

Issue025 Goff diagram1
Figure No. 1 

The third is positioning. I believe that most marks, even at all but the very top levels, are too far away from the thrower. It seems to be common practice to back up when there's a risk of, or experience with, getting broken. Typically, movement (being on your toes, bouncing with the thrower pivots) does a better job of keeping you from giving up that throw. It's important to have good balance and body position (arms low, knees over feet).* As a rule, I try to be about 18" to 2' from the thrower. Sometimes even closer. This is a change from what beginners or even intermediate players are taught, but it's critical throughout. 

The fourth is mental—again. As a marker, I want the thrower thinking about me. I know that I am rarely aware of the marker when I'm throwing. When I'm not aware of the marker it makes me very, very comfortable. Since I don't want the thrower comfortable when I'm marking, I will change things. I will change the volume I'm counting. I will vary my distance a bit between stall counts—shifting forward and back, and between marks. I will sometimes move my arms more and sometimes less. I'll yell different things to the defenders around me. 

* Zaslow and Parinella wrote a great guide to marking in "Ultimate Techniques and Tactics." Balance and arm position is key in this—I'd suggest giving it a read if you haven't. I didn't cover items like balance, arm position, or impact of field position. It's covered very well in their book.


huddle Issue 25 Tips On Marking

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

by Gwen Ambler

Twice, No More
by Lou Burruss

Two Simple Steps
by Matt Dufort

by Adam Goff

Tips & Insights
by Peri Kurshan

Preventative vs. Deceptive
by Brett Matzuka

Tricks Of The Trade
by Patrick Mooney

Team Marking
by Charlie Reznikoff

Defending The Area Around The Thrower
by Kirk Savage

Beyond The Fundamentals
by Ben van Heuvelen





  • 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