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Eliminate 2-3 Breaks A Game

by Brett Matzuka

Preface: Ever since I started playing competitive Ultimate, I have been on the D team. So, receiving the pull isn't something that I have partaken in very often. That being said, I have done it and can give a viewpoint from a defensive standpoint. 

Most important and crucial part of receiving the pull is the reception. I mean pure and simple, having someone there to initially catch the disc. From an offensive standpoint, catching the pull is where the offense begins. This is analogous to the inbounds pass in basketball; if you can't confidently, successfully inbound the ball, you are going to have some unnecessary turnovers. The offense wants to catch the disc and get it moving right away whether for a set play, or string, or just to gain easy ground before the defense sets up. Whether due to miscommunication or a lack of confidence in catching, a pull hitting soil is starting off on the wrong foot for an offensive team. 

In terms of how many should be back for this procedure and where they are positioned is determined by what offensive structure your team uses. For a horizontal, I would typically have one back to receive the disc and then two secondary handler options which form a triangle from the initial reception. Behind this, downfield, would be the normal horizontal stack. Procedurally, I would have an outside handler receive the pull, hit one of the two upfield options, and fill in to the outside of the person they had just thrown to (figure provided). The main purpose of this is get the disc to the center of the field to help open up space. This also gives the handlers, and offense, a routine to follow. Psychologically, this is a good way to forget what has happened in the game up till now and get refocused on the current point; watch any professional tennis player before he/she serves and notice that they bounce the ball the same number of times before each serve, or watch a basketball player before a free throw. 

For a vertical stack, I would maintain have one handler back to receive the pull and a handler upfield, in the middle, as a first option. From here, you can either fall into the offense, or follow the string called. 

Lastly, I remember a quote from my previous captain, Jonathan Potts, that is meaningful in this circumstance. 

"A good puller is worth 2-3 breaks a game." 

If your offensive team can work out a system to make this statement irrelevant to your team, then I would say you know how to receive the pull. 

huddle Issue 27 Fielding The Pull

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Catch The Pull
by Gwen Ambler

  Unfailing Terminology
by Lou Burruss

The Basics
by Adam Goff

Left & Right Options
by Lindsey Hack

Respond As It Comes
by Greg Husak

Eliminate 2-3 Breaks A Game
by Brett Matzuka

The Catch To The Hitch
by Adam Sigelman





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