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Sharing The Work

by Logan Pendragon

Standing on the sidelines is, for many players, the hardest or most frustrating part of being on a team. Ultimate is special in the larger world of sports in that the sideline is a great place to help your team out. Where in other sports the sideline is not allowed to actively participate by communicating with their fellow players on the field, in Ultimate the sideline can work as an eighth player, one with position and focus dedicated to improving the outcome of strategies and plays being made my fielded players. Yet, being a sideline voice isn't a simple thing to master. 

A good rule of thumb to start with is to keep your help simple. Start off with clear and attentive "Up" calls and keep your teammates motivated on the field when they are tired. If possible, find positions with good perspectives on plays to help with in/out and up/down calls. 

The next step for me is pairing-off a sideline player with an on-field player. Pairing up is something that takes work and requires trust between players, but gives an added edge if done properly. It’s much easier for any player if they are allowed to focus on guarding or marking on defense, and having an extra pair of eyes to help reposition one's defense only adds to that. A clear example is when maintaining a mark, your buddy on the sideline who can see the field and immediate threats behind you can help you reposition to take away a pass to an oncoming threat. Calls to "strike", "no break", and "no huck" can build up your defense immensely. These players also help keep their partners balanced as well as focused on the team's own strategy by calling out reminders. 

The key to getting this right is to know the player you are assisting and have his trust. If you make a call that ends up going badly, it’s rough. So keep calls to what's simple, what you know, and to what you've practiced. Keep your teammates pumped; motivate them whenever you are not instructing. 

An added benefit of sideline pairings, especially on less developed teams with players at different levels of gameplay, is that it creates an organized way to help each other. Avoid cross-shouting instructions from different players on the sideline. If you have one voice to lock on to, then no one gets confused. 

Developing trust between players is key for this partnering to work, so know the player with whom you are working. Newer players to the team deserve some attention, but players with tough jobs during a point take precedence. Take time to develop the use of the sideline during practices. 

huddle issue030 Using The Sideline Voice

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Keep It Calm
by Jody Avirgan

Two Things Durings A Point
by Jeff Eastham-Anderson

Standardizing A Team Way Of Communicating
by Greg Husak

A Strong Sideline Voice
by Tyler Kinley

Tangible vs. Intangible
by Brett Matzuka

A Constant Stream Of Specific Information
by Colin McIntyre

Make It Useful
by Jim Parinella

Sharing The Work
by Logan Pendragon

Assisting The Visually Impaired
by Taylor Pope

It Takes Practice
by Moses Rifkin

Loud + Positive = Good
by Miranda Roth

Provide New Information and Reinforcement
by Shane Rubenfeld

The Zone
by Ben van Heuvelen




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