Tuesday, October 7, 2008
I am not very good at throwing, but I am an adequate handler. I make up for my throwing shortcomings by moving well when I don't have the disc (that isn't to say that I don't actively work on making my throws better). There are basically two types of handlers - ones that handle by moving the disc around the field using their legs, and then there are the types that move the disc around the field with their throws. Watch a club game sometime, and you will see what I mean. The throwing handlers seem to get more comfortable and in control the longer they hold the disc (they also give more possessional dumps since they get field position by throwing), and the ones who use their legs rely on catching the disc in a spot on the field that puts them in an aggressive position to release the disc quickly before the mark gets there, and then moving to receive it again.
Ideally, a handler should be able to do both. One of the hardest things I had to learn when I started playing club was dumping since my college team never played with a dump (our captain was a volleyball player who we just floated a throw up high to the breakside when we got in trouble and he came down with it).
At first, the motion seems very strange, and hard to throw to, but after a while, once I learned to recognize the different dump patterns and worked on throwing to space, I begin to realize the merits of dumping. For starters, a properly executed dump cut is pretty much unguardable as long as the throw is out to space. This allows for easy resets and even more important, if a dumping system is properly integrated into the teams system, it is a predictable and dependable way to gain more advantageous field positions and help take take the force side advantage away from the defense.
It might just be that I am a handler now, but I feel the dump cut is the most powerful cut you can do in ultimate. If done correctly, it is the backbone of all club level offenses, and done incorrectly, it can lead to soft turnovers and breaks.
Below is a slide showing the various different dump movements and cuts. Read them, understand them, and we will be incorporating most into our offense this year.