Wednesday, October 1, 2008

On Improvisation (i suck at spelling)

I hate the concept of "plays" as in, player 1 does this, player 2 does this, we throw to player 3. I feel as a team, we are very robotic and don't do a good job of reacting to stimuli (i.e. making minor adjustments offensively or defensively in a game. This is especially evident when we play teams that throw shitty, bladey hucks, or playing against teams that poach or play a clammy defense).

In the past, we have gone over flow drills and split the game down into the small parts (various dumps, etc.), and we have even had plays. But, when we call them plays, i feel people don't realize that the best plays are really just patterns or situations that arise depending on your situation on the field. Also, I feel it teaches people to not throw to the OPEN man, but rather the man they think they should throw to.

Most college teams in the Northeast have coaches. Most of those coaches really know their x's and o's. They might have slightly varying O structures, dumps, defenses, but, for the most part, they are mostly based on the same fundamentals: throw the disc out to space, cut to get the disc AND make space, on defense take away the option the cutter wants, make the thrower break you with their 2nd best break throw when marking.

A good college team will execute their team's system well, a great college team will know how to improvise within a system when their first and second options are shut down. I am not talking about flashy scoobers and stall 9 blades (although every throw has it's place somewhere for a certain situation); I am more talking about, if someone is poached, where should he go, if they are back marking the thrower, how should he react, should our dumps change, and, if people are throwing bladey flick hucks on us, how should we defend differently.

I feel last year a lot of the freshmen and sophomores were good at playing D against MIT (squirrely handlers cutting upline, big cutters who jack it to other big cutters out of the ho stack). We were not good at playing against hippie ultimate.... no real stack and big throws. We also gave up 2 breaks every time a zone was put on us because our handlers would either miscommunicate and have a soft drop, or the handlers couldn't figure out if the cup was loose or tight and how to attack each one.

This stuff takes time to learn, and playing against colleges of all sizes and playing styles gives you much more experience than a watered down O line of MIT. This is why I have been pushing for you guys to play in as many tourneys as possible. I cannot teach you guys to play against every type of zone out there. We barely have enough time to learn how to run 1 effective zone. It is only through playing against different teams that you will begin to see the different patterns of O's and D's and then learn how to make adjustments on the fly about how to counter them. This is what I have been hinting at all season about the veterans learning pattern recognition.

Anyway, you guys are playing WPI tonight. They have 2 good players I know of, and both of them like to throw deep and run deep. I am assuming you will have a zone thrown against you and on offense they will run some sort of ho stack and throw it deep a lot with outside/ins. Be prepared to counter this by starting the game off dictating your man under. If they are going to score, make them score with 30 in cuts. If they do it the first time, make them do it 3 more times, I promise you that they will get frustrated and jack it deep the first second they think their man has a 50/50 shot at it.

no more mr. roboto, from now on, react to stimuli!

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