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Week 3 Beginners Catch-Up – Pivoting, Faking and Offensive Movement

Pivoting

When in possession of the disc, we have to maintain a ‘pivot point’ by keeping one foot stationary on the ground.

(When we catch or pick up the disc we can choose which foot to pivot off. Right handed throwers should pivot off their left foot, left handed throwers off their right).

We are free to move the other foot wherever we want. When we do so it is called ‘pivoting’.

Q/ Why is pivoting a good idea?

A/
1. It allows us to throw from further away from our pivot foot. This is particularly important when there is a defender close and trying to block our throws. By pivoting it is easier for us to throw past the defender.

(CLICK ME – here the thrower pivots from a backhand pivot to a forehand pivot allowing him to throw around the defender)

2. Pivoting increases the distance between our feet and naturally lowers us into a squat position. This is a very stable, balanced position meaning we will have more balance and control over the throwing motion.
3. Pivoting allows us to transfer body momentum into the throwing motion meaning we’ll have more power.

(CLICK ME – here the thrower pivots from a neutral stance to a backhand pivot to throw around her defender)

(CLICK ME – here the thrower pivots from a neutral stance to a forehand pivot allowing her to throw around the defender)

Teaching Points on Pivoting

1. We want to pivot at almost 90′ to the direction we want to throw in. On the forehand side this opens our hips which improves our balance. On the backhand side this is ensures that we gain power through hip rotation.
2. We want to point our foot in the direction we pivot in. This maximises the stability of the pivot position and more importantly, guards us against ankle injuries.
3. We want to bend both knees, and finish the movement with our chest over our non-pivot point foot.

A textbook forehand pivot and throw from Finland's Olga Rennto.

A textbook forehand pivot and throw from Finland’s Olga Rentto. Both legs are bent at the knee allowing her to reach a low, stable throwing position.

 

Backhand

On this backhand throw both knees are bent allowing the player to move into a balanced, low position. The front foot is facing in the direction of the pivot and the chest is over the front knee.

 

Faking

“So I have the disc, and I’ve seen a teammate make a quick movement into space. I pivot and begin my throwing motion.

As I prepare to throw, my eyes are firmly fixed on my teammate. I notice a defender close by that I hadn’t spotted initially. Maybe this throw isn’t such a good idea after all. I complete the throwing motion but as I snap my wrist forward I hold onto the disc, rather than letting go. I’ve just masterfully executed a fake.”

(CLICK HERE – a lovely slow motion backhand fake)

(CLICK HERE – here the thrower fakes the forehand because the defender is in the way and moves to throw a backhand instead)

——–

When we decide that we are not going to throw an option, we instead fake the option. Fakes are good and the more the better. They can deceive and distract defenders and they act as a silent form of communication with your teammates.

(CLICK HERE – an example of a fake deceiving a defender into a dramatic dive)

Fakes say: “I’m not going to throw that option, you need to move to give me other options instead.”

We will naturally fake throws when we stick to the fundamental rule:

“That we want to make the final decision on whether to let go of the disc as late in the throwing motion as possible.”

(CLICK HERE – here the thrower pivots to the backhand side and fakes. This moves the defender making a forehand throw easier)

(AND HERE – here the thrower pivots to the backhand side and fakes. This moves the defender making a forehand throw easier)

 

Intelligent Offensive Movement

“One of my teammates makes a run into some space, but her defender is really close. I pivot out and fake in her direction – I have just told my team ‘I’m not going to throw that option, you need to give me other options instead.’

Before I have time to congratulate myself on mastering the ‘Pivoting and Faking’ section, all 6 of my teammates start running towards me.”

This is bad, with so many players moving in a small area:

a) They keep getting each other’s way.
b) All the movement is very confusing for the thrower. It makes it very difficult to decide who I should throw to.

It’s consistent across most possession based sports that we want:

a) a mix of teammates attacking space to present options and teammates staying out of the way. In Ultimate this mix is about 50/50.

b) to keep the space around the player in possession clear. In Ultimate we also want to keep the space near our opponents endzone clear, so that we can sprint deep and score a goal easily.

In the diagram below, the Red Team on offence are doing a good job of maintaining space near the thrower (in purple) and near the opponents endzone (in orange).

Offensive Space

Now each player has to decide whether to attack the purple/orange space or stay out the way.

Terminology:
A Cut: A movement at full speed through the purple/orange space by an offensive player. This movement is used to present the thrower with a throwing option.

CLICK HERE – here one attacker is ‘cutting’ and the others are staying still. Note how the whole team have created lots of space directly in front of the disc and that is where the receiver goes

CLICK HERE – here one attacker is ‘cutting’ and the others are staying still. Note how the whole team have created lots of space directly in front of the disc and that is where the receiver goes

A Clear: A movement that avoids the purple/orange space by an offensive player. This movement is used by players to change position without getting in the way of cuts.

CLICK HERE – an example of three offensive players ‘clearing’ to create a big space near the disc. Then one of their teammates cuts into it and receives the disc

CLICK HERE – an example of one offensive player ‘clearing’ to create a big space in front of the disc. Then one of her teammates cut into it and receives the disc

The diagram below shows one of the Red players making:

a) a cut (light blue line)
b) a clear (light green line)

Cutting and Clearing

 

We definitely don’t expect you to understand and remember this right away, but having it written down and explained somewhere you can refer back to can be really useful. If you have any questions at all please comment below or message me on facebook. And finally here is a snapshot of Ultimate’s prestigious history as a reward for reading through everything… 🙂

 

 

Andrew Hillman

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