Week 4 Beginners Catch Up – Changing Throwing Grip and Offensive Cutting

Changing Throwing Grip

Last week we introduced the basics of pivoting and faking. If we can fake and then move from one pivot to another very quickly we can throw past defenders easily.

CLICK ME – here the thrower fakes a backhand and pivots into a forehand position quickly so that the defender cannot block the throw.

To do this effectively, we need to switch from one grip to the other very quickly. In the video below Brodie Smith explains how we can use our wrist to snap the disc from one grip to the other.


Brodie Smith is absolutely right about how you can practice these movements all the time. Many experienced players at this club still really struggle with changing grip quickly, which is stupid because it is doesn’t take much practice to do really well and it makes such a BIG difference to your ability to throw.

So be impatient about your improvement; practice these movements in the shower, waiting for the kettle to boil, waiting for the bus, at POP, whenever you can!


Offensive Cutting

Last week we talked about how we want to create space near the thrower AND near the attacking endzone.

Offensive Space


Creating this space allows our teammates to attack the space (or “cut”) in order to offer a throwing option to the thrower. 

We want to attack this space at the maximum speed possible for three reasons:

1) The faster we are running, the more difficult it is for our defender to keep up.

2) If we are not running at maximum speed, a defender that the thrower does not see could catch up and intercept a pass. This means making good throwing decisions is easier when cuts are made at maximum speed.

CLICK ME – Here the receiver is ahead of his defender, but slows down allowing the defender to catch up and intercept the disc.

3) The faster we are running the greater our catching radius (the area the disc could go and we would still catch it) is.

CLICK ME – Here the throw is a long way ahead of the receiver, but because he is running at maximum speed he is able to catch up and make a diving catch (a “layout”).

CLICK ME – Here the throw is too far ahead of the receiver, but because she is running at maximum speed she is able to make an explosive leap to complete the diving catch.

Changing Direction

So you make a cut at full speed into space but for some reason (maybe your defender is close, maybe another player is in the way) the thrower pivots out in your direction and fakes. This fake is a clear piece of communication from your thrower saying “I am not going to throw to you”. 

You now have a choice:

1) You can “clear out” by exiting the deep space or the space near the thrower, allowing one of your teammates to attack that space instead.

2) You can change direction as quickly as possible and attack another space.

(Learning when to choose (1) and when to choose (2) will come with practice, but make sure to try both in different situations and think about whether they worked or not and why).

It is easier for a defender to stay close to a receiver when they both start from a stationary position than when a cut starts with a quick change of direction, so ‘Double Cutting’ is a good offensive technique.

CLICK ME – Here the offensive player attacks some space from a stationary position, but isn’t quick enough to gain separation from his defender.

CLICK ME – Here the offensive player attacks the space in front of the disc, is faked by the thrower, changes direction and sprints into the middle of the pitch to receive a pass.


Double Cutting – Sprinting in one direction to put the defender off balance, then changing direction quickly and sprinting in another direction to present a  throwing option.

Bonus Learning:

A) When to change direction

We can change direction at anytime, not just when the thrower fakes, but we want to keep sprinting at maximum speed until we’re confident the thrower won’t throw into the space we’re attacking (or this might happen – CLICK ME – Here the receiver changes direction, the thrower doesn’t realize and throws to where he thought the receiver was going, leading to a turnover)

Typically this means that if the thrower is looking at you, you want to wait for a fake.

But if the thrower is not looking at you, change direction whenever.

Particularly good times to change direction are when:

1) your defender stops looking at you (AS SHOWN in this slightly contrived demo)

2) or while the disc is in the air/has just been caught (AS SHOWN HERE – the receiver changes direction as the disc is being caught, so that he is attacking the space as the thrower turns to look downfield)

That’s all for this week, hope you found it useful.

If you have any questions please ask 🙂







Andrew Hillman

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