Written by Hugh Kinnear (social secretary 2016-17), which captained Bears 3 at UMIR 2016.
Bears 3 finished 9th. We played well above our expected level, notably drawing against a team that went through to nationals.
Things we did well:
- In general an exceptional performance by everyone on the team. We were the highest finishing 3rd team in the whole of the nation and actually we under performed still. A very high calibre of throwing with some really pretty points that showed great patience.
- Split lines such that we were playing with people we had played with the most before.
- 2-1-2 worked exceptionally well on my line, everyone was given one role and thus by the end of the tournament they were able to master it.
- Flood. At the beginning of the tournament it was pretty poor but by the end our flood was very hard to break down. Communication in the wall was very good. Chasers mate also became a lot more aware of their role.
- We worked hard every point. When there was a turn and we had to get on defence everyone was switched on and got to their man and ran hard. Every team commented on how fast we were and how we were their most tiring game.
Things we didn’t do so well:
- We should have started our warm-ups earlier and made them more focused and regular to get us in the right state of mind to win our games. Just in general we did not focus enough pre-game.
- When throwing in warm-ups we were not focused on catching, if the disc went a bit far we were reluctant to make a bid because it was “just a warm up”. I blame this for some of the silly drops we made.
- Not confident going into games. I (particularly before playing uBu and Cardiff) played down our chances of winning a lot. This was a mistake and it showed in our games that we did believe we were the worse team.
- Poor strategy when ahead. It often looked like we were 6-0 down when in actual fact we were winning. We were throwing low percentage throws for no reason against teams we were much quicker than (the dump was always on). This is linked to the last point about not enough confidence. When ahead the clock was on our side and we were all capable of making 100% dump passes.
- Poor flexibility on defence. We only had prepared man (FSU was not well drilled enough on either line) and when this failed we really did struggle. In general we did not look up enough on defence enough and consider the whole pitch. For example if someone got burned off deep it was very rare that someone poached off or a switch was called to remedy the situation. We also did not concentrate enough on who should be marking who (in some games, halfway through we were still unsure who the handlers were on the other team. This is pretty sloppy).
- Side-lining. The force should always have someone talking to them. This rarely happened.
- Against some of the easier teams we lost concentration and began messing around. Draws are not uncommon in Frisbee tournaments and thus goal difference is always important (as we later found out).
I will just go through some individual performance points that stood out to me.
Chok – He won MVP and this was very well deserved. Not only was his handling extremely good (breaking the mark was very easy for him and he took a lot of pressure off the cutters by making some insane throws) his defence was exceptional. I am not sure how many turns Chok got (many) but I know whoever he was marking was always visibly struggling to get free.
Notably in our game against staffs Chok threw some throws which really didn’t need to be thrown, we talked about this in the team talk after and he adjusted really well, being much more careful with throwing decisions.
Zac – He played exceptionally well. Made very little (debatably none) throwing and catching errors and was key in every single point his line scored. Handled the pressure of always being the one to pick up the disc very well and was not afraid to work creatively with Sam to make progress on that first throw.
Struggled sometimes with the cutting patterns of 212 (as did Sam and Hugh) but this is to be expected since this was the first time we played that offence.
Sam – Our whole offence centred on Sam and the fact that it worked so well is mainly due to him. He consistently got free, made sometimes difficult catches, and then looked up-field for the continuation. More often than not this continuation throw was sent into the end zone resulting in many points that only had 2-3 throws in them. When this didn’t come off, Sam was very comfortable with the dump and swing passes (as shown in our Coventry game).
Sometimes Sam struggled to not throw a continuation if it wasn’t on and threw a lot of 80% passes. Having enough confidence in the team that we will eventually work the disc up with 100% passes is important.
Harry – Played very well. Harry understood his role in the offence better than anyone else understood their roles and played it near perfectly. His cuts were sharp and well timed. More importantly then that he cleared out by sprinting at 100%. This made offence very easy to play for the handlers since there was so much space. Probably most impressive was the amount of times Harry bailed out the handlers with an intelligent cut at a high stall count. I struggle to think of any criticisms.
Maulen – He won MIP. His lack of experience is actually nearly unbelievable and he showed probably some best pitch sense of anyone on the team (poaching off on defence at the exact right time). He played extremely unselfish Frisbee leaving the space to his more experienced team mates and not being tempted into poor cuts that would ruin the flow of play. When Mau was on the disc he was extremely calm and was not afraid to dump. All these qualities are highly unusual to see from a fresher and was really impressive. He also caught consistently and was probably one of the most reliable players on the team.