Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Seattle on Trial

In other ultimate blogs and coaching material, there's one statement about drills that I feel rings true. A drill should simulate some aspect of a game which you wish to improve. The key here is simulate. This brings me to two of my pet-peeve drills - Seattle and Box drills. Don't get me wrong, both of these drills have a use, but that use is short lived with respect to the development of a team.

Pictured Above: A knee slide at Canadian Nationals 2006 (taken from Diep's Gallery). If you know team and player just pass it on.

Seattle drill is an endzone drill in which a vertical stack is set up in the end-zone. The person at the back of the stack cuts to the front endzone cone (let's say left). The person with the disc and in front of the stack throws the disc to the cutter. The thrower then moves into a dump position, the cutter throws the dump, and a person off the top of the stack cuts to receive the disc from the person who caught the dump. The actions repeat (this timeon the right).

The box drill has all people lining up at four corners. One disc is passed around the box usually with the repetition of one type of cut or another. Dumps can be mixed in and in some cases multiple discs can be added. Cuts progress clockwise or counter clockwise around the cones.

The box drill is useful for practicing cuts, timing cuts, and throwing to a moving target. This is fine early on for beginners, but provides very little challenge for intermediate or advanced players. Two other serious deficiency from this drill is the lack of touches (there should never be more than 8 players in this drill) and the lack of defense.

Similarly, the Seattle drill teaches the most rudimentary endzone play in which throwing to a moving target, swinging the disc across the end-zone, and cutting to the cone are all drill elements that are useful to be taught and understood. The biggest problem with this drill again is the lack of touches and defense. Again, this drill is useful in the early stages of team development, but should be eliminated from the drill repertoire relatively early in a teams development.

So, the next time I see teams practicing or warming up for a tournament I just hope I don't see either of those two drills. Of course, who am I to judge a drill.



Sheff said...


I totally agree with your assessment. An additional problem that seems to be common with the seattle is that a lot of teams learn the mechanics of running the drill but the coaches don't explain why they're doing it or how it relates to real game play and the actual endzone play of the teams rarely ends up running like it.

Rahil said...

Looks like someone on Scarlett...

n said...

No reason why you can't run seattle w/mild D on the cutters

Anonymous said...

You can use these drills for other purposes than you mentioned. I think that Seattle is a good drill to get people warmed up. A few quick sprints followed by down time gets a team that has already jogged and stretched ready for game time. Also, finishing a set number of catches, goals, etc. helps to motivate and focus the team before a game.

I avoid box drill because most versions teach bad cuts, but it could be useful as above as well.

Jeters said...

"n" makes a good point, and this adds a little more value to the drill, but the D is not real D it's mild D.

As for the value as a warmup drill for games, I still feel there aren't enough touches, and there are many other better choices for a drill before a game.