Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Me, Myself, and I - 3 good training partners

Hey Folks,

I always liked basketball and hockey as an athlete, because I could practice by myself. In basketball, you can shoot hoops, dribble, and pass against a wall. Hockey is similar since you can stick handle, shoot, skate, and pass against the boards. So, what can you do in Ultimate to improve your individual skills.

Pictured Above: The Capitals pulling to start a game off at UPA finals. This picture was taken by Shawn Chua.

The easiest aspect of individual training is footwork, plyometrics, and fitness work. This can be done almost anywhere. Other aspects of fitness like weight lifting and core work can also be done as an individual. Unfortunately, none of these skills involve the actual disc.

The most popular individual skill training I've heard of in Ultimate is throwing. The key is using about 20 to 50 discs to throw at a target (target could be anything really). With this many discs you can get a quick set of throws off very quickly, collect, and repeat. Golfing is an alternative, but there's more walking than throwing in this case.

That's not it for individual skills. You can also work on catching. I've used three drills to work on catching both based on the same principle. Warning, you may look kind of strange doing these.
  1. In windy conditions, you can throw the disc into the wind so that it comes back to you. As you get better at throwing in the wind you can put more distance on the throws, track the throw down, and catch either standing, running through, or jumping. The nice thing is these catches need to be read properly, and the speed of the incoming throw is quite fast.
  2. Without wind you can do a similar drill by throwing blades up in the air. For this drill I like to switch the way you catch the disc to work on catching with all sorts of grips.
  3. Finally, I find drill 2 tiring on the neck, so one adjustment is to lie on your back and throw the disc up. Then catch the disc. This one you can do in your own house for us winter folks.
The last set of personal drills which I think are good for Ultimate players are similar to the dribbling skills with basketballs. What you need to do is go through the sequence of fakes and body movements as fast as possible (almost like a kata). For example:
  • 10 fake flicks to backhands (one hand)
  • 10 fake backhands to 10 flicks (one hand)
  • 10 fake flicks to backhands (two hands)
  • 10 fake backhands to 10 flicks (two hands)
  • 10 Drop disc at shoulder level, slap body, and catch (one hand)
  • 10 Drop disc at shoulder level, slap body, and catch (weak one hand)
  • 10 Drop disc at shoulder level, slap body, and catch (two hands)
These are just some ideas to make your hands and body transitions faster. It is also useful to walk around with a disc switching grips. I've talked about this before, but I think it is one of the most important skills to have.



Anonymous said...

Hah! I definitely do most of those drills every night in the gym. Basketball playas look at me like I'm crazy. I also like to work fitness into them. So I do quite a lot of running first, then I'll do the throw catch drills while running and jumping to catch the disc.

Taylor said...

Good stuff Peter, and congrats on the syndication. I guess you're now the Frasier Crane of ultimate.

If you want to work some throws into a running workout it's pretty easy. I read about some baseball workout where they throw 30 yards or so, sprint to the ball, and do 5 pushups. Then they repeat going the way back, but adding 5 pushups each time. Go until you can't do any more pushups, and then do it back down to 5. Like a pyramid workout (5,10,15,20,15,10,5). You could easily do this with a disc and emphasise throw and goes, and general throwing when tired.

Tom said...

One thing I try to do for the hands is to take a disc in each hand and repeatedly flip them over and catch them (half flip, single flip, 1-1/2 flip, etc.). i like it because you're working both hands so you need to rely more on feel and timing.

NewUlti said...

Good idea of training.. i don't have 20 disc with me so i like the idea of practicing fake throught. And please also write about zone (in the popular way) i'm kindda confuse of it. Thanks for advance