Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Tournament 1 - Lesson 2 - Good morning To-ron-to

The second thing I noticed this weekend is the challenge with getting the team ready in the morning. As a coach, I've always had a challenge to prepare a team for the first point.

The warm up that Toronto Open teams tend to run is pretty good, and by the end I feel ready to play in terms of not injuring my body. This weekend, we completed our warm up, but three things were missing as we proceeded into the game:

  1. Chemistry
  2. Disc preparedness
  3. Intensity
Now there's not much you can do about chemistry. When going into a tournament with people you haven't played or practiced with for a reasonable period then expect that there will be challenges. There will be miss cues and you won't be able to read exactly what a cutter is doing or going to do. This is fine (almost expected), and with a good team, chemistry will improve over each game.

Disc preparedness is that feeling you have when you know your body and mind are ready to throw and catch in game situations. Sometimes you'll come out into a game and your hands and head just don't feel right. Our teams error was we didn't run any pre-game drills, and we paid for that lack of preparedness with a few easy turns that resulted in an early hole to dig out from. The solution is simple, and run some drills.

The last morning challenge is intensity, and getting team intensity has been a challenge throughout my captaining career. Sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn't, but I haven't come up with an obvious method to get a team to the right level intensity (cue in - your ideas).

I did, however, use a drill on Sunday morning that I though had a bit of a result. I don't know the name of the drill, but I'm going to call it "Yeomans Dog" after Mike Yeomans who taught Grand Trunk the drill last year (I'm guessing he learned it at UBC).

The diagram above shows the drill run with three people (5,6, and 7). A team would line up behind 5 and 6 so the next pairing could go after the previous pairing has completed their cuts. Player 7 announces "3-2-1-go" as 5 and 6 maintain one hand touching the start cone. After "go" 5 and 6 run to the cone directly ahead of them (cut A). They touch their respective cone and cut back to the starting position (cut B). Both players go around their cone on from the outside in (cut C). Finally, they both run down the center (cut D) and player 7 tries to throw a pass down the center. Both players are battling to catch the disc.

The drill is about teaching players:
  • a disc in the air is anyones disc, so catch it
  • practicing footwork on changing directions
  • how hard you have to cut
This simple drill brings some competition and fun to your pre-game warm up, and hopefully, this brings up the team's intensity. Just mention to the people running the drill not to go too crazy with layouts so nobody gets hurt before your first point.



Taylor said...

I love this drill. It was my favourite last fall and really helps with challenging your opponent for the disc.

Rahil said...

I loved the drill on Sunday Morning, it helped me focus and get me in the right mindset before the game.

Nirk said...

i wish we had done this drill.