Thursday, May 24, 2007

Tournament 2 - Lesson 2 - One second until look off

There are two type of look offs. There's the look off where I see you're open, but I don't want to throw to you because I don't trust you. There's also the look off where I just received the disc and I've seen you, but I can't decide whether to throw to you or not.

The first look off is in general bad. We've all done it where that poor cutter always gets open but either can't catch or can't throw. They're like a black hole. The reality is if you're going to be playing with this person long term you've got to keep throwing to them. We've all been black holes at one point or another in our careers. Anyways, this post isn't about that type of look off.

Pictured Above: A nice grab at TUF by Rich Stockdale (photo courtesy of Marc Hodges).

I'm more interested in the look off that is really early in the count, the cutter has timed well off your reception and makes a nice cut, and now you have to decide if they are open or not. I find this decision is the toughest one to develop. The decision has to be almost instant.

As you reach higher and higher levels the time in which you have to make this decision gets shorter and shorter. This short time leads to either the appeared look off or even worse the thinking about the throw before catching the disc turnover (which is another classic error that most of us have fallen into one time or another).

How do you learn to make the instant decision. I advocate video games. Video games teach you to react to patterns (both expected and unfamiliar) at faster and faster speeds. With quick decisions you now have to develop the physical Ultimate skills (fakes to setup throws, grip switches, etc.) and then learn the patterns that actually occur in Ultimate when that quick decision has to be made. Unfortunately, the number of opportunities you get in Ultimate to make this decision are surprisingly few.

Other ways of getting more chances to make these decisions might be to simulate quick decisions in practice and use visualization techniques to replay game moments to see what you observed and how you can tell if the decision is right.

In the end, the biggest danger is becoming one of those people that always looks off the first throw so they can make a decision on the next cut (if that ever happens). I would rather you push to make the fast decision correctly (with expected errors) so that your team develops quick disc movement which can be devastating for the defense.



Tommy said...

Saw this recently. I have no idea whether it's any good or a piece of crap, but I thought it was interesting that people are now developing video games specifically for sports training.

Tommy said...

Forgot the link:

goomen said...

This will never happen for Ultimate simply because EA games are built almost entirely on statistics: shot from where, by who, on which goalie; taking into account just about everything. Anyone have time to program - or even think about ultimate - that intensely? PJ?