So it has been a good while since my last post. Things at work as well as the club series have really picked up over the last month, so you guys kinda take a backseat to those things. First I would just like congratulate those goats that played at sectionals. And big props to the kids on Pike for beating the shit out of those freaks from Pittsburgh.
Anyways, since we have covered the mark I figured the next logical step would be to move on to downfield defense. Now most people believe that downfield D is just following your guy around, and then once the disc is in the air, beating them to a spot. But a lot more work goes into it. Most of that work deals with positioning.
First you must decide what you are going to take away as a defender (the in cut or the deep cut). This decision is made before the pull and has a number of factors that go into it. What is the skill level of the team your playing? Do they have good huckers? Are you defending one of their deep threats? Are you defending a handler? Are you faster or slower than the guy you are defending? What kind of weather are you having?
Lets say that you have decided to take away the in cut (use the age old adage, force them deep until they prove that they can throw deep). I know that we attempted this a good number of times back in the day, but we never really did it well. Our problem would be that we stood way off our defenders and then would end up letting them run past us before we picked them up. We couldn't of been more wrong. First off, you will want to position yourself close to your defender. Personally, I like to make contact. Stand right next to them almost like you were marking them, using your shoulder to to take away their straight in lane. My legs are bent and I am on my toes (I tend to bounce a little bit to keep myself from being flat footed). This is an very effective defensive stance from a set position. The cutter really only has one direction to go now.
Once the cutter is moving there are two simple things to remember (when taking away the in cut). One is never turn your back on your defender and two is always keep a shoulder between the cutter and the openside of the thrower. The way to do this is to keep your hips open and facing the cutter when they are changing direction. Also, you will want to stay low and have your knees bent so that you are ready to explode out once the cutter chooses a direction. Don't be afraid to make a little of body contact at this point as well. Force the cutter to go in a direction that benefits you (i.e. deep or in toward the breakside more).
Drill: Set up offsetting cones that gradually get further and further away from one another (it will look like suicides if you were to breakout each part). start at the shorter end and sprint to the first cone. Once there focus on staying on the inside of that cone (the defender). Keep your hips toward the cone. Open your hips and get low while changing directions toward the next cone and then explode out. Repeat this through all the cones. It basically works like a suicide but with an ultimate aspect thrown in.
Drill: 1v1 drill. have a thrower with a force. Have the cutter and defender off to the side about 15yds off to the break side. Have the defender take away one of the directions. The cutter has no more than two changes of direction to get open. Simply get the D.
I know that some of this might not make sense or be a little vague. It is unfortunately a little hard to write out and much easier to demonstrate. As always, please ask any questions if you have them.
Good luck with up coming tournaments.