Last night in Ultra, we got acquainted with some new friends John, Paul, George and Ringo. We got to see the culmination of all the things we've been working on the past week into one big offensive system. It was a sight to see when we came out with guns blazing against Pusakals, almost scoring at will with our main guys. We then had to mix the rotation to get everybody a chance to apply the concepts in a real game. The newbies are still trying to grasp all the new stuff they learned. But that brief glimpse of lethal precision at the start got me, Mike and Goma pretty pumped up. Just a few more weeks before the league, but I'm confident we'll be ready.
It's always good to practice in North, first of all it's free, second we get to focus on the essentials. After we took a jog around the village, we learned the different types of cuts to get the disc off the sideline. This is such an important skill for handlers to master, since this keeps possession of the disc alive, and can become a deadly offensive strategy when combined with a 1-2 power play. It all starts with alignment, and is executed effectively by a sharp change in direction. Communication is the key, and we’ve taken the right steps towards achieving that.
I saw some dramatic improvements with the throwing techniques of some. This gives me great optimism and motivation that each and every day, Super Bueno is becoming better. I’m confident that it’s just a matter of time when everything falls into place. With each passing league, we’ve risen in our rankings, and more teams are becoming wary of our team. This year could definitely be the breakout year for Bueno.
Last night we worked on some key concepts of handler cutting. I reminded them about the importance of positioning even before the cut is initiated to get the dump. A handler who can't get the disc is not a handler. It's the handler's job to keep the disc alive and give the cutters a chance to score. One of the most underrated moves in the game is the dump/swing, since it gets the disc off the sidelines and makes the defense scramble and out of position.
After going through basic handler weaves, we videoed our individual throws. It's quite shocking to see yourself throw for the first time. We do a lot of little movements that we really have no idea of. Hopefully after enough analysis we will be able to tweak our throws and become lethal in game-time scenarios.
First off, attendance has been generally good lately. Good job Bueno! Let’s keep it up!
Yesterday we focused on proper cutting techniques. (How to get the disc, and at the same time, elude your defender) Learning to make the proper cuts is essential in the sport of ultimate. It doesn’t matter how faster or taller you are as opposed to your defender. If you don’t make the proper cut during the given situation, you will NEVER get the disc.
We focused on two basic (but essential) cuts, yesterday: go-to and fade cut. We did fairly okay during drills session, but we got our butts kicked against veteran teams during scrimmage. Still, I think that was a good learning experience if you ask me. Now we know what we have to work on next time we train! Here are some helpful tips that’ll improve our offensive game:
1. ALWAYS be aware of where the disc is. (maintain eye contact with the handler)
• This will help you know how to position yourself before cutting.
2. Cut hard!
• No banana cuts. No jogging. You’ll make things so much easier for the defender if you do this; it won’t take much effort on his/her part catching you.
• If you decide to cut, there should be no doubt in your mind that the disc is yours for the taking. Never hesitate!
3. Be more vocal
• If you want the disc, you have to demand it. Call out the person’s name. Scream if you have to. By doing this you make yourself more visible on the field, and at the same time, you make it easier for the handler to know where you are.
4. No complaining on the field (I have to work on this myself)
• If you think you made a good cut and you still don’t get the pass, CLEAR OUT.
• You only have a few seconds to get the disc before your defender catches you. If the pass doesn’t come, trust the next cutter or handler to get it by giving him/her enough space to move.
These are some of the important things we can learn from last night. Feel free to post a comment if you think there are some things I left out. See you in training!
Conditioning last night went well, despite the fact that some of our girls were experiencing... biological difficulties. But they showed internal resolve and pushed through their discomforts to get the job done. Hats off to you girls, because I will never experience what you go through every month.
Our new recruits are showing remarkable attitude during training. They do what we tell them and they don't complain, and they are trying to analyze the drills and concepts on their own. Keep it up guys.
Once again we practiced defense for the drills to cap off our two-week defensive focus. I believe it was a good decision to begin our program on defense, just to get everybody on the same mental state. Team defense is the hardest thing to learn as a team, because it's boring and there aren't any hucks and fancy throws involved. Just getting down and dirty like cleaning the toilet. But it has to be done.
Playing defense well can really make a player stand out because the effort is quite evident, and you can really see the discipline of holding your own ground and not being tempted to take short cuts.
Training is where we try to hone our skills. It is where we push ourselves to the limit so that when it happens during a game, we will not be in unfamiliar territory. It is something that we are comfortable with.
It is when we try to gain the trust and confidence of our teammates. To show and prove to them that when the game is on the line, we will do whatever it takes to contribute and try to get the job done. It is when the coaches try to assess the skill level of every player and how to be able to properly utilize that skill for the benefit of the team. This will also help the coaches formulate the right strategy. A time where we can ask our teammates or coaches for tips and advice.
The best players are the 'coachable' ones. Players who are not afraid of criticism. Players who will ask questions without regard of what some might think. If they don't get it, they won't just let it slide. They're students of the game and will go to great lengths to understand everything there is to know about the game. It's borderline obsession, and we can see that some of our players are already showing those qualities.
We focused on defense in last night's training at Ultra. We began the night with some footwork drills, followed by a 3-man marking drill with the marker's hands behind the back to really get the feet active and promoting side-to-side movements instead of reaching out and lunging. We also ran through the concepts behind cutter defense, and how to shadow and defend the passing lanes. During scrimmage we saw some shutdown defense and more forced turnovers.
We are progressing quite well with our 8-week training program. We are really using the off-season to get back to basics and pound the fundamentals into each player. Our conditioning and endurance training is also paying dividends. Next session we continue working on team defense. Should be beneficial to the new recruits.