Thursday, September 01, 2005


Siren Song

Your team's down by two, you're in the red zone and the D is fierce. You need this score, but the force-side cone is covered like a Chicago hot dog. What do you do? Zip the i/o flick!

The snappy inside-out forehand break is the most dangerous throw in ultimate. It can cripple a D -- or an O, depending on how it flies. I'm talking about the big-time breaker, not the one right up the middle.

It easy to release, almost anyone can let it fly. Just get your arm down low and flick quickly and you'll get it past the mark. Not catchable? Sailed too fast? Too much angle? Too little? Wormburner straight into the ground? Oh, but he was OPEN! And it's just so easy to release! It's no wonder people go overboard with this throw.

On the other hand, when the beast is tamed and an effective quick break is deployed, it's a thing of beauty -- and you can go under the marker's hand or step out and avoid him entirely. Get it right and the D is faced with a weak side player catching a break throw in-stride (or in goal).

Sure, hucks hold high promise but they stand out so much that intemperate teammates are usually admonished (if not chastened) and the problem is apparent to all. Not so the quick invert, since it is a short, undramatic turnover when it fails. It just seems so quick and easy that people underestimate how hard it is and how often it results in a turnover.

In fact, its siren song is so alluring that it takes year's to see this i/o for the temptress that it is. We should require ten year's of disc experience before letting our young tars flirt with this seductress.

Maybe it's no surprise, then, that our team's best forehand i/o comes from it's oldest player (J.H.).

What, no tips on what makes for a good (or not so good) break-mark flick? No drill suggestions to improve it?

Oh, I get it, saving these things for the second edition of the book, eh?
What, no tips on what makes for a good (or not so good) break-mark flick? No drill suggestions to improve it?

Be Left handed.
1. For passes less than 10 yards in the air, almost anything goes.
2. For longer passes, angle between cutter's motion and flight path should be at least 90 degrees. (I'm not sure how to set the reference angle here, but the disc should be coming toward the cutter, not away from him.)
3. No actual inside-out is generally required, just a flat pass. If the marker is close, then an actual inside-out will have a higher risk of point block since it has to start out further to the left (toward the marker) in order to get to the same place.
4. If the cutter has to keep in full stride in order to catch it, there's not enough margin on the throw.
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