Friday, January 21, 2011

Defense at a High Level

Well, since next week's Poaches topic will be defense, there is no better time to transcribe some thoughts that have been floating around about defense...

I have always been primarily a offensive player - I "get" offense at a much higher level so I have always been playing catch up in my D skills.

The first thing I really realized, is that someone should have told me how hard defense is. Its not as though I actively believed it was or should be easy, it is just that I had no idea that one must EARN turnovers at a high level. A defense that relies on being given the disc on unforced errors will not do very well.

So in that light, I will attempt to record some of my insights on how high level players and teams earn turnovers.

First, defenders must realize that the deck is stacked against them. The rules and insedentals of this sport heavily favor the offense retaining possession. One of my coaches is fond of saying "If your guy touches the disc, you fucked up" and I disagree with this. I know why he says this to his college age players: it works to fire people up. But its just not true - the offense will move the disc. Additionally, it must be accepted that it is impossible for a single defender to shut down every single option his assigned O player potentially has: defenders MUST work as a team. Seems obvious - but the recognition of this fact leads to the following conceptual shift:
Instead of thinking that one should be focused on how he can intercept the next potential pass, we must think about removing many of the offense's options before they take advantage of them. Every D is a team D.
Philosophical and wordy, yes, but hopefully enlightened.

So D is not primarily in the business of getting Ds, but of removing options. How do do D's remove options?
More of the answer to come in later posts.

No comments: