Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Impressive Defense From Sockeye

A recent highlight clip of (the awesome) Timmy Perston of Portland Rhino from their recent upset of Sockeye at Labor Day:


The catch was cool but what really impresses me about that clip is Sockeye's defense. The disc moves a couple times but there was no flow. No continuation passes. Flashy is fun, but consistent and fundamentally sound defense wins tournaments.

I am really happy that more full-game video is becoming available. Highlights are good recruiting tools, but full field coverage that can show how team defense shuts down individuals and forces them to make tough plays like this one is what is really worthwhile as a teaching tool.

I would go so far as to say that I WANT to see more clips-of-the-day that show great team defense even if they don't include amazing feats of athleticism. A Streetgang'10 teammate,Matt  Welsh, helped me understand by explaining his defensive philosophy at our end-of-the-year party:
If everyone is working hard to shut down their man, eventually a bad throw go up that someone might have a chance to make an athletic play on. If everyone plays so that their teammate will get the D, someone will get the layout D.

Yes, this will get you turns, but not as many as coordinated team defense, and really, you only get the chance to do cool stuff like this if your teammates are working equally hard off the disc.

For a great exposition of the Sockeye team defense, check out the (almost full) gave vs Chain Lightning  in the Semis of Worlds in Prague. Most every time their D comes down on the pull they have a coordinated poaching strategy that becomes more strict ManD as the point goes on. Also, a beautifully executed vertical handler switch. Its too bad Ben Wiggins played O handler the last couple years, because while i like watching him play Handler, I love watching him play D and playing fast-break O after they get the disc back.

PS- If my total fanhood for Sockeye hadn't already reached tween-girl-for-Justin-Bieber status, I just found their awesome mix tapes that they make before each tournament and release to the pubic.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Advice for those new to training

Squat. Deadlift. Bench Press. Overhead Press. Pull Up. Box Jump. Run.

These are the important movements. Most everything else (without cleats) is a waste of time. To be honest, the rep and set and weight scheme for these movements are not nearly as important as the fact that you do them and you concentrate and focus on the form. Im talking, Get Anal Retentive About Form. I'm talking, Get a well trained coach to watch you and train you. Im talking, video tape yourself and study your to compare against competent people you find online. Having good form in these movements will: 1) help you train hard and effectively while avoiding injury as effectively as possible and 2) teach your body the right mechanics for on-field movement.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

THIS GAME SUCKED: Great Britain vs Sweden in the 2011 European Championships

In addition to the travesty that is this goalthe whole game was full of shitty, shitty outcomes inter-spaced with MINUTES of stoppage for players to talk about stupid, trivial shit. It's mindnumbingly boring to watch, but more importantly, I've experienced games like these, and they are boring and frustrating and funless to play it.

The commentators point out a few times that, despite the shittiness of the game, that

"This is what the game is about: self offication even at the highest levels"

Well I say:

Fuck No it's not, Ultimate is about Throwing and Catching and Running and Laying Out.

When self-offication gets in the way of these thing in such a disgusting way, we, as a community, have the responsibility to CALL PEOPLE OUT.While I am pro-third party, Im not NECESSARILY insisting on them in this post. Im saying that WE, as a community, can mold our games into whatever we want. And the way we do that, is by actually criticizing the stuff that fucks our game up. And criticizing harshly at that.

I'm not saying that the individuals who:

Squabble about coming back to the field .5 meters away from where you were going to be:

Argue about whether to come in at Stall2 or Stall3 for a WHOLE MINUTE:

And mark like this ensuring a marking foul on most every turnover:

are necessarily bad people, but the community must harshly criticize the behavior and the culture that leads to that behavior being accepted as normal. It doesn't have to be normal if we stand up and say we don't want to play like that. Lets take the SOTG requirement for inter-community critique seriously.

Fuck. That. Lame. Bullshit.