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.

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