Every play in Ultimate involves throwing, catching and moving. Most teams put in the time on throwing, especially hucks and breaks. Crash also incorporated catches and movement into our warm-ups.
Can you consistently take a disc high, pick it off the turf, go one handed with either hand and corral a laser throw? Crash made a lot of tough catches last year. (Check out the faces of the Dame players in the background on the series in that last link.) Having a roster of athletes to get to these discs before the defense is key, but once there, completing the catch is crucial. We put in the time during our warm-ups to build consistency and confidence with our catches.
Movement in ultimate has received a lot of attention recently with experienced trainers like Tim Morrill, Ren Caldwell and Thom Wendelboe sharing their knowledge. Practice time is precious, but even with an experienced team it pays to spend time on movement basics. You might even discover that one of your best players can only jump off one foot. Generating power and moving efficiently are skills all players can improve on, and their frequency of use in our sport makes it worth spending the time.
Throwing is easier to convince people to practice, but a group of Crash players went above and beyond by throwing every day. It’s hard to require players to make that kind of time commitment, but wow did it ever pay off!
Our team-wide ability to catch, throw and move helped us to maintain possession and get Ds. It gave us a consistency of play that saw us through games against very tough opponents. We will certainly spend time on our fundamentals again this year.
Editor’s Note: Here is the second post in our series on things that went well last season and why we had the success that we did. For those looking for specific input on how to work on Fundamentals [Season 7 of Rise Up] is all about building fundamental skills. I haven’t seen all of it, but from what I have seen it looks pretty solid.