Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Handler/Cutter Binary

Being able to throw and catch makes a dangerous combination. It sounds obvious, but I think a lot of us forget.

Ray Illian. It was even filthier live.

Complete players are not fun to play against. They are able to take advantage of whatever you decide to do. How can you stop that?

A player able to punish you from either side of the disc on offence is an example of a complete player. Such a player threatens to end the point with one devastating throw. But, if you push them out, they can go the distance for the score (and they'll crown you and another defender while at it).

Those are the guys you don't want to play against.

Now, not many of us are going to be superstars. It makes no difference. The key is being dynamic, flexible, unpredictable, responsive, and lethal. You must be a threat to take off deep, or range around the disc and make productive throws. You need not be a master at both, or either. But you do have to be a threat. Even the portliest 'handler' has roasted someone deep.

One of the major offensive advantages presented by the ho stack is the ability for any player to slip downfield. If the spacing is proper, then the deep should constantly be open for strikes. Weak side handlers - the second reset position - should be actively looking to enter the fray. And in similar fashion, the far cutters should be expecting to fill that spot when it becomes vacant.

The whole notion of being a cutter OR a handler is destructive. You need to be both at all times. Just think of JAM. All those dudes could be handlers or receivers on top flight teams. Now, because their bodies and disc skills are so finely tuned, JAM players can torch you in or out. The point I want to get across is that you DON'T have to be a dominant player to taste, and enjoy the fruits of this strategy. Just take advantage of the situation as it presents itself. Don't stand around and wait for something to happen. Generate offence by actively moving to, and moving to create, space.

Being stagnant as a reset, hanging out deep...it's the same thing. It creates the same problems. In ultimate, the fluidity of the offence is what puts the defence at a constant disadvantage. You need to be able to throw and catch if you want to continually apply pressure on the other team.

those are some of my thoughts.


ps - in my opinion, Hass is the best example of a player who defies the handler/cutter binary.

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