Saturday, April 7

Stationary or From Motion?

I've been considering the different methods of beating someone on a cut:

If you take the idea that you get to determine when the race starts as well as the distance and finish line, you can shoehorn what you determine into two categories: Space and Time. That is, you can determine the start and end of the race in terms of both when and where.

When you consider the two primary methods of cutting (from a standstill and from motion) you can determine which factor (when/where) that each relies upon.

Cutting from a standstill assumes that you have already created at least one space to cut into. You are simply waiting to spring the cut on the defender at the appropriate time. a great example of this is the front of the stack endzone offense. A player catches the disc near the center of the field, near the endzone and the guy in the front of the stack waits until the thrower is balanced and ready and then cuts hard to a cone. This is obviously similar (though not identical) to both throwing a quick break to the front of the stack at any point on the field or the "German Offense" or whatever it is where there is an ISO-ed player who sets the defender up to lose sight of either the disc or the man followed by a thrower putting the disc to space for the ISO cutter to catch.

Cutting from motion relies a more on actively creating space by not declaring your actual cut until you have created sufficient space for it. That is, by cutting in you create deep space. Same with cutting left or right-- you make more space for the other option.

I suppose the notion that I'm attempting to muddle through is that even if your defender knows where or when you will cut, you can still beat him by taking advantage of the other variable. Perhaps you need to encourage him to get on his heels and then cut. Perhaps you need to convince him that you really want to go deep when all you want is the disc in your hands.

The reverse of this is that a team, as a whole, needs to decide on which of the two will be standardized and which of the two is more often improvised upon. If you run a classic dump-swing offense, your timing should be standardized while the spaces that you cut and throw into can vary (angle of the dump/swing, depth of the deep strike and distance gained on the in-cut are easy examples). If you run a more isolation-based offense, your timing can vary, but it will likely serve you well to define the space that you want to attack (Varying the pause before the cutter, either in a lane or in more space, begins or how long a cutter gets to work his magic before you look him off are good examples).

Ideally, of course, your offensive side will have the familiarity with each other and the skill to vary the fly their plan of attack on the fly, a decision to look for a specific pattern in terms of either time or space will help provide parameters for group and individual improvisation. As the team bonds and learns together, you can move slowly from the old jazz standards to modal jams or even free jazz. Maybe your goal is a physical manifestation of Miles running the voodoo down.
Workout Total:
Beating Jamie in Ping Pong
Shooting and playing some one on one with Jamie
15-20 minutes of ankle rehab


Mackey said...

I follow the analogy, but thinking of Miles Runs the Voodoo Down made manifest on an ultimate field makes me cringe.

Good points though. Whether I prey more on spatial or temporal cutting margins tends to depend on my energy level and my role--when I'm a primary cutter, I'm out in the lane moving and setting up a lot more, because I need to be, but as a fill or secondary cutter I tend to pick my spots a bit more. There are few things more satisfying than catching your defender off-guard looking away and getting wide open for the disc.

Also, I suspect you may extend this at some point, but my mind immediately jumps to applying the same notions to throwing and beating a marker--you can out-manuever a mark with reach, pivot and fakes, or out-quick one with a fast release to an unexpected spot.

Joshua said...

You mentioned something breifly in this blog, post, blurp, or whathaveyou. About encouraging your defender "to get on his heels and then cut." This is the same as take what the defense gives you. Obviously, if you have the cushion and your defender is right behind you then cut right in. If you are able to get your defender to commit, go full tilt with you, that's when you plant and go the other way. Like you said, as the offender, you control the time, so knowing exactly when you make that change of direction gives you the upper hand.

As for moving from jazz standards to model jams, can you translate that into Phish's Type I, Type II, and Type III jamming. The latter sounding like noise and chaos, it is something that comes from much practice and listening to each other.

dusty.rhodes said...


Primary/Secondary cutters is a topic I want to cover later. I like where your head's at though.

Don't you ever speak ill of Miles or his voodoo. I will fight you.


Yup. The way I'm trying to think about this, this time around, is in part from the defender's point of view. If he is giving you a cushion, he should know where you're going to cut (If he doesn't, he's just bad and/or dumb) but he does not know when.

Once you start cutting you are correct that you still choose when to change direction, but by cutting you also create a new space to cut into. The timing here is, in large part, a matter of recognition. If the cutter and thrower recognize the new space before the defender, it is all over. If the defender recognizes the newly available space and can dictate (or predict) when the cutter/thrower will go there, a D (or at least an opportunity for one) will result.

I'm talking in circles here, but this is my blog. I think I need more coffee.