Basic Concepts to Help You Grow as an Ultimate Player
Here are 5 tips to keep in mind as you learn how to play Ultimate.
These ideas will help you succeed as an Ultimate player even if you aren’t a great thrower, fast runner or have years experience. Follow this advice and you’ll be better in no time. (This can also serve as a reminder for experienced players).
Defense takes effort. No matter how smart you are or how experienced you are you’re going to have to work to play good defense. Be ready to run and then take a sub after the point if you need it.
2. Use the Force
Your team should be forcing the opposing offense to throw to one side of the field. When guarding a cutter be aware of which side you are forcing the other team to throw to. When they cut to the force side stay close to them. If they cut to the non-force side, or break side, don’t follow them as closely so if they quickly change direction to the force side you’ll be ready for them.
3. Be the Boat
New players have the tendency to follow their offensive player around as if they were a water skier and the offensive player was the boat. Don’t let them pull you around. Be the boat! As a defender, decide for yourself where you want to be positioned to make it hardest on the offensive player.
4. Stay at Home
When you are guarding the player with the disc, or marking the thrower, be aware of which side your team is forcing. Make sure to be on your toes and be ready to stop any throws to the break side but if they try to throw to force side let them throw it.
5. Don’t Poach. Help.
The person your guarding won’t always be an immediate threat to get open. This may seem like a great time to poach off of your player. Don’t. Poaching just means you’re temporarily guarding no one. It makes it easier for your offensive player to get open but you’re not really helping anywhere else. Instead, you should be helping. Quickly, reposition yourself into a throwing lane or help guard a deep cut and then return back to your player as soon as you can. Don’t poach. Help.
Ultimate Terminology Glossary:
Force: A defensive strategy that tries to make the offense throw to one side of the field.
Break: A throw that is allowed to the non-force side of the field.
Mark: The defender who is guarding the offensive player with the disc.
Poach: When a defender intentionally leaves their offensive player open.