Phoebe is a passionate Ultimate Frisbee athlete, boasting over 7 years of experience in the sport. She has competed at the college level, securing numerous victories. As a qualified coach, she relishes the opportunity to share her knowledge and skills with those new to the world of Ultimate Frisbee.
Hey there! Guarding handlers in Ultimate Frisbee is a crucial aspect of defense. As a defender, your goal is to prevent the handler from making successful throws and force turnovers. In this guide, I'll walk you through some effective strategies and techniques to guard handlers like a pro.
1. Positioning: When guarding a handler, it's important to maintain a good defensive position. Stand a few feet away from the handler, with your hips facing them. Keep your knees slightly bent and stay on the balls of your feet for quick movements.
2. Active Marking: Use an active marking technique to put pressure on the handler. This involves using small, quick movements to disrupt their throwing rhythm. Keep your arms up and active, making it harder for them to find open throwing lanes.
3. Force a Side: As a defender, you want to force the handler to throw to a specific side. This is known as "forcing." Most players prefer to force their opponents to throw with their non-dominant hand. To do this, position yourself slightly to one side of the handler, making it more challenging for them to throw to their preferred side.
4. Cutting Off Angles: Anticipate the handler's movements and cut off their throwing angles. By positioning yourself strategically, you can limit their options and force them into making riskier throws. Move laterally and use your body to block potential throwing lanes.
5. Communication: Effective communication with your teammates is key to successful handler guarding. Let your teammates know if you need help or if you're switching defenders. Work together to apply pressure and force turnovers.
6. Reading the Disc: Keep your eyes on the disc and the handler's body language. This will help you anticipate their throws and react quickly. Watch for cues like changes in their body position or the angle of their arm, which can indicate their intended throw.
7. Quick Footwork: Agility is crucial when guarding handlers. Practice quick footwork drills to improve your ability to stay with the handler and react to their movements. Stay light on your feet and be ready to change direction at a moment's notice.
Remember, guarding handlers is not just about physicality, but also about mental awareness. Pay attention to the game flow, anticipate plays, and be ready to adapt your strategy as needed.
So, there you have it! With these strategies and techniques, you'll be well on your way to becoming a formidable handler defender in Ultimate Frisbee. Keep practicing, stay focused, and enjoy the game!