Monday, February 21, 2005

Brief Cutting Basics

I sent this out to my team the other day.
Movement on the ultimate field comes in three types: 1) primary cuts, 2) continuation cuts, 3) active clearing cuts.

Primary cuts are the first cuts that occur off a stopped disc or the first cut in a called play. The primary cutter should strive to move into a “sweet spot” where the cutter can actively threaten two throwing areas. The primary cutter then should then utilize a fake or a juke to force the defender to commit and then proceed into the open space. The most obvious example of this type of cut is when a cutter is lined up at the back of the stack and makes a hard fake to the house before changing direction and coming back toward the thrower. It’s always easier to force a defender to commit if she is already moving, so the primary cutter should strive to be in motion prior to juking.

Continuation cuts are cuts that come from motion within the flow of the offense. The most important aspect of continuation cuts is timing. The continuation cutter should actively move her defender in the opposite direction of where she wants to go while watching the play develop. Ideally, the continuation cutter is changing direction at the exact moment the thrower is catching the disc. Separation from the defender occurs when the cutter changes direction.

Active clearing cutters are the unsung stars of efficient offense. The clearing cutter actively moves her defender out of the way of the teammates’ cutting lanes. It’s perhaps easiest to explain this through examples. The good cutter lined up at the front of the stack makes a hard fake to the break side (in order to keep her defender occupied) when she notices a teammate cutting in off the back of the stack. The deep cutter sprints back toward the disc (bringing her defender with her) when she sees a teammate breaking free on a cut to the house. Efficient offense is the result of 7 players unselfishly doing what it takes to get each other open.

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