Friday, May 01, 2009

Fundamental Drills for Offense (question)

Growing up in a straight stack (originally with no backfield reset) offense I feel pretty comfortable stating that the 2 drills that I find fundamental to that offense are the mushroom drill and the 3 line drill. Clearly there are more drills that can be done for a vertical offense, and there are many variants of these drills depending on how you want to run your offense. These 2 drills focus on the two main parts of the offense, resetting the disc and cutting downfield. I can easily explain the transition between those drills to play on the field for a young/new player.

I feel like I've been floundering with the horizontal offense. I can run it just fine, but coming up with drills that teach the basics of the offense has been difficult. Just like vertical I'm sure there are tons of variants of drills depending on how each teach specifically runs their H, but I was wondering what some common drills are that teams use to teach players how to cut in a horizontal offense. Especially stuff that people have tried with new players to get them to see the space created in an H-stack and learn how to cut in that space. Thanks.


Chris Kosednar said...

We ran the 'bowtie' horizontal offense, clearing down the sidelines cutting up the middle. so clear down the left side line, cut in from left to right, clear up the right sideline, cut in from right to left, clear up the left sideline.

Kyle Weisbrod said...

Dude, Martin, haven't you seen us run the "big box" drill? It's the fundamental horizontal offense drill.

In cut, away cut from one side of the box down the middle of the field, then in cut away cut the opposite way. It is the equivalent of the three line drill for the horizontal.

Johnny Mac said...

Martin, Chris, Kyle: any chance you can explain all these drills a little more clearly to someone that's not seen them run before?

Kyle Weisbrod said...

It's a little tough in this space but I'll try (try to ignore the dots as they are just there to keep the spacing correct.



1 and 3 are just off one sideline and 2 and 4 are just off the other. The distance between 1/2 and 3/4 depends on how far your players can throw. In HS girls its 20-30 yds in Club mens its about 50 yds. There's a line of cutters at each one of the non-zero numbers.

Disc starts at 0. Cutter from line 1 cuts away from the disc and then back in, 0 throws to 1. Cutter from line 2 cuts away from 1, 1 throws long forehand out to space for 2 (this should put you past the line between 3 and 4. 4 then makes an away and then in cut, 2 throws to 4. 3 cuts deep for a long forehand from 4.

Players cycle by going to the line that the cutter they just threw to started from.

-Swap the cuts to do it on the backhand side (2->1, 3->4)
- if upwind/downwind or with varied throwing strength allow players to be flexible in which cut they make (e.g. deep cut can cut off and come under and then next cut from the far lines goes under or away) Not sure if that is clear.

Martin said...

I have seen you guys running the "big box" drill, Kyle. But I don't think others have had the same fortune. The "big box" certainly simulates down field cutting in a continuous fashion (a la the 3 line drill).

But what about resetting the count? Swinging the disc doesn't necessarily have the same value in a horizontal offense (assuming you want to keep the disc in the middle of the field), so what drills do people have for resets?

We used to run a very simple warmup drill at Emory to work on short dish-style resets. Our goal for a reset was to get the disc to one of two hotspots (still in the middle) 5 yds in front or behind the thrower. These short passes were often leading passes that required some touch that could be difficult for our young players. So after plyometrics and before a larger drill we would run this drill:

Two lines with lots of people with discs. One person (w/o disc) starts by running to a hotspot for the person in the front of the other line (line B). Person in the other line (B) throws the reset then cuts towards line A where the next person has a disc and is ready to throw the short dish. This got the girl's legs moving, and worked on a basic pass for the offense we were running. We'd do this for maybe 2-3 minutes with everyone running to the right side of the opposite line, then we would switch and run to the left side. Very basic, and very specific to the style of resets we were looking for. I'm sure there are better ones out there.

Mr. Zoppi said...

I have issues with my teams holding the ho stack formation when the disk moves up field. I don't want to kill momentum, but it turns into a cluster or an all out break for the endzone. Formation is important, but at what cost in terms of advancement.

You can answer here or preferably at my teams own blog in the general forum section. The blog is


kbf said...

Can you describe the "mushroom" drill? Thanks.

Fryjol said...

Guys, trying to follow you from Colombia. Really would apreciate some help here. Is it posible to get these drills in play ultimate, it`s really hard trough the comments plus the language.

Thanks in advance

Martin said...

There are lots of variants of the mushroom drill depending on how you want to run your reset. Basically the drill has 1 or 2 vertical lines in the middle of the endzone. The disc starts on one side and then gets swung to the other side. This starts with one person usually imitating the reset to get the disc off of the line and then another person running the swing/continuation cut to get the disc to the other side. The way we ran this in college was with both of those cuts coming from the front line (front of the stack). After the swing a person cuts for some sort of scoring cut, whether it is from the back line, the front of the stack, or from some other place depends on the style you are trying to teach. Person who caught the score is now the thrower, and you run it back the other way (someone cuts as the reset, then the swing, then the score).

I thought I had a pdf of the drill, but I can't find it. I'm sure someone else has it, or I'll make it. Or I'll find it online and post the link. Gotta go.

manu said...

I think this is an animation of the mushroom drill:

mwitmer15 said...

We run a drill that works on the idea of a reset and the timing of a deep cut from a ho stack. Three cones/lines. cone 1 is 20 yards from the sideline and represents the middle handler. cones 2 and 3 are however deep you want your ho stack to be. Thet represent the outer(cone 3) and inner(cone 2) positions on one half of the field. person at cone 1 starts with the disc and throws to an in cut from cone 2 line. Cone 1 person who just threw immediately cuts up and receives a short reset pass (to the side) from the receiver. Person at cone 3 is cutting deep for this handler.

The idea is that if the handler throws, runs, and receives, they may have a moment in which to get off a good deep throw while the marker is out of position. We ran this drill at a practice with intermediate-newer level players. During the scrimmage that followed, several plays replicated the drill exactly.