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Tips to improve your defence in Ultimate

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Image credit: Boon Ping Chua/SportSG

Having a good defensive strategy is crucial for every Ultimate Frisbee team. As a beginner in the world of Ultimate Frisbee, you might not have a huge say in the type of strategy your team is going to take. Still as a good team member and player, it is your job to make sure the strategy can work. Here are five quick tips for you to improve your personal and team defensive play.


1. Follow the Plan
This can be a difficult rule to follow in the heat of competition. It is the simplest yet hardest element to achieve in a team’s defense. Never break out of formation. If your job is to mark the thrower and force them to backhand, don’t let him make forehand passes. Remember, the strategy was put in place for a reason.

2. Play Close and Smart

Don’t be lazy! It can be tiring to play tight on the person you are defending, especially if they are really good. But don’t be discouraged and try your best, because a good defense strategy is rendered useless if you don’t put in the effort.

3. Be Aware

Keep your eyes on the prize, or the disc in this case. Always keep the person you’re defending, the disc and the rest of your team members in check. It can be a handful to follow, but you might spot unnoticed opportunities to help your team members or even to score.

4. Talk to your Teammates
Miscommunication or the lack of communication is especially common in competition. Make sure your team communicates clearly and often to one another, and don’t try to make everything happen on your own. If a teammate does not perform well, try encouraging rather than complaining or being critical. A team that talks to one another well and calmly, is a team that plays well together. Yes, you heard it right - the game of Ultimate Frisbee is about the playing, not winning.

5. Don’t Give Up on a Disc

This is one of the most important Ultimate Frisbee tips to remember: “A Frisbee disc is catchable until it touches the ground”. This might sound cheesy but never give up on the disc. Don’t treat a Frisbee like a ball - in mid-air it has no pre-determined path or speed until it hits the ground. Every disc varies in distance, speed, and height depending on the spin of the disc, angle, wind, and air pressure. There are many instances where players stop running for the disc only to miss a chance to catch it or to score. So always give your best effort when going after a disc. Simply tell yourself that you are getting the disc and go for it!  

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