Fifteen years ago, if you wanted to learn how to play ultimate, your options were pretty limited. Good coaches were few and far between, game footage was limited to a handful of grainy reels a year, and the full catalog of written instruction could be read in a matter of hours by breezing through a couple books and surfing some stray early blogs. If you weren’t lucky enough to enter the sport within an existing hotbed, trying to improve your skills was as much a challenge of locating information as it was of consuming, understanding, and putting it into practice.
In 2007, two coaches in Seattle — Ben Wiggins and Andy Lovseth — set out to change that, collecting the wisdom and experience of top players and presenting it on a site they called The Huddle. Every few weeks, they’d come up with a new topic to explore and solicit thoughts from a cadre of high-level coaches and players, finally giving aspiring talent access to the brainpower of the game’s elite.
In the decade since The Huddle went dormant, the thirst for strategic insight and learning tools has only accelerated. Coaching resources, video projects, training camps, and YouTube channels have all proliferated to try to sate that thirst. Heck, Tuesday Tips remains one of the most popular columns on our site. But despite the explosion in ultimate content, it’s still not often that newer or younger players get to hear directly from the biggest stars in the sport about how they approach or think about the game.
To fill the void, we’ve launched The Play Call, a new resource that aims to once again democratize the expertise of world-class players on how they improve specific skills or what they’re thinking about and focusing on in specific in-game situations. Last month, we published the first issue of this column, covering Endzone Offense. Now it’s time to tackle resets.
Every team knows the frustration of a reset system that just isn’t clicking. Turnovers in the backfield can be brutal, often setting an opponent up for a quick and demoralizing counterattack the other way. Fixing these issues is critical to improving your efficiency as an offense.
To tease out the accumulated wisdom of our player panel on this topic, we gave our authors the following prompt:
At your first tournament of the year, your resets were a mess and the cause of a ton of turns. Miscommunications, poor execution, failure to gain anything beyond a new stall count — even when they worked, everything felt difficult and stalled the offense. You have practice time to dedicate to building a reset system or building individual skills. Where is your focus? If you want to build a system, what aspects do you focus on? If you want to improve skills, what abilities are most important to be able to execute as a reset cutter or thrower? Is it the same for everyone on the team or role dependent?
Here’s what some of the top players in the game today had to say.
KHALIF EL-SALAAM | ROBYN FENNIG | CAROLYN FINNEY
JONATHAN NETHERCUTT | NICKY SPIVA | JENNY WEI
The Play Call: Issue 2 – Reset Systems is only available to Ultiworld Subscribers
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