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In this episode, I interview Felix Shardlow about the Hex offense, its origins, tactics, and implementation. Felix created the Hex offense and is responsible for its international spread. Listen to hear about the foundations of Hex within Spain’s tiki-taka style of football, based on spacing players to form equilateral triangles to present multiple passing options for every player. Felix explains why this style gives Hex some tactical advantages over stack offenses.
Hex provides some advantages with regard to player development. Because every player can be an option, and because quick movement (often for short throws) is so heavily emphasized, each player can end up touching the disc a lot. It is harder to “hide” in the Hex in the same way that a cutter might stand in the middle of a stack. Additionally, it is easier for players to move from Hex to a traditional stack than for the other way around. For these reasons, many B teams and developmental teams have made the shift to using Hex, as Felix lays out in the interview.
For more examples of Hex strategies and gameplay, you can head over to Felix’s website (http://felixultimate.com/category/strategies/). Felix will be giving a more comprehensive look into Hex at this year’s URCA Conference- register here, don’t miss it! As always, if you want to send me any thoughts, suggestions, or critiques, please email me at email@example.com.
Below are a few links to teams running the Hex offense:
Brighton City at UKU Nationals 2015
GB U23 X v. GB Mixed
Sussex at Uni Nationals 2018
Japan U23 v. USA 2015
Register for the 2019 URCA Conference Here!
In this episode, I interview Benji Heywood on the topic of indoor ultimate. In many countries, especially in the UK and Northern Europe, indoor has a similar organizational framework to outdoors in terms of leagues and participation. However, this is not the case in warmer countries, where teams may be able to play outside for most or all of the year. In this conversation, you’ll find insights from a leading coach on the subject of indoor ultimate on the tactics and organization of indoor ultimate.
The primary differences in gameplay between indoor and outdoor are obvious, but they can have subtle effects. 1) There is no wind, and 2) the field is much smaller. In some cases in the UK, the entire field may be the size of a single outdoors endzone. With 5 players on each side, this causes the field to quickly become quite congested. Vertical stack is a high-variance, underdog strategy, and more standard indoors offenses may appear alien to those only familiar with outdoors ultimate.
Intro/ Outro Music: "La Rue" - Cortex
Register for the 2019 URCA Conference here!
Welcome to the first ever URCA Podcast! In this show, we'll learn from some of the best and brightest minds in ultimate to help YOU become the best coach you can be. In this episode, I interview Cate Roscoe about her upcoming URCA Conference Presentation, "Teaching the Forehand."
Cate Roscoe is a longtime ultimate player, coach, and organizer on the US west coast. In our interview, we discuss her upcoming URCA conference presentation, “Teaching the Forehand.” We also explore her background in coaching as well as other important lessons she has learned through coaching, coupled with her professional career as an educator.
When teaching such a complicated motion, you want to keep it simple. Find cues that control multiple reference points. There’s so many moving parts with a forehand, it can be difficult to instruct. Here's a great example cue, courtesy of a young girl from Cate’s youth league:
“it feels like you’re trying to put your elbow in front of your hand.”
Another one that Cate loves, is “bend the opposite knee.”
These cues allow the athlete to focus on only one motion or action associated with the throw, rather than the individual aspects of coordinating a snap from the shoulder, elbow, and wrist. Giving a clear focus for the thrower will result in more efficient self-organization and learning on the part of the thrower.
Other Fun Nuggets:
Relational Equity: The idea that all members of a team provide some value to the team. This article provided by Cate explores this in more detail. The target audience is teachers, but the applicability towards ultimate training is obvious. For example, a tenet of relational equity is the concept of multidimensionality- there are many routes to success for a team, and everyone is going to find at least one path that they are successful on. By acknowledging your player’s strengths, you not only encourage good behavior in the individual and provide an example for teammates to follow, but you also highlight what value this player brings to the whole team.
Clicker Training: Yes, the same clicker training used in guiding behavior in animals can be applied to humans! Here's the NPR segment Cate mentions. This really only works in 1 on 1 situations when you have a highly motivated learner. Cate has found clicker training to be quite successful in developing math skills in her students. This training method can be applied to ultimate: if you are teaching a new player to throw a flick, it may be beneficial to offer the thrower a reward that is not simply watching the result of the throw. You can use clicker training to reward good habits, even if the throws themselves are not pretty.
Thanks for listening! If you have any comments or questions about the podcast, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org! I really hope you can find some value out of this show. I enjoyed putting it together, and am looking forward to hearing back from anyone who took the time to listen!
Intro/ Outro Music: "La Rue" - Cortex