Amsterdam Hex Clinic

Amsterdam Hex Clinic, 29-30th September 2018

Last weekend saw players from all over Netherlands and Belgium come together to learn Hex Offence and Flex Defence at the Amsterdam Hex Clinic, put together with help from Sjoerd Druven. The clinic started with a classroom session on Flexagon Defence theory – the group discussed common offensive mistakes and shortcomings, and thought about which were the most noticed, and which are rarely considered to contribute to turnovers. Then we looked at how defence could change to take advantage of the less noticed offensive shortcomings, and how such a defence could be trained.

… read more & see videos of drills …

We headed out onto the field after lunch to put into practice what we had been talking about – running a few drills without a disc involved, focusing on defensive movement. Here are clips from Trent’s Drill (credit to Trent Simmons from 10milliondiscs.org) and the Surrounding Stack Drill, which aim to get players used to moving and reacting to multiple offensive players in a group, rather than just 1-to-1 marking.



Casper / ulti.tv filmed the first outdoors session, so when we went inside we were able to immediately use the footage for video analysis! This was really beneficial to everyone – to be able to replay exactly what happened and consider alternative actions is a great way to learn quickly. After the analysis session we headed out again for the Triple-Sandwich drill, and more games!

Saturday night we had a meal at a Turkish restaurant and played some Dobble before going out for a couple of drinks & then back to Sjoerd’s house (picturesque – next to a canal).

Sunday was Hexagon Offence day – starting again with a classroom session where we looked at the history of offence, broke down the shared fundamental elements of offence, and looked at how different offensive systems prioritise different values – and how Hex fits into the picture. Hex, which values flow above all else, was explained through Movement, Shape, and Technique – each of which are very different compared to conventional stack offences.

Then we headed out onto the field again! We trained technique first, emphasising the throw-and-go / dribble-throw technique, and had a Dribble Slalom Race:


Then we incorporated the dribble technique into the Brilliance Box Drill, which adds some more game-like realism:


After everyone got some practice building shape, we went into games, and the offence worked smoothly – it was tough to defend against and everyone was discovering new throws and movements in the fast-moving style. The most common feedback was that it was surprisingly good FUN to play!

ulti.tv filming with a pole cam

Ulti.tv were filming again, so we were able to go inside and immediately have an analysis session. During this session I noticed that everyone was analysing their own play – I didn’t really need to contribute much because the theory knowledge from earlier was being put into action, and everyone could see what they could do better in any situation, and what was working well.

Although it was quite a light turnout this time around, we had 7v7 and I felt the clinic was a huge success. Everyone understood the theory, implemented it well, saw another side of ultimate strategy, and many players said they were keen to take the O/D back to their teams.

I learnt more about how to teach the strategies and implemented a few new drills with great success. Most importantly though, everybody had FUN playing Hex & Flex!

Hex Movement Decision Tree


… read transcript / summary …

Hex Movement Decision Tree: Brief explanation / shortened transcript of video

The way I’ve been looking at offence recently is to break it into three elements; Movement, Structure, and Technique.
This decision tree is a guideline for how to sustain and generate movement of the disc. The left side pertains to movement of the disc, and the right side is more focused on players who are off-disc.

If you have the disc in your hands then you have three questions; Is someone open in front of you?, Is the previous thrower open?, and Can you continue the path of the disc? If the answer is Yes to any of these three questions then you take the open pass, and look for the return pass, before returning to the start of the decision tree. If the return pass is successful then you enter a loop on the top left of the tree, which is where give-go / dribbling moves thrive.

If the answer to any of the three ‘open’ questions is Maybe, then you fake. The answer could be ‘maybe’ because you’re not confident with the distance or type of throw the option is asking of you, or because the defender is half-covering the throw, or for any reason you’re not happy with the option – in this case, fake, and return to asking “Is someone open in front of you?” – which may be the player you just faked an option to.

In some situations it’s better to look to continue the path of the disc before looking back to the previous thrower. Looking back to previous thrower lends itself to a more dribbling-style of Hex, but looking first to continue the path of the disc fits in quite nicely with techniques players have learnt from conventional offences.
If all then ‘open’ answers are ‘No’, then you should face the centre of the space. In Hex, this means you face where the Hat position is (the central player), and you should have all your team mates within your field of view. At this point you return to asking yourself if anyone is open in front of you.

Let’s say you go for the return pass and don’t get the disc back into your hands. The first question to ask yourself is ‘Am I in good hex shape?‘. The details about hex shape / structure are defined in another video, but if you decide you are not in good hex shape then you should reposition – with urgency. Repositioning moves are like cuts, and simply repositioning may well provide the thrower with a viable passing option.

If you are in good hex shape, ask yourself if you are open. If you are, communicate with the thrower by gesticulation or vocalisation, to let the thrower know you are a potential option for them to hit or fake to.

If you aren’t open, see if the thrower is looking at you. If they are, you should try to generate an option for them to either hit or fake to – by moving, or by gesticulating towards space. This will create further options for your team mates.

If you’re in good hex shape, not open, and the thrower is not looking at you, then you should see whether you can create useful space for a team mate. This means looking around to take note of your team mates positions and their defenders relative positions, and working out whether you moving in any direction could create a space, or occupy another defender, which would be useful for your team mate. If you can, then you should generate this option.

If none of these things are the case, then you should chill – don’t stress or feel pressure to create an option, because if everyone on your team is going through the same decision process then the thrower will be faking to half-options, looking at players to generate options, and so on, and the options will come. Continue monitoring the situation to see if you can create useful space for a team mate, to make sure you’re in good hex shape (as a team), and to see if you’re free or if the thrower is looking at you, but aim to become comfortable being in the position of sustaining offensive possession as a team.

Analysis: Live Stream with Oakland playing Vertical Stack

Excerpt:

Oakland’s coach Valerio got in touch about reviewing some footage of his team. They play conventional offence and defence – here is an excerpt from a Live Streamed Analysis session I ran with them.

Here’s the full 2hr video:

Vlog – Top 3 moments from WUCC & AO All-stars, plus USP Catching clips & Hex Movement Decision Tree

Check out the Catching module at http://www.ultyresults.com

WUCC Highlights, AO All-Star Tour has begun!

WUCC 2018 in Cincinnati has concluded, free live streams of the AO All-Stars games have begun!

Live streaming WUCC with ulti.tv (through Fanseat) was a great success – we covered 5 games a day for the first 5 days, then the first half of the Mixed Semi Final, before lightning struck and tornado warnings were sent out, and the remaining games were moved indoors – crazy stuff! Here are the highlight reels we put together:

Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6

Now I’m on the road with Mike Palmer and Casper Schmitt, live streaming the Asian-Oceanic All-Star Women’s Tour. Last night they played against Bent in New York – highlights below – so 4 games are remaining against some top US competition. Here’s the upcoming schedule [all times are EST]:

Weds 25th 18:30: vs Green Means Go (Philadelphia)

Thurs 26th 19:00: vs Scandal (Washington)

Fri 27th 19:00: vs Brute Squad (Boston)

Mon 30th 19:00: vs 6ixers (Toronto)

See the AO All-Stars YouTube channel for live streams & full games
Follow the AO All-Stars on Facebook & Instagram

Highlights from the New York Bent match:

Full footage of Game 1 vs Bent available here.

Vlog – WUCC Preview, Amsterdam Hex Clinic, AO Allstars NA Tour

Amsterdam Hex Clinic sign-up: https://goo.gl/forms/3i6Z8ltURTiZnOaU2
Facebook NED Hex clinic event: https://www.facebook.com/events/18784…

More info on WUCC at http://www.wucc2018.com

Kept the video short and had some technical issues with my new machine, otherwise would’ve loved to have mentioned how great Reading look heading into Worlds, and how I’m looking forward to seeing SMOG (and perhaps some other teams) bring out some Hex! If you see any being played, send me the link!

Follow the games I’ll be working production on live by subscribing to Fanseat – http://www.fanseat.com

Ultimate Skills Project – Felix Highlights & “Catching” Module Intro

Introduction to the module on Catching which will be available at http://www.ultyresults.com – plus a little bit about myself.

Full blog post here: https://www.ultyresults.com/blog/how-to-improve-your-catching-in-any-situation

Analysis: Turnovers from Clapham v Chevron (Galaxy Point)

Analysis of the 5 turnovers in Galaxy Point between Clapham and Chevron, the final of Open Tour 1. Full game footage from this and many other great Tour games is available only at fanseat.com

How to play Hex: Maintaining Shape (analysis of Outbreak Mountain)

Excerpt:

Full stream / extended analysis video: