felixultimate’s “How to Train Hex / Flex” Series

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The drills and exercises laid out in these videos are useful for developing a number of skills and techniques applicable to all ultimate games, with a particular focus on the spacing, movements, and techniques suited to Hexagon Offence and Flexagon Defence.

Covid-19 update: The drills below are rated from A-C on the UKU’s Outline of Phased Return to Play. During high risk of virus transmission, queues in drills, stacks in games, and 1-to-1 marking should be avoided where possible. See the UKU Outline of Phased Return to Play for more details, and felixultimate’s Covid-19 Safe Training & Play Ideas. The felixultimate drills below maintain 2m distance between players, except where noted. The Hex and Flex strategies encourage spacing between players as a principle, which opens up many more opportunities for distanced drills, exercises, and safer play in games. Adhere to your local guidance to keep you and the people around you safe above all else.


Keepdisc

  • UKU Phase C (with defence)
  • 6-14 players
  • Retaining possession
  • Sustainable movement
  • Quick disc movement
  • Throw’n’go moves
Trains players ability to maintain possession in a sustainable way – providing a regular stream of viable options with getting tired, focusing on moving the disc and keeping it alive as opposed to looking for yardage or the end zone. Very similar to playing fast flowing ultimate, this is probably the most common exercise seen at a training run by Felix. Watch video.

Shape Race

  • UKU Phase B (no defence)
  • 7-21 players
  • Shape knowledge + application
  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Starting a point
Training players knowledge of and ability to create good shape as a team – communicating with each other and adjusting to new disc field positions to make good shape quickly and efficiently. Watch video.

Brilliance Box Drill

  • UKU Phase B (no defence)
  • 4-8 players
  • Accelerating out of throw
  • Decelerating into catch
  • Changing direction with disc in hands
  • 2-person dribbling
Training players ability to throw’n’go in a game-like situation – accelerate out of their throws, decelerate into their catches, and change direction with the disc in their hands. A progression of the drill also introduces dribbling with 2 active players. Watch video.

Hex Puzzle Drill

  • UKU Phase B (no defence)
  • 5-7 players
  • Field Awareness
  • Communication
  • Decision Making
  • Creating & Using Space
  • Initiating & Sustaining Flow
Initiating flow from static, sustaining flow whilst in good shape, creating and using space as you see it appear, decision making, communication… The Hex Puzzle drill is unique as it trains all these elements which are important in Hex, and all at the same time. It is notoriously challenging to do well, despite the lack of defenders – all 5-7 players must stay engaged and alert in order to maintain the tempo & rhythm of the offence. An essential tool for a team to get better at Hex quickly, introducing many elements which are not seen in other drills. Watch video.

Hex Sprint Pattern

  • UKU Phase B (no defence)
  • 1-5 players
  • Fitness Exercise
  • Realistic, Believable Fakes
  • Agility, Speed, Stamina
  • Thrower / Catcher Synchronisation
Perfect for solo and socially distanced training, the Hex Sprint Pattern focuses on an individual’s speed, agility, and stamina. A favourite among faster, fitness-oriented players, and very popular among those who train individually or in small pods. Cones are laid out in two triangles, with a player sprinting between them in a pattern, ending with a long sprint. When you add a second (static) player with a disc, the two must coordinate their fakes and passes to be realistic and synchronised, as they should be in a game. This drill develops adeptness with a variety of short-quick-passes, improves an individual’s throw’n’go technique, and works on their stamina and concentration when tired.Watch video.

Hex Huck Drill

  • UKU Phase C (or phase B if force removed/modified)
  • 6-15 players
  • Timing Cuts
  • Long Throwing
  • Adaptability
  • Decision Making
Cutting and throwing deep from the type of movement / patterns seen in Hex – different to those seen in conventional stack offence. Good throwers can train their hucks, weaker throwers can train their shorter flow passes – the Hex Huck Drill provides multiple options with each rep, always including a deep, and challenges 5+ players to adjust their spacing, timing, and decision making on-the-fly in order to maintain flow. This drill can be adjusted to emulate certain patterns, such as Japan-style crossfield hucks, dump-swing-continue reps, and more. Watch video.

Dribble Slalom Drill + Throw’n’Go Technique

  • UKU Phase B (no defence)
  • 3-5 players
  • Throw’n’Go Technique
  • Dribbling Technique
  • Pop Passes
Throw’n’go technique is a key element of good Hex, and is trained directly with the Dribble Slalom drill. 3-5 players take turns to accelerate out of their throws and decelerate into their catches, give-go, and perform basic dribbling by changing direction when the disc is in their hands. The drill can be made competitive between groups, and there is plenty of scope for expansion and variations with similar types of throw’n’go drills using the principles at play. In this video Felix also talks through avoiding travelling & travel calls with specific throw’n’go technique tips, and plays an excerpt from a live stream where he talks to Bryan Jones about ways to practice give-go moves. Watch video.

Give-Go Swill Drill

  • UKU Phase C (1x 1v1 mark)
  • 6-8 players
  • Give-Go & Dribbling Technique
  • Misdirection
  • Pop Passes
  • 50-50 Swill Catching
The give-go-swill drill trains give-go and dribbling technique, along with misdirection, balance, and using flow and tempo to attack. Players should find that it is more effective to advance the disc through give-go moves – including moves away from the end target – than it is to directly break the force from static. Players also learn to communicate clearly (through gesticulation) with the static players about when/where they want the disc thrown back to them. Watch video.

Whiteboard: Countering Split & Side Stacks

  • UKU Phase A (online)
  • Defence Theory
  • Surrounding Stacks
  • Poaching
Split Stacks and Side Stacks create large spaces on the field for the offence. They can be countered by the defence through surrounding, or a combination of unbalanced bracketing and sustained poaching, as Felix sketches out in this whiteboard session. Watch video.

Flexagon Defence: Full Team Online Session Recording

  • UKU Phase A (online)
  • Flexagon Defence
  • Communication
  • Surrounding Stacks
  • Switching
  • Full Classroom Session
This 2hr22min video contains everything you need to know about Flexagon Defence, in long-form. It is a recording from an online session commissioned by Oakland Ultimate in California, focused around Team Defence, specifically Flexagon Defence. Felix starts from scratch and builds up a complete and coherent picture of how Flex works and how the viewers can implement it with their teams. This is the most comprehensive resource for Flexagon Defence which currently exists – for any further questions, or if you like the look of this session but would prefer your team to have their own session where Felix will talk directly with them and they can ask questions, contact Felix via the About page. Watch video.

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