7 Phrases for Ultimate Team Defense

One of the keys to playing strong defense in Ultimate is team communication. No matter what level you’re playing at whether it’s a recreational league game, a national championship, or even just practice, there’s always a place for strong team-wide communication. One way to communicate is through short simple phrases that sometimes sound a little like a mantra or motto. Here are 7 such phrases you can use to improve your Ultimate team’s defense.

1. Shake it off, get it back on D!

  • When to use it: Just after your Offense turns the disc over
  • Why it works: It helps your Offensive players refocus on the immediate task at hand – getting the disc back in their hands to score a point!

2. 10 seconds of hard D

  • When to use it: When your defense has been playing well and they just need that extra focus to get the next turnover
  • Why it works: It gives all your defensive players a common, short-term focus

3. Nothing under! Stop the under!

  • When to use it: When your team is playing 1-on-1 defense and the offense is getting a few open passes in a row down the open side of the field
  • Why it works: It reminds your downfield defenders to focus their energy on one task – shutting down the “in” or “under” cuts on the open side – instead of trying to cover every possible pass

4. No I-O!

  • When to use it: When you’re on D and you know that the current thrower with the disc either likes to throw the IO (inside-out) pass, or has a wide open receiver in the IO lane
  • Why it works: It’s simple and short, which helps the marker make adjustments on the thrower

5. Watch the step-around! No step!

  • When to use it: When you’re on D and you know tha the current thrower with the disc either likes to throw the step-around pass, or has a wide open receiver in the step-around side
  • Why it works: Just like “No I-O” It’s simple and short, which helps the marker make adjustments on the thrower

6. No line!

  • When to use it: When you’re on D, with a force trapping the disc on the sideline, and a handler is making a cut up-the-line
  • Why it works: It’s helpful as a warning for all the defenders on the field that the biggest threat in the play is the cut up the line, and with that warning, they can all make whatever adjustments they need to in their positioning

7. Way to hold the force!

  • When to use it: After your defense has stopped or taken away an attempt by the offense to throw to the break side
  • Why it works: If you say it immediately when the play happens, it’s great positive reinforcement to help your defense focus on holding the force again on the next pass

That’s it! 7 short and simple phrases you can use in just about any game of Ultimate to help improve your team defense. Give them a try and see the effects!

  1. 8 Responses to “7 Phrases for Ultimate Team Defense”

  2. “No huck!” or “No big!”

    – When to use: When a cutter has gotten well behind the defense (esp. after a turnover), and the defense needs time to recover.

    – Why it works: Simple and short, helps the marker make the proper play on the thrower. Also alerts possible deep helpers who could poach a floaty huck.

    My team used this call a lot at Eastern Illinois University’s recent tournament. Bad weather, and EIU’s B-squad was looking for downwind hucks against us repeatedly.

    By Bear Killer on Apr 11, 2009

  3. “Strike” as opposed to “No line”

    This lets the mark know to switch force (or at least make a pass difficult) when your man has beaten you to the line throw. The benefit over “No line” is that the thrower should only have to hold it for a count or two until you recover and it is not limited only in a trap line situation. You can use it anywhere on the field, even in FM situations

    By Stuart Hipp on Apr 13, 2009

  4. @Bear Killer – Good one! That’s definitely an important phrase to have in your pocket.

    @Stuart Hipp – Good call – we’ve often seen (or I guess heard) the “Strike” call as well. Another plus is that it’s one syllable making it a quicker call to react to – every second counts, right? :)

    By beebs on Apr 14, 2009

  5. “UP”

    Let’s your D know when the disc is in the air.

    By Banks on Apr 19, 2009

  6. @Banks – that’s the most important call your defense makes.

    By Z-man on May 5, 2009

  7. @Banks and @Z-man – Yes, thanks for reminding us of THE fundamental call for D.

    By beebs on May 13, 2009

  8. Chilly – tells your O to calm down and not rush a throw or play. Instead take the time to setup and get focused.

    By Robin on May 29, 2009

  9. “Fast Turn!”

    -When to use: when your defense has just stopped the offense and the turnover will allow you to either setup quickly or make a few quick passes before their defense can set up.
    -Why it works: It gets your players into offensive mode rather than thinking about what a great turnover it was, and reminds them that the crucial time between turnover and setup can be the difference between a flood and a set D. If/when the defense catches on, every time they hear it they’ll run to set up their D, which can be used against them. Also, use with Chilly to get setup quickly and make good passes.

    One thing I like to remind my team about is the fact that the pass isn’t completed until it’s in their (the offense’s) hands. This isn’t so much of a mid-play call–although it could be converted into one–but a reminder to go the extra mile, swat the disc, run hard and cover, etc. It encourages follow through and competitiveness. Similar to 10 secs. above.

    By Josh on Jun 5, 2009

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