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Cutting in Ultimate – The Finer Points

A cut is a simple movement on the field but it’s often done poorly since most people have never learned how to cut. This article contains tips that will help you become a better cutter, that will help you think smarter on the field, and that will improve your foot speed, improving your overall game.

First of all, why do players tend to cut poorly?

Players who cut poorly tend to do so because they’ve either never been taught about body movement or because they haven’t practiced enough. Just because you’re fast doesn’t mean you’re a good cutter. If you can only run straight then you become very easy to defend. However, if you know how to fake your defender and change direction really quickly, then you will be a much more effective cutter.

Jerry Rice, arguably one of the greatest wide receivers of all time, was said to not be the fastest player, but it was his quickness and cutting skill that helped make him one of the great ones. So, how can you become better? Well, first I’d recommend watching a few videos. These videos are great examples of why speed doesn’t always determine if you will get open to make the catch. Speed definitely helps but having a quick start and being able to change direction are huge factors as well. Now, take a few minutes and check out some of the videos. Then continue reading.

I’ve shown two videos of football because I think the cutting in football can help you tremendously with your cutting in ultimate. Whether you watch videos and practice what you see, or if you have access to a football receiver/running back/defensive back to come out to one of your practices and teach your team about cutting, this will help your game in a major way.

And not just on offense, but on defense as well. If you’re defending someone who keeps faking you out and burning you deep, then you’re not doing your job on D. Learning how to more better on the field and how to read what the other guy is going to do will help you get more D’s, get beat less and contribute to your team’s success overall.

There are many ways to train for quickness and agility. This video is one of my favourites:

The first time you try agility drills, you’ll probably feel that you are clumsy, uncoordinated and awkward. But it does get easier to do the drills with practice. And then you can start really challenging yourself. After watching these videos, I’m excited to try some of these moves out on the field. I think I’m going to surprise a lot of defenders when I fake them out and strike for a point.

Try them out, send me your suggestions for how you train for cutting and good luck on the field!

21 thoughts on “Cutting in Ultimate – The Finer Points”

  1. great tips! Keep them coming. Love this site. I find that when I play a pickup game of flag football I'm much more sore the next day than when I play ultimate. I guess that means I'm not cutting hard enough!

  2. Jon, I know that drill as the endzone or Seattle drill…and agreed it's a great drill. Use it a lot for pre game warmups.

  3. Yup…that's huge. It's amazing how much it helps. Although there are a lot of ultimate players who don't run properly so starting with that would help a lot of them immensely too…

  4. They don't have the proper running technique so they're inefficient, which means they're slower than they could be and get tired more quickly…

  5. Jackson Waite-Himmelwright

    Running form is different for everybody. But yes its true that at some levles of the game do not attract the same level of athlete that other sports do. However competive college and club teams have great runners and excelent athletes.

  6. Thanks Dan. Obviously cutting in ultimate is a bit different since it's a game of constant play, unlike football, but a lot of the same concepts and movements can be applied. A lot of players just jog and don't really move with purpose on the field so it's easy for their defender to mark them. If players actually cut hard and faked as a cutter, they would get open A LOT more.

  7. I think the biggest thing that helped me learn to cut when I was playing football was when my coach told me how important it was to have your foot turned on the first step of your breakdown. If I'm running straight and I want to come back at an angle then it's nearly impossible to break down with my whole body facing forward and then push off that front foot and then come back with any sort of speed. That takes ages. Turning your foot and body from the first step in your breakdown is what really makes it a quick movement. Hard for me to explain through text, but easy to show.

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