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The Basics of Faking

Faking is an art and, whilst it looks easy, making good fakes requires subtlety, disguise and deception. The movements a player makes whilst faking should mimic exactly the movements that a player makes when they throw but halt at the last moment. The aim is to throw the defender off balance or to move them out of position or to make them think that the thrower wants to do something other than that which they are going to do.

The basics of faking are these:

  • Making a fake look like it’s going to be a throw; otherwise it’s not going to fool your defender
  • Keeping the disc oriented, as it would be for the throw being faked
  • Throwers should not continually fake throws they never make (defenders aren’t stupid and will learn very quickly)
  • Throwers should use specific fakes directly before certain throws, in order to make more space for that throw

The crucial thing about fakes is that they lead to a specific end, e.g. unbalancing the forcer and creating room to throw the desired pass. Movements need not be expansive or exaggerated; all that is required is enough to con the defender.

Like so much else in Ultimate, faking is about misdirection, about a thrower making a defender think that they want to do one thing when in fact they have an entirely different intention. Moves should be planned and executed in such a way as to make the defender react; fakes are not successful until the defender responds and allows the thrower to complete the pass of their choosing.

A great drill to work on your fakes is the 3 Man Drill. Watch as 3 members of Furious George practice 3 man before a game at the 2003 UPA Championships. The video above illustrates a great way to work on your fakes.

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