Dublin Coaching & Skills Clinic

Brummie, Coaching, Colonel, IFDA, UKU Coaching Courses

Sion “Brummie” Scone tells us about how the ESC in Dublin went down.

Recently, Daniel “Colonel” Furnell and I headed to Dublin to work with the next generation of Irish players and coaches. Following my interview with Mark Earley on Ultimate Interviews, I was approached by David Rickard, President of the Irish Flying Disc Association (IFDA), in March with the idea of running a version of the Elite Skills Clinic in Ireland at some point. 

Brummie coaching the GB World Games team in Cali. Photo courtesy of Isabela Vivas.



However, nothing is quite so simple as just repeating a previous session; instead, Rickard wanted us to focus on working with the elite level players and also to work on developing a small group of coaches, with the ultimate aim of a self-sustaining coaching community. Coach the coaches, and be sure to include some innovative tactics. No small ask considering neither of us had ever done anything like this! 

Fortunately, Colonel and I are both UKU Coach Educators and so have experience delivering the Level 1 coaching course, and I was heavily involved in developing the Level 2 coaching course. We weren’t really aiming to repeat either of these, but instead to take a few key points, and instead focus on content beyond the level of either of the UKU courses. As such, those present for the Dublin weekend had a preview of what the Level 3 content might one day look like just two weeks before the first Level 2 course it taught! Between teaching our own skills masterclass, introducing some new concepts to our coaches and letting them loose, then performing tactical reviews of performance on the fly. We crammed in a huge amount in two days; fortunately, all of our coaches showed never-ending patience, and they were also lucky enough to have 25 very keen players who seemed to have boundless enthusiasm. Finally, we’d had the sense to use an indoor 3G venue on the weekend that a huge storm passed overhead! All in all, it proved to be very fun and hopefully extremely useful, and it has certainly helped to ignite some discussion about the future of the UKU coaching courses. 

[ED] Here is what some of the people who went thought about it:

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I personally really enjoyed the weekend. It was a fantastic experience not only learning from the two GB lads but getting to train and go through drills with different players than the ones I usually do. The atmosphere was relaxed but it was clear everyone was there to learn and take as much as they can from the clinic.

If this was to ever happen again I’d be the first to sign up. It’s great to have a new set of eyes look at players in Irish Ultimate and get us all to learn new techniques and tactics. I feel I’ve learnt more in two days than 4-5 months of training sessions, and I’m glad that myself and other players can go back to their respective clubs and colleges with what they’ve taken in.
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Yes the weekend was fantastic. It should definitely be run again if possible and there should be a lot more hype about it. I don’t know anyone that didn’t enjoy it or learn something really useful from it. Keith was almost not going to go and was incredibly glad he did. So I think more of a description about the calibre of the coaches and quoting people’s positive feedback from this weekend next time might help stress how great an opportunity it is…
… people who were properly invested in the weekend were really receptive and enthusiastic about it all. I think they worked really hard and showed Brummie and Colonel a lot of respect.
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I thought the skills clinic was excellent, really benefited from it. I definitely think you should do it again. … The GB lads ran really good drills, explained them well and when they had the coaches running things I thought they did a great job too. … I can only see Irish Ultimate benefitting from this in the future…
Thanks for organising it all.

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I was quite happy with the clinic. Gave me some ideas and alternate views on certain aspects.
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Yea, it was good craic, the lads were very qualified and provided a refreshing approach to a few new drills.
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I was very happy with it. I would highly recommend that it is repeated. The content and the coaches were great!!
All in all I was delighted with the weekend.
Thanks for organizing it.
Brummie and Colonel taking silver at WUGC 2012 in Sakai. Photo courtesy of Dan Furnell.
Interested in more info? Drop Brummie a line, particularly if you’d like a skills clinic catering to your precise requirements run for your team or a small group of coaches.
DP @ tSG

GB Throwing Regime

Brummie, Colonel, GB, Kung Fu Throwing, Skills, Throwing, Zen Throwing

Sion “Brummie” Scone divulges the throwing routine that GB Open started using back in 2011. 

Last year, Dan “Colonel” Furnell and I put our heads together in order to come up with a throwing routine that we felt stressed the most important throws; having spent the previous two years teaching throwing skills to GB Open, we took the bits from Burruss’ KFT  that we found most useful, added/tweaked a little (including some of Wiggins’ Zen Throwing), and split into four chunks to make it easier to fit them in before or after other practices or fitness sessions. Each should take in the region of 20 mins, probably slower the first few times you try them until you know the routines.  

GB Open 2010-2012. Photo Courtesy of Dominic Clark.



Warm up

If you’re going out just to throw, then make sure you warm up. Jog a lap with your partner, throwing the disc back and forth.  No further than 2m, catch it as you caught it, minimise the amount of time that the disc is in your hands, and make sure it spins when you throw it!

Part 1: Toolbox Consistency



Try mixing this up by aiming to the receiver’s left hand, or right hand, as well as hitting them in the gut.  One set of each is ideal.

Part 2: The Kung Fu
At comfort distance, throw 10 forehands and backhands:

  1. As low as you can release

  2. As far as you can release from your body
  3. As high as you can release

Completion rates should drop in this section. The point is to challenge your technical and physical limitations, not to be perfect. Your throws in this section should feel awkward.  For advanced level, perform standing on one leg (opposite to throwing arm).  *Balance is vital*


  4. Catch-and-throw: complete 10 backhands, then 10 forehands, where you need to attack the disc and quickly return the disc to your partner. Make small cuts *just as your partner catches the disc*, so they can catch, see you move, and throw to you over a short distance. Distance will vary as you throw; when you get too close, “reset” your position via a lead pass away from you.  *All throws must be thrown hard if thrown directly to partner; the exception is if you throw a lead pass*.  Try to resist the urge to just move directly towards each other; change up the angles.  



Incorporate “Strobe Catches” if you want to make life more difficult while catching; essentially, blink fast while the disc is moving towards you, or – even better – blink *slowly* so that you are unsighted slightly and are able to adjust to the catch faster. 

Part 3: Hucking


Below is a diagram that shows 1 hucking to 2; the numbered flight paths denote the throws above.  Not all are displayed; the thrower starts on the other sideline for the unmarked throws.  Throws 1 & 2 are to the same 1/3 of the field as the thrower; 3-6 are to the far sideline.



Note the start position of the throw (marked by a solid black dot) indicates the release point; pivot sideways for 2, pivot forwards for 5, pivot backwards for 6.

Part 4: Compass
Imagine your pivot foot is at the centre of a compass. This section is split into two parts, and for each you should stand offset to each other as shown below (where you are the player marked by the big arrow, your partner’s position is marked by the small arrow, and where your pivots in each part correspond to the compass points shown above it). For Part 1, your partner should be in a north east direction, for Part 2, your partner should be in a north west direction…   You should be 10-15m apart.
It can help to place cones at each of the points you need to pivot to, as you will want to be as accurate as possible on your pivots while you’re learning this routine.


Optional: While your partner is throwing backhands, put out the hand that is furthest from them, and stick up some of your fingers.  Get your partner to call out the number during the throw.  Don’t show the fingers until they pivot to the backhand side, and the thrower should try to avoid pausing in this position.

Fake, pivot, throw. You are working on a snap fake and quick grip transition. Speed is important, so try to push your limits as fatigue sets in while maintaining accuracy.  You should therefore pivot and fake to the opposite side prior to each throw, and you are aiming to pivot *directly* from one side to the other, without needing to take an additional step in the middle of your pivot.  In the diagram above, you are the big arrow, your partner is the small one.  Face the direction shown, not each other.

(NOTE: “Throw” is for a righty, reverse if you’re a lefty).  Do Part 1 five times, then switch to Part 2.


Part 4.1







Part 4.2





*replace with offhand backhand if preferred


Get out there and get throwing! Brummie has more to say with commentary on Clapham’s recent performances coming soon … DP @ tSG.