Every captain knows that a beginner isn’t going to have perfect throws. Throwing is a skill that simply takes time to develop. In the meantime, there is a long list of qualities and attributes that captains look for in a new player that supersede any throwing ability.
I had a friend, brand new to the game, who played in a LUDA league and believed he was a liability on the field because his throws were terrible. Although it’s true that he couldn’t make a decent throw to save his life, he was absolutely an asset on the field. He hustled like a demon every minute he was out there and used his height and size to terrorize his opponents when on defense, challenging them for every disc throw their way.
On offense, he made good cuts and bid hard for every catch. In fact, he made several clutch catches in tight games (on awful throws that may or may not have come from yours truly). And when he caught the disc, he did pretty much the same thing every time: he dumped it off to a handler.
Sound like a player you’d like to have on your team? Yeah, me too.
The strategy my friend wisely employed is the old cut/catch/dump. A dump is just a short, backwards throw, usually to a handler. Although it may seem as though such a throw is counterproductive to getting the disc downfield, sometimes a dump is the best throw you can make. Not only does it reset the stall count, it often sets up a handler for clear throw downfield. At the very least, it keeps the defense moving, which is paramount for getting an offense to flow.
But first, you need to make a good cut. The end result of a good cut is most likely that you’ll be open. In turn, that means you’ll probably get the disc.
Once you go to the trouble of executing a good cut, catch the disc. Catching is not difficult; mostly, it requires a little hand-eye coordination, and that’s about it. Furthermore, you don’t get style points for slick, one-handed catches, so securing the disc with a bobbly, full-body bear hug is fine. Just don’t drop it. And if you’re willing to get a little dirty and dive for a poorly thrown disc, you’ll get a lot more touches. As soon as you catch the disc, look for a quick dump.
Now, there are two components to making a good dump. One is being aware of where the dump is and looking for it. If you don’t see an easy throw you can make downfield after one or two seconds, start looking for your dump. Usually, the dump will let you know he or she is there, so you won’t have to look very hard.
The other is making sure you time your dump throw correctly. It doesn’t have to be crisp, and it's not a big deal if it wobbles, but you’re probably going to be throwing to a player on the run. (After all, they have to shake their defender first.) Lead the dump a bit to ensure that you make a throw that the defender can get to.
Then, get back in the stack and prepare for another go.
If you aren’t confident in your throws yet, just employ the cut/catch/dump strategy until you polish them up. You’ll be an asset to your team in the meantime, I promise.