Introduction for Beginners Level 2 – Lesson 9: Pivot & Fake by Dominick Smyth

Just because a defender on the force is making things harder for the thrower doesn't mean the thrower is powerless. Use of a pivot & fake can move defenders and free up space to throw.

Level 2 – Individual game play skills and basic team concepts Lesson 9 – Pivot/Fake

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Objectives Using pivots and fakes to move defenders, open space for the thrower and make throws easier.
Comments When a thrower stands still, the defender has the advantage. By pivoting and faking, the thrower can move the defender out of position, or off balance, thus creating more space to throw – perhaps to the area the defender was originally trying to prevent!
New Concepts Pivot/Fake throws, Break side throws
Skill Development Forcing.
Rules A “travel” occurs when the thrower fails to keep the established pivot until releasing the disc. An uncontested travel without throwing does not stop play. Instead the stall count is paused, the thrower returns to the correct pivot point and then the stall count may resume. A travel call on a completed pass means the disc is returned to the thrower who must return to the correct pivot point. A travel called on an incomplete pass results in a turn over.


Name Duration Outline
Review and Preview 5 mins As defenders have improved their ability to limit offence’s options, it becomes important that throwers can manipulate defenders in order to create space for their throws and thus enable their team to attack.
Throwing in Pairs 10 mins Throwing in Pairs Using full range of throws, encourage pivoting “faking” (pretending to throw but not releasing the disc) and maintaining balance at all times.
3 Person Drill 10 mins 3 Person Drill With a defender seemingly blocking the thrower, well timed, and convincing, pivots and fakes are necessary to move the defender out of the way and create space to throw. The throwers confidence and determination will also be tested in their efforts to get the disc past the defender.
Around Throw to Lateral Cut 15 mins Around Throw to Lateral Cut With defence restricting options, the offence may need to try attack some of the spaces the defence is taking away.
Game – Centre Line 20 mins Game – Centre Line Do not define which side of the line is for which direction. Instead, encourage offense to react to the defence, then use their cutting and throwing abilities to create space to attack as a team. While faking can manipulate the defender on the force, it may also affect defenders down field. Clear faking is also an effective way for throwers to communicate with receivers as a fake can send a message of “I’m not going to throw to you there, cut somewhere else”.


One of the best in the world, Brett Matzuka shows off how to use fakes and pivots to move defenders and make throwing look easy

If you want to practice this, you can use Brett’s awesome drill Attacking the field through throws


Talking Points How does a throwers balance effect the throwers range and control?
What makes a fake believable?
Further Study WFDF Rules: Travel
Face Your Target


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