When there are just two of you out throwing, are there useful and fun things to do? Well, of course. Anything which has a particular focus – rather than just casually tossing the throws you’re already good at – is a very good start. Both Ben Wiggins’ Zen throwing routine (a short one, intended to be done daily) and Lou Burruss’ Kung-fu throwing routine (a longer one, to be done weekly) are very useful, and I highly recommend something along those lines.
I’m just going to add one more drill that I think goes well alongside elements of those, and adds some physical conditioning as well.
If you don’t have access to a proper training plan, then probably the best thing you can do is sprint intervals. Ultimate is a game of sprinting, with some periods of rest in between. Players who can keep going at 70% of top speed indefinitely aren’t going to get free – at least, not until sunday afternoon, when a few unfit defenders have given up – so there’s not much point going for long jogs. You need to be practising high intensity and fast recovery.
But sprint intervals are hard, and chasing discs is fun.
So: you need 2 people, 1 disc, and ideally 4 cones.
It’s really simple to do, even if this explanation in words sounds complex. Start with a thrower on cone 1 and a runner on cone 3, and simply have him run down a huck. As soon as the throw is released, the thrower begins to jog to cone 2. After catching (or retrieving) the disc, the other player gets to cone 4 ready to throw a huck back the other way, and we repeat until exhausted. Each player goes through the pattern of jog, sprint & catch, get to the cone, throw – which is a pretty good interval exercise. Ten minutes of this and you’ll certainly know about it…
Obviously the distance x is chosen for how long you want the hucks to be (or how far you can throw it). The distance y is chosen based on how much your team’s offence tends to respect the ‘rule of thirds’ – a small y results either in discs that are over someone’s head, or that require quite a lot of curve to avoid doing that; whereas a large y gives you an angle to work with but makes the throw that bit longer. The distance x’ reflects how far in front of the disc you’d expect your deep cuts to start in your team’s offence. You can practice different kinds of hucks by varying those parameters. And obviously you can set the cones up for either backhand or forehand hucks.
I’ve found the cones are quite useful, to prevent laziness and shortening the cuts; of course, you can just do this with 2 people and a disc if you really want to. It’s an incredibly simple drill, but an extremely effective way to improve your long throws and your fitness. Enjoy.