FunKey Strategy & Training in a Hashtag SweetSpot

FunKey is a terrific crossover game. The biggest problem training it is the scale of the field and the organization required to paint it up. For a few years now we have been using a Hashtag SweetSpot, and this simple field set up can be used with most of the games including FunKey.

Field Layout

The SweetSpot is a 10 yard square that sits in the middle of the UpDog field. A Hashtag SweetSpot is just a 10 yard square with dangly corners. These corners are the scoring zone for FunKey.

A SweetSpot only with some tails at the vertices (resembles a hashtag) can be used to create an UpDog training field or general structured field.

To set up for FunKey, simply walk off 15 yards from a corner of the Hashtag SweetSpot and place a jump. If you do this on the 1 & 2 side, you have the 3 point jumps (It would be just as easy to place a tunnel or a 1 point jump in between the danglies…). Watch it in the video above…

Splitting vs Lumping

This is a strategy and pattern training session. Hitting the scoring zones, while important, is not really the point. I will split the scoring and perhaps even the catching part of the game from the strategy and pattern training aspect.

This is kind of important in game strategy and pattern training lessons and in disc dog training and dog training sessions in general. Wanting everything at once, the whole behavior, to be performed perfectly often gets in the way of training – especially in early stages or strategy sessions. That is just lumping.

Strategy – Outrun

I’m working both dogs in both videos with an eye towards the release after catch and their outrun. Eppie and Loot are very different in this respect and it takes some concentration and focus to wrap my head around what and why they’re doing it and what and why they will do things in the future.

Eppie performed as expected, so his session was rather simple – just exercising the pattern and trying to trim off the excess movement. We will need a few more sessions on it to dial it in, but this was a good start.

Loot, on the other hand, did not perform as expected. After the first clockwise catch, I expected him to break off from the clock flank and move counter clock, like he always does. I think the throwing net was in the way and was applying pressure, although I could be wrong about that. The little shortie toss on the first throw could result a continued clockwise flank… I’ve never noticed it before…

I did continue on to make the approach from the rear of jump, and that strategy seemed quite successful. His outrun after that straight shot on throw two of the pattern resulted in a nice counter clock release and will yield a good disc management opportunity.

Dialing in this part of the game was a big part of this training session for us. It’s a new approach and, despite the weird release on the first throw, it went well. I’ll move the net on our next attempt and we’ll see what happens.

3 Point Jumps Are Inverted

This was really interesting and completely unexpected. It happens all the time, and was a valuable lesson and a new training opportunity.

If you stick to the 3 point jumps alone, when you move to the other side of the field, the pattern inverts. What was clock on this side of the field is now counter and vice versa.

Clock is green, Counter is blue. Notice that the pattern is flipped from one side of the field to the other. I didn’t expect this. The reason that I never knew about it is that I have been lumping my strategy and training sessions with the performance of the game…

This flip requires another strategy session and is another place to split (rather than lump) my training sessions.

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