About 5 years ago, I was at a practice for the men’s team I was on. We were working on a particular play. What I’ll never forget is how regimental our play practice was. Literally we were working on player movement as precisely as a few feet rather than having general lanes and letting the offensive players run their lanes based on the positioning of the defense. It felt more like a choreographed dance than a play that contained room for variety within each lane or cut.
It’s that time again! College captains are scrambling to find those eager athletes to join their squad. As a captain of a small school, I can assure you, it’s pretty difficult to find recruits. People are joining organizations left and right. What’s gonna make them want to join a team that throws plastic back and forth with each other? They could go Greek, join a different club sport, or just focus on their studies. How can you, as a team, convince rookies to join the Ultimate team on campus – which will surely be the best decision they’ll ever make. Here are a few of the recruitment strategies I’ve found useful over the years.
(A fast-freestyle playing exercise/guide for learning and practicing disc handling skills used in ultimate)
In the early days of Frisbee before disc sports, the original attraction was just to watch the Frisbee fly. At first, this was enough; the sheer joy in watching the Frisbee fly, not at all like a ball. Then, learn more because it’s in our nature to compete, came the Frisbee games. If you enjoy playing one disc game, chances are you’ll enjoy all the disc games, because they all have that one common attraction: unlike the ball, the disc actually flies. Each game demands unique skills but also shares common skills used in other games. If you become skilled in one disc game, you’ll quickly excel and most likely enjoy participating in other disc games.
When I was learning to play Ultimate, I didn’t have a coach, mentor, or Ultimate Rob videos. I had to teach myself the game and whenever my friends learned something new, we’d spread the knowledge with each other. I was one of the slower learners on the team and required as much assistance as possible, so putting me on the handler line wasn’t the best option. I was a cutter by default. When I came to college, my throws were naturally better than most because I had been playing for a while, and my team was brand new. So my journey began from moving from a cutter to a handler – yet again without a mentor. Teaching myself this aspect of the game was incredibly difficult. Here are 10 guidelines for rookie handlers that helped me learn to be a handler.
For all things great to have become great, there had to be a starting point. You think the University of Alabama just magically got good at football? Although Nick Saban might as well be a Houdini, magic isn’t the answer; No, they had to have a good management, dedication, and a solid foundation. For all of those teams starting up for club season right now, and future college captains for young teams, this is for you. This article is going to highlight the major points on what to do when building a team from Stage 1.
A few weeks ago, I wrote an article arguing for why ultimate needed a name change. It generated a lot of discussion on twitter, reddit, facebook and on my website, which has been improved thanks to the best web design company. However, I actually think that ultimate doesn’t need a name change for a few reasons.
1. There’s such a history and to change the name would be dishonouring the players and pioneers of our sport.
2. The amount of time, money and energy that has gone into promoting ultimate would be wasted if we were to change the name of the sport. It’s better to leave it.
On day 4 we were rewarded with an extra hour of sleep because of the late night spent painting t-shirts. So we went straight to the fields by 7 am and to my surprise, all the campers seemed really low on energy even though they had gotten an extra hour. We asked them what happened and then realised that they hadn’t done the “Waka Waka” dance routine warm up today. The morning was assigned for scrimmage, to iron out kinks and practice any plays we might want to run.
25th May 2014
Day 3 was spent in preparation for the upcoming tournament which starts in a day. The teams had two session of Ultimate as usual. The morning was spent doing the drills that was part of the curriculum. In the evening however the coaches had the freedom to devise their own training plan according to what the coaches thought was needed for their team. Many teams choose to run drills that ended in scrimmage with another team. The afternoon was spent painting T-shirts that would serve as jerseys.
24th May 2014
I happened to be running into the room to hunt for one of my campers when I saw Narmada from Chennai writing a log. I asked her if she writes every day and If I could translate her thoughts for this blog.
A 5 am wake up call is something that people would not want to adhere to during summer holidays. Our campers however chose this and are quite willing be woken up. We started off by assembling to warm up together in a fun way. The campers really enjoyed dancing along by imitating the movement of Sangeeta Isvaran (NOT ME! She’s the one behind the Personal Development programs. Apparently the campers refer to her as Arts Sangeeta and they call me Ultimate Sangeetha to avoid confusion). We danced to ‘It’s time for Africa’ (the Waka Waka Shakira song), as part of our warm up routine and the kids absolutely love it, turns out it still retains it’s annoying properties when it gets stuck in your head.
22nd May, 2014
Starting the day with Burmese breakfast is pretty rare when we are in our home towns, it’s the last thing we excepted at the Youth Camp. I know I keep talking about the different kinds of awesome food that we eat, but I would rate the food here with a 9/10. Thanks to Kalpesh, a teacher and ultimate player – FountainHead School, who took the effort to take us out for breakfast. A 10 minute drive into the City brought us to a Burmese Settlement (which by itself is pretty rare) in Surat. We got to eat Khao Suey and Aloo Poori .
This is a quick introduction to the first ever National Ultimate Youth Camp at Surat, India.
The Ultimate Camp at Surat is the first of its kind in India. It’s a gathering of about 130 adolescents and 30 coaches for 5 days. These are Beginner to Intermediate level players and they’ve come from all across the country with no universal language for communication. These campers are going to be split into teams of 10 with 2 coaches to facilitate. The camp covers the basic skills and strategy needed to play structured ultimate, like throwing, cutting, vertical stack, Defensive skills and handler movement.
Ultimate frisbee. Ultimate. Frisbee. For those of us who play the sport, we know what it’s all about. But for someone who has never heard of it, what will they think when we ask if they play “ultimate” or if they’ve ever watched “ultimate”. There’s no reason they should think anything but “the ultimate what”? The issue with ultimate is that it was named on how it made the inventor feel while he was playing it.
Captaining my Ultimate team has been the most stressful job of my college career. Forget the midterms, forget the finals, forget about juggling my job, school, church, and girlfriend. But no matter how stressful the role was, the payoff was always worth it. Over my few years of being a captain, I’ve learned the ropes. Here, ladies and gentlemen, are the 10 things every Ultimate captain should know.
1. You’re the face of your franchise
There is a principle I want to start with here that transcends the position on the field that you’re making your cut (downfield, handler, whatever). This is probably the most important cutting principle anyone can learn: take what the defense is giving you. If my defender playing off me 5 yards to contain the line cut, I’m not going to cut up line. If my defender is backing me by 10 yards because of my 40 inch vertical, I’m not going to go deep (initially). It’s a fairly simple concept, but I see so many young players learn one method of cutting (5 hard steps out and under) and make that cut no matter how the defense is set up. If they’re going to play off of you as a defender, then take the open cut, it’s simple.
As an intermediate player I used to wonder why our captains and coaches insist on running the same drills over and over again. Frankly, I found it boring! I assumed drills, like warming up and stretching, was a waste of time. I used to be all about the scrimmage at the end of the training session. I slacked off during drills, didn’t really focus on what I was doing. To me, then it was about doing enough reps before the captain/coach let me play ‘actual’ Ultimate.
Or more specifically…why college players should play club ultimate.
Playing Ultimate shouldn’t be reserved just for half of the year. The feeling of skying someone who has been talking trash the whole day, getting to lay out for the winning goal and have grass stains infect your white jersey, and those long, game-filled car rides can’t be limited to just the College Spring Season. What an injustice to the sport. That is why God has given us one of the greatest gifts of all time: Club Season.
Many of you are familiar with the vertical, horizontal and spread offence but not many of you have heard about the Mexican Offence. It’s relatively new and was developed by Felix Shardlow from Brighton Ultimate in 2012. It’s not for every team but depending on the types of players you have, this might be a good system for your team to incorporate. Here is a video showing the Mexican offence in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j01Py8Jl6N8 and more can be found on the Hexagon Ultimate YouTube channel.
For me, I approach throwing practice for ultimate much like practicing hitting balls/putting for golf. You want to focus on repetition, different throws (forehand, backhand, hammer, scoober, etc), different lengths (short, medium, long, hucks and pulls) and different situations (like inside out/outside in).
A few drills I love doing are:
During my recent intern contest I ran, I asked the potential interns to submit their favourite articles to me. In the end I chose 4 interns to work with me – Mark, Edward, Sangeetha and Seth. Check out what they each sent me below:
If you haven’t heard of Tim Morrill, you should take a few minutes and familiarize yourself with who he is and what he does. He’s an innovator and has been influencing and changing the way players train for ultimate.