Teams across the globe know how important it is to have home field advantage. When NFL teams travel to New Orleans or Seattle, chances are, the home team comes out with the dub. Matter of fact, those two teams are so difficult to beat, they are a combined 30-5 when playing at home since 2012. Switching leagues to the NBA now, the Oklahoma City Thunder posted a 34-7 record last year at home. The Thunder are known for a lot of things, but having a great crowd presence is one of the things they rely on big time. So if playing with a home crowd directly affects performance, how do we implement this into Ultimate? Easy, have a booming sideline presence.
Articles about the psychology of ultimate
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.
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 little about Narmada, She is in the 12th standard. She is part of Pudiyador, an organisation that engages under privileged kids in different skills (academic and extra curricular) by hosting them in after-school activities year long. She’s been associated with Pudiyador for 8 years now and she credits the organisation for helping her study better and improving her educational abilities. The organisation is run by one of our National Youth Camp’s Program Director Manickam Narayanan, popularly known in India Ultimate as Manix or Baasha Bhai, along with the support of many others.
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
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.
Danielle Fortin, a World Champion and 3 time Canadian Champion, talks about one of the problems facing high level ultimate with more players getting into the sport at a younger age. She also relates her experience when she felt burnt out and how she was able to rediscover her passion in the sport. This is a great video to start the dialogue among players and coaches and for individuals to take a look at their own game when they feel like they’ve lost their desire to play.
If you can’t view this video, watch on youtube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QPYWbtiPXM.
We have been hearing it for years from Brodie Smith when he tells us to “Man Up”. But what does it mean. Does he know what it means?
Check out this fantastic TEDx talk by Carlos Andrés Gómez talking about what it actually means to truly “man up”. Although this video isn’t about ultimate, it encourages you to think more critically about what it means to be a man.
If you can’t see the video above, watch it here on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fk1M0SC55Os.
Elliot Trotter, founder and editor-in-chief of Skyd Magazine also plays for the Seattle Rainmakers in the MLU.
From the time he started playing in college, he’s been cut many times and sometimes from teams he thought he should make. Most notably he’s been cut from Seattle Sockeye 6 times, never making it past the first round of cuts. Hear him talk about how he learned from those failures to help push him to become a better player. As he says, perhaps the only way to learn is through failure. This is a great video if you’ve ever been cut, have just been cut or are about to try out for a team and would like some perspective going into tryouts. Sometimes a team is looking for a certain type of player – that doesn’t mean you’re not a good player; sometimes you’re just not what they’re looking for.
Get to know Leif Force and Phil Laak
In an article published on Slate, it states there that 4.7 million Americans played Ultimate Frisbee at least once in 2010. It also revealed that more than 1.5 million people play this sport at least 13 times a year, and those devotees tend to spend money on Ultimate. Based on the statistics, it is not surprising if some of those frisbee aficionados happen to be well-known poker players. One person that was proud to admit that he was into frisbee was Leif Force, or also known as “Jungle Boy”, who is a WSOP gold bracelet winner.
I’m headed into my 7th event of the season, my 5th of five in a row. I’ve basically been on the road since Thanksgiving, most of my stuff is in a friend’s garage, and the rest of my worldly possessions are in my car. Those who know me on a personal level know that this is not how I roll AT ALL. I have a graduate degree in Planning, and nothing in my life is planned right now. I’m not even sure where I’m sleeping tomorrow night.
But in the midst of a time of insanity and uncertainty, I’ve tried to remind myself that…
It’s always interesting whenever some of the most well known players in our sport are brought together to talk about the future of ultimate.
It is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future
So too is this statement true about ultimate. We’re still in our infancy in many ways but in other ways, we’ve come very far. Over the past few years, the popularity of ultimate has exploded online thanks to Youtube, Twitter, Reddit, Facebook and Sportscentre. Over that same period, there have been a National touring team, 2 professional leagues and hours and hours of full game footage posted online. It’s been an exciting time to be an ultimate player and so I found the panel discussion at the 2013 Ultimate Coaches and Players Conference (UCPC) quite interesting.
For me, the best part about qualifying for Nationals has always been the opportunity to spend a few more weeks with my team. I have extremely fond memories of those precious extra moments earned at both Cal and Texas, (and with Showdown and Molly Brown), and these memories are perhaps sharpened by the heartbreak of the seasons sandwiched in between where I lost three games-to-go in two years. I share some of the heartache of losing that third game here. Endings are incredibly difficult, especially when they happen sooner than we’d hope.
If you aren’t familiar with the sport of Ultimate; you should read this post on understanding the sport. There are many reasons why you should consider playing my favorite sport. I’ll try to outline a few compelling ones here and see if I can get you to try it. Once you try it you’re going to be hooked! (I can already hear you mumbling about how you have played cricket, basketball or football for years now and there is no reason to pick up another sport!) Ultimate is fun Ultimate is an immensely enjoyable sport, regardless of the level of play. Every year, thousands of people try out this sport and have fun playing it because it is truly uplifting. It is currently played in over 80 countries and is already a part of the World Games and is looking good to be included in the Olympics soon!
Former Australian cricketer, Adam Gilchrist, hits the nail on the head in his biography ‘True Colours: My Life’.
Gilly explains beautifully about how pushing yourself in training and in practice games is akin to making ‘deposits in the bank’. He cites the example of how they once chased down 315 runs (a big score then!) He says that it was a very useful ‘memory’ to be stored away in preparation for a world cup because if they ever found themselves chasing a challenging score in the world cup, they wouldn’t be lost. They would know what exactly to do because they have been in that situation before. The confidence that they could draw from it was immense.
I got to spend some time with some enthusiastic folks who turned up to try out Ultimate for the first time ever. Some of them had heard about the sport from our media coverage for Chennai Heat, others had seen us throwing on the beach and there were a few who were, well, just inquisitive after hearing from their friends!
Ultimate is a team sport.
There is no reason to be anything beyond outstandingly mediocre. There are 6 other mediocre players on the line who can put in the hard work. Why should it be you?
..but why take a chance?
Here are a whole bunch of ways to be outstandingly mediocre:
- Don’t be flat-out awful. The way that, well, a lot of players are.
- Don’t read the rules. One of the first steps to becoming a mediocre player is to think that you know the rules. Reading them will just kill your creativity. You’ll struggle to come up with your own on universe point. Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you!
Over the years, there have been numerous instructional videos produced – some good and some bad. On Facebook a few days ago, I shared a post that said “just because you are a good player does not mean you can teach“. I was referring to a few people because I think there is a real issue and a real concern with people who teach others to throw the wrong way. Learning to throw the wrong way is inefficient and can cause injuries if that player practices a lot throwing the wrong way.
One of the things that drew me to ultimate was the many nuances of gender equality that are embedded within the sport. One example is the mixed division – a division in which men and women play high-caliber ultimate together on one team. Another example is the ‘Open’ division, which is open to all genders and all ages.
My appreciation for equality in ultimate was reinvigorated last week when Ultimate Canada announced the addition of the Women’s Master’s division in CUCs for Vancouver, 2013. This was reminiscent of the excitement when Canada agreed to send its first-ever women’s master’s team (+30yrs of age) to Japan to compete at the World Ultimate and Guts Championships 2012.
I’ve been having a lot of conversations with college players as they process the end of their season and begin regrouping for whatever comes next. As tough as endings can be, with them come new beginnings, and those can be tough as well. It’s a bit hard to summarize all of my thoughts on this topic, especially as I struggle through endings and beginnings myself, but I thought I’d share a bit of Melee ’08 with you as your team begins the next part of its journey.