We woke this morning to bad news; our friends from Venezuela’s Warao cannot attend WUCC this year.
Venezuelan teams have an annual battle in obtaining visas to leave their country, and I expect that this is probably why they won’t be in Prague. This same reason kept them out of ECC ‘09.
We (Sockeye) were lucky enough to be able to play them twice in Medellin’s great TEP tournament, and we know them to be fierce competitors with outrageous athleticism. They have a few terrifying players, but what we were excited about was that their full team has a depth and conviction that would have made them our top pick to rise massively in the WUCC rankings. While we might breathe a little sigh of relief (Warao was scheduled to be in our initial pool, so we might have been their first victim) it would have been really fun to watch, play and party with them.
Here’s hoping that the tournament directors can find a fill in team on short notice to join in the fun. Our thoughts go out to Warao, who must be tremendously disappointed…someday soon we will play again!
Dear WUCC players,
The Seattle Sockeye are having a throwing practice on Saturday, July 3rd, where we will be doing many of the best throwing drills that we have developed and learned. As part of the experience that is WUCC, we’d like to invite all interested players and teams to join us for a Throwing Mini-Camp.
If you are interested in learning new ways to work on your throws, come join us at 6.30pm at the park fields at Strahov area after the Captain’s Meeting. These fields are near the main Strahov field site, but further to the west (20 minutes walk from the Check-in). There will be few Czech players waiting in front of the Check-In to pick you up at 6.00pm and take you there.
Jaime ‘Idaho’ Arambula will lead a session of the 20-minute ‘Ninja Throwing’ routine, and Ben Wiggins will lead a group through the ‘Zen Throwing’ routine. Sockeye players will be around to answer questions, possibly run a few light drills, and analyze throwing form if you would like. Or, just come to throw with us as a warm-up for a huge week!
Questions/comments/greetings? Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bring a disc if you have one, cleats are optional. Free for all WUCC and Czech Ultimate players.
We hope this is a great way to get ready for the Day 1 games, to meet new friends and to give back some of the Ultimate knowledge that we have been fortunate enough to learn. See you on the 3rd!
I’m the president of an Ultimate team at [our University], and we were talking about the possibility of having a top club player to come a run/provide coaching for an ultimate clinic in [our] area. I thought I would contact you and see about the possibility of having you and maybe some of your teammates come out and host an ultimate clinic.
Thanks for getting in touch with us. Bringing a coach or a set of coaches to your team can be an extremely effective way of bringing in new ideas and objective analysis to your team.
I really appreciate your reaching out. Often, people that ask about camps are exploring options, and the best thing I can do is give you a sense of the cost/reward. In bringing one non-affiliated person for a camp, the cost is a plane ticket, hotel, and enough money to make it worthwhile for that coach to be away from friends/work/family for a weekend. That cost is highest for someone farther away, obviously. The better the coach is, the more likely that they will want more money because they are offered more in other places as well.
However, and this is the great part, most of the time you don’t NEED a Callahan winner or a top club coach; what you really need is an outside opinion and an experienced coach to bring new ideas and an objective outside voice.
You can often find this for significantly less money and effort, and it can be a better experience overall. This would be looking for alumni that have coached in other states, or top alums from nearby universities that have ties to the area. It’s much easier to lure them back to the area, and they are often more willing to work cheap or even volunteer because they have a personal connection. At the heart of it; it’s exciting to work with a group of players that are motivated!
The quality of coaching is a variable, but it’s hard to predict. The best few coaches in the world can absolutely guarantee that they will use the time effectively, efficiently, and that they can changes drills and plans on the fly to maximize what you take from the field-time. Everyone else, no matter how much experience they have….it’s a gamble. On one hand, that means that a very well-known and highly-touted coach might bomb (wasting your resources).
But a motivated-but-less-well-reputed player might be excellent. If what your team needs is throwing, catching, running and marking, do you really need the greatest new zone offensive strategy being used in the top 4 club teams?
There are very few sure things, and sure-things are expensive for exactly that reason.
What are your resources? If you have 20 players, and it would be worth it to each to put down $10, then you have enough of a stipend to make a local player/coach very happy to come spend a weekend. If your team is deciding between a tournament and a private clinic weekend, then you have 16+ players x (hotel+car+flight+food) = a LOT of money that you could potentially use to fly in a coach, put them in a reasonable hotel, and give them a healthy stipend. For better or worse, we throw a lot of money at this sport. Some coaches are absolutely worth it.
Let’s just make sure we make big-money decisions carefully, and with a well-reasoned understanding of the variables.
Am looking for any features/articles on SOTG within a team as well. Very often I see teams where there is a lot of fighting/blaming within the team especially during a tourney and was wondering if there any articles that address that.
Great question. We tend to take a pretty strict view of SOTG as ‘respecting the game, respecting opponent’, so this doesn’t seem like a Spirit issue. For whatever reason, this seems like a pretty commonplace question issue with Ultimate. Why do Ultimate players get so mad at each other?
Three possible reasons:
- SOTG keeps us from blowing up at our opponents, and all of the extra emotion needs to go somewhere
- Ultimate tends to attract people that didn’t have traditional sports backgrounds where coaches regulated emotions
- The nature of the game and the importance of turnovers/decision-making leads to more frustration
Or maybe it is something else entirely.
In any case, what can you do to keep your team from the distractions involved in on-field anger? A couple of things have worked with our teams:
- Accept some of it. The optimum level of frustration that your players vent, even at each other, is not zero. Venting helps people express themselves and prevents them from bottling up emotions that will come out in decisions and effort on the field. Players need to accept that playing on a team means that, sometimes, a teammate will yell at you for something that isn’t your fault. It’s sports…get over it and give your teammate some credit for being momentarily overcome.
- Get a coach that everyone respects.
- Play games and use drills that emphasize reacting to errors. There are drills you can do that are more frustrating than normal (trying to reach 100 straight catches, scrimmaging until a turnover, drills without defense, any kind of keep-away). There are also drills that help people work on reacting quickly to turnovers; this is what other sports do. Fastbreak in practices so that your team takes advantage of each other when you react emotionally instead of getting back on D. Use random ‘turnover’ calls in practices to simulate odd situations. Run drills that ask for a perfect rep, instead of many acceptable ones.
- Keep stats and watch video of your team together. They’re hard to argue with, and they help to explain why we make the decisions that we make.
- At some point, there are players that are skilled but will never be good teammates. If you aren’t prepared to drop them from the squad, then understand that while you care about this issue…you don’t care enough to make the change that you need. Tell them this.
This problem gets less-prevalent at the higher levels of the game, in our opinions. But maybe that is chicken-and-egg…maybe teams are more successful because they have figured out ways to deal with their emotions in a game that we all care about.
[Ben] Speaking personally, as a player that has significant anger issues, I don’t know how one of my teammates would have had any chance of approaching the issue from anything other than a team-success perspective when I was struggling at my worst. Making a point about the other team gaining strength from my outbursts, and our players playing worse, helped. Lots of ‘personal talks’ and ‘discussions’ generally just frustrated me and built up emotions that I couldn’t vent until game-time (which was obviously counter-productive).
Pleeeease make physical copies! I know I would pay to be able to read this on the go. Maybe I wouldn’t get yelled at so often at work! =]
Sorry, no physical copies coming anytime soon. Being on the internet is really the only way we can possibly do this. As it is, we are the ones at much more risk of angering our bosses than you are;). At one point, we looked into a way to convert our content into a printable pdf easily, but it never happened…we’ll try if we can, but for the foreseeable future we advise bursts of productivity that result in sending long emails to groups of co-workers…and then focusing on The Huddle while you know they are reading!Paganello 2010 is getting closer. I suggest discussing Beach Ultimate strategy on the huddle.
This is a great idea. We’ll try, although it’s much more likely that we can do it before Wildwood than before Paga. Having seen the Boracay Dragons, though, we are slightly intimidated…it might just be that we should all learn to run faster on sand!
As the ‘college explosion’ generation of players gets older, more and more of us are finding that beach tournaments give us that physical and social rush that we want without the 3 days (or weeks) of post-tournament knee, ankle and hip pain. To say nothing of the long-term effects of laying out on anything but the softest grass fields. Older players more often have the resources to spend those weekend trip dollars to get to the beach. We expect beach ultimate to have a similar (though smaller) explosion as this demographic grows quickly. We might even already be seeing it as LEIout, Sandblast, Against the Grain, and obviously Wildwood are turning away more and more teams each year. We’ll try to cover that unique brand of strategy as best we can.
I have only been playing ultimate for two years. My team lost a lot of good players last year and I had to fill some defensive shoes. Defense has always been the worst part of my game, especially the mark. I skimmed the Marking issue during class hours and tried to implement what I remembered during practice. Over the weekend we went to Glory Days and due to a very very small rookie filled squad, I was given the extreme pleasure of going both ways for most of our games. I took what I remember, implemented it into my game, and was very pleased with the results. Although I didn’t have any amazing point blocks, I didn’t give up stupid fouls late in the count and I got a finger on quite a few of the discs my marks threw. I am going to re-read the article and hopefully continue to improve. I just wanted to say thank-you for the help and keep on writing good articles so I can continue to improve my game.
Awesome. Just awesome. We’ll keep working on more for you to read. You keep playing hard, improving and having fun!
The following comes from our friends in Australia, Jonathan Holmes and Diana Worman, who were co-captains of the 2009 Aussie Crocs.
Greetings ultimate USA,
Knowing the community that is ultimate, a community that stretches beyond national boundaries, we have no hesitation in passing on the following.
Many of you would know Mike Neild – an outstanding ultimate player who has represented Australia at the 2004 and 2008 World Championships and 2009 World Games and had many a tussle with the best players from the USA such as Chase Sparling-Beckley, Alex Nord and Beau Kittrege. Mike is not only an outstanding player but a genuinely top bloke. He has many connections with the US, not only from playing ultimate (he learnt the game while working summer camps in the US north east) but has also married an wonderful young woman Stacy, who is from Montana. Mike and Stacy have lived in Brisbane, Australia for the past few years.
Mike’s wife Stacy has recently been diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease (known as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Syndrome in the US). This is pretty shocking news for them, their family and the frisbee community. However, typical of the people that they are, Stacy and Mike are determined to battle this disease and remain positive.
One of the immediate challenges for them is that all of Stacy’s family are in Montana. Mike and Stacy are planning to be traveling back and forth between the States and Australia quite a bit. The Brisbane ultimate community has organised a tournament and fundraising effort to get together some money to help Mike and Stacy out with the costs associated with both this travel and the changes that Stacy’s disease will bring to their lives.
If you would like to make a donation to this very worthwhile cause you can make an international bank deposit from your local US Bank using the information provided below.
There is more information about the funderaising tournament at the blog site http://bigsky9s.blogspot.com/. As part of that effort the Aussie Crocs World Games team have signed and framed a shirt from World Games and are auctioning it. If you would like to make a bid (or organise a consortium to make a bid) have a look at http://wgshirtauction.blogspot.com/ for more details.
Many thanks from Mike, Stacy and the Australian ultimate community,
Donations can be made into the following account. Your local US bank should be able to arrange for the electronic transfer.
Please quote “NEILD DONATION” in the comments field of the transation.
Account Name: Qld Ultimate Disc Association Inc
Account Number: 167889
SWIFT code: WPACAU2S
In what might be the best and most unique tournament experience of the year, the Medellin goverment agency NDER and the Medellin Ultimate community (in partnership with American Airlines) are bringing the TEP preparations to a close. With Riot, Traffic, Sockeye and Furious confirmed to attend, this tournament will be bringing North American teams to South American to play against many new faces and in a great stadium (the Estadio Medellin).
There are still spots open for North American teams that are interested. The tournament is the Wed-Sat of American Thanksgiving weekend in November, which makes it a tough sell for US teams. Players (at least many of them) will stay at the Hotel Nutibara for approximately $20 per night. It also makes it a fun and competitive international tournament at a time when many have some time off work, in the eternal spring of Medellin.