My team's cuts get sent out today and we finally get to practice with the team that will be competing to represent UCSD across the country and in the UPA series. No longer will the team's focus be mainly teaching rookies the game, we will be about forming and training a group of players to complete our goal of qualifying for (and placing well at) Nationals in May. No longer is a focus error or a silly mistake O.K. - do it once and you get admonished and then you never do it again. No longer do the vets have to smile and be supportive when a 15 yard forhand is turfed. Finally I can really ENJOY Ultimate for the COMPEDITIVE side of it.
Here is what I am thinking about saying tonight:
"Congratulations, you've made the first round of cuts but know that no one here, myself inlcuded, has earned a spot on the final roster - were nowhere close to that. You should know that this is A team and you may have picked up a lot of misconceptions playing with everyone through the Fall. Yeah, people joke around a lot and yeah, most of the vets don't take the Fall as seriously, but that ends right now. The commitment level goes way up and the dedication level goes way up. This is a tough team to be on - the hard work starts right now. If you had any inclination that this was going to be easy or that you were ok or could just cruse because you knew something about frisbee or because you are a decent athlete then you need to get that out of your head right now. We are going to be much better at disc skills and athleticism and team cohesion and we need you to get on board right now: being a top 20 team in the nation last year doesn't mean much for this year. Ultimate is really fun, this team is really fun, but you need step up your intensity right now if you want to be on the team in the Spring."
Boy am I excited. I know that I have lots of studying to do for my midterm tomorrow and I have a paper due as well, but I am having a hard time putting the joys of A team's first practice out of my mind.