Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Most Annoying New Trend In West Coast Ultimate

When you play this game for a a while, you see trends develop. You see fads come and go.

2 examples: Shorts have gotten longer, and the "swagger" thrower have become more common. (see Eli Janin for examples of both)

I am interested to see these trends and for the most part they are positive: bagel-cutter machines, cream cheese, and Nutella at the food tent are very good additions to tournaments.

BUT, I would like to tell you what I see to be The Most Annoying New Trend In West Coast Ultimate. That trend is this:
The advent of players utilizing rule XVI.C.2.B.2 when picks happen NEVER used to happen and somehow it exploded this college season. Its horrible.

For those of you who are too lazy to look at the link and figure it out, I'll explain:

When a pick occurs and the picked-defender's guy gets the disc the disc should go back to the thrower and offender returns to where he was when the pick occurred and then the defender catches up to his relative position at the time of the pick.

This is the way that it has happened with little trouble for the first 4 years of my ultimate career, but players have been invoking
XVI.C.2.B.2 which says that if there is an offensive violation during a throwing attempt or during the flight of the disc, and the violation DID NOT EFFECT THE RESULT OF THE PLAY, then the result of the play stands and play stops. This rule is good in the case when there is a pick on the left side of the field and then someone totally different gets the disc on the right side of the field.

The new trend is for a defender to get picked, his guy gets the disc, pick is called, and the player with the disc then says:
Did you have a play on the disc?

The offense's argument is that even though the defender was picked, he was trailing the incut or was to far away to make a play on the disc anyway. In rule speak: the violation did not effect the result of the play. The defender catches up his original relative position - 5 feet away - and play starts with an offensive self-check

And I guess it could be a valid argument, if the defender is merely tripped up while he is already 8 feet behind on a quick 10 yard pass, he will probably not have any play on the disc. But I just hate this occurrence so much because there is always a SUBJECTIVE argument about the defender's ability to make a play. Normally the defender agrees that he couldn't have, but i hat this in every instance: we should try to remove as much subjective judgments from the players hands as possible. Who knows, what if the defender's footsteps sounded a foot, an inch!, closer the offensive player? What if 5 feet and 4 feet make the difference in the thrower's mind in his decision to pass the disc or not? I say that if the picked playeris guarding the person who gets the disc, it MUST go back to the original thrower. Take subjectivity out of the equation as much as possible.

Like I said, this NEVER happened 2 seasons ago and now I see it twice a game. Im happy that people are reading the rules, but this is a shitty interpretation and I hope it goes the way of the T-shirt jerseys of the 90.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Things I Wish Someone Told Me When I Was 16

Some people are going to make you mad because of how wrong they are - wrong about the facts, wrong about how to handle a situation, wrong about what is the right thing to do. Don't ignore this person as all your instincts tell you to do, but watch them closely and identify the specific things you don't like. Us that individual and their faults to learn about the person you don't want to be. Its easy to learn from the people you love, but harder - yet very beneficial - to learn from the people you despise.

Playing defense is hard. Its very hard. It is tiring and painful and very hard. If you want to play good D, you have to be more than smart, you must exert yourself - push yourself physically to the limit. That's just the way it is. Never think you are good enough at O that you can get by without balls to the wall D.

You will learn the same lesson many many times through your life. Try not to get mad at yourself for not getting it the first time.

No matter what, you will always look back and wish you partied more.

You must flirt with Exhaustion and Fatigue in your workouts so that when they start a conversation with you on the field, you know what to do.

You never know where your joy is going to come from. Sometimes it surprises you. Try to have multiple ways for happiness to find you - some will never pay out, but you will be able to forget those if you are cashing in on others.

You got to battle with the army that you have, not the army you wish you had.

Don't be surprised by your emotions. When you cry, you cry. When you yell, you yell. When you hate, you hate. When you love, you love. Let them be - experience them for what they are. Don't measure them against what you think they should be.

You are a guy. You will probably have a hard time expressing how you feel. On average, your life will be a constant struggle to be more honest with the people around you and yourself. More honesty, less white lies.

Breaking stuff is one of the most satisfying actions you can participate in. Especially so when drunk. Try to do this with things that aren't very valuable.

Say that you are sorry. Not "I'm sorry that this happened to you". Just "I'm sorry." The words don't really matter, so don't get hung up on their meaning or what you commit to by saying them.

You are going to feel very very lost sometimes. That sucks, I'm sorry. Just try to think about all the times you have felt very at home. They tend to balance out.

While making fun of something or someone seems like an easy joke or an easy way to fit in, being positive and supportive is what will make other people respect you and make you feel good about your actions. Take the high road.

People need to learn their own lessons. The best you can do with advice is to make someone think about a subject in a way they haven't before. No matter your experiences, no matter how intense they were, no matter how good a story teller/teacher/coach you are, and no matter how convinced they look while listening, you cannot make up someone's mind about anything with your words.

Its ok to be a different person day to day, year to year. The charge of "Hypocrite" and "FlipFlopper" ain't so bad; if it means that you are able to change what you think based on new experiences and changing situations, then they are complements.

Be a good teammate. Be a good friend. Be a good listener. Be a good host. You will be remembered for the things you did for others, not the things you did for yourself.

Things aren't just what they are. They also are what others take them to be. Picaso's art ain't that special by itself, but the cuture, the fandom, the theory, the story IS unique and worth respect and appreciation.

Don't let anyone tell you that you are not an artist because you are not paid for your art. The idea of a "professional" artist prevents "regular" people from expressing themselfs or making beautiful things. What a shame.

The first step to healing is admitting to yourself that you are injured.

Its ok to want what you want, to feel what you feel, to be who you are.

Remember it. Write it down. One of the greatest joys of all humanhood is looking back fondly.

The Ultimate Thesis Project

I think it appropriate for me to write a thesis about Ultimate - what did Jerry Maguire call it? A Mission Statement, a Memo? Haha. Through my last 5 years of college, I have studied Ultimate as much as I have studied the subjects in my classes. I think about Ultimate a lot: for all the times I've said that my blogs will be about lots of things, 90% of the content is Ultimate. Sometimes its hard to be honest about this, but i'll just put it out there: Ultimate has been my life for the last 5 years.

So that's why I think I should write a thesis. A thesis about Ultimate.

I promise you, this will not be hard because of a lack of things to say - if you have read any of my blogs or talked to me on the field, you know that I could fill a book. The challenge of actually being concise is what really intrigues me about this project.

So far, I imagine a "Thesis" about Ultimate could be about a couple different things:

  • The Unique, Strange, and Challenging Existence of Spirt Of The Game in our sport
  • Ultimate Offense and Defense strategy
  • The Unique Community of Ultimate players
  • How Ultimate is viewed by its Players and by Outsiders
  • Why People Play Ultimate
  • The Unique Niche of "College" Sport
  • Sports Psychology through Ultimate
  • The Rules (and their Ramifications) of Ultimate
  • Build a Winning Ultimate Team
  • The Mental Game in Ultimate
  • The Differences from the Top Level to Pickup in Ultimate
I'm sure that many of the sub-topics appropriate within each topic would find their way into the others and I am sure that some of these are way too general (especially the Strategy one). AND i'm sure I am missing something that I have thought about before.

So I would like to ask you, reader, what would YOU be interested in reading a thesis about? And secondly, if you were tasked with writing something long about Ultimate, what would your title be?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Looking for a Personal Trainer?

Hello Loyal Readers,

I am looking for people who would be interested in doing some gym workouts under my training. I have always thought about trying to be a personal trainer and I guess this would be like a first trial run. Ideally, I would have 3-5 people in a group and the session would last between 30 minutes to an hour.

My philosophy on physical conditioning is that the best results in power, strength, and overall athleticism come from constantly varied functional movements, executed at high intensity. Functional movements are defined as those that can move large loads, long distances, quickly; examples of these are pull-ups, cleans, jerks and squats. I also see it as critically important that results are measurable quantitatively.

A sample workout of mine might consist of:

4 rounds for time:

-9 20inch Box Jumps

-7 75lb Clean and Jerks

-5 Pull Ups

-3 165lb Deadlifts

You can see that if you first complete the workout in 12 minutes, and then complete the same workout 3 weeks later in 9 minutes you are obviously in better shape, you are more powerful. Quantitatively Measurable Results.

I am in town all summer and am generally flexible time-wise, so I’ll certainly try to work out a schedule when a couple people are able to get together. I would hope to have 2 sessions a week but I don’t want to scare anyone away with requests for commitment. These sessions would be free. The only payment I ask for is for you to be honest with me about how I can improve as a trainer.

One last thing: You should know that I believe strongly that people need to LEARN how to work out – they actually need coaching on how to do the movements that will help them become a better athlete. I am not looking to coach so can I sit next to you and encourage you to finish those last leg curls, I see coaching in the gym as the teaching of the movements. If you have ever entered the gym without knowledge of what to do, and so you settled on seated calf presses, you especially should take me up on my offer.

I guarantee you will see results during the first session in that my teaching will show you a new side of the weight room and my workouts will put you on your ass like nothing you have ever done in the gym before.

If you are interested, even a little bit, please email me back ( or respond here and we'll work something out.