Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Not Knowing the Rules IS REALLY UnSpirited

JohnAllan's RSD post about whether lacking rules knowledge is unspirited:

...the very best professional refs make terrible calls all the time. if your standard of 'good' vs 'bad' spirit relies on the absence of terrible calls, then no one that plays ultimate has good spirit. your standard becomes meaningless.

My response:
Professional refs may make terrible calls, but it is about bad perspective. They make bad calls because they saw something the wrong way; they go to great lengths to avoid these mistakes, but they are going to happen. The bad calls are NOT, however, due to a misunderstanding of the rules. I guarantee you that they could sit down and pass a written rules test with A+ every time because they TAKE THEIR RESPONSIBILITY SERIOUSLY.

I trained as a soccer referee for 8 years and we were constantly being evaluated, trained, tested and observed. When a bunch of us would get together for dinner at the end of a tournament, you know what we would talk about? The finer points of positioning on Corner Kicks from right footed players vs left footed players. Why? Because refs CARE and TAKE THEIR RESPONSIBILITY SERIOUSLY.

When and Ultimate player doesn't know where to set up after a pick or doesn't bother staying on sides, or contests something they shouldn't because they "don't know the rules" , I see that they do not take the heavy responsibility of Self Officiation seriously. It just blows my mind that people spend thousands of dollars a year and all their free time and don't spend the time to practice being a good referee. Read th fucking rules

Friday, August 26, 2011

Watch. Study. Adapt.

Simon Montague- brings the disc over the head when pivoting backhand to forehand against a tight mark.

Mike Caldwell -  push passes against force forehand near the endzone.

Brodie Smith  - stands tall and relaxed before making a juke to lull defenders into raising their center of gravity making them less able to react.

Spencer Wallis - lays out with 2 hands.

Jack McShane - hammer fakes as soon as he catches the disc

Andy Collins (and some of the other Furious guys) - fakes the forehand and follows through past the marker's head.

Parker Krug - low and wide stance with the disc forcing the mark to jump far is response to small hip movements

Ben Wiggins - sets up the throw-and-go by slowing down his pivoting and setting his grip with the left hand

Mark Sherwood - shifts his weight right, then left, then right again without really moving his feet when he wants to throw his inside forehand (which is all the time.)

David Billings - stand tall in forehand and throws the low release backhand with dipped left shoulder during the pivot, before the right foot gets all the way around.

Steve Prodan - fakes inside or openside backhand, 360 pivot to around flick huck.

Alan Kolick - Leans back before throws to that the marker comes with him to set up his throw and go.

Cole Sullivan -  does a really violent and quick shoulder pump when pivoting from forehand to throw the backhand huck.

Masahiro Matsuno (and lots of other Japanese players) - cock back the forehand high near their head like a blade.

The loaded flick.
If you aren't watching and studying your opponents and the best in the game to understand what they like to do and what they are uncomfortable with, you are missing out on the best way to get better. If you can't tell me at 12-12 what their main throwers like to throw, you aren't doing the mental work it takes to be a great defender. If you get broken the same way at the beginning of the season and at the end by a team you have seen multiple times, you can do better. To improve all the little things in your game, observe how other players do them.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Good Decisions

How many Good Decisions do you think you should HAVE to make in a point for your team to score?

Trick question.

If you are ever thinking "I just threw 2 sweet breaks in a row, my team should be able to score now" or "My cutting has been flawless, I've been roasting my man all point, we deserve to score"  then...

You don't throw with good form because that's what is going to score for you,
you do it because that's simply what you must do. might as well quit.

When you step on the line, you don't deserve anything. There is no "good enough to score" unless your team actually scores the point.

When you step on the line, you commit to the whole point, not to just a few good plays.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Culture of Excellence

Ultimate teams take note. This video, along with Sockeye's awesome website  ( - check out the player bios), is how to build a fan base and establish a culture of excellence. That culture of excellence is what makes them great year after year. Big props and much love to my favorite Ultimate Team, and my favorite sports team in general, Settle Sockeye.