My last year of college ultimate we had a ton of talent and I felt that we could push ourselves harder. I drafted this email to the team leadership about making sure we don't simply accept how good we are for enough. After the season, I still think we could have been better, but doesn't any team who doesn't win the championship think that to some degree? In sum total, the 2010 Air Squids where the team I was most proud and honored to be a part of and probably represent my greatest athletic accomplishment to date. Thanks to those guys.
Anyway, here is the email:
Bobble, Kattan, Forge, Kenobi, Brooks, Metz, Kevin and Kevin,
I wanted to email you all to start a semi candid discussion: we are the leadership of the team and we should talk as a group - hopefully this email thread can start that.
The first thing I want to talk about is my uneasiness with the way we are talking about Nationals. Many people have bought their flights and are talking about it like a trip to Centex. Yes, I understand that its the smart thing to do to buy them now and get a refund if we don't make it, but I feel that the hole tone is a little too cavalier concerning qualifying. We should look past no one: we have looked past SDSU ever time we have played them and they are only getting closer to knocking us off; we have only a small glimpse of what teams will be bringing to regionals.
Another reason for me being wary of ready-for-Nationals thinking is that it is exactly what the Squids had my freshman year. The year prior we had finished 3rd with the Squid's best final ranking ever and returned the large majority of the players from that team. With 3 bids, we KNEW we were gonna make Nationals - tickets were booked way in advance. We did indeed beat Tide for the 2nd bid who beat Clairemont for the 3rd. The problem I had was that I felt that we could have done much better had we pushed ourselves ( we started track practices 3 weeks before regionals). There was SOOOO much talent on that team, it was NUTS, but we were satisfied to let that innate talent carry us to Nationals. Once there, I got the feeling that we, in some ways, were happy just to be there. Dollar, I know you were on that team, and maybe I am wrong or misinformed and you might have a different opinion, but you can't deny that we could have worked harder and been better: we had one practice on Warren where we just practiced retarded hammers.
What I am trying to say, is that I want to to take the innate talent we have and build on it like we have to fight and claw our way into a National's bid. I don't want to be just good enough to take a bid. I want to be so good that we crush everyone in our paths at regionals; when we play, I never ever want there to be any doubt (see last year's State game) that we are a great great team. This means we may not rest on our laurels. That Saturday practice in the rain really kicked my ass and made me realize a lot of the hole in my game that I have been overlooking because I could just get by under most conditions: I've got work to do. The team needs to continue to seek out our weaknesses and improve them - not just rely on our strengths.
Ok, how do we accomplish this continued improvement?