The Ultimate Transition from down to up

I play ultimate frisbee with local university students each week. They enjoy it, and while I don’t like to put myself in the position of coaching, there are a few basic rules that I find myself emphasizing. I have played for 10 years longer than most of them.

The super important ultra easy rules to remember for Ultimate:

  1. Stand up before trying to throw a disc you just caught. (It’s amazing how your accuracy improves!)
  2. Look at the person you are throwing too. If you can’t see them (perhaps because an opposing player is standing right in front of you), don’t throw it.
  3. Throw to the guy (or gal) that is moving, not the one standing around.

Today I talked exclusively about one rule that was causing us to lose a lot of points:

It’s okay to try to score and not succeed. But if you fail, don’t mope around while the player you are responsible for guarding takes off to score.

Seriously. There’s no shame in the game. But you should be ashamed to be just laying there while the other guy runs for the end zone and scores. (That’s  like taking yourself out of the game.)

We lost 2-7 in our first game. At one point after a turnover, 5 of the 7 players all immediately ran for the end zone totally unguarded. This is what you might call a “weak transition defense.”

But by the end of it, players were hustling on defense and knocking down frisbees. We won the second game 7-2.

That’s a key life lesson: Most of the great opportunities come while you’re knocked down. If you are too busy wallowing in self-pity, you’ll miss them.

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