Home > Personal, Sports, UBC > What I Learned From Ultimate

What I Learned From Ultimate

It all started in the summer of 2008 when my friends and I casually tossed the frisbee after our organic chem lectures. To make a long story short (after all I did spend a lot of time learning about the wonders of Grignard additions and Claisen condensations), I enjoyed that activity so I signed up with my friend’s ultimate team when he invited me to join the following fall semester. Four years later, ultimate has become my favourite sport and I’ve learned a lot from playing it:

Self-confidence

Being able to compete at a high level against other players is a huge confidence booster since I realized that my height isn’t that big of a detriment as I had initially thought. My biggest highlight is when I caught a callahan (ie intercept the disc in the opponent’s endzone) when my check was a 6’0 200+ lbs man. Also I’ve had to mark a 7′ player once during a game which was an interesting experience…What I lack in height I make up in speed and awareness so many times I can beat my check to any spot on the field to receive a pass from a teammate.

Awareness

As mentioned earlier, I have good field awareness meaning I know where the other thirteen players on the field are and what they are doing. On offence, I have to look for open space then make a cut to that space without getting in my teammates’ way if they are making their own cuts. On defense (especially for zone), I have to keep an eye on the disc, shift my position accordingly to how the cup moves and intercept any passes thrown within ~15 ft of me. This has helped me outside of ultimate too since I’m generally aware of my surroundings. For example when I’m out with friends, I’m usually the one mentioning to the group if we are disrupting other people or causing them any inconveniences. More on that on a future entry…

Put the team first

The team’s interest collectively takes priority over one’s own personal interests. Our team had a game one weekend, but couldn’t field enough healthy people. Many guys were injured (minor though, nothing serious) and I was gimpy too from an injured knee. We didn’t cancel our game in time and therefore were expected to show up so my injured teammates and I still had to come and play ultimate. It was one of the strangest sights since our team was down one player and all three guys were limping around the field :P. Btw our team still ended up winning that game (and by a respectable margin) 😀

Women are the MVPs of every game

A co-ed game requires three males, three females and one more person of either gender. Due to this, whether games are played or not depends mostly if a team can field enough women since there are much more men than women playing the sport. I have played countless games where my female teammates had to play the entire game without subs or only one sub and they still play just as hard as the guys. This applies to most other teams too. I’ve also noticed that differences in skill levels among males don’t have as large an impact as differences in skill levels among females. Many times the team that wins an ultimate game is the one with the more-skilled women.

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Categories: Personal, Sports, UBC
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