Monday, March 05, 2007

Conditioning in Conditions

One of the challenges for Toronto based teams is it isn’t that windy downtown where many of us practice (unless you're near some of the skyscrapers). In Colorado, teams are training in a thinner atmosphere. In Phoenix, there’s not much rain, and in Thailand, it rarely snows or gets cold.

Depending on what your goals are (worlds, UPA championships, nationals, big tournaments, local tournaments, or league), part of your preparation needs to include developing competence in a variety of conditions, and this can mean finding those conditions.

Pictured Above: One of Hilary Leung's graphic ads as one of his many contributions to Ultimate. Check out his website for other ultimate logos and general graphic art.

For example, in the case of the lack of wind in Toronto, we should probably be having a few practices in particularly windy place in nearby areas (which do exist). Additionally, on rainy days, as hard as it is, teams should be practicing to improve their poor weather ultimate skills.

Seeking out conditions to train in will improve your preparation for unknowns like the weather, but what can you do in cases where geographic weather doesn’t allow this. For example, if it’s not cold where you live, how do you find cold conditions to train in.

I don’t really have any great solutions here, and really this might come down to innovation or if you have it, money. I can imagine using a local ice rink to practice in cold, or using ice to freeze you hands on the sideline (one of the main challengse in cold weather) before playing a point. I’ve heard that in Colorado they add weight to their discs to simulate the air density, so maybe sandpapering a disc might simulate increased elevation.

Of all these conditions, the most important one is training in wind and non-wind since these conditions significantly impact the style of game, and wind tends to be everywhere on the planet. Even in a windy area make sure that the field angle is changed to work on cross winds versus upwind and downwind situations.



higy said...

Can you (or someone) elaborate on Colorado's weighted discs?

How much weight? I assume a couple of grams...Is this something done at most/all practices or just every now and then.

How noticeable are the effects of thinner air than lower altitudes?

Anonymous said...

to simulate playing in the rain (or even just wet grass during the first game of the morning), take a bucket of water out with you and dunk the disc every now and then to keep it nice and slick. always better (and more difficult) with newer discs.

Anonymous said...

Is that a polar bear?

The Cruise said...

To help simulate conditions at Potlatch, my team rents a few SAD lamps and runs them on high on our sideline, then we all bring portable stereos and crank those up too.

I love your blog because you come across as severely autistic.

Jeters said...

Hey Higy, I heard this through the grapevine, so I've got no details. It might not even be true. The rain idea is interesting, and the cruise, sorry can't talk now, People's Court with Judge Wapner is coming on.


Anonymous said...

Ice hands + baby oil.
As for weighted discs, try running a layer or two of hockey tape on the inside rim. Keep adding 'til it feels right.