Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Ultimate Camp - Lesson 1 - Emergin from the cocoon

I had a great week. It was one of those weeks where I didn't have to write and a bell ruled my day telling me when to wakeup, when to eat, and when to coach Ultimate. The campers were great, and the weather was perfect. All in all, a good week.

Pictured Above: An interesting picture from No Borders (photo courtesy of Marc Hodges).

The thing I find so refreshing with teaching Ultimate to younger new players is that I find it renews my enjoyment for the sport. In the past, I've had posts about if Juniors should play Ultimate or not. I watch the kids at camp play their nightly games, where the age ranges from 12 to 17 and everyone is throwing to everyone and having fun, and I realize that Ultimate is one of those games that is fun to play for a range of ages and abilities.

I, personally, loved basketball growing up, but as I matured I found the game lacking creativity and lacking drama. Sure March Madness has a little bit of drama, but the game got boring to play. I played ball for 6 years. I've played Ultimate for 8 years and I still love playing the game. With the kids, I saw a similar enjoyment that maintained a competitive atmosphere, but was inclusive.

My favourite part at the camp is during the nightly games, all the other coaches in football and basketball become referees for their games. We just grab a chair and watch the kids play shouting out encouragement. Every once in a while an infraction will happen on the field. The kids look over at the coaches for a call; we shrug our shoulders looking back at them, and then they work it out on their own.

It's quite a remarkable game.



lexinator said...

I completely agree with the refreshing feeling that comes with teaching Ultimate; I love working and playing with kids, especially when it comes to Ultimate.

I just finished my third year as a coach at the National Ultimate Training Camp and every year I walk away feeling more energized and excited to play, rediscovering my love of the game through the campers. George Cooke and I were discussing the energy seen at camp and both agreed that this is where the "soul" of Ultimate is brought out. It's a very satisfying experience.

Juniors Ultimate is something that I fully support. The arguments over weather or not it is a good environment to place kids in, based on injury and overall maturity, are valid but I feel that a summer camp setting is an ideal spot to address these issues and set the newcomers in the right direction. To be totally immersed in Ultimated with coaches who love the sport, trainers who keep you healthy and kids your age who share the same random athletic interest, is the best setting to teach responsibility, spirit and technique. Ultimate camp is the future.