Thursday, February 28, 2008

Poll Thursday - Getting tested

Last weeks polls are showing that a majority of you get motivated to play Ultimate because you love the game. I guess it's similar to being addicted to the game. I, personally, love football (both north American style and the rest of the worlds), and yet, I don't play either sport (except on video game machines).


If you check out the reigning UPA Open champs, Seattle Sockeye, webpage, you'll see a front page story about some sports studies done on one of their athletes - Illian, Jr. The study does some analysis on his flick and backhand showing clearly that the backhand has greater spin, but takes longer to throw. I was surprised about the spin results, but not so much by the release quickness of the flick.

In another test, Illian went through a VO2 Max test. Apparently, he hit pretty high on the test scores (elite athlete), which is not surprising for those of us familiar with the game. Recently, I also had a chance to catch the NFL combine. In this scouting day all the college athletes run tests for the scouts to analyse the numbers.

The poll this week is how important do you personally consider physical testing to Ultimate. The second poll is when did you do your last test.


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

More College News - MSSUI

If it wasn't for Match (sorry to hear about your grand father), I would know nothing about college Ultimate this year other than following the scores on the RRI, catching banter on RSD, and hearing progression from my alumni school.

In the U.K. this weekend marks the college regionals. Hopefully, I'll be heading to the tournament in an assistant role for Imperial College's team. It will be interesting to see the contrast between the North American and UK college teams. I'll discuss this next week.

Today I caught a passing thread on RSD about another website (MSSUI) that seems to be running articles on the college scene. From what I can tell, this site was started with some marketing at Trouble in Vegas. I couldn't find out what the name means or who's behind the publication, so any info would be interesting.

I read the article "Dealing with the Devil", and found it a good read. Sure it wasn't related to the college activity, but it was well written and an interesting take on vendors within Ultimate.

All I can say is I'm glad for the additional college coverage.


Monday, February 25, 2008

The hand warmer - neat little package

As the spring season seems to be moving into full swing, you might find yourself playing in very cold weather (depending on your location in the world). Even last week, I was playing in a game or two in London where by the end I was having trouble closing my hand on the disk because of the cold. Personally, I'm not a glove guy (although I'll consider wearing a glove on my non throwing hand).

Pictured Above: some action at Snowplate 2002.

A solution: this Christmas I got an interesting little gift from my stocking - reusable hot packs. They come in many forms, but essentially you have a pack of fluid with a metal disc inside. You snap the disc causing a reaction and the liquid quickly turns to a solid generating lots of heat (it gets hot). This lasts for about 10 to 15 minutes, and you need to recharge the pack by putting it in boiling water until the solid completely turns back into a liquid.

It's a simple solution to give your hands a quick heat boost. It's somewhat environmentally friendly since you don't throw it away, but you are paying an energy cost to recharge the pack.

If you're interested in how the pack works, take a look at this blog. This is at least an introduction to the sodium acetate solution and how it works.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Poll Thursday - Am I old?

I'm 31 going on 32 in November. My 2008 Ultimate season started last Saturday and Monday joining two Open practices in London (one University and one Open). This is actually a little early for me to be playing, and normally, I would be spending February, March and April ramping up for the season by lifting waits and getting some plyo work in. I guess things happen a little earlier here, so I'll have to adjust fast.

In other words, I'm not in shape. The change of location has thrown off my phased based workouts significantly, and I'm trying to determine the safest training plan to get in shape without getting injured. My biggest concern is my achilles acting up again, but already I have a cold after not having a cold for almost 2 years.

The funny thing is I look at other similar sports (lets say both UK and US football and basketball) the age of 31 is not the dominant age in terms of numbers of athletes, but there are still lots of them still playing. In many ways, the slight decrease in your physical skills is greatly compensated by your experience in sport.

The real thing I've noticed is that pushing yourself to stay in top shape is harder. I know that I'll be in pain after a tough workout, and that pain will last longer than it did in my twenties. I know the risk of injury is greater and the recovery will take longer. The question then is how do you motivate yourself to push on.

At UCPC, Dr. Goldberg made it very clear that you need to have a goal, and if you don't have a clear goal that motivates you to play the sport then you, likely, won't get better. Right now I'm searching for that goal. I would be interested in hearing other people's drives. I've made some suggestions to the right in the poll.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Big move, big change, great past

I haven't posted in quite some time. The reason is I've moved from Toronto to London, U.K. For a man who's lived in Ontario for all my life, this has been a major change. I'm settling in and beginning to think about Ultimate again.

Before I move on to the future of Ultimate, I would like to thank some of the past. That past being my time spent in Toronto with the likes of the Open, Coed, and University teams. All experiences that shaped and made it so hard to leave Toronto. This, especially, considering the momentum the city has in terms of great and emerging teams.

As good as the Ultimate was in Toronto, the hardest fact to deal with when leaving a city is the people. In my case, the people were mainly Ultimate players. There are so many of you, and I had a chance to see many of you on my way out, but in general, great people and great times. You know who you are, and thanks for making Toronto more than a city to me.

I came into Toronto, much like I've been living in London. I was intimidated by a large city where I didn't have any good friends. Ultimate changed that for me, and I've met people I hope to stay in contact for the rest of my life. I have the same hopes for London, and you'll get a little taste of that here.

To the Leafs: I won't miss you. To TO Ultimate: bring some more championships to TO.