Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Tournament 4 - Lesson 1 - Skills don't maintain themselves

This weekend I played at Tour 1 in Bristol. We had a good weekend with all but one close, challenging games. Personally, a few moments stand out from the weekend; two of my upwind hucks were utter disasters, I had two simple throws that went bad, and I, also, had two uncharacteristic drops.

I'm not really worried or troubled by these execution errors, but the reality was the wind wasn't that strong this weekend and in the past, I normally wouldn't make those errors. The hucks aren't as much a big deal since I've always been good and bad with hucks in my throwing set, but the reality is, the small throwaways and drops are not normal.

There's one simple reason I'm making these errors. I haven't been throwing and catching on a regular basis. Unlike when my last few years of Ultimate, I'm averaging about 1 to 2 hours of throwing per week. The chart below is an estimate of how much I threw per week (including practices but not games) over the last few years.

The reality is a skill like throwing does not maintain itself. I'll never forget how to throw a flick or a backhand, but the accuracy, timing, and small adjustments that are needed in the heat of a game can only be maintained with regular practice. It's like shooting in basketball. Your form will always be there, but the touch needs to be constantly calibrated.



Rob said...

A couple more for your list:

http://www.bb-sea.com/burla_beach_cup.html - Burla beach cup, otherside of Italy to Rimini and in September

Glastonbury - in the UK, in Glastonbury funnily enough. Also in September.

Both of the above are relatively light hearted but attract a decent level of competition, particulalry at the top end.

Brummie said...

Who are you playing for in the UK?

What do you think are the differences between the North American & British game?

Hope you enjoyed the sporadic weather :-)


Jeters said...

Hey Brummie,

For the open tour I'll be playing with ABH. Coed is uncertain.

As for the styles I've had talks with many people. My feeling is the top 4 teams in the UK would compete at Regionals for a spot of the North East (my most familiar area), but I would guess fit in the 3 to 6 spot in that region.

The next teams in the Open tour, 5 through 16 seem to fit in North Easts general pool of teams like Grand Trunk, Gunslingers, Phoenix, Mephisto, Colt .45, etc. These are good teams with good players, but not what I would consider Elite.

The next grouping 17-36 are just on the edge of the above category, and the next grouping are the lower levels in the North East.

As for college, the teams in the UK are a bit behind in terms of quality. I would say our the UK college scene is like the NA scene 5 to 10 years ago.

Other than that, I find the game less aggressive, more spirited, and a little behind in some of the fundamentals (with the exception of the upper teams).