Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tryouts or Politics

Here in the UK, the season is heading into Tour 2 in Cardiff this weekend. Meanwhile in North America the college season is heading into the eight regionals and the Canadian and US Club teams are starting to have there tryouts. Additionally, Team Canada is making picks for world teams. One question I've always had about tryouts (both trying to be picked and picking) is, how much politics plays in the game versus skill?

Pictured Above: An old photo of Scotty Nichols throwing around Shaky at CUUC'06 to Inian.

It's obvious that when it comes down to a player with almost the same skill level as another player, who you know and how well you are liked is likely the biggest factor in making a team. Of course, if you're known as an abrasive player or someone who doesn't get along with people this will be a major drawback.

Another situation that can come up is when you're deep into a roster (let's say 20 through 25 on the bench), how much does skill matter versus how you are known by the people picking the team. I think your community status within the ultimate scene is probably a bigger factor than how you performed at tryouts (assuming that your skill level is reasonably close to the teams level).

Based on these scenarios, what can you do. Number one, because we are based in an amateur sport you need to make friends and be nice. Unless you are a dominant player or superstar, you're not going to be playing with your Ultimate team of choice unless you fit in. Number two, if you get typecast as a certain style of player (maybe "the dropper", "the pressure failure", or "the inconsistent") you need to focus on that aspect of your game and change it. This change won't be doable in a year, but you'll need to take whatever opportunities you get this year and make the change for next.

Good luck on whatever road you're taking. If you're a coach remember to open your mind to players year in and year out, and if you're a player then relax and just be yourself.



Taylor said...

Hey Pete,

Can you elaborate on what the "Tours" are all about over there? The link you had in this post doesn't seem to work.

See you in 9.