Friday, June 26, 2009

Link Friday - Boston Showcase and Pogue

Here's my links:

  • There's a facebook group to help you find who and where the Boston inivite pre-showcase games are:
  • Pogue reviews technology, and last weeks post gave me some insight on how to get more blogging and writing done.
  • [Blog post of the week] Soon I'll get to see my DTB jersey, but until then these pictures from F1215833808 will have to do.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Irregular posting on my travels

While I move in and out of posting, don't forget to make your own Ultimate card over the coming months.If you're used to the Tue, Wed, Thur, Fri Cultimate posts, then things are going to be messed up for a little while. Basically:

  • Move from London, U.K. to North America
  • Two days in Toronto
  • Week in my hometown
  • Las Vegas for a conference
  • Boston to Montreal on a bus
  • Montreal for a day and then to Ottawa for a few days
  • Ottawa to Toronto for a day
  • Toronto to Ultimate camp for a week
  • Up to Sudbury for a few days to visit my sister
  • Back to Toronto for a weekend
  • Toronto to Oxford, Ohio for 10+ years
Depending on connectivity and how I feel, expect sporadic posting.


Friday, June 19, 2009

Link Friday - HS ultimate map, jetlag battles, and flash addiction

Here's the links:

  • [New Blog] Disc Thoughts - Only one post so far, so we'll see how long Tim can keep up the posts.
  • [Blog post of the week] - The state of HS Ultimate in the US by PlayUltimate. I really appreciated the map, and this information is very informative to tell us where the seen is at in the US.
  • If you're flying around for Ultimate and worried about jetlag, well here's some research on telling you what to do to help alleviate the pain. I couldn't find the software, but I'm guessing it might be on the way.
  • Desktop Tower Defense has a new version and you can play online. I love and hate this game at the same time. It's like a drug addiction.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Poll Thursday - In for the cards?

So last weeks poll was about different types of posts on blogs and what people would like more. The top six types are:

  • Player Analysis - 57%
  • Tricks of my trade - 55%
  • Trenches Tournament/Season Coverage - 50%
  • Tournament recap - 49%
  • Team Prediction - 42%
  • I Spot the Emergence of a trend - 38%
I'm sure that's useful information to all of us writers out there.

This week the poll is simple. Will you be submitting a card for the Ultimate card set I proposed yesterday (poll right). This will help give me a feel for what type of response is out there.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Ultimate Card Experiment - Get your own

In my article, I want trading cards or an action figure, I pitched the idea of Ultimate cards. Well, I still want a card, and even though a year has passed, no company has taken the torch. My solution - the virtual Ultimate card set. In other words, this year I will make a virtual Ultimate card set for the Ultimate community. This is your chance to have your own Ultimate card in the 2009 card set.So, how am I/we going to do this? Basically, until September you will have a chance to make or pass on information for your own card (based on the templates I've built for 2009). Then, once I've made the official set for 2009, I will email out the digital set to each person who contributed to the set. If the set consists of only 10 cards, then so be it, but at least you and I will have our own cards.
What do you need to do? Note that you can not use pictures that you don't have rights for (or logos) since these will be broadly distributed, and potentially printed in the fall. Ask the photographers and artists for permission to use (or use your own pictures and write your team name in the logo spot).

Here are your options for making your player, team, and tournament cards:

  1. Email me for the Visio file that has the base structure of card defined. Add your pictures, text, and logo, and send back the file to me (jamieson dot peter at gmail dot com), and I'll add it to the set.
  2. Send me (jamieson dot peter at gmail dot com) your picture and text for the cards, and I'll make the card for you. This option depends on my time, so if I get too many, then I might not get all the cards made until 2010.
I think this should be lots of fun. If it goes well I'll make separate college sets and club sets for next year. Also, consider printing out your own card, cutting it out, mounting it on some card stock, and trading your signed homemade card with other people. I'll have a few on hand, so if you see me come talk and trade.

"No way, I'll keep my Jamieson. That Gretzky rookies isn't worth it"


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Better than Nicotine patches?

While cleaning out my room for my upcoming move I found some Lifewave samples. At worlds last year, I had a talk with one of the reps and he was pushing these Lifewave patches.

So what did I get?

  • Energy enhancer
  • Icewave
  • Silent nights
In other words, I got a number of patches that are supposed to stimulate acupuncture points for various results.

What is my opinion on these? To be honest, I haven't tried any of the patches and I'm highly skeptical. In my limited research, I've browsed through the corporations research papers, and background checked the actual researchers. The skepticism continues.

I doubt I'll do a proper study of this option. I'm not looking for a magic bullet. Is there any opinions out there? Also, were they at Worlds with the theory that the grassroot nature of Ultimate might go for this idea more than other sports?


Friday, June 12, 2009

Link Friday - Boston Ultimate over Friday Baseball, Livescribe, and Blender on BlockTV

My favourite links this week:

  • [My FavBlog post of the week] Exploring and Testing your Workout Structure
  • Before the start of Boston Invite there will be showcase games for both women and open. Goat will be playing Ironside at these fields (Tufts University) starting at 8pm. The women (I don't know who's playing: Brute Squad vs Godiva?) start at 6pm. Hat tip Taylor.
  • The pen of the future (actually available in present)...Could be the future for drawing up and demoing plays.
  • Finally, Blockstack did Blender...Love the Mr. Twister Hoodie Chris and the GT backup dancers...


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Poll Thursday - I want that one

Last week, we all made our guesses on what we thought the PPV market size was for Ultimate. The results are pretty distributed with the spikes sitting in the middle of the options (interesting). Anyway, the guess is between 1000 and 5000. Based on a collective jelly bean counting intelligence, I wonder how close we are?

This weeks poll is based on yesterdays post. Basically, what would you like to see more of on the Ultimate blogosphere (poll right and note you can select multiple choices)?

By the way, this poll will in no way affect how I do what I do (especially badly constructed sentences).


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Ultimate Articles - What types are out there?

This old article in the Times takes a look at the styles of columns. Ultimate blog discussion is similar column based, so I thought I would look at the four listed instances they classify and compare them against what I do. Then afterwards I list the other types of Ultimate blog posts.

The four categories for columns are:

  1. “Am I Alone In Thinking” - This is for the Ultimate piece where someone points out an opinion that they feel nobody else has (but likely do). For example, I might put my "Miniworlds - does anyone care" into this category.
  2. “Lessons of History Column” - This is historical comparison showing the similarities between the past and now. I, personally, don't think I do too many of these styles of posts. Maybe I should do more?
  3. “I Spot the Emergence of a Big New Trend” - This is where you look at some trend and maybe apply it to something else. I do this kind of post all the time. My most recent would be on Twitter.
  4. “Tricks of my Trade" - Thoughts into how we do different aspects of our game whether coaching or individual. This is another category of post that I tend to do. The last set was on "Move Repertoires". This is probably many peoples favourite since it passes on thoughts on how to, and we can apply it to get better.
The other categories for Ultimate blogs that I can think of are:
  • The tournament recap
  • The workout/practice recap
  • The how's our team doing
  • The direct links to useful information
  • The poll
  • The picture set
  • The debated issue from my angle
  • The team and player predictions and analysis
Am I missing any? What would make our "grassroot" based coverage better and what do we all want more of?


Tuesday, June 09, 2009

When did I become a Masters player?

The shock set in last week. I've always assumed that 2010 would be my first Masters year as I turned 34 that year. Well, apparently 33 was the magic number.

So, does depression set in. Is it all over? The opposite if anything. It's like a new lease on Ultimate life or atleast defensive life. My last run on a defensive squad was in 2007 on Grand Trunk, and I, personally, love playing defense (mainly on handlers though), but as my years increased and the young guys stayed the same age, it was challenging to play defense at the top levels.

Now, I have the hope that I can have another two or three years having an impact on defense (or offense if I'm needed). The only trick now is finding who to play with. As I've mentioned, I'm off to Oxford, Ohio. Not exactly known for top quality Masters Ultimate. In the UPA central region, the strength is in Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and Chicago (not to forget Twin Cities, MN as noted in the comments). So, I might have to look towards those cities for some UPA action. That's not my only option (says the free mercenary ;). I've already passed up to play at Canadian Nationals 2009 due to work commitments, but it is an option in 2010 and beyond, with the possibility of a run at Worlds.

But then, what I also like to dream about is helping put an Ohio team into UPA Championships. Not that a team like Madcow hasn't come close. For me, that's a goal to shoot for, and to be honest, I've learned in London that as much as I like competing, unless I'm building towards something with a bunch of people, I'd rather not just play. I need to help build to really enjoy the game.

Still, my options are open, and nobody can complain about that. Still, last week was a real shock.


Friday, June 05, 2009

Link Friday - Ready, Set, Go

My favourite links this week are all about the new club season in full action:

  • Cazenovia is happening this weekend (the likes of Goat, Ironside, and PoNY) as well as Cal States (Jam, Sockeye, and Revolver). Two bloggers (1-Canadian Ultimate and 2-F1215833808) are looking at the scenes respectively. Any twitterers?
  • Texas shootout (Johny Bravo and DoubleWide) for $4000 is on this weekend. Man did I love going to Austin, Texas.
  • There's a tonne of tournaments that are all interesting: Mixed Easterns, UPA Grand Masters, etc.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Poll Thrusday - Market Size for PPV

Last week we had a poll on paying for PPV Ultimate and what tournaments you would consider watching. The results show that 71% of you would pay - great. Unfortunately, that's 47 voters and at $10 a pop over 4 tournaments, the best we could assume is about $1600.

Steven over at Canadian Ultimate had a post discussing his view on the topic. In the following discussion the issue seems to be market size. So, the poll this week is what do you think the market size is for Ultimate. Note, I have no stats on this, so you'll have to make an educated guess (poll right).

Stats that I found and might help:

  • There are roughly 22,000 members in the UPA with 70,000 former members (cite).
  • Canadian league size: Ottawa 5000 members (cite), Vancouver 4500+, Toronto 4500+, Winnipeg 3000+, and Montreal 2400 (cite)

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Bonus Post - Great deal for Canadian Ultimate Players Flying to Tournaments

Hey all,

I got really excited this morning, and I'm not even going to Canadian nationals or flying anywhere within Canada, but Air Canada has a great deal. The deal is called "Explore Canada Pass", and for $700 to fly on Tuesdays or Saturdays you get 4 one-way tickets in Central Canada. There's other tickets for Western Canada to anywhere in Canada for $900 (and so on).

Think of it this way, you want to go to Potlatch and Canadian Nationals. If you live in Montreal or Toronto, for $900 you can fly to Vancouver (and drive down to Seattle) and Winnipeg for a total of $900. Plus you could visit one other city if you some how made it a round trip. The other possibilities include ECC, Flower Bowl, Jazz Fest, No Borders, and maybe even Clam Bake.

Not sure if this is that great a deal, but my spidey sense says yes.


Twitter filters RSD and Borg intelligence > 1

I'm continuing my study into the big question, "Why is twitter here?" ;) What is it good for and how will it change my life? As I stated earlier, I think it has value in the realm of tournament updates (a.k.a. live disseminated event coverage) as we saw this year at UPA College. Great, but I still haven't signed up for my own Twitter account.

An article
on Wired helped explain my concerns as very common in society. Like other technologies in the past, we still don't know what Twitter does. Also, it might never revolutionize anything. I don't have to panic and worry that I'll be out on my porch (if I had a porch) yelling at kids to stop twittering on my front lawn.

Well, I've come to two further insights on how twitter might be useful to us. The first is related to RSD. In the past, we've voted on the health of RSD with concerns it is getting spammed to death (gmail does so well on my mail why can't it work for forums?). I, personally, view RSD less and less due to the spam. That, and I prefer the rss format where information comes to me when it's updated and I don't have to visit.

Twitter might offer us a solution here. Using the tagging system we could easily make rsd twitter discussions. To sort the different topics, we would simply use two tags. The first tag identifies that we are discussing ultimate and the second tag categorizes in a topic.

This sort of live discussion format has been used by some blogs to make the commenting/forum based aspect more community based and live. I think it would work as a second RSD based format, but twitter still lacks the character length for some topics and discussions (maybe links to rsd threads solves this problem essentially filtering the spam). For example, ranking teams would be difficult in 140 characters.

The second insight I've had on twitter and our Ultimate discussion community is actually not mine. This TED talk:

by James Surowiecki gave some insight into twitter, blogging, and social networking. The idea I felt so strongly about was this concept that a collective intelligence is better than an individual, and that's what these forms of communication bring. Therefore, my plea to all you young players (as well as mature players) out there is to get involved in the social community. Sure, The Huddle, Parinella's Blog, and Match are written by top players and knowledgable insiders, but your thoughts and your ideas are just as valuable since they come from another perspective. Essentially, the more critical mass we have the better off we'll be as a whole. Who cares if a topic you would like to discuss was previously covered by someone else. Give it your perspective and add to the collective intelligence. Seems Borg like, but it's actually the opposite.


Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Diagnosis of a loss - mind, strategy, or skill

I remember one of my recent hockey teams. We were a mid-pack team that would win half our games and lose half our games. For mosts games it would be close and we would have a chance to win or lose. When we did lose, we would assemble in the dressing room after the game, and the guys would come out with their analysis of the loss. Fortunately, in hockey you can blame the refs, but once the ref got a good bad mouthing, we would move on to, "we weren't focused enough".

Crosby, clearly, just doesn't want it enough (sarcasm).

To be honest, I didn't say much during these change room talks. My feeling, which I voiced once, but was quickly dismissed, was that we lost games simply due to the fact that they had better players. On average their three lines were more skilled than our three lines, and our strength (which was usually our defense men and goalie) couldn't hold off the attack long enough for our forwards to score. And yet, we would always blame the ref and our mental toughness, concluding that next time we would do better.

Yesterday, I read an article along these lines prompting this post. We seem to be in a modern era of the blaming the sports/team mind. They/we didn't want it enough. I, myself, have been in team circles emphasizing the importance of focus and desire. Not that mind is not important in sport, but it's time for us to move into the enlightened age where athletes mind, athletes skill, and team strategy are equally responsible for wins and losses.

I would argue that Ultimate is a little different and championships are still won based on personnel (not so much strategy). It's about building a team with enough skilled athletes and shaping their minds. We haven't reached a critical mass point where the difference is small between the best and the stars. Instead, at the top tournaments the difference between a star and a team member can be significant.

For example, in Open clubs you can see that the stronger teams are from larger population centers, and the exceptional teams tend to be from Ultimate meccas that also have reasonably large population base. If the sport continues to grow and stay amateur, then I expect that larger population centers will be the major forces in the sport.

Regardless of where you are, train your team to be skilled, solid in the mind game, and strategise well. Then given a loss or a win, look at the full picture, and ask how each of the three factors could have been improved.