Sunday, 8 March 2009

KCL Thrown at SEUMIR

Here is Adnan's tournament report for South East University Mixed Indoor RegionalS this season. Not a particularly important tournament in the big sceme of things but significant for us this year - it was the first tournament thrown has ever won. I really love this report for its enthusiasm. I apologise in advance for Adnan's refusal to use capital letters or proper punctuation (he's a bit like James Joyce). Enjoy.

im still buzzing from the highs of yesterdaynot to mention aching all over (leading to a pretty poor performanceat winter league today…)anyway,this is probably one of my favourite parts of the tournament: thematch report…so i hope you guys read it

last year we sent down a beginner team to mixed indoor regionalsand this is where dan and louis in particular really started toflourish (and i got my ankles injured…)this is relevant because it explains why chichester 2 were seededabove uswe were fortunate i guess that we werent stuck in a group with twoother first teams…
after struggling to get to the venue on time we were fortunate toease into the tournament with a second team.

vs CHI 2 (chichester)
not much to say about this match to be honest. this was a team full of beginners. they threw away a lot and tried a lot of low percentagethrows probably in desperation. new to the team this year were jess, jackie, millie and alex so it was great to see them integrate sowell. millie was scoring at will, alex and jackie were creating somegreat flow and jess was the definition of reliable as a handler.great start to the day without being tested too score 11 - 0

vs MOHAWKS 1 (sussex)
we have had little to no indoor practice this year so were not verygood at indoor throws, indoor zones or iso etc. mohawks are at theother end of that spectrum and we really got taught a lesson in thismatch. they had a great iso and quickly went 4 or 5 up. after thematch harry suggested that i should have taken a time out and he was definitely right. our heads were down and though we got a consolationpoint, mohawks were in complete control. the one positive to takefrom this game was our efforts against their zone. we were cool andcomposed and they didnt dare try it score 1 - 9

vs SCORPOIONS 2 (surrey)
after the last match this was quite nice to regain our confidence. surrey 1 are very well drilled and i was worried about the secondteam causing us some problems. for whatever reason that didnt turnout to be the case. our offence and defence was back to its aggresivebest. a really nice and well spirited team finished our group score 11 - 1
the group results meant that we came second to mohawks 1 in our groupand took 7th seed, which is absolutely fine for us.

having played two 2nd teams and cheered on thrown 2 i have to say iwas massively impressed by how our beginners did. nick and the otherexperienced players did an incredible job at getting the best out ofour freshers and getting them so involved. harry and i have triedreally hard to emphasise the importance of dumping at practices and its so good to see proof that you guys listen. unlike chi 2 who threwaway recklessly at high stalls and scorpions 2 who kept gettingstalled out, thrown 2 rarely threw away. but ill leave the more indepth match reporting to nick. needless to say it was great to watchthem play some great ultimate. thrown 1 could learn a thing or twoabout dumping and swinging… )

QUARTER FINAL7th seed vs 2nd seedvs SCORPIONS 1 (surrey)
weve started to have some really heated matches with the scorpions inrecent times. (at outdoor div2 nationals and at indoor regionals) andthis turned out to be no different. pugh has drilled this team incredibly well and i reckon many people would have considered them to be favourites. our matches have meant that we now know moreof what to expect from this team and after our loss to mohawks wewanted to prove ourselves. id learnt from indoor nationals lastnovember not to be too fancy with tactics but rather to stick to what we know - simple stack offence and hard defence.
thrown took the lead but surrey werent far behind. there were several flash points to this match. dan was doing the most incredible job ofmarking out pugh. there were several calls made in this match. This used to get into our heads before but not in this match. dan wasnt phased by the stripcall (and nor was i after he questioned the validity of my awesome layout grab…) and if anything he seemed to be winding himself up…at 4-4 we went into sudden death. we were on offence so the pressurewas on us to convert. i threw away a stupid hammer but our d whichhad been phenomenal got us the disc back. this time i found louis in the end zone with a much simpler sidearm cut.
final score 5 - 4 (took 2nd seed)
this result guaranteed us top 8 i think and made it difficult for us to drop out of qualification.

SEMI FINAL 2nd seed vs 3rd seedvs DISC DOCTORS 1 (imperial)
dd had been awesome at indoor open regionals and nationals and i reckon thats to do with their good tactical awareness. they have an effective zone and a great iso so i was quite worried to be honest.we talked about iso defence and considered our female advantage. unlike the previous match which we won through sheer effort and aggression this would be more of a tactical encounter.
we started on offence and opted for 3 girls on the line. dd used azone and we worked the disc up between all of us really nicely:confident and composed. when we got to the endzone we were all a bitclueless, but it was great to see all of us trying different ideas.jackie and i tried to jump it in a few times, jess was constantlylooking for some break throws to spilt the zone and tim and kaleighwere stretching the defence. in the end i reluctantly threw a bladeto tim who was towering over rosie. (i know he was expecting thatmuch earlier) our d was sharp and i think we took quite a comfortablelead. the score was 4 - 2 at some point but i never felt like ourlead was in the bag at all. finally dd used their dreaded iso onmagnet… we put in place our d and though it didnt work perfectly atfirst we were much improved compared to the mohawks game. louis evenmanaged to get a huge high d on magnet and the subsequent zones meantthat dd couldnt catch up. bit of a tactical error on their part ifeel but a win against dd is always sweet.
final score 5 - 3?(kept 2nd seed)
this guaranteed us qualification and the 2nd seed and put us in thegrand final against mohawks…

GRAND FINAL 2nd seed vs 1st seed vs MOHAWKS 1 (sussex) again
all day we had been talking about playing good ultimate and trusting that the results would follow. we had qualified for nationals and were happy with that. we wanted to redeem ourselves more than actually take the 1st spot i think. after our powerful win vs surreyand our tactical win vs imperial we had given ourselves the perfect lessons to combat mohawks the second time round. we had a massively intimidating crowd watching us from above, including a rawkus mohawk contingent. thanks to the thrown 2 team then for cheering us on, and for ham as well, who had made the tripdown to support us. we had kept our heads in our previous matches butwith the entire southeast watching this was different.
we actually took the lead in this match which really helped calm my nerves. mohawks pulled out their iso early which made sense on theirpart. much like against dd it took us a little while to truly shut itdown. but we did so convincingly, which meant that they had to abandon that tactic. 4-2 down at least we could play them on ourterms of stack offence and defence. unlike many of the teams at the tournament we didnt rely on one person, we had great cuts and throws from everyone. i think i threw away the most to be honest soapologies for that. i remember harry threw a really nice curving backhand to kaleigh after a series of beautiful give and go passes. everyone upped their game. millie had only really made herself knownin the endzone in previous games but got involved in the final, whichis great. we had a couple of chances to bring it level, the best ofwhich came to alex, who had made another great run towards theendzone and managed to sky a mohawk with ease. unfortunately mohawks called a foul and so the contested call was sent back. the buzzerwent during this point, which for the final meant that we had to finish the point and play to a one point cap… jess was dominant. she had been throwing some great discs for everyone and sent yetanother one towards harry who sprinted to the endzone to catch thedisc high and crash through the hall doors. again mohawks called afoul but after a lot of discussion the point stood, meaning anothersudden death situation. with mohawks on o though, we needed to forcea turnover. we did just that. we moved the disc with some crisp passing and jackie pulled out a great hammer cross pitch towards the endzone. im sure everyone saw this in slow motion. i expected to see tim on the receiving end, but was shocked to see dan instead… his defender was caught out of position and dan actually went for the disc high with one hand.
the crowd erupted as we thrown won its first ever tournament andfinished seumir champions…
well played everyone. we all earned and deserved that trophywhich is why i cant really think of an mvp or bag winner…

anyway,sorry for the length of the report thanks for reading this far i really cant tell you how proud i am of the team and the club this weekend.

i really enjoyed watching the second team play and watch everyoneimprove.
the season isnt over though. keep coming to practices so that we can carry this momentum to climax the university season in style.

adnanthrown first team captain 08/09

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Warm-up for nationals

Just got back from a few warm-up games in hyde-park.

First game was against a pick-up flump team. We won fairly comfortably but played pretty sloppy. Our handlers looked useful against their zone.

We then played disc Doctors (imperial college) and lost, I think the final score was 6-4, but to be honest that's flattered us a bit. We were shocking. We played terribly against dD at regionals as well. Tom P suggested that because we practice next to them and know them so well it takes some of the intensity and concentration out of our game. I agree with him, I think our strength as a team lies in our ability to dominate our match-ups particularly on D, that was missing in the dD game today. I also think our handlers should be more willing to play a bit of dirty huck and d when were struggling against a zone. Playing for territory can be a viable option when playing div 2 uni (It does feel pretty wrong though).

Our final game was against LSE (I think they're now called 'hot sweaty beavers', nice. but I suppose its better than 'equilibrium'). Anyway for various reasons LSE have been our biggest rivals since the 2006/7 season but I think the rivalry has become more friendly this year . Their team tends to be dominated by a few american college players which makes for some seriously competitive stuff, I invariably enjoy games against them. They beat us in a very tight and windy game at regionals and went on to win the tournament. Today, pissed off with our performance against dD we went out hard and focused. we went up by 3 or 4 and traded for a while. They had a bit of a resurgence, the hooter went and we took the universe point for the win. I was pretty chuffed with thrown's display, our intensity was top draw and our O looked sweet at times (the handlers were hot against the zone). A great win.

So a mixed day for thrown but a really off day for me (my throws just weren't happening and I missread a couple of discs). I'll get some good practice in this week and hopefully I'll be confident for next weekend. Overall I think we're looking pretty good for nationals. I can't wait.

Friday, 6 March 2009

my first lot of results

EMO invitiational - this is the first year that EMO (east midland open) have hosted this tournament and it showcased some of the A and B tour club teams, mixed in with some of the better uni teams as well as a unknown team from across the channel.

1. Iznogood - CHAMPIONS
2. Brighton
3. The Brown
4. Sharks
5. emo
6. Devon
7. Leeds
8. Release
10. Vision
11. Haze
12. Kent
13. Steal
14. Flyght Club

The french team won and emo didn't do as well as I expected. Brighton showed that as usually they are tough to beat and the reformed oxford team - sharks - staked a claim in the A tour. That's my interpretation of the results. I wasn't there so I wouldn't like to make any more assumptions.

a fresh start...

So I haven't blogged in quite some time, in fact I actually closed the blog for a while. But now I'm ready to start again, turn over a new leaf and begin posted some good stuff.

The first thing I need to decide on is a new name. To be honest 'brickers' ultimate (frisbee) ramblings' is a bit of a lame title and was only ever meant to be a short term thing. Right now I'm not feeling particularly inspired but over the next couple of weeks I'll try to come up with something a little less clunky. If anyone out there has any ideas please let me know.

Probably more important is fresh content, some good new posts - I think I'm going to post some tournament reports written by my friend and very able captain Adnan. I'm also going to do a write-up of UK uni nationals next weekend (it should be quite an event).
I want to start posting lots of tournament results that I deem significant. This includes club and college competitions from both sides of the pond.
I might do some more team profiles but that will have to wait.

All in all my intention is to write more and try and make (insert name here) into a better blog than it ever was before.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Taking knocks…

In Ultimate we all take knocks from time to time. More often than not the knocks are physical, a dodgy ankle, a gamee knee or god forbid a shitty shoulder injury. But that’s not the type of knock that I’m talking about. Every now and then someone (usually someone important) will make a comment about your game that really hits a nerve. For some uber-confident players I’m sure this never happens but for those like me, acutely aware of their weaknesses and probably a little too eager for praise, a single, well-placed comment can make you feel like your whole game is being undermined.

In Ultimate, like in all sports confidence is paramount. When you step out onto the pitch you need the confidence to know that you can dominate your match-up, the confidence to know you can break the mark. If in sport you don’t believe you can do something, then you’re probably not going to be able to do it when it counts. And I suppose this is why it feels so rubbish when someone you admire tells you that you can’t really do something that you yourself feel is fundamental. That confidence can evaporate like a drop of ethanol in the Sahara.

The sort of comment I’m talking about is not constructive criticism in the traditional sense. Of course it is essential that every player can take criticism. As I’ve found out coaching ‘Thrown’ over the last year some people can take it better than others. What I’ve found works well is to make criticisms one at a time, providing advice in an attempt to fix the problems as you go along. The sort of criticism I’m talking about stings, it makes you question yourself over and over – it makes you think about giving it all up because, basically, ‘I’m shit’.

I suppose what is important in these situations is to take a step back and really think about the criticism, and also to think about the good things about your game. Take stock and think about the changes you are going to make. Seek good advice, and work hard to improve. Then when the time comes, at a try-out or in big match, you can show that actually, your not that shit after all.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Some Links on Wednesday

Sport Link
Tennis: a sport with many similarities to ultimate. Here are the BBC write-ups on the spectacular performances at Wimbldon last weekend. Fed is still my favourite.
Mens Final (Federer vs Nadal)
Womans Final (V Williams vs S Williams)

The Physics of Frisbee
Here's a link to a scientific paper on the physics of a frisbee in flight.
Fairly interesting stuff... if you're into that sort of thing.

I'm embarrassingly out of shape at the mo.
Here are some inspiring conditioning tips on the huddle.

and finally

Comedy Genius
Frank Huguenard...?

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

The Ultimate All-star Line-up

Bored at work yesterday I started to contemplate my ultimate dream team. If given the choice of any sportsmen currently playing at the highest level, what 7 would you pick to play on your universe point line? (Ultimate players not included). Here is my line-up:

Manning, realising he chose the wrong sport

Roger Federer (Tennis player) - Lost to Nadal this weekend but still, in my eyes anyway, the most technically accomplished racquet sport player of all time. I dream of the things he could do with a disc.

Peyton Manning (Quarterback, Indianapolis Colts) - Undoubtedly the best quarterback of his generation he has wonderful vision and a tonking throwing arm.

Dan Carter (Fly-half, USA Perpignan and New Zealand) - Probably the best distributor of the ball in the modern game, this man has vision, skill, pace and tremendous footwork to boot.

Brian Habana (Winger, Bulls and South Africa) - The second rugby player in the line-up, Habana has jaw-dropping acceleration and great straight line pace. He does 100m in 10.4, has been known to race cheetahs and set the 2008 Rugby World Cup alight. He also has great awareness and can catch. I don't see him having problems getting free on an ultimate pitch.

Randy Moss (Wide Receiver, New England Patriots) - Lightning pace, sticky hands and an inbuilt ability to loose his man - just look at this record. He would make a pretty sick deep player on any ultimate side.

LeBron James (Forward, Cleveland Cavaliers) - My ignorance of basketball is considerable and that’s probably why I have picked only one basketball player for my 7. But if you had to pick on one is would be this chap - he is a truly awsome athlete.

Terrell Owens (Wide reliever, Dallas Cowboys) - Another dominating wide receiver, holds the NFL record for most reception in a single game (20). Won’t be winning any spirit prizes with this guy though.

Subs - Here are a few stars that didn’t quite make it into my top 7.

Edwin Van Der Sar (Goalkeeper, Manchester United and Holland) - Hands like glue, reactions of a cat, good height and the ability to jump and layout. He certainly has a host of qualities that could make him a great receiver, but then again I've never seen him run.

Andrea Pirlo (Midfielder, AC Milan and Italy) - Another footballer. Pirlo is the creative force behind a world cup winning Italy side and a Champions League winning AC Milan side. His vision is amazing and he strikes the ball with precision and subtlety. I'd like to think these qualities could be put to good use in ultimate.

Honorable Mention
Shane Warne (Spin Bowler Rajasthan Royals and Australia) - Probably the best leg spinner ever to grace planet earth, Shane Warne can do things with a cricket ball that you wouldn't believe are possible. He's also quite handy with a bat. If he can make a disc spin like he can make a ball spin I reckon he'd made a pretty useful static handler.

Who would be on your Ultimate All-star line?