Thursday, December 6, 2007

The Lazy Star.. How does one Motivate?


It's off season training time.

If you play competitive ultimate, whatever division, you've probably played with someone who possesses great talent but fails to get optimal performance from said ability. Let's take a look at the list of players that frustrate coaches and teammates
  • The millon dollar body with the 5 cent mind star
  • The dominates in tryouts but chokes at nationals star
  • The skilled/intelligent guy who can't pass the baseline physical tests star
  • The can't take the next step star
  • The recreational drug star
  • The can't stay healthy star
  • The mentally weak star
  • The plays for himself star
  • The skips practice star
Randy Moss 'I just don't respect you enough to run hard'
Photo Source:

Some of these players are easier to spot than others. However, many Canadian teams in May tryouts overlook the negative faults of these players and focus on the positives. Especially when dealing with the great athletes. These are not bad people- they just simply haven't been conditioned to improve outside of their comfort zone, have had bad examples to follow or have been able to get by on existing talent.

Unfortunately, rewarding players with team spots when they refuse to address their weaknesses (i.e. Fitness, Throws, Team Play, Drug Use, Injury Prevention, Off season training habits, Playing for the team) does not help your team. That amazing 6'5 lane cutter who cuts off everyone else will be your kryptonite when your chasing a national title. The great thrower who looks off the easy throw on game point doesn't hoist high level trophies without a whole lotta help. Any player susceptible to injury is worth a lot less to your team than you probably think/calculate at tryouts.

So, the poll question is

Can an ultimate team/captain coach motivate "lazy" star players?

How do you handle the type of players listed above. Do you try to work with these players? Do you cut these players from your team? Do you bite your lip and put up with these players for the sake of wins?

Paul Cobb: The antithesis of the lazy star.
Photo Source:
Photographer: Dave Knowles

Poll Result Analysis: Ultimate- Team Game of Game of Stars


Last week I posed a question about the game of ultimate-

Does an Ultimate team with several elite players outperform teams with greater depth?

Here is the results of the poll:
Yes: 6
No: 8
Depends on the Stars: 8

It doesn't get much more even than that (okay, 7/7/7 would be the most equal result). There is really no right answer here.

  • People voting Yes to this question simply pointed out trios like Cruickshank/Lugsdin and Grant who can dominate you on offence.
  • Other Yes voters pointed out that stars can play offense and defence in ultimate, and can dominate on both sides of the disc (I would say once again that it's easier to manipulate star power on offense)
  • People voting No seem to be of the mindset that greater depth indeed carries the day. This becomes more evident at the end of the tournament, and more importantly at the end of a long summer/fall.
Long story short, People should strive to stack their team with stars who compliment one another, and bolster their roster with plenty of depth to lower risk against injury.

If I have to pick stars versus depth, I'll take ultimate's version of KG/Allen/Pierce and go for broke.

Team Canada Tryout Info- Update


Received a friendly note from the executive director of the Canadian Ultimate Players Association (Danny Saunders).

The tryout information for all team except junior men and women's teams. Please see the following link for more info.

Team Canada Worlds 2008

If you think you're worlds worthy, get your applications in!