Monday, February 25, 2008

Captain Considerations: Win Now Versus Win Later


Our sport is growing up. No longer can pick up teams walk into local tourneys and dominate as they once did. As the game continues to mature, this will become even more difficult.

Under the current Worlds system, teams qualify to represent their country by winning their national title in the previous year. You win nationals in 2007, you represent Canada in 2008. That's the system we have to work under.

So if you're not a defending national champion this year, what should be the plan of your team?

A lot of teams that were very close to winning will continue to compete for a national title every year until it is time to dissolve. This is understandable. I expect my readers to cringe as I compare teams to the business concept known as the product life cycle. But what about the rest of the pack? How should team leaders plan for this year and for coming years?

Ultimate Product Life Cycle

Here are some ideas on how to get started making those decisions
  1. Take stock of your team and your players
  2. Evaluate your micro environment. Your city, your league, your feeder system. Understand how everyone and everything affects you. Understand cause and effect.
  3. Evaluate the macro environment (competition in the division and how you stack up, changes in the system, changes/status of outside areas such as the college scene)
  4. Set your goals
  5. Make a plan
  6. Stick to it
Personally, I think the most important thing in club ultimate is winning nationals in a qualifying year. It's a pretty simple and clear vision, and every leadership book will tell you such simplicity is needed to carry out the many tasks needed to get to your goal. There will be a lot of tough decisions, but being able to ask "Does this decision help achieve the end goal" adds focus and credibility to your mission.

Any team on this planet can be beaten. However, if you want to beat Furious, Traffic, or Team Fisher Price in 2011, you better develop a long term comprehensive plan that gives you the best chance for success when it matters most.

Don't you drink coffee with a fork?
Photo Source: Daniel Bergson/Facebook


You can do it the other way that so many teams do. You can lose focus and abandon your plans the minute a good player(s) comes into town in order to try and win every year. You can ignore your city leagues and feeder systems because you're busy with other things. You can lead aimlessly without a real plan from year to year.

To each his own.

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