Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Zips Tips- We need a better "Bible"


As college teams on both side of the border gear up for the spring series, and as the rest of us prepare for summer/fall team tryouts, we're all looking to prepare as best we can. This includes but is not limited to:
Josh Zipperstein
Photo Source: Brown Ultimate

As far as learning from the best goes, we typically tend to seek out the online writings of the best players and teams in our respective divisions. College players, young and idealistic, are the most likely to engage in such benchmarking. They watch "I Bleed Black" and UPA videos before the big tourney. They read Art of War. It makes them feel ready, and to each his own.

I also see another "document" that gets circulated from team to team, year to year. Zips Tips
was an online blog/diary put together by then Brown superstar Josh Zipperstein (now of Chain Lightning fame). People have gone out of their way to discuss this page as a "bible" that "must be followed".


Now the sport management professional in me takes a look at zips tips and the hype it has and wants to dissect it/ rip it. If the game is going to advance, we're going to need a better "bible".

Here's a brief rundown of Zips Tips

-143 entries
-8 outside sources referenced
-Every topic covered that a player could face prepping for the college spring series
-Some very valid points

-I can't help but think this person knew a lot of the right things, but didn't understand why their ideas were right. This is all too common in successful athletes.
-A lot of useless posts about what shirt so and so is wearing, shoe laces, etc.
-I worry impressionable players will accept a lot of opinions as truths.

Final thoughts

Upon full review, I recognize zips tips as one of the better ultimate specific reads available online. That doesn't say a lot about online material.

However, Zips Tips is a lot more helpful than my initial diagnosis. I tried to contact Josh about the tips but was unable to get ahold of him. Given the five years that has followed the posting, I assume Josh might not have expected his tips to spread/ last as a "bible", nor might he want it to.

I look forward to better "bibles" that build on this work. I actually look forward to well educated and well research guides on playing and preparing for ultimate, and getting away from any religious references.

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