Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Marathon Weekend in Ottawa + Is Goaltimate Good Training for Ultimate?


This weekend was marathon weekend in Ottawa. Marathons are definitely an impressive sporting event that our sport can learn from. The numbers of participants are huge. The crowds are loud and supportive. The events work together to best maximize publicity, attendance and sponsorship. I might post another piece about the first aid... which was a problem and got me thinking about what some ultimate tournaments are doing and the dangers if something went wrong.

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Paying for the chance to run on pavement for hours with nothing to show for it but a personal time and injury is still hard for me to get around. So, I decided to do another half marathon of sorts of my Saturday. Trying Goaltimate for the first time, then teach a throwing clinic to some talented athletes I am trying to convert to the game, and then attend a grueling one hour dojo fitness session.

I have to say my first experience with goaltimate was better than expected. I'm very no nonsense when it comes to ultimate- high percentage throws and catches over tricks and dicey efforts. But goaltimate doesn't reward being risk averse. You need to make hammers, scoobers and unpredictable plays to get the disc past defenders and into the scoring area.

Even as a handler, I can see that this game presents an opportunity to work on throws you might not want to use in club play. I can see a greater benefit for cutters or new players to try goaltimate as a learning tool for ultimate. You get a lot of touches, many more than you would in an ultimate game.

Much like halfcourt pick-up basketball (we played with one goal and you had to clear out the disc before trying to score again), the pace of the game can be faster than ultimate. When a point is scored in goaltimate, play continues with sub on the fly available at any time. In ultimate, we do waste time between points.

Don't get me wrong- no disc sport tops ultimate. But experiencing goaltimate made me think that it could be used as a supplement activity to help players improve their throws. What I'm trying to say is goaltimate could very well help make ultimate players what my friends and I like to say "good at ultimate".

Is Goaltimate a good tool for ultimate, and has it been the west coast's big secret?


T1000 said...

In short, yes, I agree that goaltimate helps your ultimate game, and it's a worthwhile substitute for a number of drills. But I would avoid statements that make it sound like snake oil.

While it teaches fast-paced offense and creative throwing, it conversely forgives lazy throws and incompatible lane-cutting habits. I've witnessed many lane-cutters struggling through painful readjustments to ultimate after too many weeks of goalty.

Hodge said...

I recently played Goaltimate for the first time as well. It was pretty fun, with a lot of running, I think there are pros and cons for Goaltimate as a training tool for Ultimate.

On top of what T1000 said I think it's great for learning to play zone offense. It will really hone your skill for hitting the open man as soon as they are open since you only have 5 stalls, and don't have to be marked. However, it is poor on defensive play. You don't have to play the person with the disc so that fees you up to play a zone type defense. Lazy D can be rewarded in Goaltimate, but exploited in Ultimate. If only there was a game like Goaltimate where you could throw to yourself....

AC said...

..and strips were legal.