Saturday, May 5

First Cuts

After practice today, Pike made the first round of cuts for 2007.

The practice started with a long set of dynamic and active warmups which were pretty well received by the team as a whole. There was some repetition that we are working to minimize, but the general consensus seemed to be that the set of warmups, overall, was strong. Suh-weet.

Did a little break-mark drill, a lane D drill, a handler-centric throwing drill and then worked on some new offensive wrinkles for 07. Flexible Strategies. That's right, the Police show up again in this sorry no-account blog. No lyrics this time as the tune is instrumental. As you might imagine, the musical lines are, uh, flexible.

We then had Heckman break us into teams (no fun splits to report this time) so that the tryouts would get opportunities to prove themselves (returners too!) on relatively balanced teams and in roles that the team anticipates them filling. We scrimmaged thrice, with my team going 2-1 (I did play with two different teams, however) taking my record at practice to 8-1. Not too bad-- I wonder if anyone can top it thus far.

I had some (one?) throwing error when I thought I had a ton more field to throw into and then as I realized I didn't, had to redirect the force into a hanging blade instead of a rip 35 yards out the back. Nope-- it was two. That bastard Schmucker got a footblock on me in zone D. That's the first point block on me that I can remember in about 3 years in a game situation. Marking drills are a little different, I think. I asked him about it and I think I know what I need to work on to prevent that one. He says that my eyes told him where I was throwing. Assessing with hindsight, I know he's right-- I telegraphed that pass.

After practice, the captains did the unpleasant work of making some cuts and breaking the news to players individually. I do not envy them this task in any way. The cuts this year will be especially difficult as we have far more returners (~25) than last year (~10). That's 15 more guys that a new player will need to be definitively better than in order to make the team. I do not envy their odds in any way.

I'm reminded of the season that I tried out with Pike (2003). I lucked into a situation in which my contribution was not needed immediately and I was given room to develop over the next couple of years. It certainly didn't hurt that I openly addmitted to knowing very little about ultimate at the time and that I strived to learn as much as possible while being a good teammate. It was just a joy to be playing and practicing with so many dedicated players that I didn't care how little I played against other teams. I was just happy to be learning something about ultimate. Also, a number of Pittsburgh (All save for one, I think) players from the original Pike decided not to return for that season. If I had strolled into tryouts but one (significant) year later, I likely would not have made the team. I suppose it isn't *just* a test of skill to try out, but a question of timing as well.

Alumni Chest-pounding:

The NYU women are scheduled to play in the finals of ME Regionals tomorrow! Led by coaches (and fellow NYU alums) Zac Roy and Ken Chen as well as Callahan-worthy captain (and fellow escapee of the greater Scranton-Wilkes Barre area) Mia Iseman they will battle the Tim Johnson (Pike!) coached Delaware team in the finals. I would mention more players, but, well, then I'd have to explain why some were on the list and others not.
Workout Total:
5 hours of practice

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