Wednesday, August 22

Chesapeake a Comin'

Now I'm starting to get more excited.

The last hurdle to my undivided attention was removed this evening.

That's right, the NYU Alums+ had the annual fantasy football draft last night. I'm not entirely sure who's on my team yet, but highlights of the evening included one owner forgetting the draft entirely, Jamie calling in his picks while getting yelled at at work, a number of classic homer picks, some actually asking the question "Who's the best kicker left?" before the last two rounds and much general tomfoolery (possibly some ballyhoo as well).

It was a fun time. Had to do a quick AM workout to avoid another complete day of rest (which would be a bit gratuitous at this point) while not doing anything too crazy. Just did 1 Tabatas each of pushups, squats and burpees as well as some wobble board work. I'm feeling pretty good in the muscular endurance realm. The number of pushups completed was over 20 for the first 4 (of 8) reps, squats was over 23 each time. Burpees... well, I kept losing count. I'm not sure why exactly, but I'm never able to count properly while doing them. To paraphrase Raoul Duke, "I was pouring sweat. My blood is too thick for [Burpees]. I've never been able to properly explain myself..." (If you want to find the exact quote after following that link, search for the word "properly" in that script. It only appears once). I'm feeling pretty good about those numbers, but I know I can do better on the pushups. I think that will have to wait until after the club season to really get some work in on upper-body endurance.

Anyway, looking forward. Chesapeake, Chicago, Sectionals, Regionals, Nationals. Not that long left. The best part of the season started a couple of weeks ago (Colorado, by my count) and rides through Nationals. We actually start to see full teams and nearly-full teams. Strategies become more solidified. Roles become defined. Nothing is definitely good or bad, but results begin to carry weight in addition to the experience you gain. Everything before this was exhibition. Now we're in the preseason. Sectionals/Regionals is the season proper and Nationals is the playoffs.

That sets it up a number of ways, mentally. The exhibition season is just that. Sure, you use it for tryouts and all us competitive folk still play for the Ws, but no one cares by Monday morning. Once we get to the preseason, training camp is through and teams are making "internal cuts." That is, you can be on the roster, but that doesn't mean you play a large role. These are the tournaments when that really gets sorted out.

Once the season roles around, we know our roles and our strategies and our teammates, but we've never really put it all together, full force playing-for-keeps style yet. It is always at sectionals, while still a joke for most teams, that the high-level teams begin to prove it. Sectionals is where, if you play summer league, you'll be likely to see some league players who don't really know what the big difference between "club ultimate" and "summer league ultimate" is. That is, until they match up on those same club players that they covered effectively in summer league only to learn that resistance is futile. A club player surrounded by his teammates is 1000x more difficult to cover than he is in summer league. This is something that I have always been entertained to hear people ask: "Why is so-and-so on [Team X]? He doesn't seem that good to me." Because there's more to it than that. That's the best I can say.

And then the Playoffs. If you have not been to Nationals, you have not played high-level club ultimate. There, you get the very best of each of the very best teams in North America in every round. Every point is played at the highest level possible. Oh yeah, and its in Florida in October. I love it and I need to get back.

The experience is absolutely worth the effort.
Workout Total:
12 min Interval
10 min Wobble Board


HereWeGoAgain said...

Great post. I don't know about the Florida thing (hopefully yet) but the summer league vs club playing was great. I always get that from pickup when I'm walking around behind the disc throwing as far as possible every time it hits my hand. It's always fun to see any of them once it really matters. Thanks for a good read.

gapoole said...

How deep are you going in your tabata squats?

It's definitely true how much your teammates dictate your level of play. We have a great mix of individual battles and teamwork--not to be cheesy or anything. But the jump to up to club level is still surprising for me, even against lower-middle coed teams. Then again, any given Sunday...

Mackey said...

Is elite upper-body conditioning really necessary for ultimate?

I was thinking about this just the other day as I was doing conditioning and combined burpees/pushups (as part of one of the GPP workouts in Ross Enamait's Infinite Intensity) proved to be too much for me after a day of upper-body lifting--halfway through I shifted to just doing the lower body movements.

How much stress is the upper body really put through over the course of a tournament? Certainly throwing requires some contribution from the upper body, but what else? reaching for a disc on O or D? getting up after a layout?

Compare that to boxing/combat, which is what Ross' programs are designed for. The level of force generated necessitates great upper body endurance, but I'm skeptical that ultimate really needs it. We've all seen plenty of players with no upper body play damn well.

dusty.rhodes said...

squats: nearly full range of motion.

upper body: necessary? yes.

Things the upper body is used for: throwing, running, catching, jumping, laying out, dealing with physical opponents, pulling, marking, etc.

Personally, my shoulders and upper back are generally the sorest parts of my body after a tournament and almost always have been.

For a little more explanation, I don't lift weights any longer, so the upper body stuff that I do isn't focused on getting massive force production or anything. What I'm after is repeated force production and a general strength base such that whatever situation arises, I'm up to the challenge.

The other part of it is that I don't just play ultimate, y'know? I play other sports, I lift stuff, and all of that. To be strong (or at least not weak) in upper/lower/full body is to be better prepared for life, not just ultimate.

Actually, after doing most of hte pulling for Pike this weekend (and my Summer League team last weekend) I *know* that without a fit upper body I would have been unable to be effective over the course of a full day of ultimate.

At least that's the way I look at it.

Mackey said...

Really? Funny, I was going to cite how my upper body is never sore after a tournament as further evidence of the lack of necessity.

To each (body type/mechanics) his own, I suppose...

gapoole said...

Maybe I'm outside ordinary, but my range of motion takes me down until my hamstrings and calves touch, my butt almost on the floor. I asked because that seemed a little ridiculous to do as fast as possible. Agreed, though, the upper body is pretty essential for extended playing. Lots of pulling taxes the shoulders, you can tweak the back without balanced strength, etc.