Sunday, August 21

The Object of the Game

Is not to advance X yards

To score a goal.

The object of the game
Is a disc.

Should we call the game



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Sunday, August 14

Um Yes [All Coaches&Captains READ THIS]

Practice&Drill Progression

Broken Down.

Get it?

Stop doing drills you can't explain w/r/t the way the game is actually played w/in the context of your team's strategy while keeping in mind the in-pre-game-scouting when speaking of familar opponents/situations.

Twitter may ruin florid language. Are we turning in carnations of Hemingway? Fuckall.
Or just a different direction? Positively #Hedbergian #OneLineNonSequitur

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Saturday, August 13

Team Splits

Back in the Pike-day

We would do all sorts of weirdly-split scrimmages (and sometimes small-sided games later in practice) to 3/5/7/dependsonpracticegoals/whatever just after warmups.

As I read this:

Event no. 5: Another full-court game to 60, although I can't decide on the right matchup. Some possible candidates: UConn alumni vs. Florida alumni; Big East alumni vs. Pac 10 alumni; tattooed guys vs. nontattooed guys; high school diplomas vs. left-college-more-than-a-few-credits-short guys; under 6 feet vs. over 7 feet; registered Republicans vs. registered Democrats; a pickup game in which Grant Hill and Jalen Rose pick teams; Euros vs. South Americans; and Players Whose Penises Have Appeared on a Sports Blog vs. Players Whose Penises Have Not Appeared on a Sports Blog.

(from Bill Simmons on

I'm reminded of my favorite. No, not "Most recent sexual experience" as explained by some goofy giant Boston Hall of Famer on Above & Beyond. Or the ever-popular "Smart vs Dumb". We had a (now-)PhD in fucking Robotics on the dumb team for crissakes. Not even "Men v Boys" or "Over vs Undernourished" or "Style"

but "Good vs Evil."

Splitting your team this way by having the team decide is usually fun to be a part of and tells you more about your teammates than you could else wise learn. Who is good? Who pretends to be good because they're so evil? Who pretends to be evil to make being good easy? Who is the principle voice in the discussion? How could this not be a great time?

And then you get to play Good vs Evil. This is good.

The way everyone acts in this game. The roles that people assume as players. The way they react to boxes and being put in them. What kinds of cues are these folks all sending out w/r/t the context?


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Wednesday, August 3

"I'm Not Fast"

Is what I would constantly tell players

when they said that they couldn't keep up with me in practices/games. I certainly gave it my all in drills/conditioning/etc, but pure speed? I don't think I've ever won a sprint on any team in any sport. I doubt I've ever been in the top 25% in terms of speed on any team. Even at NYU playing ultimate, I was far from "fast" when compared to the team.

This, however, is very different from being *usefully* fast.

There are two ways to look at this, and the first is epitomized by this clip. How fast is Michael Vick? He's one step faster that you. Here, he's one step faster than two Vikings who end up *tackling each other* just after running through a group of THREE defenders just a few steps previously. Same with this DeSean Jackson clip. The key is at 42 seconds. As Jackson and the DB come into view, the Redskins DB is actually closer to where the ball lands than DeSean. Then, as the astute announcer intones, Jackson accelerates. Yes, these guys are fast, and yes, their 40 times prove as much. But the key is that they get into truly high gear when presented with an obstacle or opponent. No sprint can test this.

For an ultimate example, Jeff Ho, a fellow NYU alum, has caught discs up in the air that he had no right getting. As someone who's played multiple sports and always marveled at guys who can jump out of the gym, I know Jeff was getting up to 10' on some of these catches (in his younger days). However, in the gym before/after/during indoor practices, he couldn't get anywhere near touching the basketball rim. In fact, it often looked like he had never jumped before and was figuring out the mechanics of each step in the approach. Then we'd play indoor mini and Jeff would just ROOF people at what was very obviously a height equal to the rim.

Game-skills are different than testable skills.

The second, and far more interesting, sense of game speed is explained beautifully by Alan Jacobs below:

Extreme anticipatory awareness reduces the need for speed. In his best years you hardly ever saw Cannavaro at a full sprint: when his teams were on the pitch everyone’s focus would be other players who were moving around and obviously doing things, and then Cannavaro would just be there—as though he had gotten to his position by materializing rather than running.

For an ultimate example, there was this Philly player called Ringo. He wasn't fast or tall. He still claims to be unable to throw. But goddamnitall, there would be 2+ occassions every weekend in which he would be playing defense and then, suddenly, the other team would be throwing the disc to him. It was and still is one of the most inexplicable things I've seen on the field. And it happened with regularity against all levels of teams. He was fond of saying "I've gotten more out of my body than any other player." Not to agree, because that might make his head get too swole-up... but damn.

I'm not sure this was ever true of me as a player, even for a moment. I don't have the sense of timing on defense that Cannavaro had. I don't have the nose for the D that Ringo had. All that said, if I could have one compliment given me as a player, it would be that I "materialized rather than ran."

Even if it is a total lie.

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That's Right

I DO wear longsleeves in the heat

and I don't drink tons of water.

Maybe I'm not as crazy as you think.

Seemed pertinent after the annual total exhaustion event that is Wildwood.

Speaking of WW, I finally didn't play two divisions and just walked into the water btw rounds. That was awesome. I also, for the first time at WW, played on a team which totally lacked any form of belligerence. Which was a boon to my mental well-being.

Finally, huge ups to Shelley for a wonderful Saturday dinner.

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