Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Special Christmas Post

Merry Christmas everyone!

I wanted to share something that may be interesting to a number of you. I took some time to write down some questions for my parents to get an idea of what their perspective on ultimate looks like. My dad generously went through and answered them rather thoroughly, so I'm going to copy and paste the email below.
To me, these answers are a good way to see how Enigma (and the sport in general) looks to the parents who are sometimes on our sidelines.

1) What was your experience with ultimate before your kids became obsessed with the sport?    Mom knew nothing of the sport.  I actually did a presentation my freshman year of high school about Frisbee and it included ultimate as a game that can be played with a Frisbee.

2) Have you ever played ultimate? Before we started playing?     Yes, I played Ultimate at the youth group outing with you.  It was a pick up game and the rules were very relaxed.     Played in the Dayton league last summer. It was much more competitive and I really needed to be in better shape. I wish I  had played when I was running more.  No games prior to you three playing.

3) What do you think of the stereotypes (eg. hippies)?
     Mom did not know there were these stereotypes.  Now she is worried!    I knew of the stereotypes, but related it more to just the free-spirit of throwing the frisbee around.   We both have been more impressed by the character of players. Yes there is some colorful language and commentary, but that is pretty common in most adult sports.  We would not have allowed Chase to participate with the older guys if we felt they were a bad / negative influence.  I always tell others about the positive sense of community and sportsmanship to those who do not know the sport.

4) You both have been to some tournaments, what do you think of ultimate tournaments (regarding the teams, atmospheres, typical characters there)? Dad, how did this compare to going to the Revolution games for you?    We both enjoy the tournaments.  Most of them have a fun festive feel to them.  I really enjoy the camaraderie between teammates and even among teams.  It is also neat to see different personalities coming together; somewhat like animal house where everyone fits.  I wonder if that is true for all teams or not.  I could imagine there being some clique type (selective) teams where they only want “jocks’'.  Watching the Men’s club championship online seemed to show two teams that were made up strictly of the stereotypical athlete.  I could be wrong and I do not know the teams, but watching online I did not see all of the personalities that seemed to show up in the “local” tourneys.  
    The Revolution game had the feel of a minor league baseball game.  You knew that the teams had top line talent and there was a new level of seriousness that I had not seen in Enigma tournaments.  There was also a feel of being around celebrities (but they were approachable), whereas the tournaments that Enigma played in felt more like the good old softball tourneys I played in back in the day.  Everyone was playing to win, but to have a good time doing it.  5) What do you think of a college experience (and the selection of a school) possibly being impacted by his ultimate career?
    It will be interesting to see how colleges recognize ultimate teams in the future.  I am not sure how many high school players know of the college teams and their level of success.  We are fortunate that the college championships were here in the area.  It exposed U-16 and U-19 players to the teams and the level of play.  I suppose more experienced and talented younger players would want a college to have a club team and may be drawn to attend that college or a college with a nationally success team, but it really comes down to the programs / majors colleges offer.  That is until ultimate scholarships become part of the financial decision. 
6) Any final thoughts/comments?
    The commitment that many of the Enigma players have made to the growth of ultimate in the southwest Ohio region has been impressive.  It is great to see players reaching out to high schools to help coach and instruct players of all skills.  It would be awesome to even see some joint practices or teaching scrimmages.   Last of all a local tournament hosted by Enigma would be pretty cool to see. 

2014 was a big year for Enigma, I hope it was as fun for you all as it was for me. I'm looking forward to 2015! More news on what 2015 will look like in the coming month or so.

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