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.

Friday, November 21, 2014


Enigmen and Enigma fans,

Happy Holiday season! I figured it was time to put an end to the drought of blog posts on the Enigma page. You can look forward to a few more in the coming month or so as there are some news items that might be sort of important to our weird little community.

This post is mainly regarding our offseason improvement and the things we can do next season to be better as teammates and as a whole team. I've been working harder, earlier, this offseason to continue getting better. For example; despite not being in college, I played three college tournaments and joined Columbus league for the first time this year. It's important that we keep touching a disc (every day if possible).

Beyond just playing though, doing things to improve your athleticism is huge. Get in the weight room, go for runs, eat better; these are the things that great players tend to do and is the reason they are great. Let's put in the work now so that everything is easier in the summer!

Fudge sent this over today, and I think it's worth reading. He sent it out to Steamboat after reading about the psychology of climbing or something. I know it's hard to take him seriously with that haircut, but trust me when I say this stuff is quality:
  • Adjusting how we give and receive feedback. When providing feedback try to identify suggestions or possibilities to improve upon rather then telling or commanding the individual on what should be done. Also, know going into this we are all working together for the common goal of success on the field. Someone pointing out a suggestion is not a personal attack, it's them caring enough about you to want you to improve. As each individual improves, the TEAM progresses as well. We all put in the work, let's try to get the most out of each other. 
  • Self Handicapping - rationalizing a lack of effort or performance to set your or other expectations lower. Think about a time on the field where you've said or thought something like "Woah, this chick/dude is way better than me. So if I don't get open this point, that's why". This ties back to ego and acceptance. We want people to like us and to be accepted, and we feel like we lose that if we get embarrassed. Setting expectations lower reduces that embarrassment and protects our shitty egos, but at the expense of living up to our self fulfilling prophecy of poor performance. 
  • Fear of Failure - when we do fail, it's super common for the individual to blow out of proportion the magnitude others care about the failure. Making mistakes sucks. But it's fucking inevitable. Everyone does it, but we can adjust how react to failure, both as the individual who made the mistake, and as supportive team mates. Let's say you've got a cutter on their way in, they cut break, you see the lane and you've got space, but when you step out throw your wrist angles ever so slightly down and you turf it. Immediately your head drops. RIGHT HERE is where we start to fix this. YOUR reaction to failure is suggesting you want others to sympathize with you, console you, and prevent you from feeling left out of this group. It's OK to fail! You've learned something from it. Be the person who uplifts others rather than puts them down. 
  • Performance Anxiety - this plagues us on universe point. This eats at us when we are stepping onto the line for the first time against a team that appears to be all studs. Instead of looking across the field and having a panic attack over how good this team might be, slow your roll! Take a deep breath and focus on what immediate things you can do to help the other 6 people on the line with you. Identify where you'll be forcing the cutter so you can make a play on the disc, know that you can be chill with the disc once you get it, then make the smart decision and clear.Focus on these small steps rather than "I've got to score a goal this point!". Focus on the progress rather than the result. 

So take these things into consideration with your college teams, league teams, the Revolution; whoever you're playing with right now and they can carry over to Enigma when we start back up. It's not even Thanksgiving and I am already missing our 90 degree practices.

Last thing. If you didn't see, the Revolution are having 2 more open scrimmage type things and then their combine. If you have any desire to play for the Rev this year I highly recommend going out. Even if you don't want to play for the Rev, it's good ultimate and you'll get a chance to play with referees if I'm not mistaken.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Up Next: Regionals

We are just over one week away from the culmination of all the work put in over the course of the last 4.5 months. The Great Lakes Regional Tournament is next weekend, and everything Enigma has set our sights on achieving is getting oh so close.

After a fifth place finish at Sectionals in Versailles, Enigma will be headed to Regionals seeded in the middle of the pack and ready to make memories in West Chester. We are excited for the chance to play the best teams that Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan have to offer, and we are glad to once again be a part of it.

Time for an Enigma history lesson!

This is the fifth time that Enigma has qualified for Regionals. The 2014 team's fifth place finish at Sectionals may be the worst Sectionals finish for Enigma since 2009, but this team lost only two games last weekend and played the toughest competition very close. Take a look at the Enigma history:

Enigma 2014

With two practices left in the season, every touch and every throw counts toward better performance next weekend. Enigma players should be preparing their bodies for the best competition they've seen all year and readying themselves to play their best ultimate at the right time.

The 2014 team has a chance to make a real name for Dayton Ultimate. This year was quite the change from last year, but Enigma still has the opportunity to do big things this weekend. Nothing is sweeter than ruining a tournament for another team. As a middle of the pack seed, we have the chance to do that. With an eye on the future, Enigma should push to finish as high as possible next weekend so that new opportunities may open up next season. ZERO ZERO