This past weekend, I played in a fun one day hat tournament. There were grizzled veterans and fresh faced newbies, players who have been chasing plastic for 20+ years playing alongside some who have been for fewer than 20 days.
These tournaments can bring out some of the best and worst in Ultimate players. So often we hear of new players, especially girls, who are excited to play with and learn from veterans leaving at the end of the day frustrated because they didn’t feel like part of the team. Too often we hear about these negative experiences, and it is avoidable.
My 13 Yellow Team teammates were a good mix of newer and more experienced players. Among us there were five of us with real coaching experience, and a couple for whom this was their first time playing real games on a full sized field. We started out the day slowly, but built up our team and were finally able to notch a win in our final game of the day. While a 1-3 record (a 3 way tie for 3rd out of 5) wasn’t the stuff dreams are made of, I think I can honestly say that everyone in yellow enjoyed themselves, learned something, and made new friends. A large part of that was due to how our veterans approached the newer players. Continue reading
I wrote a post after camp last summer about answering the question “how was camp?” I wrote about how impossible of a question that was to answer; I wrote about how the response could not be given in casual conversation and it pained me to continue into anything less than a heartfelt dialogue.
I’ve often been told that I possess a sort of “all-or-nothing” disposition… from silly things like editing the same paper upwards of five times to getting sick with never just one malady at a time (gotta get them all out of the way at once) to buying the entirety of a favorite author’s works, to writing blog posts that are far too long. It’s a blessing and a curse; it’s something I love about myself and it’s the thing that burns me out. It’s my greatest pride and my greatest fear. It’s what excites me about knowing that there are endless opportunities to understand new cultures and communities, to speak new languages, and to interact with people from all over the world who can open my mind and heart. But it limits me because I cannot be at peace unless I am moving, seeing, doing, giving, and receiving. I want more than anything to be out there, learning from the world and its people, but there is a college degree waiting for me and without it, I will not be as free as I wish to be. Continue reading
For the past several months, I have been living in Israel. The majority of my time I spent studying abroad with Alexander Muss High School in Israel (AMHSI), along with 29 American and Canadian teenagers. While we spent Sunday through Friday morning in school, Saturday was generally our day off or “Open Shabbat”, and an opportunity to go off campus to visit friends and relatives around the country.
Luckily for me, I had many friends in Israel, all of whom I met through Ultimate Peace (UP), an organization that brings together Israeli Jewish, Arab Israeli, and Palestinian youth through the sport of ultimate frisbee. At the end of my study abroad program, I would be staying on in Israel to participate in UP as a CIT (coach in training) for a second summer. Needless to say, I was excited to see my friends and visit them in their cities and villages. Continue reading