Monday, August 24, 2009
Posted by Hh
The captains elected to implement this new paradigm were Opie and Simon McNair, a mathematics grad student from Canada far older than anyone else on the team. He was set to play his fifth year of college disc that season until, shortly after the fall began, he learned that a change in the UPA's eligibility guidelines rendered him, sadly, ineligible. The rules before had established eligibility starting the moment you became a UPA member and for five years afterwards. The subtle change that year was that your clock started ticking when you joined the UPA or any other worldwide governing body of Ultimate. As a Canadian, he'd been a part of CUPA before joining the UPA, and that got 'im.
After a short bit of soul-searching he decided to stay on board with the team and act as our coach through the season. Being the most experienced and oldest, he guided that young team through the transitional phase from ragtag runners throwing the fris', to the disciplined national power the Hodags are today. He stuck around the following year as well, and he and Opie put the pieces in place one practice at a time.
It has come full circle for me now. Last week I spoke to the captains of this year's Hodags and they extended the offer to have me coach the team this year, in a role far more involved and critical than the advisory roles Muffin and I shared last year. I, of course, accepted.
My main duties will be planning and running practices and implementing team-wide concepts and strategies as directed by the team leadership. I expect that as the season progresses we will delineate our roles on the team more specifically, but I am mindful of their leadership and plan on limiting my role where I feel the captains and officers need to take charge. To put it another way, I think my main contributions will be in getting the team ready to play at a tournament, and then providing strategic adjustments in games, and their job will be to make sure the team is actually performing when it's go time. I am the study guide, they are the test-takers.
I'm incredibly excited at the opportunity. The styles of practice and leadership that I've been providing as captain of Madison Club have been well-received, and I feel like we're on track to do great things. I'm anxious to throw lumps of freshmen on my potter's wheel and build them up into a new generation of KM dominators, as mindful of sportsmanship as they are of fundamentals and hard work.
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