Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Lines Drawn

Continuing to respond to Anon's questions...

2) Technical question. How do you call lines? I'm not asking about your line calling strategy, but what method you use to do it. I've watched McCarthy coach Ironside and it seems like he just uses a small strip of paper with peoples names. From what I've seen of you coaching, it seems like you prefer this method as well. Why do you use this way instead of something like a clipboard that allows you to keep track of points played and other stats? Do you have someone else keeping track of things like that? Any other methods that you've tried?
Hodag Kyle Geppert's father designed a statistics app specific for Ultimate for iphones and ipads, and we use it to keep track of playing time and general stats. Players take turns being responsible for a point's stats, and they rotate turns per game. I have a spreadsheet I made specific to my needs, and the top portion has the names of all the players healthy at the tournament. They are organized by handlers and cutters, by O-line and D-Line, and players from each line that can fill in anytime on the opposite side of the disc. I do this using a table with cells that are shaded different gradients to designate each of these options. Aside from this, in meetings with the officers we design lines of players that have good chemistry for specific situations, such as upwind, must-break, must-hold, etc. I use this coach's sheet to guide my choice from point to point, and i have a rough calculation of points played that ends up reflecting the app's numbers within my margin of error.

In my years on Bravo we organized into small pods of similarly styled players that organized their own playing time in loose fashion, and we communicated often enough to know when to defer, in critical moments, to the team's studs and veterans. We've done this on the Hodags on few occasions, but usually at preseason tourneys. It generally doesn't work as well on a college team than it does on an experienced club team like Bravo; that's not because players overestimate themselves and can't share, but because it takes years of experience to get a feel for the timing of a full game experience, by which I mean how much you've played in relation to others, percentage of total points, complete performance during the game, etc. This makes it difficult to be able to self-assess mid-game and adjust your playing time accordingly. There are some college players that can do this, but it works much better on a team of veterans who have years feeling out the game's subtle texture.


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