Last week we talked with Jenny Wei from Raleigh's Phoenix and this week we have reached out to some leaders in the USA College scene. UCSD's captains, Samantha Wool & Madison Tenney.
How are you communicating with your team, and what has the message been?
Since Stanford Invite, the team and the rest of the UCSD student body has been undergoing a series of changes in accordance with incoming public health measures. These have included online finals for Winter quarter, moving out on-campus residents, and hosting Spring classes entirely online. We’ve tried to be as transparent as possible with our A and B teams as to how these changes will affect our season. We’ve also emphasized that, while these changes may signify the end of our competitive season, we’re still unified as a team and are supporting each other through these especially uncertain times. Our focus is on team unity and cohesion, which will hopefully provide some sense of normalcy and comfort when it seems like so much else has changed. We mainly communicate via our team Google group, mass emails, and GroupMe, but we’ll be having team workouts/bonding over Zoom or similar methods.
How are you staying in shape? Any specific activities/exercises?
We’re hosting a workout competition appropriately named D-CoLympics, where each player can log their workout minutes. We used to use a point system, but given that everyone will have varying access to workout areas, we decided to measure in minutes and throws. We’ll also be hosting lots of Zoom workouts to keep the team connected throughout the quarter. Additionally, we’re trying to hold some bonding events and FFF, or “Food Frisbee Feminism,” meetings with the team to maintain our off-field development and cohesion.
Are you watching film? Any recommendations?
We plan on watching some film to break down what we could improve on from this year’s season. The game is constantly evolving and so while it's great that we have so much footage of other team's offensive and defensive strategies, we want to emphasize the importance of a strong foundation. We've so far done well in executing good fundamentals we want to continue to improve that aspect, especially with such a young team.
What kind of message would you send to athletes who are trying to stay motivated?
Improve your mental game. In our last season, we focused largely on increasing our mental toughness. This has become important now more than ever, but it’s also made us realize that there’s more to ultimate than what we do on the field. This is a chance/opportunity to improve the mental and strategic aspects of ultimate. This component is often overlooked in the college scene, but I think the success of our team is based on our good foundation of fundamentals and communication. In conjunction with building the mental aspect of the game, we are able to improve our depth during these times when we cannot physically see each other or work through things on the field. Focus on what you can control.
Anything else you want to voice?
There are other ways to keep the team connected than meeting up in person. We have been holding virtual team meetings to discuss various issues related to ultimate and college life and how these topics affect our team members.
Stay positive. We will get through this together as friends, as a team, and as a community. Don't be afraid to reach out to others and lean on each other for support. We will learn and grow as a group and come out stronger and closer.