Chain Lightning's Jared Inselmann is looking to finish his Men's Division career with a bang.
October 15, 2014 by Preston Thompson in Profile with 5 comments
Earlier this year at the Pro Flight Finale, Atlanta Chain Lightning surprised many by defeating the Worlds gold and silver medalists, San Francisco Revolver and Seattle Sockeye, respectively. But before that, North Carolina Boneyard took home a World Championship in the Master’s Division in Lecco, Italy. Behind both of these feats was one Jared Inselmann.
Inselmann was first introduced to ultimate in a way so many are, through other sports. While at cross country camp, Inselmann played in a 12v12 game of Ultimate that he called “absolute chaos, but absolute fun.” It got serious when Inselmann enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania. “By the end of high school, I was getting a little burnt out on all the miles and accepted that I would be a pretty average collegiate runner,” he said. “Also, having played various sports my whole life, I was eager to get back to something a little more team-oriented and curious to try out something new.”
That was in 1999. Inselmann helped lead the University of Pennsylvania’s Void to 2001 Nationals, later returning to Nationals in 2003. He finished his college career with UNC Darkside, catapulting him into a decorated career.
After a short stint with the then long-standing Philadelphia men’s team Rage, Inselmann — originally from Chapel Hill — moved back to North Carolina and began playing for Raleigh’s club, Ring of Fire. In an eight year career in North Carolina, he pursued his love for Ultimate on multiple fronts. Beyond co-captaining Ring, he took up coaching. He led the UNC women’s team, Pleiades, in 2006, and the men’s team, Darkside, in 2007 and 2008.
Coaching was a good fit for Inselmann, seeing as the most dangerous part of his game is his brain. “I truly enjoy the cerebral parts of the game and looking for patterns in play,” he said. “I have fun studying film, scheming offensive and defensive looks, and talking about the growth and future of the ultimate over beers.” And it doesn’t stop there.
“Just for kicks, I even developed the a skeleton business plan for a professional league around seven years ago,” he mentioned. Talk about future looking.
His analytical leanings are put to use off the field as well. Over the past 12 years, his main occupational pursuits have been strategic planning and process improvement. Simply put, he makes things work better. That thinking worked well for Chain this year, as their offensive efficiency and defensive tenacity lead them to the ninth overall seed at the upcoming National Championships in Frisco, Texas. At his work, he loves explaining to co-workers what he does on the weekends. “It was pretty cool because I definitely got a bunch of high fives from my colleagues coming back from Italy with gold,” he said.
After such a long career, Inselmann has seen the sport grow in ways that most players haven’t. “Interestingly enough, explaining the sport to my colleagues is a lot easier now than it was 10 years ago,” he said. “It’s pretty awesome that the awareness of the sport has so noticeably increased. I give a lot of credit to [USA Ultimate]’s targeted growth strategy and the emergence of the professional leagues as all great positives for the sport!”
Inselmann recently told Ultiworld that this would be his last year playing in the Men’s Division. “I look forward to playing ultimate for years to come, but find it harder to make the investment I expect of myself and my teammates to play in the Open Division. I anticipate this year to be my last season of Open.” However, Inselmann is far from the end of his career. In fact, he was just selected to represent the United States in the upcoming WFDF Beach Championships in Dubai. On top of that, he will lead a strong Chain Lightning team into Nationals later this month.
And he certainly wants to go out on top: “Chain’s end goal is to win a championship.”
That could be tough. This season, Chain’s biggest challenge on the field has been themselves. “We have played several games with low focus and/or energy and proven that we are not good enough to beat teams without that mental and emotional investment,” Inselmann said. But if they can focus that tenacious defense, and keep the offense consistent, it’s possible that he could finish his career with yet another piece of hardware.