December 9, 2014 by Kyle Weisbrod in Analysis with 7 comments
As another year of Ultimate closes out, the sport continues its rapid evolution: semi-pro leagues, ESPN, multiple Ultimate dedicated media sources, the rise and fall of NexGen, and so much more that would have been just fanciful delusions when I began playing the sport twenty-one years ago. And as the sport changes, I’m making a change as well. For the past twelve years, I’ve written consistently for the USA Ultimate magazine.
Actually, when I first began writing, it was a newsletter. And USA Ultimate was the UPA. After a lot of thought, I’m switching venues and writing a column here at Ultiworld. While there are a lot of reasons for this move, the biggest one is the opportunity for interaction. Stimulating and participating in vibrant, meaningful discussion that helps advance the sport is at the heart of one of the biggest reasons I love Ultimate: it allows us to all have a say in the sport’s future.
My articles will cover a wide variety of areas including many topics that I covered in USA Ultimate such as Strategy and Tactics, Spirit of the Game, Ultimate in Society, Leadership, and Team Building. I also plan to write in other areas that are of interest to me including:
Program and Sport Building: Strategies that can ensure that your team and/or the sport itself are being intentionally built in ways that add value to the lives of participants while ensuring that it is sustainable over the long term.
Gender and Ultimate: How is gender equity important? What role should men in Ultimate be playing to support gender equity? And how do we address this difficult topic such that we can achieve our goals for the sport while also maintain this important value?
Language in Ultimate: So often language frames the way we think and how we tackle problems. In some cases, it prevents us from seeing problems or solutions altogether. With Ultimate language still young, where can our developing language improve?
Rules, Close Calls, and Observers: I’ll take a look at close calls on video and how the rules should have been applied. Beyond what outcome the rules dictate, I’ll also look at how we’d like the rules to work.
So, at this point the vision for the column is pretty broad. With articles only every two weeks, I may not get to some of these topics for a while. I’m definitely interested in feedback about what you’d like me to cover. But, when it comes down to it, I’m going to write on topics that are occupying my thoughts and that I’d like to put down on paper so I can move to another topic. Hopefully, you’ll find something you like in there.
Back when I started writing for the UPA, my column was called “Best Perspective.” At the time the column title was a tongue-in-cheek play on the rules and my own brash and self-certain twenty-three-year-old, fresh-out-of-college writing style. Unfortunately, my writing style hasn’t changed much over the years. So, I’ll be keeping the “Best Perspective” title.
Joking aside, I have been fortunate to have had a wide range of experiences in our still small world of Ultimate and learned a lot about Ultimate. When I write, my perspective comes from:
– Working five years for the UPA/USAU developing the Youth Programs including creating YCC, the HS Structure, and the Coach Development Program
– Serving three years on the UPA/USAU Board of Directors including helping lead the 2006/7 Strategic Plan and the 2010 College Competition Restructure
– Playing at all levels (league to Nationals-qualifying teams) in four major Ultimate communities
– Serving as an observer at the highest levels of the sport
– Working with Ultivillage, NexGen, CSTV, and CBS Sports on several USAU College and Club Championship broadcasts
– Coaching U10, High School, Youth Club, U19 National, and College teams for 10+ years in all gender divisions
– Obsessively reading almost every single thing ever written about Ultimate on RSD, Reddit, Ultiworld, Skyd, and countless other Ultimate-related sites and magazines over the past 20 years
But despite my self-assured writing style, I hope my columns will generate ideas, discussions, and actions. I hope that when I am bold or brash with an opinion, readers aren’t shy about challenging my take if they disagree with it. As long as the discussion remains respectful, I have no doubt that we will learn from each other and find ways to push the sport forward together.
Welcome to Best Perspective.