Coaches’ Corner: Four Kinds Of Tournaments And How To Prepare For Them [Pt. 2]

Ramping up for the most important tournaments of the season.

Texas's Domenica Sutherland at the 2017 College Championships.
Texas’s Domenica Sutherland at the 2017 College Championships. Photo: Taylor Nguyen —

This article is part of the Coaches’ Corner series from UMass coaches Tiina Booth and Russell Wallack. See every article in the series here.

Not all tournaments are created equal, and your preparation for each should be decidedly different. Russell and I realize that we are in the enviable spot of not having to worry about earning a bid for our region. We are also very lucky to get into almost every tournament that we apply to. That has not always been the case, however, and may not be true in the future. No matter what kind of team we are coaching or playing on, the following questions have always loomed large.

  • How do we give our new players an authentic way to develop and grow?
  • How do we create one team out of players with many different levels of skill and experience?
  • How do we balance team-wide growth with the desire to win?
  • How do we reward those players who are more committed and talented than others?
  • How do we prepare for peaking at the right time?

While our answers to these questions will not work for all teams, we hope this analysis and discussion will help your team in some way. Take what is useful and build your own template for the season. No matter what your template looks like, rely on strong communication and consistency as the entire team builds a way for each player to succeed.

We went through the first two kinds of tournaments — Developmental and Informational — in Part One. We continue this week with Rehearsal and Performance tournaments.

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  1. Tiina Booth
    Tiina Booth

    Tiina Booth is the founder and director of the National Ultimate Training Camp, as well as an assistant coach for the University of Massachusetts women. She founded the Amherst Invitational in 1992 and co-founded Junior Nationals in 1998. In 2006, she published a book about ultimate with Michael Baccarini, entitled Essential Ultimate. She has coached teams to numerous national and international titles. Her ongoing passion is running sports psychology seminars for coaches and players, mainly through the Global Ultimate Training School, which she founded in 2020. More info can be found at was inducted into the Ultimate Hall of Fame in October 2018.

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