With one-on-one coaching and a wealth of resources, could UAP Premium help take your game to the next level?
November 12, 2019 by Zakk Mabrey in Review, Sponsored with 0 comments
Disclosure: Ultiworld was compensated for writing this product review. All opinions are the reviewer’s own and are not subject to approval from the UAP.
Since the inception of the Ultimate Athlete Project (UAP) and UltyResults, Melissa Witmer has been working to provide quality training access to athletes across the world. From Ultimate Athlete Project’s dynamic strength and conditioning program, to the URCA conference videos, and much more, plenty has become available thanks to the programming work done by these ultimate athlete services.
The newest venture of UAP, Ultimate Athlete Project Premium, gives more in-depth opportunities to athletes through unprecedented access to personalized coaching. Through connections with top-level coaches and athletes with a wide variety of specializations throughout the sport of ultimate, this program provides a unique experience, unlike any other in the evolving world of ultimate training.
Although I was only able to access the programming for a couple weeks, I was able to talk to coaches and athletes who have been involved in the programming for longer, and poke through all of the offerings. Overall, I left very impressed with what’s available, and confident that participating in the program for longer would leave me as a better athlete, both on and off the ultimate field.
Putting the ‘Me’ in ‘Premium’
First and foremost, Ultimate Athlete Project Premium grants players access to the standard UAP programming that has become so well known throughout the ultimate community. This alone is worth an investment, as you get sport-specific workouts, complete with strength, speed, quickness, and conditioning activities for every phase of your season. Combine that with tons of video footage modules from elite coaches and athletes, compiled from the URCA conferences, and you’ve got a trove of ultimate-specific lessons, from fitness to forehands. Premium, however, grants the unique opportunity to gain one-on-one access to top coaches and individual coaching, who take the time to help you through on-field problems and questions you may have.
“The coaching is personalized based on my wants and needs,” says Vinai Charoenwongsawang, an athlete already using UAP Premium. “All the calls really focused on my needs so I worked on those things and reached back out to the coaches if I had any questions or issues. I improved dramatically as a defender and a thrower.”
My time in the program began with filling out a couple of forms about myself as a player, my goals, and my struggles. These forms forced me to think uniquely about myself, asking thought provoking questions that helps to build the base for the next step: an onboarding call with Melissa Witmer herself. Our virtual meeting was a unique experience, and definitely provided some personalization. During the roughly 30-minute call, Melissa and I discussed all aspects of my playing, and she was able to make some recommendations on what I can do to improve. Those came down to two main coaching points outside of the weight room: throwing (as I wanted to maximize my hucking ability) and mental toughness (as I work my way back from injury). Melissa and other coaches took advantage of these preparatory questions and discussions to help build a program tailored for me.
“The first thing I need to figure out is what level of ultimate they are playing and what level they are ready to get to,” says Jenny Fey, one of the Premium coaches. “I hate the idea of giving information or tips that they already know, so figuring out where we’re starting from is key. And then of course there is usually a specific area they want to focus on which I ask a little more about. Usually, as I start to outline some ideas for the conversations, I realize I have more questions to ask that will narrow things down, but I wait until we’re talking to see what path we really need to go down. Athletes tend to feel that something specific is impeding them, but they don’t always know the underlying cause of the impediment.”
Paying Close Attention
My initial conversation helped Melissa to create my individualized action plan to improve as a player, complete with workout planning and skills training. Outside of the athletic plans for improvement, Melissa gave me three coaches for skills development, planned in monthly coaching calls, as well as additional filmed resources. Colin McIntyre worked with me on throwing form, Anna Rogacki tackled mental toughness in workouts and daily habits, and Nick Spiva added some handler movement tweaks.
I took the opportunity to talk throwing with McIntyre first. Colin is probably as close to a throwing expert as there can be in the ultimate community, having spent countless hours filming, photographing, and talking to throwers of all types. With his collection of photographs and slow-motion videos of throwers, he has seen just about everything in terms of throwing forms, and uses that to help diagnosing throwing problems.
In my time talking to Colin, we discussed every aspect of throwing form, from foot placement, to hip engagement, and grip. Not only did my coach provide insightful information, but he backed each of our discussion points with real examples of throwers, and the mechanics they use to become successful. Throughout the entire conversation, Colin felt actively engaged, and was willing to talk through all of my desired aspects of throwing mechanics, and truly dedicated to helping me perform on the field.
A unique aspect that I, unfortunately, did not get to take advantage of, is video diagnostic of my throwing form. By sending in videos of your throwing form, the throwing coaches UAP Premium provides are able to help diagnose problems in your throwing form. By getting your throwing form looked at, you can be shown videos of players with similar throwing forms, find parts of your throwing form that could use improvement, and overall maximize your throwing potential.
Throwing isn’t the only coaching aspect that the program provides. Others I talked to have had coaching from players like Brett Matzuka, Robyn Fennig, Jenny Fey, Alex Davis, and John Randolph, just to name a few. These athletes provide coaching on a wide array of topics, coming in areas varying from mental toughness, disc delivery, and instinctual skills.
You Can Learn What You Don’t Know
Thanks to an enormous reach to players and coaches, Melissa Witmer is able to provide coaches for just about anything you need as an athlete, and find ways to help you improve. She takes the time to discuss your goals, weaknesses, and opportunities as a player, to best help you gain improvement both on and off the field. Athletes who have been using the program have already seen improvements.
“[I am] definitely better on defense, both athletically and positioning,” says Jordan Becquer, another athlete in UAP Premium. “Alex Davis and I had two or three calls where we spent a lot of time just drawing up handler defense sets and talking about where the best place to be is at certain times. I’ve never sat down and done that before, it’s usually just ‘I’m lined up here because that’s where I always line up to play handler D.’ I can attribute at least two blocks at sectionals from playing closer and keeping my hips open, which is something I focused on hard going into that weekend.”
Overall, Ultimate Athlete Project Premium is building a unique opportunity for player growth beyond the weight room. Through personalized access to one-on-one coaching, players are able to discover, target, and improve specific aspects of their game in a way that no other program is able to offer. A wide range of access to athletes throughout the sport allows for nearly any ultimate struggle to be addressed.
Paying a Premium
Ultimate Athlete Project Premium has been set at a price of $125/Month. The access to coaches who are invested in helping you to improve on the field is a one-of-a-kind opportunity that no other programming currently has to offer, and these coaches will help you to think about the game in new ways that will help you to improve on the files. Thinking about other, traditional forms of training, how much would you pay for access to a personal trainer at the gym? When looking at it from that point of view, that investment seems well worth it.
If you are a player on the verge of going from mid-level to high-level ultimate, this is a program that is probably worth your investment. With access to all of the athletic training, an extensive library of resources to learn from, and access to elite coaches and players to learn from at your fingertips, there is no way you can use this program and not improve. I thoroughly believe that the best way to improve is by talking to people who are better than you about why they are better than you, and UAP Premium gives you access to do just that.
But be aware that there is limited time to sign-up and space available — only 17 slots remained as of the morning of publication. If you think it might be right for you, check it out and sign-up today.