Bring It In: The False Dichotomy of Fun vs. Competition

Stop sabotaging your team by putting "fun" and "competitive" on opposite ends of a spectrum.

UNC Wilmington Seaweed women's ultimate.
UNC Wilmington Seaweed. Photo: Kevin Leclaire —

Bring It In is a coaching-focused column by Keith Raynor.

From the macro- to the micro-level, individuals and groups in ultimate often come across the same issue: should the focus be on having fun or being competitive?

Ultimate journeys tend to start off fairly casually: a player begins playing at summer camp, a team forms from a group of pals, or a league expands from pickup games to give more organized playing opportunities. But then many players and teams progress in ability and desire to prove themselves. The player joins a team and wants to be one of the most valuable contributors. The team of pals gets frustrated with losing and starts to host practices. The top players in the new league push for structures that are more rewarding for stronger individuals.

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  1. Keith Raynor
    Keith Raynor

    Keith Raynor is a Senior Editor and the Business Development Manager at Ultiworld. He co-hosts our Deep Look podcast and does play-by-play and color commentary. He coaches UConn Rise, the college's women's team. You can reach him by email ( or on Twitter (@FullFieldHammer).


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