Under the Tent [June 18, 2024]

In our new coaching column, top coaches offer advice for reader-submitted questions. For the second edition, they tackle starting strong from the first warm-up and tying together your outcome goals and pursuit of them.

Isaac Saul pumps up the New York PoNY huddle. Photo: Jeff Bell -- UltiPhotos.com
Isaac Saul pumps up the New York PoNY huddle. Photo: Jeff Bell — UltiPhotos.com

This article is presented by the National Ultimate Training Camp! Learn the game and build relationships that last a lifetime with players from all over the country and beyond. More info at www.NUTC.net

The hub of activity at the National Ultimate Training Camp is our large centralized tent. Our trainer, counselors and staff live there for seven hours every day, sometimes joined by campers, parents and ex-staff who visit with their toddlers. The tent is busy, often messy and sometimes magical.

Over the years, this common space has morphed into a sort of think tank, or think tent, if you will. When you gather people who dearly love our sport, and who constantly are thinking about ultimate minutiae as well as the big picture, good ideas are bound to form. The tent has been the birthplace of the Ultimate Coaches and Players Conference, 99 Days of Ultimate Women and the Global Ultimate Training School, as well as untold articles for Ultiworld.

We now invite Ultiworld subscribers to join us under the tent. Send us your questions and we will find one of our tent dwellers to answer them every month. Sometimes we will have more than one answer, as we don’t always agree about everything under the tent, just like in the real world of ultimate.

Have a coaching conundrum? Submit a question to Under the Tent.

If you would like to contact us directly, our email is [email protected].

Warming Up Successfully

Our team (D-1 College Men’s Division) consistently starts slow the first half of each day at tournaments, on Saturdays and Sundays both. Drops, throwing errors, and especially slower defense all show up like we aren’t ready to play full speed. It happens against strong teams and weak teams. We’ve tried adding more activities and time to warmups, shortening the time but increasing intensity of movements and activities, more and less 7-on-7 reps, replacing with mini and/or endzone reps, letting players have free time to warm up what they need, playing music or doing quiet focused throwing, but nothing has worked well. By the end of halftime in our first game of each day, we seem to be past it but that first half feels sleepy and lazy. Do you have any tips to help make sure players are really read to play?

Tim Bobrowski on Warming Up Successfully

Your players need to take some accountability for their slow starts. The problem isn’t the physical side of warm-up; it’s the mental side! Their trying out different types of warm-ups is less important than actually taking the warmups seriously and understanding the goal of preparing for competition. I suggest holding a team meeting where they do three things: 1) write/talk about what they are thinking about during warm-ups; 2) decide what their goal or goals are for warm-ups; 3) state one thing they will do to achieve those goal(s) individually or for the team.

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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 www.NUTC.net.Tiina was inducted into the Ultimate Hall of Fame in October 2018.

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