This Season; A Handler's Perspective; Matt Delange
December 23, 2014
I am so excited for BYU Ultimate this year! I feel like our team, with a lot of the same guys as last year, is really different from last year. This year’s team is full of guys who have the mentality of “team first.” There is not one guy on the time who would put themselves before the team, and that is an incredible trait to have! This year’s team is different in the sense that we have a system, an offense and a defense, that every guy on the team has bought into and has committed to running. The guys don’t care about personal stats or accolades, but we care about running the system flawlessly. If we do that we all know the success we can have, and I think that plays into what I am most excited about for this semester. I am so psyched for the trust we have in our system and our fellow teammates. Cody Simmons and I handle a lot, which means that we often run and direct the offense and the disc. There is not a doubt in my mind that Cody will always be there to bail me out if I get in trouble, and likewise that I will be in a position to help him. I know where he is most likely to cut and I know where he is most likely to place his throws. I can throw to that space and run to where I know he wants me without us having to wait on each other to do it. This just burns the defense! This trust between players is a huge advantage not only with the mushy team bonding stuff you know, but also with our actual playing. I can throw the disc faster and I can make my cuts faster because I trust my teammates will be in the right spot. I don’t often have to spend several seconds evaluating the field before I throw the disc because I know they will cut to the space I need them to cut to. I can make a brief look, decision and throw the disc to that space. Those extra seconds are crucial for the team, flow and momentum. This system and trust in both the players and the system is one of our biggest strengths and something I am super excited for.
That trust also extends to the off season. I trust my teammates to be the best physical condition that they can be; I demand that of myself and of them. That conditioning has to happen in the off season, because you don’t have time to condition during the season. During the off season there are three big areas that I personally work on, and expect my teammates to work on as well. I work on endurance, specific strength training, and my vertical. These three areas are big areas to Ultimate players. Going to the gym and busting out 250 pounds on the bench press is cool and all, but if it isn’t specified to what you need in Ultimate, combined with running, it is not going to help a lot on the field. I would specify my workouts to increase my leg strength (which translates to explosive speed), develop my core strength (which helps with balance and throws), strengthen my endurance running and conditioning (obvious), and increase my verticality and jumping ability(another pretty obvious benefit). Going to the gym and track to tailor your workouts to what you need to improve on the field will make a lot more of a difference than hitting up the tanning booth and bicep curls.