What has been your experience being out of country during pre-season?
This preseason has been weird for me, receiving team updates and emails, and knowing that I won’t be there at tournaments and everything because I don’t get back to the States until right before Christmas. The last two years, ultimate has been my refuge from school, work, or whatever else may be going on, so it was weird to be separated from the team this preseason. Being away has just made me that much more anxious to get back and be working with the team instead of working outside of CHI ultimate.
Are you concerned with having any trouble with cohesion for fall?
I have been trying to put in work while I have been away from the team this season. I was able to practice with a team called Lucky Grass in Moscow that had players go to the Worlds tournament in Italy this past summer. The playing style was different, and it was the indoor season, so a lot of the throwing I did was vertical, rather than the usual flat, horizontal throws that we throw during the outdoor season, but it was good to be able to throw and work on individual skills in practice that would have been hard to work on by myself. Since I wasn’t able to hit the gym like everybody else during the preseason, I did a lot of bodyweight exercises on my own. More than once my roommate had to step around me while I was doing some sort of workout. I know that I won’t have the reps for our system that everybody else has, but I spent a lot of time watching high-level ultimate film from nationals and championship play that I think has cognitively improved my game, and will help me contribute to the team.
How have you stayed a part of the team while living out of the country?
Staying part of the team was one of the hardest things while I was away, I would email coach occasionally and ask questions and messaged a few of the guys on the team, as well as trying to keep tabs with guys on social media, but honestly it was hard to be away from the
brotherhood that is CHI ultimate these past three months.
Why are you anxious/excited to get back to CHI? What is it about the team that makes you want to be among the players, at the practices, or with the coaches?
CHI feels like home for me. The expression uses the word blood, sweat, and tears, and I am sure that I have shed all three with my teammates and coaches throughout my time as a CHI player. I have become a better player, and a better person as a result of the time and work I have put in with fellow CHI members. I think that being back on the field is what “coming home to America” really means for me.
What are your expectations for the team this year?
Work. My biggest expectation for this upcoming year is to have everybody on the team work before, during, and after we are on the field, so that our on field play is maximized. I think that we have the tools, a system, and the mental capacity to be better than anybody expects us to be, or even than we expect ourselves to be. Our team has fun, but we spell fun with four letters, W-O-R-K. I expect to have a lot of fun this season and because I am on a team where I trust my guys to do their job and they trust me to do mine. I guess I should amend my previous statement; we spell fun C-H-I, CHI!