College, AUDL and Club Ultimate Player; Seokhee Burningham
January 21, 2015
Shortly summarize the different levels of Ultimate you've played.
This past year gave me a unique opportunity to play with three teams of different levels. I began the year 2014 by playing on the collegiate level with BYU through April. Midway through the college season in February, I joined the local AUDL semi-pro team, Salt Lake Lions, and played with them through July. In May, I tried out for Utah Powderhogs, which at that time was a Select Flight team in the USA Ultimate Club Division. My season with the Powderhogs ended in late August, and with that I wrapped up my eight long months of three continuous, overlapping, competitive ultimate season.
What do you appreciate about BYU's system?
The most significant thing that I appreciated from my 2014 season with BYU was the team’s emphasis on defensive fundamentals. My time with BYU Ultimate’s system has helped me internalize that discipline and practice good habits of scrappy, foundational, blue-collar defense. By nailing down the defensive fundamentals with BYU, I was able to join the Lions and the Powderhogs and quickly adapt to their defensive scheme and make an immediate contribution. So in a way, BYU Ultimate has set the grounds for me to begin mastering the fundamentals of the sport and has prepared me to play at higher levels.
What struggles did you have with mental fatigue and how did you overcome them?
Playing eight straight months of competitive ultimate did take a toll on my mental capacities. With each commitment for the respective teams, I knew that the extension of my competitive season meant that I’d have to monitor my lifestyle closely in order to avoid burning out. Looking back, I can honestly tell you that playing three consecutive competitive seasons made it difficult to peak at the right time for each of them. I felt like I had to hold myself back to only produce an equal level of mediocre performance for each season, as opposed to maximizing my potential for one or two of them. There was nothing I could really do about it other than to rest and take time off of ultimate. Experiencing this sort of mental fatigue gave me an insight on the importance of enjoying a dedicated time of off-season if you are looking to excel to your maximum potential during your actual season.