Playing ultimate frisbee is some of the most fun I have ever had. There is something special about team sports.
Before I discovered ultimate I was pretty uninterested in sport. I played a bit of badminton and loved cross country, more than happy to run around. I like to joke my dad never showed me a football until I was 15 (probably not true) but it seems growing up in the UK not liking football and not liking sport are one and the same. Meeting a British person, “what team do you support?” Is usually a safe question but I never felt I had a good answer.
Years later at 19 I joined the ultimate frisbee club at Plymouth University (Picnic). Frisbee players are the nicest group of strangers you will ever meet. I’ve experienced the same feeling in UK, Australia and the U.S. and everybody says it is friendly everywhere you go. You can use pickupultimate.com to find games almost anywhere in the world. One memorable time I did this was after a 9 hour bus ride from Buffalo NY down to Manhattan I found a game in Prospect park using McDonald’s WiFi and headed over for hours of frisbee fun.
Ultimate is a fast-paced game combining throwing, catching, sprinting and man on man defence. If you have never seen ultimate played watch this Ultimate from a GoPro to get a feel for it.
I joined multiple clubs starting university including basketball, American football, badminton, ultimate, mountaineering and all terrain Boarding. Frisbee was different there is little expectation that you should already be good, everybody is looking to constantly learn and improve and much less of a feeling that you have to be good enough to get selected. I’m possibly still in the “over-sharing” phase for ultimate I just think everybody should give it a try and if you start me off I won’t hesitate to tell you about how much I love frisbee. If you’ve never played a team sport give Ultimate a try.
Playing a team sport has given me a respect for all sports I never had before. I can watch any sport and appreciate the time and practise that’s needed to attain a high level of play. There is years of preparation that goes into every single pass. I think sport poses interesting ideas about winning.
Everybody likes to win. I like to win. Winning is exciting. In a game of Ultimate the goal is clear, maintain possession and score, force a turnover and repeat. You need to score more points that the other team. If you score more you win. Simple. You’re all working towards the same goal and the sense of camaraderie on a team is incredible.
Life is a little harder to win, the objectives are less clear and the goals need to be set by you. If winning is hard to define its no wonder the game is hard to play. How do you get that same sense of camaraderie when everybody sets their own goals? My winning criteria aren’t really set yet - I’m working on it. The game I’m playing right now is learning - writing, podcasting, teaching, creating products, health and fitness. I want to spend my time learning and improving next up snowboarding, surfing, guitar, travel, foreign languages. If you’re not quite sure how to win yet just start playing. I’m hopping my strategy will push me closer to winning, only time will tell.