Playing ultimate is one of my favourite things to do. Somehow, in the past few years, its taken over vast amounts of my leisure time and I don’t have any regrets about that. I enjoy playing competitively with Crash, I enjoy playing in leagues with close friends, and I enjoy taking time to teach the game to others so that hopefully they can also begin to experience some of the fun. But why is it so great? What is it that I love so much about this game? I think for me there are three main things.
First, it’s a chance to play competitive sports with a group of people that is really working hard to get better at the game. In high school I loved having practice every day after school for basketball, or soccer, or badminton and that’s been a hard feeling to recapture as an adult. Most adult sports teams get together once a week and have a good time kicking a ball around or tossing a disc without any real focus or intensity. Competitive ultimate has provided an outlet for me to get together regularly with a group who are highly motivated to improve, both individually and as a team. I’ve learned so much over the past four years playing and there are plenty of things still to learn.
Second, I think the game itself is great. The rules of ultimate enforce team play (you can only move by passing the disc to another player) and teams have the most success by maximizing the contributions of each player. The success of the team depends on developing trust between players that each one will make good decisions with the disc. Another thing I like about ultimate is the way the disc flies through the air. It’s very unusual to have a sport where the players can move faster than the game object and this leads to some incredible moments as players successfully chase after discs that initially seem out of reach.
Finally, the people who I get to play with are another reason why I play. Since I started playing, I’ve enjoyed so many good times with all the teams that I’ve played with. The feeling of developing community among teammates over the course of a season is just fantastic. I’ve learned so much from so many different players both on my team and on opposing teams. Not only about the game but also about what it means to be a great teammate, a great leader, and a great person.