Looking the Part : Thunder 2016

One of our first posts back in March was about the re-branding Thunder underwent for this season. We mentioned that while we wanted to stay true to the original lightning bolt logo, we also wanted to incorporate other identifiers that were a little more expressive for our comeback in 2016. We think our new jerseys do just that.


On top of designing our new logo, James Robinson also designed the fancy new jerseys above. We are really excited to bring Thunder back to the field in 2016 wearing his work, and we feel his design is very reflective of the team we want to be. We’re excited to have a new look for this season, and if these jerseys make you excited as well, then we hope to see you at tryouts tomorrow.

Its not too late to sign up!

Want to get better at ultimate? Try out for Thunder!

Tryout Tips

Sometimes people ask how they can stand out at tryouts, or what they should be doing to try to make the team. To try to help answer that question, I’ve compiled a list of links to pages around the internet that I think are relevant.

First of all, here’s the post I wrote two years ago on this subject. Everything in it is still relevant and worth reading even if you’ve read it before.

Second, Fury has been posting tryout tips on Facebook with the hashtag #furytryouttips16 I’ll quote a few of my favourites here:

2) Get out of your comfort zone and put yourself out there! You really never know what a team is looking for and what they may see in you. There was a player a couple years ago who didn’t think she was good enough to try out for Fury so she didn’t sign up at first. When she finally did, she ended up making it to the very last round of tryouts! So sign up and learn things from all of the local teams you have time for, because WHY NOT!

4) We honestly want you to succeed! Tryouts are intimidating – we know cause we’ve all been there. Tryouts make you question your abilities, force you into comparing yourself with others, make you tighten up, make you play scared. It sucks, we totally get it. It might not feel like it to you, but we’re not looking for people to cut, rather we’re looking for people to invite back. That is to say – it’s okay to make mistakes and take chances. Focus on yourself and not how you compare. We invite back people with potential and people who show personal improvement over each weekend. You don’t have to be the best at all of the things in order to make our team.

3) Defense. Defense, defense, defense. We are looking for people who hold the force, who are balanced on their feet, who face their offense at all times, and who don’t get spun around downfield. Prevent handlers from sneaking upline, body up both in the lane and in the deep space, and most importantly don’t hang your head on turns. If you sat in on who-to-invite-back discussions you’d hear the vets say things like, “I felt a lot of pressure from so and so” or “I had a hard time getting open/throwing around so and so.” We don’t care if you get flashy layout d’s, but we’ll take note if you make us feel your presence.

Finally, show up ready to have fun and enjoy playing a game that we all love to play. We love to have fun playing frisbee and we love to play with people who love to have fun playing frisbee. Be enthusiastic, play without fear, and enjoy the moment!

Thunder Alumni

With the start of the touring season quickly approaching, we hope you’ve already signed up for tryouts and are getting excited. In the event that you haven’t signed up yet and are on the fence about it, we reached out to some Thunder alumni to see what they thought about Thunder and how the team helped them get to where they are today.

Sarah Burke “I learned a lot playing play one season with Thunder. It was my first real experience to the touring ultimate scene and it was the stepping stone that threw me into this sport. On top of learning about strategies and skills, the supportive atmosphere also taught me how to be a good teammate and cultivated an already strong passion for the game. At the end of my first summer with Thunder, the one thing I knew with 100% certainty was that I wanted to continue playing, improving and make sure that my next season would be even better”

Sarah Burke In 2015, Sarah played for Union from Toronto, Ontario. She helped them win a silver medal at the 2015 Canadian Ultimate Championships in Winnipeg, MB.

Jonathan Nelson “Thunder presented me with the opportunity to develop and grow as a leader as one of the captains, while learning core fundamentals of Ultimate. I could not have done it without the leadership and all my Thunder teammates. In the end, I was a better Ultimate player and a better person.”

Nelson In 2015, Jonathan played for Crash. He helped them finish 4th at the 2015 Canadian Ultimate Championships in Winnipeg, MB.

Amanda Froese “I played with Thunder in my very first season of touring Ultimate in 2014 and have a ton of great memories from that summer. Thunder not only taught me skills, but also gave me the confidence to use those new skills in games. I had a fear going into that season that Thunder wouldn’t be as competitive or that we might be able to play at as high a level as I was hoping. I was wrong. We practiced hard, played hard and set high goals for ourselves. It was a place where we could compete, and also feel like we could learn and develop. From my experience, Thunder offers an intentional way to get better at Ultimate, with a group of people who want to do the same.”

koop In 2015, Amanda played for Crash. She helped them finish 4th at the 2015 Canadian Ultimate Championships in Winnipeg, MB and will be returning in 2016 as a Captain.

We hope that these testimonials from Thunder alumni inspire you to come out to tryouts. If you haven’t yet signed up, please do so! We’ll see you on the field!

Want to get better at ultimate? Try out for Thunder!

Crash/Thunder Pre-Tryout Clinic

Feeling like you want to get outside and play some ultimate before tryouts start? Want to familiarize yourself with the drills we’ll be running at tryouts without the pressure? Interested in meeting some other players before tryouts begin? Come out to our Pre-Tryouts clinic hosted by Thunder! Here are the details you need!

Time: Thursday April 14, 2016 – 9-11pm
Location: RIM Park Turf Fields
Cost: $10

What’s going to happen:

  • Warm-up
  • Throwing and catching practice to welcome back that pesky wind
  • Drills that will be seen throughout tryouts with explanations and guidance (45’s, huck drill, bail drill, etc.)
  • Scrimmage (if time available)

The goal for this time is learning the drills and getting in some time outside before tryouts begin. No evaluation and no pressure to perform.

Sign up using this form!

Goals & Process

Last fall when Crash had our end of season meeting we talked about what we want Crash to accomplish over the next few years. The result of this discussion was that we want to qualify for the World Ultimate Club Championships in 2018. Achieving this goal will challenge us and require a lot of work and commitment.

So the question becomes, how do we structure our team to achieve this goal? What do we do differently to make this happen? How do we change our process for 2016 so that we are ready to go in 2017 and 2018?

Tournament Selection

We want to play in the best possible tournaments to challenge the team and prepare ourselves to play in high pressure situations. This season we will attend the Boston Invite in June and USAU fall series after Nationals. This will give us the best opportunity to qualify for more competitive tournaments in 2017. The complete list of tournaments for 2016 can be found on the Season Info Page.

Roster Construction

We recognize that the 2016 season represents a new situation with Mixed Nationals very close to home and Open/Women’s Nationals far from home. This will almost certainly bring more players to the Mixed game in Ontario this summer. We’re happy about this (we think the Mixed game is pretty great), but this also leads to a concern that players may not be interested in our longer term goals, but rather just playing in the closest location.

While we won’t be expecting players on our roster to necessarily commit to the long-term goal we will be building our roster with that goal in mind. This means that we’ll be selecting players that either have the longer goal in mind, or players that we believe will help us improve as a team as we strive towards that goal.

Our goal is to be the best team we can possibly be in the summers of 2017 and 2018. The processes we have chosen for this season are motivated by that goal and we plan to work towards that goal every time we step on the field this season. If this is something that excites you we’d love for you to join us at tryouts. Sign up here.