Expanding Our Horizons

We want to thank everyone who came out to tryouts over the past few weeks. Through cold weather and rainy conditions, over 125 people participated in tryouts for Crash and Thunder and the leadership could not be more proud of the effort and energy everyone brought to the field. With so many people interested in playing Mixed ultimate frisbee this summer, we quickly realized that 2 teams wouldn’t be enough to accommodate all the talent that we saw. So we’re thrilled to announce that we’re welcoming a third mixed team to the Crash and Thunder system, and we’re really excited that we get to share the experience of touring ultimate with even more players in the area.

This third team, which is yet-to-be-named, will be lead by Coach Andrew Portwine. Portwine is a long time ultimate frisbee player and an experienced coach, and we’re excited that he’ll be leading this team for the 2016 season. Like both Crash and Thunder, this third team will be focused on development, keeping a positive attitude on and off the field, and enjoying the touring ultimate experience for everything it has to offer. Coach Portwine is looking forward to working with a committed team looking to improve their skills and attend a few tournaments to gauge their improvement throughout the season.

Practice for this third team will start this Tuesday, and they’ll be attending tournaments throughout the summer in the area. A roster announcement will follow in the coming days.

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.

JerseyFronts

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.

Thunder’s Tournament List for 2016

We hope our new logo, goals, and coach have gotten you excited for our 2016 season. Behind practices, the biggest time commitment we’ll be asking of our players will be to attend as many of the tournaments we plan to compete in as possible. Touring ultimate gets it name from the fact that as a team, we compete in tournaments instead of competing in leagues. The touring season spans from May to September and can take teams across the province and country to compete against other teams.

With this in mind, we recognize that there are many players that would like to practice and play competitively but are not able to fully commit to the travel and expense of being on a highly ranked national team. We hope to offer such players a chance to play high-quality ultimate with minimal overnight travel required. Below is the list of tournaments Thunder plans on attending.

  • TUF – May 7/8 – Toronto, ON
  • May Day – May 28/29 – Waterloo, ON
  • Unknown Legends – June 25-26 – Hamilton, ON
  • Regionals – July 9/10 – Location TBD
  • No Borders – July 23/24 – Ottawa, ON
  • CUC Mixed – August 18-21 – Hamilton, ON

We think this list of tournaments provides great opportunities for high quality competition while remaining close to home.

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

Introducing Coach Chaudet

2016 is shaping up to be a really exciting year for Thunder- a new look, some new goals, and now, a new coach.

We’re proud to announce that our Coach for 2016 will be Marcie Chaudet, a long time ultimate frisbee player and previous University of Waterloo Women’s, Whiplash, and Wreck touring player 1394421_10100667047384717_1639481059_n

The decision to coach this year wasn’t a decision she made lightly. Any player turned coach will tell you- it’s not easy to step back and leave your cleats at home, but Marcie is excited and ready for the challenge. In previous years she’s been in leadership roles on the University of Waterloo Women’s team, experiences that inspired her to step up as coach for Thunder this year. When reflecting on those previous experiences of captaining the UW Women, she recognized how rewarding it was to help players develop their skills and confidence, and she’s looking forward to have similar experiences this year on Thunder.

But she also has a lot to give. A veteran of the sport, Marcie has over 8 years of playing experience to pull from, with Nationals experience at both the University and Club level. She’s a proud advocate of touring ultimate, knowing how beneficial the experience can be for players ready to take their game to the next level. Her experience with touring is also why she’s so excited to coach this year: she knows that touring is about the community, the camaraderie and the development, and that is what Thunder is all about at its core.

So as a coach, what is she looking for in players? Marcie will be looking for the key attributes that Thunder wants to build into the team: work ethic, a positive attitude, and respect for the game. She wants to find players willing to always give 100% every time they set foot on the field, be it for practice or for a key tournament game. Thunder’s goal of being the best development team in Canada will only happen if we foster a supportive team culture, which is why having a positive attitude is so important. In Marcie’s own words: “Positive teams do great things, and we have to have a positive and supportive environment for players to develop”.

We’re absolutely thrilled to have Marcie on board as our Coach this year. We hope you are too!

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

2016 Crash and Thunder Tryouts!

Tryouts are coming up! If you’re interested in playing for Crash or Thunder this summer, here’s the information you need to know! We’re excited to build on our successful season last year and hope that you want to be part of it! Below the form is an FAQ if you’re looking for answers about the tryout process.

First of all, sign up for tryouts here:

If you have any questions feel free to get in touch! But here are a bunch of answers to some questions you might have.

1. What should I do to prepare for tryouts?

Being ready for tryouts is important. Be in shape, get out and throw before tryouts, and prepare yourself mentally. Two years ago, we gathered some links for you to read and they’re still just as relevant.

2. What should I bring to tryouts?

Light shirt, dark shirt, water. Lots of energy. 25$ to cover field costs.

3. What if I’m also trying out for another team?

Let us know in the tryout form. We communicate with captains from other teams to set up a tryout schedule so that you can be seen by both teams.

4. What if I can’t make it to all the tryouts?

Let us know in the tryout form. We’ll probably be able to work something out.

5. What commitment is expected if you make the team?

You can find out all the information for the Crash and Thunder 2016 seasons on the season info page. (Crash) (Thunder)

6. Who will be making decisions about the roster?

The roster for Crash will be chosen by the captains and coaches for Crash (Amanda Froese, Dan Balzerson, Kristen Dearden, Neil Thomas, and Yaacov Iland). The roster for Thunder will be chosen by Bryan Yeung, Marcie Chaudet and the Thunder Leadership team.

7. Can you explain the tryout process? When will cuts be made?

All players that are interested in playing with Crash or Thunder will be trying out for the team this spring and is expected to attend tryouts. The first tryout, on April 19, will be for players who are new to touring in KW-Guelph. We like to have a chance to evaluate players we don’t know well before the large-scale tryouts starting April 21. We’ll be sending out emails to all players indicating whether we’ll be expecting to see them at the first tryout. Following the first tryout, new players will be streamed into two groups, one that will continue trying out for Crash, and one that will continue trying out for Thunder. Players that move onto Crash tryouts will be invited to attend the second tryout on Thursday April 21, along with all others that are interested in playing with Crash this summer.

Crash and Thunder tryouts will continue on Tuesday April 26 and Thursday April 28 with separate tryouts for each team. The teams will be selected by the evening of Sunday May 1.

Thunder’s Goals for 2016

In addition to a new logo for 2016, Thunder has a fresh new set of goals to go along with it.

While many people missed Thunder in 2015, the hiatus allowed us to think carefully about what we want the team to be and we’re excited to execute that vision in 2016. Simply put, our goal is to be the best development team in Canada. We want to be a training ground for hard working players that are ready to take their game to the next level. We’ve designed a season around helping our players improve their skills as individuals, and as a team. Thunder has everything a player needs to get the most development out of their summer: experienced coaching, competitive tournaments, a confident and supportive team culture, and intense practices. If you want to see the biggest improvement in your game this summer, Thunder is the right place for you.

But not all of our goals are new. The one thing that Thunder has always been known for is the supportive team culture it has for its players, and we want to continue that legacy in 2016. Thunder fosters a positive environment that supports individual player development while increasing our overall team competitiveness. We believe that part of learning to be a great player is learning how to elevate your teammates with you. When it comes to ultimate, we know that the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts.

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But how do we do that? By bringing in the right people. We are keen to recruit players that want to develop their skills while sharing in the camaraderie, fun, and community of competitive ultimate. We are particularly interested in players that are disciplined, hardworking, and have a great level of respect for their opponents and the game we love to play. Outside of skills, we’re looking for players who are ready to give 100%, have a positive attitude, and are ready to support their teammates. If you think you fit that bill, we’d love to see you at tryouts.

Want to get better at ultimate? Tryout for Thunder!