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!

New Year, New Look

As you maybe saw on Facebook and Twitter yesterday, Thunder Ultimate updated their social media accounts with some new graphics and logos, beginning the launch of our re-branding process.

Many of you may remember that Thunder took a brief hiatus in 2015 to re-group and re-focus, and when the leadership got together earlier this year to start the discussions of reviving Thunder for 2016, re-branding the team was an important part of that process. We felt it was important to pull forward Thunder’s original lightning bolt logo while also finding something a little more expressive for the team.

thunderbanner

Thunder2016FBProfilePic (A big shout out has to go to James Robinson who helped us with the graphic design of our new logo. A 2014 Thunder alumni, he’s a writer and illustrator currently wrapping up his first graphic novel!)

In addition to the lightning bolt, we’re proud to announce that fierce looking hippopotamus as an additional identifier for Thunder Ultimate 2016. These animals are aggressive, unpredictable, and fast: just like our cuts on the field. But how do Thunder and hippopotamuses relate to each other? A group of hippos are called a Thunder, a name likely coming from the noises these animals make while charging: when a group of hippos start running, their stomps can often sound like rolling thunder. We’ll let you know what our opponents say after they hear us chasing down a disc.

2016 is going to be a really exciting year for Thunder Ultimate, and our new look is only a small part of that. We hope you join us.

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

Crash & Thunder Season Info – 2016

Crash and Thunder Season and Tryout Info is now available!

Thunder Season Info

Crash Season Info

In summary, tryouts will be held during the last two weeks of April. We don’t have fields booked for tryouts yet, but we’ll be confirming times and places for those ASAP. Tournament lists for the summer can be found at the links above.

If you want to receive notifications from us when we have updated details for either Crash or Thunder, sign up using the following form.

Clinic #5 – Mindfulness and Downfield Defense

Our final clinic of the winter season will be held this Saturday and that it has a slightly different schedule than normal.

The clinic will begin with a workshop from 7pm-8pm on Mindfulness led by Neenah Navasero. This will be held in the meeting/party room just to the left after entering CORE. In her words…

It will be a talk on mindfulness and its application to competitive ultimate and performance. It will include a significant experiential/interactive component to introduce those attending to a few mindful formal practices and a discussion on how mindfulness can be applied to the game. I will be speaking from my experiences in the 2014 summer winning gold with PPF and how mindfulness played a huge role in my personal performance and mental game throughout the season. I hope to share these mental gems with whomever is interested; I do hope people will come with an open, or what I’ve learned through mindfulness, a beginner’s mind.
Following the workshop, Thomas Black will be back to lead the rest of the clinic from 8pm-10pm on our usual field. He’ll probably be leading on downfield defense.

Clinic #3 – Mechanics of Cutting with Dan Balzerson

At the third winter clinic we had Dan Balzerson (one of the past and present captains of Crash) teach us about the movement patterns he applies to get open as a cutter.

The clinic started with a discussion and then activation drills for adduction, or the push away. This is the key movement pattern for changes of directions up to 90 degrees. Dan emphasized planting the foot outside of one’s centre of mass to achieve the most effective activation of the glutes for powerful drive. He also got a bit nerdy on us while pointing out that it’s important to take one’s current momentum into consideration when deciding what vector of force will achieve the desired direction.

Next we moved on to abduction, or the push under. This is a key component of making changes of direction greater than 90 degrees. It usually follows a push away, and consists of the leg planting close to one’s center of mass and driving towards the opposite leg. We all had a laugh as we tried to synchronize lateral crossover A’s with a partner so we could help each other learn this movement pattern.

These two movements were then put together in a couple of drills that involved 180 degree turns.

We then moved on to cuts versus a defender. Dan highlighted three main cutting techniques that he uses to get open.

First, there is the speed/power cut. In this cut, the defender is not standing in the path of where you would like to go, so you simply accelerate hard in that direction. It’s important to load up both legs just before this explosive acceleration and to make sure both of the adduction and abduction movement patterns are used to generate speed from the first two steps.

Next there is the more traditional change of direction cut. This is the cut we’re all familiar with, but by applying both the adduction and abduction movement patterns we can sharpen the cut and gain even more separation from our defender.

Finally, there is the shoulder cut. This is the cut of choice if the defender is properly positioned where you would like to go but you’ve chosen to go there anyway. In this cut, you cut directly at the defender to aggressively close the gap. Once you are inside of the defenders comfort zone, he or she will have to pick a direction and turn their hips. Then, you can precisely calculate the vector of force necessary to take you around the defends back, and use that initial adduction movement we worked on to efficiently and sharply achieve that change of direction.

The next clinic will be held on Saturday Feb. 27. All the details are here.

Clinic #2 – Breaking the Mark with Matt Snow

For our second clinic of the winter, Matt Snow (former captain of Liquid and Maverick) came in to teach us his methods for breaking the mark. Matt’s been breaking the mark for many years and taught us a few of his tricks on Saturday.

The clinic began with a discussion of wrist snap and how important it is to snap your wrist and put spin on the disc for every throw. Spin provides stability to the disc as it flies through the air and is important for every throw. To work on our wrist snap we did a drill called pepper where one player receives and throws discs as quickly as possible, focusing on spinning the disc on each release. This forces you to switch grips quickly and release the disc with good spin every time.

The second part of the clinic was learning to adjust the position of your stepping foot when throwing the disc depending on the position of the mark and the desired angle of the throw: stepping slightly forwards for an IO break, mostly sideways for a flat break, and a little bit backwards for an around OI break. We then spent some time working on these skills in isolation for both flick and backhand throws. Two key mechanics points were to keep your knee centred over your stepping foot and to maintain a straight line between your upper body and your pivot leg. This allows for maximum reach and stability.

In the third part of the clinic we worked on extending the maximum range of our pivots to each side by doing a modified Run-Mark-Throw drill where the mark simply forces the thrower to reach far to the side on each throw. Throwing both flat throws and backwards stepping OIs, we challenged ourselves to extend farther than we were comfortable while maintaining balance.

Finally, we closed out the session by talking about the moves that Matt actually uses to break the mark. I think the most interesting part of this was the simplicity of the motions. It doesn’t take anything extraordinary to succeed at breaking the mark, just excellence at a few motions. It’s difficult to describe but this part of the clinic built very nicely on Thomas’ teachings from clinic number 1, where we learned to lean and explode when making our throws.

Next clinic will be held on Saturday Feb. 13. All the details are here.