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.

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.

Crash Clinics for Winter 2016

Signup using this form!

We’re excited to announce the Crash Winter clinics for 2016.

This year we’re planning to host 5 winter clinics from January-March aimed at players that have toured or are interesting in touring in 2016. Our goal with these clinics is to build important skills that will help players grow. We’ve asked experienced coaches to come lead these clinics within their particular areas of expertise and we are so excited to learn from them.

Here are the details:

Dates:

  • January 16, 8pm-10pm
  • January 30, 8pm-10pm
  • February 13, 8pm-10pm
  • February 27, 8pm-10pm
  • March 12, 8pm-10pm

Cost:

$20 per session, but if you come to all 5 sessions, the last session is free.

Location:

CORE Lifestyle & Recreation, 401 New Dundee Road Kitchener, ON N2P 2N8

Signup Details

Signup using this form!

Crash Ultimate at Mixed Easterns 2015

Fantastic weekend at Mixed Easterns!

#crashinboston

#crashinboston

Pool play Saturday was a ton of fun! We really showed ourselves what we can do when we buckle down, put our minds and focus into the game, and hustle the other team.

Day 1 condition: If we won our pool, we’d have a 4th slot bye, so we’d be able to go back to the hotel and start recovering earlier, so the motivation to take that spot was definitely there!

Game 1 vs RUT They came out on fire, and had a ton of skill! Unfortunately, later into the second half, their lack of legs became fairly evident as we kept pushing the pace and they couldn’t keep up. With a few more bodies, this would have been a tight game for both teams. Final score: (W) 15-10

Game 2 vs Darkwing (Round 1!) We stormed the field from the start and never looked back. We took half at 8-4, and closed the game out quite a bit before even soft cap. Final score: (W) 15-9

Game 3 vs Pleasuretown We started well early, then they caught up and took half 7-8. After half they came out on fire, scoring another 3 points to make it 7-11. Then we buckled down, threw down 5 points, the 5th one after hard cap, to make it a hard-cap win! Final score: (W) 12-11 Side note: Their jerseys are awesome! Rainbow colours with a white unicorn. A UNICORN!

Day 2: Elimination brackets! The day started off gloomy but no rain, despite forecasts saying there was a 90 POP for almost the entire day. We had some drizzle during games 4 and 5, but the rain didn’t come until game 6, at which point it wasn’t temporary rain showers, but not even a downpour! We totally lucked out!

Pre-quarters – Game 4 vs Animals Our first and only matchup against a Canadian team in the tournament! It was really hard fought battle, but we wanted to close it out early to give ourselves some rest, so we did! Final score: (W) 15-8

Quarters – Game 5 vs Darkwing (Round 2!) They obviously knew us better than we knew them, because we got lit up from the start. Then, down 6-12, we turned on the jets, and went on a 9-2 run to win the game 15-14. The cheering when we won this game was insane!

Semis – Game 6 vs Wild Card In case some of you don’t know, Wild Card is a pretty high-calibre team. They took 4th at Worlds last year, tied for 3rd at US Nationals last year, and this matchup was the exact game we came here to play. We fought hard and valiantly, but their execution was too much for us. We did some sparks of greatness from our team, and we’re looking forward to bringing more of this to our game! Final score: (L) 5-15

Consolation Finals – Game 7 vs Metro North Our last game of the day for third place! We came out with fire, ready to play until the end. They came out strong, put up a lead of a few points and unfortunately, that lead would get extended a bit more before the end. We were definitely in this game, and the result could have been very different if we had caught a few more throws, and had they not made some seriously lucky catches. Overall, a solid game, and we definitely showed we could hang with them.

And that’s a wrap! We came up with an entire laundry list of highlights from the weekend, mostly from on the field, but even some from off of the fields, so it was definitely a crazy fun weekend!

In the future, keep your eyes glued to our twitter account (@CrashUltimate) for up to the minute updates!

^DZ

Crash Roster for 2015

The Crash roster for 2015 has been selected! We’re excited to announce that the following players will be part of Crash this summer.

Team Photo

]1 Team pictured after winning MayDay in Waterloo. Not pictured: Matt McGill, Julia DeWeerd

Adam O’Donnell
Alex Austin
Amanda DeVries
Amanda Froese
Brad Froese
Bryanne Root (C)
Daniel Johnson (C)
Dario Zgrablic
Emily Ritz
Greg Taylor
Jade Bedley
Jake Redekopp
Jamie Yeung
Jennifer Taves
Jonathan Nelson
Julia DeWeerd
Justin DeWeerd
Kristen Dearden
LA Tuck
Mathison Taylor
Matt McGill
Matt Morison
Megan Bailey
Natalie Mullin
Neil Thomas
Patrick Tuck
Peter Mullen
Yaacov Iland

coaching

What We Did Right: Depth

There are many pieces of our 2014 season that are highlights, but one of those that I’m most proud of is the depth of our team. At Nationals, the least any healthy player saw the field was 15% of our points. In other words everybody on our team played at least 60% of an even share of playing time.

From the start of the season, we were aware that nationals is eight or nine games, with the most important ones at the end. Teams that have to rely on their best players to win all those games will not have legs left for Saturday and Sunday. Everyone knows this, so the the real question is how do you develop the depth to save your legs? Crash made three decisions that helped us build the depth of our roster for regionals and nationals: making depth a goal, playing our whole roster even if we sacrificed wins and giving all of our players the green light to work on new skills in games.

Team Huddle!

At our start of season meeting, we set a goal of developing all of our players to be ready to beat teams at nationals. Having that kind of clarity made it easy as a line caller to run open rotations. No one questioned why they weren’t on the field in tight games or why we called an iso for a less experienced player. With the whole team behind it, everything about building depth became easier.

We lost quite a few close games at non-series tournaments. In every one of those games, we played the whole team. Our entire roster got experience against the best opponents and gained reps in crunch situations. At regionals, we could already see the results. Our top lines had plenty of legs with the other two lines shouldering most of the burden. In the finals, our fourth line got the turn and scored the game winner.

As well as playing our whole roster, we green-lighted players to stretch beyond their skills. Working on a flick huck? Throw it if the cut is open. Working on an IO break? Take the chance. It meant more turnovers early in the season, but more solid options late.

By nationals, our bench was rolling through pool play and into power pools. Then in our quarterfinal game, up by 4 with about fifteen minutes left, our O line got broken, then broken again. We were still up 2 with three minutes to go, but we’d lost momentum. If our opponents scored quickly they opened a sliver of daylight to win and eliminate us from the tournament. It was one of those moments that can become a team’s nightmare. Our O line had been on the field for two long points and was not clicking. Our top D line was cold from sitting once we’d opened up a lead. Calling the line, I had to figure out if I believed in our depth enough to bet our season on it.

I looked at Chris as we huddled up to call the line. He wanted to play, he knew he was ready, and we both knew that he would set the tone for whatever line he took out onto the field to get the job done. We put out our bench, moved the disc most of the way before turning it, worked like crazy to get it back, called the timeout to seal the game and then scored the final point. On the outside, no problem, three point margin of victory. On the inside, relief that our depth had pulled us out of a tight situation.

What We Did Right: Good Decisions

I teach math. I like patterns and I like certainties. In Ultimate, one certainty is that the difference in points between the two teams at the end of the game is the difference in turn-overs, plus or minus one. If your team turns the disc less than the other team, you will never lose the game.

We identified three places that most turnovers happen: drops, bad hucks and endzones. With catching incorporated into practices, we were already working to minimize drops, so it was time to get rid of bad hucks and endzone turnovers.

Jake catches the disc over LP right at the back of the endzone.

We had three rules for a good huck. It had to meet the rule of thirds, it had to be thrown from behind half so that the yardage gain was worth the risk and it had to be from flow or from a player designated as a static hucker because of their throwing skill.

It took a lot of work to build the right habits. We ran scrimmages where any huck that didn’t meet the rules was automatically a turnover. We set up our huck drill to meet all the rules every rep. We even ran our huck drill against the rules to show ourselves how much harder it was to complete the throws. At one practice, a player put up a flick bomb from one step behind the half line and then turned and grinned at me as it was caught in the endzone. Our awareness of what was a good and bad huck was becoming ingrained.

Our biggest challenge was training ourselves to take good endzone looks. Most of our players had habits from previous teams and league play of taking risky endzone throws. We had great throwers who could run 80% completion rates on the hammer to a player cutting away, high loopy throws in wind and threads through a crowd. We didn’t want to settle for 80% completion rates, so we set about changing our habits. Drill, drill, drill and eventually we were taking better choices here as well.

I’d love to say that our completion rate in the finals was great, but it wasn’t. The good news was that those turnovers generally came from gusty wind, poaches or excellent defense. We rarely lost possession because of throwing into too small a space, choosing an angle that made the read too hard or trying something too fancy into the endzone. Given the small margin in the game, we didn’t have a lot of room for bad decisions.