9 December 2008

Way to represent

I keep discovering ultimate players who have played other sports at elite levels.

Here's my list:
  • Liz - lacrosse for Australia
  • Alex - ice hockey for Australia
  • Sian - fencing for Australia
  • Brendan - junior volleyball for Australia
  • Aaron - water polo for Australia
  • Jane - Australian Netball League
  • Tom - NSW junior AFL
  • Jack - Victorian junior AFL
  • Ian - National Orienteering League
Any others?

    4 December 2008


    The key to getting more people playing your sport is creating and publicising pathways. You want every player to start playing, and then move up to the next level of competition that suits their playing ability.

    Some questions to spark your thinking on this:

    In our region, how do players enter the sport?

    How do we identify all talented beginners, offer them a taste of higher level ultimate, and ensure they can access the next level if they want to?

    How does a player move from one team to another?

    Are there pathways for both men and women? For 12 year olds? For those who start playing at age 30?

    Do the coaches and administrators know what the existing pathways are?

    Are there pathways within local clubs? Or leagues? 

    What is the best way to communicate with coaches and players?

    On a related topic, designing pathways for administrators and coaches will help the organisation and coaching of ultimate. But we have even more work to do in that area.

    3 December 2008

    Looking wider

    Its good to see ultimate communities getting new ideas from outside. Four examples:

    For the upcoming Australian Juniors camp in January, the AFDA is flying in a US coach.

    Ra from Singapore is planning to bring in foreign coaches to train up his coaches and participate in a junior camp in 2009.

    I hear Colombians are flying in top coaches from the US Northwest.

    The proliferation of blogs connects local communities to foreign ones.

    So the clear message is that plane flights are more affordable in the twenty-first century? Well, that and the point that ultimate communities are learning from expertise outside their postcode, and outside their country. Drawing on foreign expertise is no longer just about playing foreign teams - there is more than that now.

    The Australian Sports Commission is pushing sports organisations to use the resources and existing courses of other sports in their coaching programs - part of becoming a football coach can involve attending a cricket coaching course and doing an online ASC course. So ultimate may continue the trend of looking beyond conventional boundaries, in the field of coaching development.

    1 December 2008

    Getting ultimate into schools

    On Wednesday I had lunch with Ra Resad, who plays ultimate in Singapore. Ra flew out here for the ASC conference.

    Four years ago, Singapore had a few high school students playing ultimate.

    Next year they will have 4000.

    That's some awesome growth. How did they get there? I mean doesn't ultimate in Australia have more players, a bigger sporting culture, more keen volunteers to help?


    Ra worked with the Singapore Sports Council and Singapore Ministry of Education to work out how he could get ultimate into schools. And he quit his previous job to be an ultimate coach.

    He became an AFDA accredited coach. He set up SG Frisbeesports. He offered a coaching service that was better than other sports - "frisbee isn't a sport" isn't an excuse a teacher can use when ultimate has quality coaches, quality equipment, uniforms, a structured program, pathways for players and more.

    Respect. One person can make a big difference.