Monday, March 19, 2012

The possibility!! Emerald Indigenous Ultimate Disc.

Inspired by a friend who is going to the Middle East to coach for Ultimate Peace, I remembered that I created this blog long time ago without knowing that Ultimate Peace already existed. That's why the lack of originality. But that aside, I started to link ideas about conflict resolution, my passion for ultimate and Emerald, the town where I live now. With an idea in mind, I decided to get in contact with Indigenous Ultimate Association with a proposal. This refined version of it:

Purpose (why): I'am doing this because I'd like to help bridging the gaps that prevent unity and mutual understanding between Indigenous and the western culture. I am interested in the aboriginal communities as such, in what they are, what they believe, what they would like. I'd like to hear about the history, the lives and the culture of Aboriginal Australia by Aboriginals. If we have westernized them, I'd like to volunteer to be "Aboriginalized" to have a better understanding of what it means to be Indigenous in Australia. Since it is a passion of mine, I'd like to use ultimate disc as my ice breaker. I'd like to show them and share my world with them and them to show me and share their world with me to ultimately come together in just one world and say "this is us, this is our team".

Principles: I propose the creation of an ultimate disc club that prioritizes a space for indigenous traditions, culture and spiritual stories to be told and understood through the application of their meaning to the game and the social dynamics of the club. 

Outcome Visioning: I imagine a team which organizational culture has been sown by indigenous people, that brings their traditions back to us in a way that anybody ultimately recognizes as positive culture and environment, without any member feeling forced or influenced to change their own believes.  A team that is competitive, attends to tournaments and works continually towards its development. 

How to get started:

I propose we run a "king of the field tournament" (the team who scores 3 goals first stays on the field until another team takes the crown, that is, scores 3 goals) of minimum 3 teams-no-subs here on the long weekend of June. Run it only for Saturday. The tournament is for locals to watch, with sausage sizzle at 3 different times of the day offered for free to observers/visitors and players. People can come and go all day as we play. 

Then we run a trial for a month. First session starts on Sunday after the tournament. 2 hours. First 45 minutes to say: This is who we are, this is why we are here (purpose above), this is the team of people who helped us to convince you to be here today, this is ultimate in a nutshell for those who missed the tourney, these are the types of players you could be (social, competitive, in between), this is the focus on OZ ultimate at the moment (With my Colombian background, I think it is too social), and we would like to bring a bit of balance (by bringing some balance I mean bringing up some intensity. I would love to know what Aboriginal's perspective on competition/competitiveness are and integrate that). Because you may not know what that implies, we would like you to give us a chance to give you our perspective through a month's trial. We're gonna run training sessions 3 times a week for a month, starting today. After a month we do a reality check and see how you feel to sign up for a tournament in Brisbane that is the perfect mix between social and competitiveness. If enough interest, we keep the training sessions and it is here where we want to talk about how you can bring your cultural, traditional and even spiritual heritage to the game/ all depends on that feedback. On weekdays we train skills and concepts, on weekends we play. Questions?? Who came to watch the tourney?? What made you come back today?? What are you or are you not expecting?? 

Next 45 minutes of throwing. Next 15 min of virus game. Last 15 min of feedback (Who is coming on tuesday? Who is never coming back? who's liking it??)

That's sunday...that's my plan to get it started.

As far as the skills, concepts and game coaching goes, I'd like to focus the month trial on awareness development which reduces to the bare minimun the amount of instructions you give. The advantage I see in such approach is that it reduces the feeling of inadequacy that usually comes when I give instructions to my first time throwers and they don't think that what they do matches what I instructed. I have my ideas but I don't think it is worth going there yet.

Big things that come to mind to think about: If they are keen, how much of a constrain would financial issues be for Aboriginal people to actually become ultimate players? (I'm thinking about trips, cleats, uniforms and so on and makes me wonder).

Click here to access my brainstorming session...for some reason I cannot embed the mindmap so I can only give you the link to it until I figure it out.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Starting a new we go.

Ultimate disc starter pack?!?

Ok...first post and this is one story: Almost two years being inconsistently playing, or consistently off the fields. Now decided to go back, I put my name down to play the worlds championship with the Australian Masters team in Japan. With quite a few other very experienced and active players looking forward to be selected, my chances are rather low. My hopes were focused on being able to play as much ultimate as possible with the women's club in Brisbane Black Betty. Understandably not possible; quite a few chicks who attend training cannot be cut to open a spot for me who living in Central Queensland cannot make even one session. 

Determined to get my fitness and skills back, I started a plan to get back to my usual weight, gain muscle and build strength. I'm in the gym and having small throwing sessions...however, no proper team training and no chance to get one unless I get a team happening locally so...bring it on!!

I have developed some sort of aversion against the social leagues. It's not that I don't want them to happen, it is just that I come from a very strong club culture (Colombia) and I find the strong focus on social leagues here in Australia hard to swallow. I'd love to have a team to play every tournament with and train all year round, rather than forming a different team every time an ulti event happens. I'd like to at least try to get something more competitive happening more often, and the just-social-fun side having less attention. 

So I live in Emerald now, where there seems to be a lot of sporty people around, I've seen a couple of fields with lights where ultimate can happen, my neighbor played the sport for 2 years in Townsville and two of my husband's work mates would be interested in going for a throw every now and then. There is hope. However, what should I aim for?? Just put the word out to throw and play at the same venue the same days a week and see who shows up and where to go from there?? Or elaborate a more specific plan to attract the kind of people that would be open to let us transform them into disc addicts?? 

I'm inclined towards the more specific plan and this are my basic ideas: Somehow get in touch with the people who have access to the graduates that work for the different companies in the area and propose them to spread the word (email them) about a meeting/chat that would happen at our place. It's not that I don't want the locals to be involved, is just that the graduates seem to be easier to reach and if we end up with a team that trains at a certain venue, then locals can always ask and get in, or with the team we can plan to reach locals. The other reason why I think of graduates is because most of them are single without kids, which can mean that they have relatively good time in their hands and money in their pockets, can travel and seem more comfortable with trying new other words, less convincing. The problem here is, I don't think there would be too many women interested in this group of graduates. 

In the meeting I would share what ultimate disc is, what I dream of a team and what I would do to build that team (a.k.a proposal). At the end I'm looking for comments, not necessarily commitment, but comments to iterate and improve the proposal. There would be a sign-up sheet for those interested in being informed about coming throwing/training sessions and plans....maybe I should do host this meeting more than once with other groups of people as well...hum...

So here is what a dream of an Emerald based team: Attend 3 highly competitive tournaments (Halibut 2012, Nationals 2013 and Mixed Nationals 2013). 2 of them aimed at exponential learning (Halibut July 2012 and Nationals April 2013) and Mixed Nationals October 2013 as our tournament that focuses on competitive learning. 

I've heard, but I'm not sure, that there is ultimate happening in Mackay and we know Townsville also has a team and would be awesome to have an ulti tour where once month a team from one of the cities, travels to another city to have a weekend of ultimate against each other. This might be a bit too much could be a way to help developing ultimate in Northern Queensland so that we don't have to rely 100% of the time on what happens in Brisbane. Still part of the proposal tho.

My focus would be on mixed because to me that's where most of Australia points to. We would use Nationals, which are only Open and Women's categories, to strengthen gender skills and autonomy but training sessions are mixed because, to me, a very important success factor in mixed ultimate is the girls. Most of the time that's what makes a mixed team a good team. Mixed teams where boys run the show and girls, justly on unjustly, are not trusted to receive or throw a disc, are teams of exhausted men players, wasted legs and running space and as a consequence can only go so far in a competition. 

And I would love to train 3 times a week all year round and if tournaments or games against another team are to be created in the area, they would support this training format so that if other teams formed, they can also train 3 days a week. 3 days a week all year round and all tournaments as a team, to me, translates into a club that, depending on numbers, can be represented in every category, and there will be a training plan for a year...big commitment from our side tho...I might also include something about my coaching ideas or philosophy, although it might take the meeting too long so...that could be part of a first training session.

This is roughly it. I would love to read your feedback if you have any.

Oh...and about the name of the blog nor being so original...sorry, I heard about Ultimate peace way after I saved the name in blogger...not a real problem right?

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