Power Pigtails

wearing pigtails and being an athlete at the same time

Archive for the ‘ultimate’ Category

Emotional Post-Sectionals Team Letter

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Originally uploaded by suziepigtails

Wow guys. I still don’t think I’ve fully processed what just happened. A disappointing 0-3 on saturday to 3-1 and third place on sunday?? Are you kidding me?! I knew going into last weekend that we were probably capable of making that third place spot, but it would be a long shot, and after saturday I figured it just wasn’t in the stars for us this year. But everyone came out on sunday like, we’re here to win some fucking games damnit. And suddenly we were a new team, the team I knew we could be. We took care of V handily because we know how to work a zone. Then we went up against T, came out strong, and they never had a chance to catch up. The J game was hardest. Their team makes ours look tiny still. I was nervous about the outcome, I didn’t want to believe that we could actually win against them. But I looked at my team and I could tell that we wouldn’t be satisfied with a fourth place finish. We wanted that win so bad, I thought, shit I better not be the one to let them down, we’re going to take this game if it kills me. And I could tell all of you were thinking the same thing.

I know I can come across as emotionally detached sometimes. I want to make sure you all know exactly what yesterday meant to me. Winning that game for third place was the proudest moment in sports I’ve ever experienced.

Every single member of this team made it happen. You guys are amazing and this was the best possible way we could have ended our season. Thank you for being great all year. Going to regionals is a huge honor. You’ve proved we deserve it!


Written by powerpigtails

April 12, 2010 at 10:47 pm

Posted in ultimate

Mind Dump about Teamwork-

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Originally uploaded by suziepigtails

This was me thinking about things I wanted to say to my team the night before sectionals. I ended up giving a speech along these lines before our first game but it went nothing like this at all.

I don’t know if this is the appropriate time or place to have this discussion, I probably should have done it at a practice last week or something but I think it’s important, so I’m going to go ahead and talk about it before we start play this weekend.
As cheesy as this sounds, I was thinking a lot about what it means to be a team last night. It scares me to see how our men’s team operates because so few of them seem to know what it means to be part of a team, and those of them who do know don’t practice it. I once had a coach who told me my primary responsibility, as a member of that team, was to make my teammates look good. That goes for everyone on the field. When you step on the field your personal performance concerns need to go out the window. When you step on the field you take responsibility for triumphs and shortcomings of not only yourself, but six of your teammates. That means we can’t afford to say I dropped a pass, so-and-so is fucking up the dump throw, it’s the we dropped a pass, we fucked up the dump throw.
You want to know what makes us a regionals contending team and the men not? Forget what they tell you about the quality of competition and womens ultimate. They’re not as good as us because they’re not a team. The lack of respect the men have for each other is ridiculous and it’s poisoning their program. I don’t see this being an issue for us as long as we keep doing what we’re doing. Summary: Check your personal issues at the door and work as part of the team unit. If you understand this, then you understand what it means to be on a team.
Having personal goals will only get us so far, so today I want to go around and say one thing that you plan on doing to support someone else in game.

Written by powerpigtails

April 10, 2010 at 11:37 pm

Posted in ultimate

Pre- Spring Break Tournament Notes

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high tide team

Originally uploaded by suziepigtails

Letter to my team about predicted strategy at our annual spring break 3-day tournament

Strategy for our success as a team at Spring Break tournament:

Line Calling- Obviously with the number of people we have in relation to the number of games we’ll be playing, everyone will get plenty of playing time. If at any point in the tournament you feel as if you are not being played enough and/or have excess untapped energy reserves please let M and I know. Conversely, if at any point in the tournament you feel like you’re being played too much, risking injury or mental health, then also please let M and I know.

Line Calling (continued)- It should be our goal to have two, preferably three, experienced handlers on the field at all times. In case you don’t know who you are, this means: K, Me, C, M, Mn and T. It is your responsibility to make sure Michelle and I don’t send out lines without handlers and to take the initiative and put yourself on the field if that ever happens.

Offense (zone)- Do we need to spend time reviewing/discussing this as a team? New players?
Offense (man)- Vertical stack for the most part, I don’t think we’ll ever attempt horizontal.

Defense (zone)- Might be a good option against teams we can identify as having limited handlers, we just need to be careful about running everyone to death.
Defense (man)- Probably our primary option- we need to be prepared to mark up against teams running horizontal and vertical stacks.

Rules- Defer to C at all times… lawl- If you have the time this weekend, it would be a good idea for everyone to read the rules and ask questions about anything you don’t understand. We always seemed to get screwed in the rules department and that’s something we can definitely solve with minimal effort so there really isn’t any excuse for it.

Score keeping- This is also something that we shouldn’t have such a hard time with. It should probably be the captains’ responsibility to always have some sore of score tracking system, so M and I will be sure to take care of that, but everyone on the sideline needs to be aware of this task so that we don’t ever lose track.

End of the day Meeting (good idea?)- I’m thinking that we should meet as a team every night just to check in and talk about what went well and what maybe didn’t go so well in the days games after we’ve had the chance to process them. We can also watch any footage that might have been taken and discuss strategy for the next day.

Written by powerpigtails

March 11, 2010 at 10:41 pm

Posted in ultimate

Setting Goals for 2010

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goal juve

Originally uploaded by pierodemarchis

I didn’t do a very good job identifying specific fitness goals for this year. I pretty much operate on a non-stop “harder, better, faster, stronger” model of fitness and self-improvement.

Some things that I’ve started taking more seriously lately are:

Strength training. For this I’m using workout videos and 5lb hand weights. I know that “toning” is supposed to be a silly form of strength training, but I’m currently at the point where toning exercises really do slay me -sad, I know. I feel like I need to do this to build up a base level of strength before I can pursue more hardcore methods of training.

Speed training (middle distance). I’ve done the marathon thing, I have stamina to spare, so now I need to focus on getting faster. That means shortening my distances down to 4 or 5 miles tops and utilizing other types of workouts than the tempo run.

Coaching/Captaining. I’m always looking for ways to become a more effective captain and coach to my team. I hope to attend a coaching clinic in February that might give me a push in the right direction.

Making progress in these areas will, I hope, help me become a better athlete in 2010.

Written by powerpigtails

January 13, 2010 at 7:48 am

Posted in training, ultimate

Tagged with ,

When Things Don’t Go My Way

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showing muscles with Captain Planet

Originally uploaded by MLA 2.0

There are always bad days.
Days where for whatever reason I’m not functioning and nothing goes right and it’s raining and just shitty. Sometimes when I’m having one of those days it’s best for me to just cut my losses and try again tomorrow. But I tried to force it today, and even though I had a plan for practice all worked out ahead of time, setting up for each new drill seemed like the most painful thing in the world. The drills had no energy at all and I was in no mood to promote it. The girls were having conversations about how often they shave their legs and why. Every screwy throw or dropped pass pissed me off a little bit more. But I knew I had to go when I realized that watching this one girl in particular try to play ultimate was making me hate my life. This tiny girl seems so uninterested, so out of place, so completely nonathletic that I just don’t know what to do about it. Part of my soul dies every time I watch her run. Wow, that was mean. You see? I’m am in no state to be captaining a team right now.

And then sometimes you have to suck it up and captain.
I think up through this point I’ve shied away from expressing real disappointment with my team. I’ve never seen a lot of good come from being a surly captain and don’t want to be hated or disrespected. Playing with the men’s team my first few years I remember how our captain Chip used to get upset with our performance and yell during half time. I love Chip, but his anger at tournaments didn’t really motivate us, it only alienated him. I’m the opposite, when things start going really badly I isolate myself. Funny how both approaches essentially accomplish the same thing.

Is there a way to always be the best captain possible?

Written by powerpigtails

November 10, 2009 at 7:11 am

Posted in ultimate

Tagged with ,

Practice- Monday, 11/2

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NYC Marathon

Originally uploaded by thisisformyspacepics

I spent some time before practice today looking up sprinting and agility drills. Some of the more advanced girls have expressed concern about their running- mostly in terms of speed and form. I’m glad, more than glad, to spend time working on sprinting because it’s something that everyone can always improve on and is an integral part of improving our game as a team.

Our most effective defense is man on man. As a team we have enough girls with speed to be competitive against most other teams we come up against running man. Where holes develop in our game is the man offense. I’d say 70% of our team is quick enough to get open on offensive cuts most of the time. But that 30% who really struggle to break their defenders consistently can be the difference between a successful and unsuccessful offensive drive. It comes down to the fact that most of these girls have never been taught how to run -let alone how to sprint.

Last week we filmed each girl sprinting from the front and side. We then watched the footage in slow motion together with fairly comical results.
-use of the arms was fairly good but I had lectured everyone about bad arm habits directly prior so it might have been a fluke
-foot strike was all over the place, lots of heel striking!
-stride length was pretty varied but I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to it
-speed of turnover was also very varied for each person
-some people need better sports bras

For today I decided to focus on drills that would train people to stay on the balls of their feet for sprinting. The first drill was set up like box but required quick feet movements followed by initial acceleration and then change of direction and deceleration. The second drill was designed to work on sprint and reaction stimulus.

The guys actually ended up joining us for the drills since I was the only captain present for the first half of practice. I got positive feedback from everyone involved. The men’s team doesn’t have a whole lot of variety in their conditioning program so I think they enjoyed it.

Written by powerpigtails

November 2, 2009 at 5:57 pm