So after playing in that tournament in Seattle over the July 4th weekend, I was kind of discouraged about playing ultimate. I mean, it was an eye-opening experience, seeing 100 ultimate frisbee teams out on a set of 40 fields. Discs as far as the eye could see. Three straight days of ultimate. Crazy stuff. Lots of fun. But still a bit discouraging. I was one of the worse players on a team that ended the weekend ranked about 90th out of those 100 teams. A bad player on a bad team. I mean, I knew the level would be a big step up, but, wow, it showed me how far I have to go. I need to work on my disc skills, my throws, my field sense, getting my cuts cleaner on offense, etc. I need to work a _lot_ on my defense. Basically, I need to work on everything. So I didn’t actually play much in July because I was kind of bummed.
But when the beginner-friendly league started up again in August, I decided to play. I figured it would be good for me to run around a bit, and be able to work on my skills a bit in a low pressure setting. It’s been good. I’m playing in both the Monday and Tuesday night leagues. Last night, on Monday, my team was really good, and we ended up winning 15-4. Plus, I played pretty well – I think I scored about 6 or 7 of the 15 points, and even threw a score, which I rarely do because of my less-than-stellar throws. It reminded me that when in a setting of people that aren’t, well, really good, I’m at least a decent player. Tonight, in the Tuesday league (different team), we were matched up against a team where I knew that several of their players were pretty good. So I was apprehensive. And then we went down by three or four points. But we fought back. And when the final horn blew, the score was tied at 10-10. Last point wins. I made a decent cut, got open, caught the disc. Turned, looked into the endzone. Half my team was swarming towards one corner. One woman caught my eye and pointed to the other corner. I didn’t hesitate, and just threw the forehand into the wind to that corner, curving it outside-in, so it went around all of the defenders before settling into her hands. Point, and game. One of the best throws I’ve ever made in a game. Rock on.
It’s just nice to know that I’m making progress. At the tournament, it didn’t feel that way. But against this known level of competition (I first started playing non-pickup ultimate in this league last fall), I’m definitely improving. My cuts are cleaner, I’m getting open consistently, I can handle the disc adequately, and I even got several sweet Ds tonight, skying over my guy to knock the disc out of the air. Of course, I still got burned a few times, but I’m working on it. Progress. And, since, well, I’ve got nobody else to tell about this, I’m blogging it. Whee!