Whether you’re trying to coordinate a practice plan with an assistant coach or “flipping the field” and giving your youth players some homework related to your offensive system, the Playspedia.com website can be a useful resource. The site allows you to register and create your own animations of drills, tactics, games, etc. You can then embed the animation (e.g. in your team web site), attach a YouTube video that further illustrates the animation, and then share the product via Twitter, Facebook, or a public or private link.
3:46 — Serving on a Council at the US Olympic Committee which is studying an American Development Model (led by USOC, NCAA, Nike, coordinated by Aspen Institute) and is about to initiate a major push to implement it. Ultimate is being held up as an example for other sports to learn from…
5:25 — Has worked with many professional sports and believes that when sports are done right, they can enhance the human experience. When they’re done wrong, they don’t.
7:30 — How does ultimate fit within the framework of sports in the U.S.? [first slide]
Structure of sport in the world
Top: International Olympic Committee (IOC) works through
National Olympic Committee (in the U.S. that’s the USOC = our Ministry of Sport (including a family of organizations like NCCA, YMCA, JCC, CYOs, Boys & Girls clubs, and now USA Ultimate)
International Federations (for ultimate that’s WFDF [pronounced “whiffdiff”], the World Flying Disc Federation)
Those bodies work through National Governing Bodies:
USAU, Ultimate Canada
US Tennis Association, USA Hockey…
which facilitate athlete development, e.g. USA Ultimate is trying to work though
Affiliates (Bay Area Disc, Disc NW)
Youth Service organizations (JCC, CYO, Boys & Girls clubs), so expect an influx of 1000s of kids!
17:45 — The aspects of ultimate that are most attractive to the IOC , USOC, and ESPN (and parents!) are:
Spirit of the game
“The reason ESPN has the observers miked up is not because they want to listen to the observers, it’s because they’re trying to figure out how to get that discussion between the athletes clearly on the ear — in a way where it becomes a unique element and makes the sport totally different from other sports.”
19:30 — the American Development Model (ADM)
Built on the Ultimate Canada’s LTAD model
Translated the Canadian development periods into US grade and age ranges:
Note: no specialization in single-sport until high school!
3 sports for 9-12 year olds
2 sports from ages 12-16 years
Sports are applications of fundamental movement skills (run, leap, throw…)
23:15 — Differences in the U.S. relative to other countries
We have parents that think $25k/yr investment in worth it to get NCAA scholarships or success professional sports. There is early specialization inertia that we’ll have to overcome through education and marketing.
Kids get more exposure to sports and opportunities
NCAA, NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, Pro Soccer, Winter, X-games, Olympics, Triple Crown Tour
School based system (27:25 — V/JV tradition with only 15ish kids per team drives the steep drop-off in sports participation at ages 13-15…)
25:10 ADM Statement and 5 stages to a better sport experience:
Discover Learn Play (0-12 years)
Develop and Challenge (10-16 years)
Train and Compete (13-19 years)
Stage 4 has two modes (13-15 year, when most attrition happens)
Participate and succeed (15+)
Excel for high performance (15+)
Thrive and mentor (for life)
27:27 — Ultimate’s big opportunity is receiving those kids that didn’t make the J/V cut in other sports!
28:55 — Key principles that will drive the ADM
Universal access (USAU Foundation: raises $ to allow everyone to play; e.g. GUM aspiring to have 70% girls and 30% boys!)
Develop motor and skills thru appropriate activities (teach parents and teachers to create opportunities)
Encourage multisport participation (economics makes this tough: e.g. US Tennis [$200-250M/yr operating budget] is bigger than the USOC [US Hockey (30-40M$/yr)] and employs many professional coaches who don’t want other sports. They want year-round participation! This means a huge opportunity to create economically-viable multi-sport facilities.)
Fun, engaging, challenging atmospheres (not just “good job,” but “this is how you can be the best that you can be.”)
Quality coaching at all levels (Coaching is the delivery system of sport. [SV: What if it was just peers through play, e.g. neighborhood pick-up?]
38:45 — Key outcomes
Grow general pool of athletes and pool of elite athletes (Olympians)
Develop fundamental skills that transfer between sports
Appropriate avenue to fulfill athletic potential (maximize potential; not get a scholarship, or play in the NBA)
Create a generation that loves sport and physical activity and transfers to that passion to the next generation (Nike’s involved because there’s a huge drop-off in youth participation. Why? The focus on winning, lack of fun, and increasing injury. “My coaches are teaching me how to cheat!”
44:50 — Next steps for USOC and ADM
USOC get support from all NGBs and logos on ADM site
Aug 2015: Workshop to implement ADM/LTAD concepts through US NGBs
Continue to support research and awareness
46:00 — interlocking finger model of sport (one hand players, one hand coaches)
48:00 — Exciting stuff!
USAU just moved to Colorado Springs where we had meetings that suggest ultimate can get onto Olympic Program way earlier than any of us dreamed
IOC just finished 2020 reforms (Olympic program will change to be by discipline, not limited by sport, and will illiminate sports that are no longer played and replace them with hip/cool ones that are also inexpensive [facilities, easy access, entertaining=ESPN, and mixed gender])
52:00 Q: How to increase access?
Youth serving agencies are putting us on their menu and then delivering those kids to us!
CYO = East coast sports organization plans to introduce ultimate to their 7,000 player basketball program
Boys and Girls clubs
Help us find donors
Highest priority: Build network of entreprenurial partners who deliver the coaching!
The new Executive Director of the Bay Area Disc Association announced in his 9/30/15 welcome letter that the theme for the 2016 Youth Ultimate Coaching Conference (YUCC) will be “Developing Girls’ Ultimate.” The conference is to be held next March (2016) in the Bay Area and plans to “convene inspirational role models from around the country like Qxhna Titcomb (All-Star Ultimate Tour founder and World Champion) to present…” Watch their youth ultimate event calendar for further details.
In anticipation of learning more about how to coach girls, here’s a related presentation from the 2015 YUCC by DiscNW’s Heather Ann Brauer entitled “Giving Girls a Voice: Tools for empowerment and confidence on and off the ultimate field” with my notes appended —
1:05 Asked 7 girls and 7 boys why do you love ultimate
girls: community, spirit, friends, athleticism, fun
boys: similar themes (though also + layout, callahan, greatest, aggression, intensity)
2:00 More important than these differences is how we approach the off-field culture and connectedness of the team.
Girls (and women) often under-rank themselves
How do you empower them? CLEAR
Culture – giving girls tools to create a culture they want to see in their team
Language – e.g. not saying “sorry,” saying “person-defense” instead of “man defense”
Emotions – talking about empathy, connectedness; being able to be where you’re at and valuing those emotions
Agency – giving girls a voice or say, adds to the buy-in they have in the team
Role models – getting women to be role models, but also giving girls a chance to be role models themselves (e.g. GUM clinics)
4:55 Tips and tricks
Create a team charter
How do you want to feel as an individual (at practices, at games)? [Challenged to learn; happy and social; enthusiastic, excited; valued; accomplished; improved/better; successful]
Narrow down to 4-6 words and create actionable items, e.g. for “confidence” the high school girls came up with: “We will consistently attend practice and hold one another accountable. We will not say “I’m sorry.” We will be stars. We will give one another positive feedback. We will give each other high fives. And we will conduct ourselves with the utmost swagger.”
(11:55) Establish a buddy system
Usually not established friends
Check-ins throughout the season; ask buddy if you missed practice; share personal goals
Coaches can help create tangible goals (e.g. 50 completions in a go-to drill) and remind team of the goal, especially if they are straying away from the key-words of their charter
Attendance at practice went from ~8 before charter to 12-14 afterwards because they felt bought-in
At beginning of practice let each player say one word describing how they’re feeling (or using thumbs up/down/sideways)
Check-out? [presumably the same process, but at the end of practice…]
(17:35) Interactive warm-up
Variation of team USA U23 warm-up
(19:30) Demo of paired, interactive plyos
hi-5s are the most important part!
(22:35) I’m a star!
If a player makes a mistake and says “I’m sorry”
Teammates say “What did you say?”
And player jumps up and says “I’m a star!”
To which teammates respond “Yes you are.”
(23:35) Collaborative challenges work really well
Try to meet a goal. Each time you make it as a team, reduce your 10 planned 40-yard sprints by one.
Create drills that have progressions to create challenge: dishy pass + look to huck + add defender + a fake + under pass…
Supportive drills: e.g. 3 or 5 lines with people cutting towards you. By saying names and making eye contacts, you make a social connection every time.
Deciding what a youth ultimate player should know and be able to do is a prelude to assessing youth ultimate curricula this fall, and possibly designing a new one for the elementary and/or middle school levels. One way to get at such learning objectives is to understand “Long Term Athlete Development” (aka LTAD). A search for LTAD and ultimate quickly takes you to Ultimate Canada’s LTAD model for ultimate (released in 2014).
While the 72-page document (overview pamphlet; full PDF) needs to be reviewed from a U.S. perspective, I figured I’d start with a video introduction by Danny Saunders, the executive director of Ultimate Canada and a co-author of the model. Below are my notes (with time-stamps) taken as I watched his talk from the 2015 Youth Ultimate Coaching Conference, thankfully archived by the Bay Area Disc Association.
1:48 end of introducing himself; verbal outline of talk (what is LTAD, key aspects, what Ultimate Canada is doing with it)
3:20 Plays this video from the American Tennis Association to help us understand what’s motivating the athlete development model across all sports (kids have trouble playing with adult sized fields, equipment, and rules)
5:35 Ten factors to optimize for each age group
Excellence takes time
10 yrs, 10khrs vs cross training in other sports [may be developmentally appropriate for youth!?]
(7:25) Develop physical literacy
fundamental and sport skills before age ~11
ABCs: Agility; Balance; Coordination & speed
Have fun [are “standard” ultimate games the best idea for grades 3-4? what about disc golf?]
(12:20) Hockey video showing how other supports (including ultimate) help train good youth hockey players
Very few sports require early specialization (eg. gymnastics) for long term development (Martindale et al., 2015)
Ultimate is a late specialization sport (40% ultimate and 60% other sports is appropriate for ages 6-10ish)
(17:45) Developmental age
Same age kids have huge variation in physical and mental maturity
Playtime guidelines (make sure everyone gets a chance, tries different positions, that coaches are balanced in their attentions
(22:20) Sensitive periods
At certain ages, kids have accelerated adaptation (in strength, speed, etc)
Peak height velocity (growth rate) has maxima around puberty for both genders
Before they are more adapted to speed/agility, suppleness/flexibility (age 6-10)
Skill window is near ages 8-12: best time to learn a new sport! This led them to adjust sport at this age to acquire skills (LOTS of touches, keeping it fun):
adjusting rules to focus on skills (no zone in middle school)
fewer players per side (4v4, 5v5)
After they are more adapted to speed and strength training
(27:15) Holistic coaching
Develop whole athlete (build character and ethics)
Spirit of the game (developed resource about children and SotG for youth coaches)
How do you sequence training and growth in logical, scientifically-based ways
What level of competition is appropriate?
How do you obtain peak performance at different stages
(30:40) Competition calendar
Does the coach have enough time to develop the athlete?
Does competition favor athlete development? (Too many games to absorb skills optimally… Parents love games and may want more than is appropriate.)
<8-9 y.o. (~3rd grade) just have FUN
~9-16 (4th-8th): 30-40% competition
~16-23 (9th-college): 60% competition
Adult: 75% competition; 25% training
How many games per tournament and how much time/$$ to spend traveling
(34:55) System harmony
Everybody has their baggage (interests, biases): players, coaches, administrators, parents, etc.
Schools; community center recreational ultimate; high performance clubs
Canada has both player & coach development models
How do we incorporate
National Coaching Association of Canada oversees
Community coaches (introducing kids to sport)
Competition coaches (don’t take community training)
Evaluator comes out to watch you coach as part of certification!
Developing resources that describes coach roles at each stage
Continuous improvement and openness to change
The LTAD model should evolve through
Pilot projects, e.g. I love ultimate program (Canadian Tyre sponsored)
40:00 Summary of talk
Need good coaches — ones who take an interest in athlete development beyond just the field!
41:10 end and questions
Can you explain about your coaching delivery methods (online? full-day workshops?)?
Community one is a 1-day workshop
Competition is more complicated
Coaching Assoc. Canada handles: planning practice; making ethical decisions; nutrition
This limits in-person course length and frees learning facilitators (coach instructors) to teach their passion: ultimate-specific elements
Evaluation has a grid/rubric to make coach expectations clear
Did you have to integrate with Sport Canada’s LTAD and coach certifications to be aligned with everything that’s going on in Canada?
Yes. To obtain funding and meet goal of developing high-level Canadian athletes, we needed to use these approaches and templates.
Can you talk about how mddle school games on a full-sized field can have low scores relative to one on a slightly smaller field?
Snow-bound, windy tournaments on prairies had middle school games actually finish with just 10-15 yards shortening!
Coaches, parents, and players sharing K-12 ultimate