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
- (15:40) Check-in/Check-outs
- 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!
- Variation of team USA U23 warm-up
- (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.