Player Profile: John Anderson

by | May 18, 2011, 11:03pm 0

One of Luther’s most stifling defenders is captain John Anderson. Don’t worry though, after he torches you deep, he’ll come back to make sure your all bandaged up.

How did your ultimate career start? Do you have any idols or heroes?

My Ultimate career started when I was in high school. I used to play pick-up with friends at an old elementary school. However, when I got to college it was a rude awakening. Who would have guessed you couldn’t take 3 steps whenever you wanted, that you couldn’t throw while jumping, or that marks could be closer than an arm’s length?! Crazy. This awakening landed me a spot on B-team, where idols like Drew Lee came into play. He spent time on B-team but eventually became captain of the A-team. Isaac White also helped me out even though he was on A-team. He still made time to pull me aside and teach me how to cut or gain body position. Any of our alumni could be considered my idols, as I wouldn’t be here today at nationals without them.

What is your sports background and how did those skills transition into ultimate?

My dreams of playing pro basketball were dashed when I got cut from the team my freshman year of high school. But playing basketball for 5 years did teach me two ultimate skills: pivoting and how to call out “PICK!” After my dreams were dashed, I decided to pick up tennis, which I played all four years of high school. I spent three years on varsity and one as captain. This experience definitely taught me how to be a leader and how to keep calm during intensegames. Unfortunately backhands and forehands in tennis don’t carry over to Ultimate otherwise I’d have much better throws!

John gets up for the D on Kansas at 2009 Nationals.

Tell us about your LUFDA ultimate career.

I joined LUFDA as a freshman, but spent a year on Luther B, or Pound (lb). Pound was fantastic, but for someone who loves to win, I needed to make the more competitive team the next year. So I worked hard all season and made LUFDA as a sophomore. I quickly found my forte was on defense, as I realized it was all about body positioning and watching hips. After a lot of off-season workouts, I ended up starting in the spring and helped in our first Nationals run in ’09. But unfortunately I missed the Minnesota game because I ended up in the hospital with an eye injury after taking a backhand follow through while playing against Iowa. I was out for two weeks so I wouldn’t go blind, but ended up making it back just in time for Nationals!

My junior year I thought about quitting because I was going to be in Rochester, working at Mayo Clinic for my nursing degree. Ultimately, Captain Greg Shirbroun convinced me to commute for tournaments and work out on my own. After about 3 hours of resistance, my love for the game consumed me and I agreed. So I spent my junior year working out at the YMCA, while going to tournaments with LUFDA.

My senior year, I helped the team by taking a leadership role as captain. There were highs and lows, but with the addition of Coach Wilson, our young team has really thrived and I can’t wait to make some noise at Nationals!

What is your life outside ultimate like? What are you studying in school? Do you have any hobbies or interests? What’s the plan after college? Do you plan to stay involved in ultimate?

Outside of Ultimate, I spend a lot of time playing sand volleyball, pick-up basketball, table-tennis, and all sorts of Super Mario Bros. I am part of a very tight-knit family, to the point where we have a family triathlon, dinner, golf tournament, and poetry contest annually. People even fly in from Sweden! At Luther, I’m a nursing major and I plan on getting a job in the Twin Cities and hopefully playing for Climax during the summers. Ultimately, I would love to be a flight nurse someday, and go up in helicopters to transfer critical care patients. But, we’ll see what life has in store for me.

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