Well, they didn’t fire me yet, so here goes my second attempt.
Let’s start with an apology to all the people at Lei-Out who watched me throw two key turnovers in the finals, resulting in my team’s loss to stupid Team USA. You all deserved better. There I was, glistening in the setting sun, shirt off, smile on my face, running Mac around like a rented mule and then boom, catastrophe struck: an open side (actually, it might not have been open side, just a terrible mark by Ashlin) forehand throw straight into the sand only halfway to the intended target. Heckles came quickly, the loss followed not far behind, and I was invited by team USA’s Cara Crouch (aka The Skinny White Ringwraith) to take a picture of their winning team pose.
This sort of devastating mistake happens to a lot of players. The question is: how do you get over it? My suggestion is to first deconstruct what went wrong. For me, it was a combination of lazy mechanics and not aiming. I didn’t set a stable base to throw from. I also didn’t aim. These are two mistakes I make more than I should. Just like many other sports, setting yourself into a good base is key as well as actually aiming your throw instead of just going through the motions.
Now that I’ve established the area of improvement, the next step is to recreate the situation, i.e. being exhausted and throwing. Unfortunately, running around in the sand for two straight days is only possible if you are trying to beat your friends at something, so I must resort to other means of draining my brain of all blood. The solution is a hard track workout.
As promised in my previous post, I will share the workout I will be doing today. It is Tuesday, January 14, the sun is setting in San Francisco, the cold is coming, and I am bitter about the taste of defeat, so this workout will hurt me. Hold on while I go do it.
The Butt Locking 4 x 300m
Okay, I’m back, and that workout certainly was not pleasant. I did the old butt locking 4 x 300m. It really drives home the ability to throw while tired. All you need is a disc, three hundred meters and bit of determination. First, pick a target time for your 300 meters and try to stay below whatever you choose. I chose 40 seconds. You’ll want to choose a fast time, but not too fast, because you will only have four minutes of recovery between sets.
Run 300 meters. Really try to relax and work on speed without expending energy. When you cross the finish line, pick up a disc and try to hit a target 40 feet away. Repeat throwing for three minutes. Step out on every throw. Shoot for perfection in every way.
When three minutes is up, drop the disc. You now have a minute to get back to the start point for the 300 meters. Repeat this three more times for a total of four.
You should notice how difficult throwing becomes as fatigue becomes king. My times were as follows. 39.4, 39.8, 40.1, 39.3. These are decent times… not great, but close to my goal. Setting goals is a huge help for track and lifting. The girl I did the workout with was trying to get below 46 seconds, which she did on all but one. Sadly and ironically, I did miss the target from 40 feet away twice, which is exactly why I will have to do more throwing while tired. Learning to do proper mechanics while tired can save you from becoming the reason your team lost in the finals of Lei-Out.
Bully of the Week
The Bully of the Week award goes to the owner of the MLU’s Portland Stags, Nathan Schorsch who bought the rights to the Portland AUDL team, but will not be using those rights to start a team. If we were playing Settlers of Catan, I would be impressed with this move, and I am sure a few economists think he may have made the right choice. However, we aren’t playing a board game and economists are just glorified fortune cookies. Portland has a wonderful ultimate scene and a lot of good players who would love to play on the AUDL team. Is Mr. Nathan shredding their dreams in order to make a few extra bucks, or does he just not have the time and energy to create another team? Either way, Mr. Nathan should sell or give the rights to someone who wants to help ultimate grow; we are in too early a stage to start uprooting young vegetation. Now I am forced to help Woody make sure the Dogfish keep the Stags in last place in the MLU, and I really hate helping Woody. (Also, no offense meant to all the cute kids on the Stags.)
Stupid Mistake of the Week goes to me for spilling my entire cup of coffee on my recently purchased Macbook Pro while writing this article. My next purchase after buying a new computer will be a coffee sippy cup and a bib. Perhaps it was karma for calling Mr. Nathan a bully without knowing the exact situation, or perhaps I am just clumsy.
Kurt Gibson on the Spiders
In other big news at the time of this writing, I am happy to announce Kurt Gibson is highly likely to be joining the San Jose Spiders this year. There are two reasons for him joining this wonderful team:
One, he is a great player and he beat me last year in the Club Championships finals. (I do blame our coach Dutchy for this, he invited Kurt to play with Revolver at Worlds in Japan. In the third game, Kurt broke his knee in half getting a sick D and then slunk around our sidelines stealing all our secrets and learning our one weakness while making us listen to One Direction, which I am pretty sure is some sort of hypnotic mind ripper, cause it certainly ain’t music)
Two, Kurt destroyed cancer and is now on the board of E.R.I.C., a fine cancer-fighting organization that is run by an outstanding group of folks. Luckily for the Spiders, E.R.I.C. is one of our major sponsors. The fit is perfect and my only hope is that the whole One Direction thing was a phase of adolescent rebellion.
Parrot Pusher Rebellion
I would like to make public, much to the dismay of my roommates, the inner boilings happening in the Bay Area. As I write this, a top secret meeting is taking place in the bowels of someone’s mother’s basement. It’s being led by the notorious shirtless, forever D-line player known as Kanner and it consists of the entire D team for Revolver. He thinks that he can lead a mutiny against the beloved San Jose Spiders that include such kind hearted O-line souls such as me, Ashlin and hopefully Kurt. This disobedience will be dealt with in the only proper way: by email. Here is my email to the filthy boot licking scoundrels:
“Heard rumors of a mutiny, led by the Dread Pirate Kanner, the little nipple parrot pusher. He is taking his little floozy fun buns with him to jump ship and board the ghastly rat-infested AUDL Flamers. Everyone knows a band of misfit D-line players couldn’t sail a ship with any amount of perfect wind, let alone throw a disc. Know this mutineers, none shall be spared the wrath of the Spiders, we shall lay our babies in your dead bloated bodies. We shall raise our young on your alcohol-laden entrails that will cover the ground like greasy spaghetti.
Should you survive, rum and shame will be your drink and tears of fear will drizzle down your gnarly cockeyed cheeks. We will rip your peg legs out and shove them up the nearest hole and laugh as you poop splinters for the next few weeks.”
THIS JUST IN: The Revolver scallywag D-line is back from their secret scurvy meeting which apparently was being run by that rascal panda pirate Matty Tsang. The report I am getting is that they are hesitant to play in the AUDL. I am going to paraphrase in my own words: They are worried about the logistic legitimacy of the Flamethrowers (i.e. no website [editor’s note: the site was launched as this article went to publication], no field, no contracts, no real direction) and the competitive competence of the West Coast AUDL in general (i.e. does Seattle even have a team?).
So please, dear dear Flamethrowers, Matty can only do so much. Get your act together so the Revolver D team plays with you. Beating Kanner is one of the last remaining joys in this bitter fog-infested city.
Feature photo by Jason Yocum