In response to Jeremy’s article and in an effort to elaborate a little on some thoughts I had in a FB conversation, here’s my list of 21 people in and around women’s ultimate that i think you should meet. I gave myself an hour to write this so that it wouldn’t be too long and rambling. Also, just wanted to try to come up with some ideas off the top of my head. Oh, and since Gwen, Matty, and Michelle are in the other article, I’ll leave them off this list on purpose. To the other 4000 people I leave off accidentally, sorry :)
I have not yet met all of these people, but I hope to.
1) Robin Knowler – 10 years coaching one of the top programs in the country, so she’s got plenty to teach you Go meet her and ask her how to be a better teammate / leader / coach / person / or whatever. I’d pick “coach” from that list and then just listen.
2) Lou Burruss – I first met him in 1997 when he would fly back from Seattle to coach the Carleton women. Amazing dedication to the sport and hence one of the most successful coaches of all time. Ask him about moving to set up the next pass or how to play a 2 handler zone O. Also read “The Inner Game of Tennis” in advance of meeting him.
3) Suzanne Fields – part of the first class inducted into the Ultimate Hall of Fame, and one of the speakers at this year’s induction. I’m always a little nervous around legends, but if I would have had the courage to talk to her at this year’s induction I probably would have asked something silly like if she could believe she was standing there watching Chris O’Cleary and Nancy Glass being inducted into the hall of fame.
With the passage of time I’d probably ask her if she, Kelly Waugh, Katherine Greenwald, and Katie Shields played Heather, Shannon, Mia, and Emily in a game of goaltimate, who would win?
4) Chris O’Clearly – see above. One of this year’s inductions into the Hall of Fame and another legend in the game. Seemed like everyone who ever played for Ozone was there to cheer her on at the induction. An amazing leader and player. Ask her how to build a team.
5) Nancy Glass. Also one of this year’s inductees. Another absolute legend and practically royalty in Chicago ultimate. Ask her about the tension between getting the sport to the “next level” like the Olympics or something and building the sport through grass roots growth.
6) Jenny Fey. One of the best players of the last decade who just came off of a national championship with Scandal. Ask her how she sees the field and if she likes handling or cutting better. Also, do me a favor and figure out how to guard her because I’ve not been able to do that.
7) Cara Crouch. Two time World Games team member, 2005 Callahan winner, and endless giver back to the game.
Ask her about the difference between the 2009 and 2013 World Game teams. Seems like the two teams had totally different vibes – what worked well and what would she have changed looking back?
8) Dominique Fontenette – Stanford, Fury, Godiva, Brute Squad, World Games, Riot. As respected a player as there ever has been. Ask her about the influence that Molly Goodwin had on her. Sprout, too. Also, ask her to teach you to pull.
9) Rohre Titcomb – One of the greatest minds in the game. I’ll never forget seeing her play for the first time – it left me speechless. Ask her to come to Atlanta and play a round of disc golf with Chris O’Cleary, ’cause that would be amazing.
10) Alex Snyder – Multiple time national and world champion. One of the things I will always remember is how different the 2013 US World Games team played during the one game she missed. Ask her what she learned about the game coaching Wisconsin.
11) Robyn Wiseman – A great young leader. Ask her what she learned taking over coaching Wisconsin from Alex.
12) Enessa Janes – I was so happy to get the chance to meet her in person at the 2013 US Open. Played the single greatest half of ultimate that I have ever seen. Ask her about the 2008 finals.
13) Katy Craley – National champion at Oregon and now a key player for Riot. Ask her about the transition from college to club. Ask her about giving back to the ultimate community in South America.
14) Ren Caldwell – The trainer for everyone within 300 miles of Seattle, I assume. Ask her about the difference between training college athletes and club athletes.
15) Claire Chastain – 2013 Callahan winner / U23 world champion and one of the best players I’ve ever seen coming out of college. Ask her how her mentors impacted her ultimate career.
16) Peri Kurshan – leader on the field with Brute Squad and Godiva. Off the field with USA ultimate. Current Nightlock coach. As her about the transition from playing club to coaching club, and about the similarities between what Brute Squad looked like originally and what Nightlock looks like now.
17) Erika Swanson – amazing player on both coasts and on the US Beach worlds team. Ask her about how she balanced playing top level club ultimate with MIT and Caltech educations. Ask her about how to defend the top cutters.
18) Samantha Salvia – I’ve never met her, but her story is incredible. Ask her about transitioning from other sports to ultimate, and ask her to write some more!
19) Blake Spitz – helped build Brute Squad up from scratch and eventually past Godiva. Ask her how to develop young players on a club team. Ask her how to compete and eventually win out against one of the biggest dynasties ultimate has ever seen.
20) Lucy Barnes – Captained Harvard, Brute Squad and now lives in England. Ask her how far European ultimate has come in the last 10 years. Has the US come as far?
21) Kyle Weisbrod – coaches UW Element and the US under 19 team. Ask him about the difference between the high school scenes in Atlanta and Seattle. How could another city copy what either of these cities has done?
This article was reprinted from Mike’s personal blog with his permission.