On Valentine’s Day weekend, folks from all over the world will gather to discuss a matter close to their hearts- Youth Ultimate. Organized by the Bay Area Disc Association, the 2015 Youth Ultimate Coaching Conference will take place in San Jose, CA, on Feb 14th, from 8:30am to 5pm, with presenters from all over the ultimate community, including: Diana Cutaia (Coaching Peace, President), Danny Saunders (Ultimate Canada, Executive Director), Dr. Tom Crawford (USA Ultimate, CEO), Mike Lovinguth (USAU, Education and Youth Programs Manager), Steve Henderson (Positive Coaching Alliance, Trainer), Matt Hill (Ultimate Australia, Director of Youth), Kate Bergeron (WFDF, Board Member), Valerio Iani (Bay Area Disc , Youth Director), Heather Ann Brauer (DiscNW, YCC Coach), and Matt Tsang (Fury/USA Coach).
While last year the conference had a wide range of topics and presenters, this year they have worked to focus the conference around a central theme. The goal is to allow a more in-depth look at the central theme, while allowing time for more hands-on opportunities in addition to the presenters.
The chosen theme for YUCC this year is Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD). Organizer Valerio Iani describes LTAD as “a pathway that guides an individual’s experience in sport from youth through adulthood.” He goes on to raise questions regarding training at certain ages, what goal you’re training for, and such. He believes LTAD will help move ultimate, and coaching ultimate, to the next level. YUCC took its cues from recent developments in the game lately, namely Ultimate Canada’s recent publication of a LTAD model for ultimate, and USAU’s collaboration with the US Olympic Committee towards another LTAD. Both Danny Saunders and Dr. Tom Crawford will be on hand to talk about their respective LTAD models.
Iani is particularly excited this year to be able to have high-level representatives of Ultimate Canada, USAU, WFDF, and Australia Ultimate as presenters, and to get them together with such a youth ultimate focus. They have chosen to bring in an outside perspective as the keynote, providing Diana Cutaia, the president of Coaching Peace who focuses on youth coaching.
YUCC’s motto is “Share, Network, Get Inspired!” and Iani states that their mission is “to promote a professional approach to growing youth Ultimate and to foster a qualified and educated community of coaches. Passion for a sport can deeply influence people’s lives. Ultimate, with its self-officiating and Spirit of The Game culture, is a complex sport to teach; therefore, coaches are key to determining what kind of athletes young players will become.”
This year, select presentations will be filmed and available online thanks to a partnership between Bay Area Disc Association and Skyd Magazine. For those interested in getting the chance to participate in the conference itself, early registration runs until Jan. 25th. Sign up before then to save $30. For those attending the conference itself, you can expect increased hands-on experiences, and networking opportunities with other attendees and presenters.