The Ulty Results Coaching Academy Conference (URCA 2015) had a huge Wednesday with over five hours of coaching educational content, including sessions from Tiina Booth (UMass, NUTC), Mario O’Brien (Sockeye, Rise Up), DeAnna Ball (OSU Fever, USA Ultimate), and Liam Kelly (UK Ultimate). The conference concludes on Friday, so, register for free for other sessions. And all of yesterday’s sessions will be available to registrants for 24 hours.
Takeaways From Tiina Booth’s “Lessons from NUTC and Beyond!”
- NUTC is in its 15th year of camps and still going strong
- Tiina focuses on recruiting elite level players who also have experiencing teaching for counselors
- Goal is to have 50% male campers and 50% female. Currently 70/30 and gaining more balance every year
- On being asked how to get school admins to support ultimate: “Gentle, relentless pressure.” Tiina states she asked the Amherst HS athletic director every year about varsity status and when he finally opened the door, she pounced with a network of parents and alumni, along with the team having been a good representative for the sport and school for years.
- See the full session for many more topics ranging from throwing tips to to mental toughness to how coaches may be over-complicating things for their teams.
Avi: What are the different offensive and defensive strategies a coach can use for players with 2-3 years of experience, aside from vertical and horizontal stacks?
Tiina: “I tend to like simple strategies done really well, with flexibility.” Tiina then offers some suggestions for tweaks to the vertical stack that a coach might use. She continues, “I think one of the dangers right now in terms of coaching is that people are over-planning and over-coaching,” before concluding, “Two to three years of experience is not a lot of experience … They need to be working on their throws, on their fitness, and figuring out how to do simple things really really well. That will give them a lot more success.”
Clip Of The Day: Tiina Booth on What Separates Finalists and Semifinalists from Other Teams
Takeaways From Mario O’Brien’s, “One at a Time, All at the Same Time: Finding the Balance Between being a Player, Coach, and Captain of the Same Team”
- Mario is joined by Tyler Kinley of Sockeye who provided additional insight and anecdotes
- Being a coach, captain, and player (CCP) is an important role. Typically CCPs have problems sharing responsibilities. We have to “create space and be okay when things don’t get done perfectly”.
- Ultimate is young and the coaching path hasn’t fully matured. So many team leaders fill the coach role.
- Managing your expectations is key. Leaders won’t be able to play and lead at the same time. You will be sacrificing for the team, embrace it.
Peter: How often do you provide formal opportunities for other players to provide input into the team’s direction?
Mario: “All the time, with the caveat that …. the most important thing we can all do at any given moment is all go the same direction.” It’s not uncommon to get feedback after practices or tournaments. And it’s important for the team to know the captain is open to their feedback. “Great leaders are open to feedback all the time and have that rapport with their team.” Mario adds, however, it’s never okay to provide feedback during a drill, that that’s the agreement he has on his teams. That feedback can come afterward so as not to distract from the team’s focus.
Clip Of The Day: Mario O’Brien and Tyler Kinley on Creating Future Team Leaders
Takeaways From DeAnna Ball’s “Managing Multiple Skill Levels: It’s Not One Size Fits All”
- DeAnna provides a framework for coaches to evaluate new and returning players on a granular level
- This knowledge will help coaches increase the individualization of practice plans during the early season
- Includes criteria for tiering players in to skill categories
- Main skills that coaches should be evaluating are throwing, receiving, cutting, and field awareness
- Coaches should plan out 4-6 weeks with specific drills to aid tier 2 and 3 players in the early season.
Q: What led to Ohio State’s success? Was it more about recruitment or about player development?”
DeAnna: “There’s no single secret.” Some success absolutely came from the recruiting that players did, particularly recruiting cross-over athletes. So we put in a lot of time in skill development. DeAnna emphasizes how important it is for the coaches to be involved in the fall as that when the teaching happens.
Clip Of The Day: DeAnna Ball on Letting Players Help Other Players Learn
Takeaways From Liam Kelly’s, “Better Learning, Better Drills (Skills Acquisition in Ultimate)”
- Getting good at drills does not necessarily translate to getting good in games
- Instituting alternative practice structures can lead to resistance since people are comfortable with what they know
- Random practice can make drills harder to learn and look worse, but skill acquisition is better
- Don’t be afraid to ask “Why?” regarding drills you are used to running
Keith: My teams has drill ADD and only wants to scrimmage. Any idea how to convince them to do drills?
Liam: “It’s understandable that a team just wants to scrimmage. You can simplify your scrimmages into more themed games, games with focuses.” He continues, “You can disguise drills. For a team with ADD, avoiding the block approach is the right thing to do. If you try the random drills, you’ll find it’s a more game-like situation.”
Clip Of The Day Liam Kelly on Why it is Necessary to Challenge the Drills Our Teams Do
Join The Conference!
- Get access to all videos (including the 2014 conference!) with a VIP pass
Sign up for free registration now for access to today’s talks:
- Alex Davis: 09:00 EDT, “Strategy, Subs and Stats: the Science behind Calling Lines”
- Mike Payne: 17:00 EDT, “Coaching is Not (Just) a Team Sport: Focus on Individual Player Improvement to Build Championship Teams”
- Marc van der Poest-Clement: 19:00 EDT, “Losing Control: The Development of Future Leaders”
- See Full Schedule
What Is URCA?
URCA is a free online coaching conference. We believe coaches will determine the growth and trajectory of ultimate. Through URCA, we hope to inspire more people to become coaches, especially at the youth level in the US where a lack of coaches inhibits the growth of the division. Most importantly, we hope to foster discussion about best practices in coaching not just for teaching skills, but also for passing SOTG on to the next generation of players.