The Plateau and The Brain

Kyle Weisbrod’s recent Ultiworld series on skill plateaux in ultimate is very interesting. Certainly it’s true that we all experience that feeling of stagnation pretty often as we progress through our careers.

And Kyle is bang on when he suggests that the feeling of hitting a plateau is caused by two things – by moving the goalposts on what we think we ought to be able to do by now, and by not understanding the variety of skill that is needed to be ‘consistent’. I won’t repeat all that he said – go read it if this introduction is too short to make sense to you.

But something else interesting to me is that hitting the plateau might sometimes be real. Continue reading

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Spirit Scoring – A Dissenting Opinion

I don’t like the WFDF spirit scoring system.

I don’t like it because it tacitly undermines my own idea about what spirit is.

Let me ask you a question: Is it possible to display surprisingly good spirit? The kind of spirit that should be rewarded with a higher than normal spirit score? Continue reading

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Fixing the Gender Balance in Mixed Ultimate

indexIt’s pretty clear to anyone who has watched or played much mixed that the VAST majority of teams will play with more men than women when given the choice.

How can this be rational? Surely it must be pretty much exactly 50% of the time that you’ll be better off with your women vs their women instead of your men vs their men. And wherever you have the advantage, you’d want more of that gender on the pitch. Continue reading

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Stop playing badly!

coach-yellingWhy do we criticise a player? Why are we so negative about our team-mates’ mistakes?

Because we’re idiots, and because we’re selfish.

There is not a lot of evidence that punishing mistakes aids learning or improves performance, and much, much better evidence that rewarding what people have done well does actually work¹. So why are we so negative with each other? Why do we scream at that guy for turning over that huck?

Continue reading

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Back in the Game… Some Thoughts on U23s

So firstly an explanation of why there has been so little posted on here over the last 6 or 8 months. Continue reading

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The physics of flight paths

In my ongoing experiment to see how technical I can make these posts without people getting annoyed, this is a new frontier. Not for the faint-hearted today!

When you throw a long disc, with a lot of pace, you need to start it more inside-out than a shorter throw. (You doubtless know that already.) At high speeds, the disc tries to flip towards an outside-in angle, so you need to start the disc with more I/O – sometimes nearly vertical for really big throws.

And yet, at the end of the flight, that same throw will die off to the left Continue reading

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