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Author Topic: University Level: Introducing New People  (Read 4924 times)
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Clark
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« on: March 11, 2010, 06:28:02 PM »

Dear UltiTalk people,

I was wandering if you had any good ideas on how to quickly induct people into the sport of Ultimate. I play for a university team and we seem to have great rates of attracting freshers into the sport. During the sports fair in freshers week, people seem to really like the idea of being able to throw a disc extremely far and do all sorts of flair. Our team would like to take advantage of the usually large influx of freshers and get them playing as soon as possible and ready to compete in the first tournaments of the year. Some of them have never seen an Ultimate match or even really heard of it.

What's a good way of introducing them to the way the game works and keeping them on?
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evanhp
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« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2010, 11:35:03 AM »

i think you're not getting a response from this question because it is so broad and people want to help but they dont want to type out all of their ideas (including me).
there are many things to do but are all different depending on school, location, weather, etc.

just make it fun, dont yell at rookies, spend time together and make sure they know they can be part of a team not just a group of people.
people will want to do things with their friends no matter what. if you can build relationships with them, they will want to stick around.

just make playing fun for a few weeks, dont get too serious too soon. but let them know that it gets better, more competitive, and more intense.

the bottom line is: some people will never want to play competitive ultimate and some will. its really hard to change someones view on that if they are set. so just do your best, make it fun, and build relationships, those are my ideas.
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tommynomad
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« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2010, 02:35:05 PM »

evanhp's right.  I'd looked at the topic once or twice and just didn't know where to begin.  I've recruited/coached ulti for ages 5-45, and the thing that most distinguishes our game is fun.  So some ramblings:

These are freshmen, and they've got a lot on their plates--another commitment to hard work and set scheduling is not going to be very attractive to them.  Throw in lots of non-ulti like team-building activities (there's a great book of these by Karl Rohnke called The Bottomless Bag), video nights where you show top games, and urge people to invite their friends along.   Focus on the fact that the team is a social-league level one.   A few competitive players may rise up out of it.
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Checkity
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« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2010, 04:12:17 PM »

Hi Clark,

I was in a similar situation to you at the start of this academic year. I'm currently one of two club captains for Uriel (Exeter Uni Ultimate) and we too had a massive influx of fresh (whether it was because it was the cheapest AU society to join or because we dazzled them with the vids of Ultimate we had playing who knows...).

A massive number will naturally decline, people take up ultimate as something to try out and it's not vor everyone! We had 150 sign up at our freshers squash (with more joining throughout the early weeks) but now we have around 40 or so regulars and thats a more managable number (particularly for teaching a new sport to people when there are only 5 people on a team - speaking about Indoors clearly!).


But I digress...

a. The way we tried to attract people was to show how we are different from other sports at uni! The whole "lash-crazy, pick on the fresher's" attitude is something we stayed very clear from. The first few weeks were totally fresh based, introducing them to the game and making sure they had play time! For the first few weeks of training I don't think I actually played a point, instead I went around to groups of people who weren't playing and just talked to them (both about ultimate and just uni in general). I think that helped me come across as a friendly guy which in turn made the club seem more welcoming!

b. We held a social in the first week (our tradition is Heroes (experienced) vs Villains (fresh) where we tie - lightly! - an experienced player to a fresher). This furthers this image that our society isn't just based on the (competitive nature of) sport but the social aspects of it (which I think is massively important for the sport in whole!). During the first few weeks Freshers are all up for making as much friends as possible and just showing the club to be welcoming can do wonders for the amount of people who stay with the club!

c. If any of our committee were out on a night out and saw someone we recognised from training we would go say hi and have a little chat with them! Once again reinforcing this image of the club being welcoming to freshers! Make friends with people and they're more likely to stay... Their love for the game will come from Tournaments, which leads me to....

d. BEGINNERS TOURNAMENTS! You MUST get your fresh involved in a non-competitive tournament ASAP. We generally take 4 teams to a tournament in Plymouth and a high percentage of those who attended that this year have remained in the club! The best way to appreciate ultimate after all is in the tournament setting so you must find a local tournament at the start of the academic year!


Feel free to ask me if you want any more suggestions! Smiley Also, what uni are you playing for?




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Clark
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« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2010, 05:58:36 PM »

Thank you very much for the responses. I am not on the committee for my team or anything, but I am quite passionate about the team and would like to be more competitive and place higher at tournaments. Next year is my last year and I would like to maintain or improve upon the record that the team has made this year.

After looking at the very helpful suggestions from you guys, I think the social aspect is one that we already have and will most definitely keep. I agree that it will be a matter of seeing which competitive people come through! Perhaps some subtle scouting from the more experienced members and Captain will help pick out potentially top players that we can nurture into the first team.

Thanks a lot guys!
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Pepper
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« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2010, 08:36:58 AM »

I would say fun is number one too. But there is also the need for the fresh people to be able to play. What we had a couple years ago is that we'd have a CityLeague (hat tournament for all levels), which works great. But after that there wasn't really a place for the new players to play. All the teams had their players for the season already.

What the club did then was make a new team with all the new players. But that doesn't work because it takes the fun out of it if there are no good players to throw the disc deep from time to time and to setup the stack and handlers.

So, key: have older people who want to step down play on a team with new players. That works for us very well now.
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