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Author Topic: Spirit at AMUC08  (Read 43711 times)
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JdR
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« Reply #45 on: November 05, 2008, 09:19:44 PM »

I tend to disagree Rubes - I say the same things to the Spirit Circle that I would to an individual.

I guess this is because Spirit is a public thing, not a private thing.  It is on display to everyone.

Of course, it does require whoever's speaking to be brave, confident and diplomatic.  But this is what a Captain is for.

For myself, when I've been a Captain and spoken after a game, I've clarified rules that were misunderstood during the game (after checking the rulebook myself), I've castigated teams that have been late, and I've mentioned behaviour in terms of how its deviated from the norm.

Of course, I've usually aimed to be diplomatic by being precise and balancing this with comments about good spirit.  I've emphasised this was my view of the game, and might have misinterpreted, and welcome comment later (from both teams).  I try to be objective and comment on the observable behaviour rather than judging intentions.  Where I can, I reference everyone or the game as a whole, even when drawing attention to individual behaviour or particular incident.

I like this thread because we're sharing stories about Spirit and how to manage it, so I'll contribute paraphrases of some things I've said in Spirit Circles about Spirit problems:

"It was disappointing that you guys were very late.  I'm sure there was good reason, but its disrespectful to our team, who really value our playing time - many of our team don't get to play much.  That said, you guys got seven on the line real quick once you got here and made great use of the time we had left - there was no wasting time between points."

"Just for everyone's growing knowledge, you might recall during the game there was a disagreement about rule x ....  I looked it up and it's the case that .... so while that something different should have happened, I guess now we'll all know better next time, and its a great thing about this sport that we're always learning." (I seem to say something like this practically every second game that I Captain).

"It was kinda sad that there were a couple of long arguments and periods of multiple calls in the middle of the game.  I say it was sad because either side of that both teams showed how they can play Ultimate that was good to watch and be a part of.  I probably should've been more assertive as a player and Captain to get things moving again, but then we should all try to do that too."

"You guys played well and scored some pretty impressive points, but I'd question the spiritedness of some of the celebrations afterwards.  Its up to you guys to decide what you want to do about that, but I reckon as you go through this tournament, some other teams will think of some of you as dickheads, and the rest of you are going to wear that tag."

I guess if you've just played in a poorly spirited game, you shouldn't come away from a Spirit Circle with a feeling that the Circle makes it all feel better.  You should come away with an improved understanding of the Spirit of the game you just played, and hopefully a better understanding of Spirit as a whole.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2008, 09:23:39 PM by JdR » Logged

Tanty
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« Reply #46 on: November 05, 2008, 11:10:35 PM »

I tend to disagree Rubes - I say the same things to the Spirit Circle that I would to an individual.

I guess this is because Spirit is a public thing, not a private thing.  It is on display to everyone.

I've been playing a long time and I've never had anyone complain about team spirit in any game I've played... even after really tense poorly spirited games (in my opinion) the circle tends to try and say nice things. "what a competitive game etc". Once or twice someone on the other team has made a brief apology to the effect of "sorry I was being a dick I was feeling competitive/caught in the moment" but that doesn't really make it "better" to my mind, if they knew they were doing something poorly spirited don't do it in the first place rather than apologise afterward... At Hills league I find I tend to go to the Div Commisioners/Simon "the poobah" Farrow (because I'm friends with them all and comfortable telling them my thoughts) and ask them to say something if it's necessary... Which i think is kind of a pseudo spirit captain role.
I think you're right about the captain needing to be bold or whatever and actually commenting on it (I think it would be a refreshing change... but I think there are few players I think would do so for fear of confrontation). After a tense game where I think spirit is especially low I find it very difficult to point this out to the other team because I see it only adding more confrontation (and I'm a fairly non confrontational guy). Plus in some of the lower standard divisions I've played in I'm not sure some of the teams/players know that they're playing in poor spirit. I'm having difficulties with a team I play on at hills where some of it's players have relatively poor spirit but don't seem to know or care to much about that. And despite being added to the team for "experience" and being made captain all my comments about spirit have been summarily ignored (any tips on how to get through there). I even called a travel on a player on my team a few weeks ago (he ran about 2m into the endzone holding the disc) and afterwards he told me that it was a "bullsh*t call and "You (I) shouldn't make calls like that"...

But all that being said I'd like to think that for 99% of players you're right about it being a public thing... Everyone knows good and bad spirit and I'd also like to think that people know when they're playing with bad spirit and that they can't sleep at night =P
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rachelg
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« Reply #47 on: November 05, 2008, 11:31:38 PM »

Jason - I've never heard anyone mention any of the things you've suggested in a circle after the game.

If those sort of things were happening regularly then I daresay we wouldn't be having this conversation!
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DaveR
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« Reply #48 on: November 06, 2008, 12:01:36 AM »



I've been playing a long time and I've never had anyone complain about team spirit in any game I've played... even after really tense poorly spirited games (in my opinion) the circle tends to try and say nice things. "what a competitive game etc". Once or twice someone on the other team has made a brief apology to the effect of "sorry I was being a dick I was feeling competitive/caught in the moment" but that doesn't really make it "better" to my mind, if they knew they were doing something poorly spirited don't do it in the first place rather than apologise afterward.

Haha, tanty, are you referring to regionals, becuase that reminds me of playing a team at regionals where a certain player practically admitted cheating on numerous occasions throughout the game in order to win....but i really enjoyed that game regardless...it was awesome...dont know what that says about spirit...i guess there wasnt any animosity so i dont reflect on it badly..which is what really reflects badly in spirit scores...heated discussions and disagreements
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JdR
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« Reply #49 on: November 06, 2008, 12:23:36 AM »

Just to add:

1.  Yes, its challenging to speak to the Spirit Circle of negative things without coming over confrontational.  This is why its desirable to speak as "I am an individual talking to everyone in that game" rather than "I am a representative of MY team, commenting on YOUR team".  One of the other common failings of the Spirit Circle is Captains only talking about the Opposition - I always try to talk about everyone.

2.  Its still desirable you end on a positive note - commenting on poor spirit is hopefully only one of the things you've got to say.

3.  Its always been in my back pocket that if there's some bad vibes around, to check with the opposition about both teams to do warm downs first, and then do the Spirit Circle in 5 or 10 minutes.  This lets you get some views from your team-mates, as well as get some time to collect your thoughts, plus giving everyone a bit of time to chill.  At tournaments where everyone does a decent warm down (eg Nats), this should probably be the default anyway.  Thinking back to the days when we did cheers, wandering off with your team for 5-10 minutes before coming back to 'pass judgement' on your opponents via a cheer was probably an unsung value of the whole thing.

For those who don't know me, I should also add that I haven't Captained a 'hard core' team - the 'best' I've done is Captained a team to 15th at Nationals, or 10th in the Masters division at WUCC.  So it might be tougher to do this at 'top end' games.  But on the other hand, it shouldn't, and Spirit of course can be worse (and most in need to comment) at the local D-grade league!
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Tanty
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« Reply #50 on: November 07, 2008, 04:30:02 AM »

Haha, tanty, are you referring to regionals, becuase that reminds me of playing a team at regionals where a certain player practically admitted cheating on numerous occasions throughout the game in order to win....b

I'm not actually... That goes back further than my somewhat fried brain is capable of remembering (OVER 2 weeks ago) things like that happen relatively regularly I guess... Oh well

I Like JdR's talk, I'm not sure I have the balls to pull it off though
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shoggy
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« Reply #51 on: November 12, 2008, 03:58:24 PM »


Jason - I've never heard anyone mention any of the things you've suggested in a circle after the game.

i've heard comments like this coming from JDR at league in canberra and also after playing against him at interstate tourneys, over the years and its one of the reasons i love and respect the man dearly. yes, it might take a brass pair to summon the courage to do so, but ultimately you are trying to enrich the experience of all ulti players when they next take to the field, so should be seen as a positive thing to do and a fearless approach is required. the method and motive you have for commenting on spirit is important and so the delivery should be in a manner like jase has described - positive reinforcement. it's important in this respect to mention the positive aspects of the game, as jase mentioned, as rewarding fair play is just as important as chastising the poorer moments.

there are many good things that can come from having a discussion of spirit after a game. in smaller leagues (the old hills league, canberra div 1 etc) the benefits shrink as everyone already knows everyone else from frequently playing against them and having shared many beers discussing the last frisbee game at the local after league. also, league games between friends are less likely to have spirit issues than league/tourney games between acquaintances (not to say it doesn't happen, but in general). at tournaments or larger leagues is where i think this idea is best utilised.

i believe that the discussion of spirit is best if a team hears it from both an opposition captain and also their own captain, rather than one or the other, as some people may be less inclined towards corrective action upon hearing a negative comment from an opposition player/capt then they may from their own capt. you only play the other team once, maybe twice a tourney, whereas you play every game with your capt.

the best scenario is to have a brief discussion within your own team and then have the spirit circle. it does not add more than 3 minutes to the total time, so its not a drama for those who have to dash off after league or need to cool down between games at a tourney. the only catch is i would struggle to see a captain commenting on their teams poor spirit in this public forum, despite the fact it should be an acceptable forum for doing so, as means of recognising fault and apologising.

we just have to want to do it this way and unfortunately apathy can be contagious.  if 'spirit captains' are a good starting point to achieving the goal of spirit awareness, well, sign me up. a great initiative ruebs!
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