Month: <span>January 2012</span>

Mohawk Emails

Week 3

Hello everybody, how doing

Just a couple of ultimate related thoughts for you as you tackle the third week of Spring term, not too many but one or two!


So far we have three blogs written for your enjoyment. Thanks to Shim, Meg & Taxi for their contributions thus far – I look forward to the next set. Please read them everybody, and comment. They’re good stuff and those guys have spent a while preparing them and putting them up for you to read, so get on it and show some love! Have a discussion about the points they raise and challenge them, and each other.

These are accessed via the homepage.


This week from 13:00-14:30 we are doing Mixed specific training. If you’re a girl then please come along! If you’re a guy then Kneetu will be in touch. If he doesn’t then please come from 14:30. You’re welcome to come earlier for a throw around but won’t be able to join in with the Mixed stuff.

If in doubt: email Kneetu ([email protected]) and he will let you know. I’m not a boss of training so I am fairly clueless.


I have not been told of anything in particular for this week. I would love it if you all came to Falmer bar after training, mind. If there is one this week then Pete/Faron will post it up somewhere, if they’ve recovered from last week’s one yet, that is.


See you soon folks,

Rapist out

Blog Posts

Clipboardaphobia – or ‘Why I Suck at Trials’

So, stepping late into the fray (as usual), here’s my contribution to the Mohawks blog-o-web. I’m one of those weird people who likes applying their degree to ultimate, in spite of never having done any actual ‘sports psychology’ courses. I’m also a little obsessed with tactics, especially the differences across divisions, so expect to see a mix of tactics discussion, psychological literature highlights and general dumb observations here. First up: my biggest mental block…


With trials for the club I’m hoping to play with this season coming up (er, today), I’ve been thinking a lot about my general failure to look like a competent human being (let alone ultimate player) at most trial sessions I’ve ever attended (grass women’s and mixed, beach women’s, U23s…). A couple of times, I’ve managed to scrape through anyway, but mostly I am the ultimate-playing definition of choking.

And while focusing on this right before trials is probably not the most psychologically healthy thing to do, I figured if I’m gonna think about it anyway, I’m gonna think about it logically and find something interesting to share about it.

There are some good posts out there about how to play at trials (Lou Burruss’ is pretty good and the Hodags one from a few seasons ago is neat, but I’m sure there are loads of others around). And generally, they have quite similar messages: play D, work hard, don’t be a jerk. Don’t turn over, unless you’re trying to make the team as a handler/playmaker, in which case turn over, but in all the right places on all the right throws…

I know all this stuff. It is not any of these things (I think) that cripples me, but rather the knowledge that this is not ‘training’, but (ominous drum roll) ‘TRIALS’. Sounds pretty stupid, but there is some quite interesting psych lit to back up my stupidity.


Audience Inhibition

Funny how when no-one’s watching, you can do something fine, but as soon as you’ve got an audience your brain goes to jelly, isn’t it? But how come it doesn’t always happen? Sometimes performing in front of audience makes you better at something. A lecturer in my first year demonstrated this brilliantly, although the two students he picked would probably disagree. He got one to stand at the front of the lecture theatre of 300 students and recite the alphabet. Surprise surprise, this student had no difficulty. He then got the other to recite the alphabet backwards. The guy was all over the place. Before this, he’d got them to do it outside, in front of each other – both had managed both tasks just fine. Lucky student no. 1 demonstrated ‘audience facilitation’ – the audience makes you better – and studies have suggested that when you’re incredibly familiar with something you perform better in front of people. You play up to the audience, because you know what you’re doing. Unlucky student no. 2 demonstrated ‘audience inhibition’ – you cock up because you’re less sure of what you’re doing, and the extra people add to your nervousness enough to disrupt the cognitive systems you need to do the task. Put this into practice with ultimate, with a nice judgmental audience of ‘the selectors’, and boom – car crash ultimate. Interestingly, this would suggest that people who are in general more confident about the skills being evaluated won’t feel the sting of trials quite so harshly – it is wrong that I am now thinking of how to test this empirically at trials on Monday?


Mastery vs. Achievement Goals

On to one of my favourite chunks of psychological literature. Some smart people in the states came up with the idea that when people engage in activities they can have two general types of goal: mastery or achievement. Mastery goals are very much geared towards, guess what, mastering a skill or task, learning how it works, understanding it and improving with relation to yourself. Achievement goals are all about looking good while doing a task – showing off what you got, so to speak. Now guess which goal-set trials encourage. (Correct answer: achievement goals).

By adding an external evaluator of your skills and play, trials automatically start kicking your brain towards thinking about how you’re being viewed by someone else and start motivating you to impress them. Which, regardless of your general mindset, has a lot of negative effects. Achievement goals tend to lead to worse performance, less perseverance with difficult tasks and more negative self-evaluations, regardless of how people approach most situations: it’s not about whether you ‘match’ the goals you’re currently focusing on.

So, coming into trials, suddenly you’re focusing not on breaking a mark or throwing a sidearm huck, but whether the person with the clipboard thinks you can break a mark, or throw a sidearm huck. This extra external perspective gives you a whole new level of chatter in your brain (Are they gonna blame me for that turnover? Do they think I made the right cut? Do they think I should’ve got a block on that break throw?) which makes it increasingly difficult to achieve what gets referred to in sports lit as a ‘flow’ state, where you stop actively and intrusively thinking and, as the advert says, just do it.


Now what?

Ok, so now I know why I underperform at trials. Should probably try to work out how to fix it, right? Here are some suggestions I’ve scraped together…

Step 1. Be confident. You’re not trying out for this team because you’re rubbish. No-one trying out for any team will be rubbish. You’re trying out for this team because you’re good and they’re good and you wanna get together and make some awesome Frisbeegame. Because you’re good. Get some audience facilitation going.

Step 2. Trust the selectors. With external evaluations suddenly in the picture, you’re worrying about whether this other random person thinks you’ve done something right. Now, I’m guessing that you trust these people to know what ‘good ultimate’ is (if you don’t, what the heck are you doing trying out for their team? Go play for someone else!), and that you trust yourself to know what good ultimate is. So go back to focusing on your play, rather than judging yourself through their eyes. Don’t worry about looking like you’re playing good ultimate; focus on playing good ultimate. I am pretty sure this is my major downfall at trials and it is something I’m determined to fix come Monday.


Alternatively, in the wise words of Nicole: ‘Don’t think of it as trials then, think of it as training.’


I’ll let you know how that goes…

Blog Posts

Mohawk Today – Ed Hamilton

eduroam – the name of the wireless internet connection across the campus.
ed – the moron who thought they had named said system after him.

Ed is a second year student studying Business and Marketing. We are led to believe that he has yet to complete a three-pint challenge. This is unacceptable and must be corrected at the earliest opportunity we believe that every Mohawk should set an example to future generations and set a benchmark time.

A man after our own heart, Ed is profficient at watching ultimate. A source close to Ed claims that he has both “thrown and caught discs”, but they have so far been unable to provide any substantiating evidence.
We do however possess action shots of Ed expertly watching others. As these examples show this particular Mohawk has an uncanny knack of getting prime position to look at others.

Ed has thus far been overlooked in the Mohawk’s love web. However we have managed to obtain a photograph that had, until now, been subject to a super injunction. Legally we are not allowed to reveal the identity of Ed’s intimate companion and can only reveal him to be one of Ed’s team-mates at the 2011 outdoor national championships. One much-loved Mohawk described the moment as “tender” and it has been suggested that the doting couple were once close to becoming ‘facebook official’.

The relationship is said to have cooled with the pair spending more time apart from one another. The anonymous lover confidentially explained that “he was just too clingy, always stroking my hair and liking our pics on facebook”.  Unperturbed Ed has since been overheard saying to another pining Mohawk ‘I may be going to the toilet but that doesn’t mean I don’t love you forever’.  With lines like that surely it is only a matter of time before he earns himself a place in Mohawk’s love web.

Editors Note: It has been rumoured that Ed is soon to star in an Agony Ed section on the Mohawk’s website. King of the dry one-liner and perhaps not always aware of how funny he can be; we believe Ed would be perfect for this role.  Watch this space.

Blog Posts

What I learned this week

Welcome to my first Mohawks blog entry and I’m delighted to be writing it. It is called ‘What I learned this week’, or WILTW. You often hear experienced players saying “I still learn something every time I play” and I thought I’d put this to the test.

So each week I’ll draw on happenings at our practices to explain some new idea or epiphany which I have come upon in that week.

My main aim is to stimulate some thought and conversation about whatever it is I’ve chosen to write about, so please feel free to comment below each blog entry with what YOU learned this week (WYLTW) or further discussion. Be sure to check the blogs section regularly!



Week One: A New Hope

Resolve is a really important word at this time of year. It is where we get the word ‘resolution’ from, as in “I’ve broken my new year’s resolution already.” Resolve can describe the quality of an action, “She progresses with a great deal of resolve” as well as being something you can do “He resolves to be a kinder person” and something which you can lack in general, “She has no resolve whatsoever.”

First let me assure you, nobody remembers the practice the last term where you couldn’t catch anything, or that time you just forgot how to throw a sidearm, or the Callaghan you were responsible for at regionals, or the time you were so offside that the pull hit you in the back of the head. You might remember them but we don’t. That means the new term is a great time to start afresh and resolve to form some new habits.

Most people find it hard to break habits because their life is so monotonous, but as a student you are in a unique position in that your life is segmented into chunks of 10 weeks at a time, with a rest in between. This means that at the beginning of every term you get a new schedule with new deadlines and, most importantly, the opportunity to form new habits. Whether that’s a big thing like making time to chuck around with somebody regularly, hitting the gym a couple of times a week, or a small thing like doing 25 press ups and 25 sit-ups every day before breakfast – it only takes a little resolve to get it done.

Most importantly you have to start right now. It’s already the end of week two (I admit, my blog is running late) and as time goes on fixing your bad habits is only going to get harder. So if you’re sat at home thinking to yourself “Yeah – from Monday I’ll definitely do more core work at home”, or “Once I’ve handed in this essay I’ll start going for a run in the evenings”, or “Next practice I’ll work on my side-arm huck” then that’s no good. Imagine you have a limited store, a finite amount of resolve. By promising yourself that tomorrow you’ll go for a 5km run, you use up some of that resolve in simply deciding to go for the run (call this resolving to resolve to do something), so that when you get to tomorrow the resolve you have left in reserve isn’t enough any more to force you to put on your trainers and make it happen.

So instead, get out and do it now. Right now. You’re not doing anything right now so put on your running shoes, or grab a disc, or get into the plank and resolve to keep doing it. Believe me, it’s much easier to resolve to do something that you’re already doing.

Mohawk Emails

Small Update

Hey one and all, how doing?

Just a few things going on that I would like to bring your attention to…


We are going starting to announce things through the homepage much more now and, if I get my way, less of the informative stuff that doesn’t need a discussion necessarily will not go onto the forum as often. What this means is that you need to check the homepage more often and use the tabs there. You will notice that I added this week’s social to the social tab on the homepage – go check it out! [It is just Faron’s forum post, skillfully copied and pasted into that section – I’m pretty good].

AND you will be able to read this email again, and again, and again, by clicking on the “Mohawk Emails” (or “Mohawk News” as I am putting it there, too) tab on the homepage. Lucky you!


Again there is a post about this on the homepage so please go read. Training for the masses begins at 14:30 on Wednesday. Currently the 13:00 slots have been Open/Women divide but at some choice weeks they will be a mixed session meaning that a slightly different subsection of the club will be invited from 1pm. Captains will announce this soon (on the homepage!) so if you hear that it is a Mixed week and Kneetu has not been in touch then come along at 14:30, even if you *normally* come at 13:00 when it is Open & Womens. Hope this makes sense – don’t worry too much. Captains will be in touch I am sure if anything changes from the previous couple of weeks.


These exist. As I said, check the homepage for details of this week’s (Friday night at Lucky Voice from 20:30, just for the record). Come along – it’ll be fun. Its not often you get the chance to share a cocktail with yours truly so don’t waste the chance. Get your work done (or save it until the weekend) and come along, even if just for a little bit. I’ll be wearing normal clothes and will be fairly clean shaven so its an opportunity too good to be missed, so don’t miss it!


With love from Therapist



From the forum:

Yo Faron here, just to let you people know Pete and I have decided to have this weeks social on a friday. Crazy right? We’ll be going to a cocktail bar called lucky voice for some cheap drinks, all very nice and the people behind the bar are very talented. 2 cocktails for 6.50 before 10. After that we’ll be going to digital for some 1 pound drink stonelove bonanza which will inevitably be a good night out. Hope to see you all as drunk as us on friday :). Meet at Lucky Voice at 8.30. It’s basically on the seafront next to the Jamie Oliver restaurant. If you don’t know where it is I’ll tell you on wednesday or google map it. See yuz then! :cool1:

Mohawk News

Training Clarification

This message is just to clarify what is happening at training this term in case anyone is confused.

Training for everyone will be from 2.30pm onwards

From 1pm until 2.30pm the time will be use for specific Open, Women’s and Mixed Training. You will have been notified if you are involved in these sessions. If you want to come along and throw around at 1pm that is fine but you will not be involved in the training session.

I hope this makes everything clear. Any questions, please ask Ashley.

Mohawk Emails

Paying for tournaments… up front!

Hello all,

Before your relevant captain starts chasing you up about paying for tournaments, why not pay now? The time is coming where Lucy, Ash & Kneetu all have to fork out loads of cash so that YOU can play at tournaments. That’s no fun, so don’t make them do it. If you pay the Mohawks account now (check this thread: on the how to pay stuff) then you won’t be chased up privately or publically. So, don’t make me email you a guilt email in the next few weeks, pay up now and get it done with.

The tournaments this term are Women’s Indoor Regionals (and nationals hopefully!), Open Outdoor Regionals and Mixed Outdoor Nationals. So, if you’re a girl you’ll most likely play at least two tournament this term (we’re hoping to get two teams to Mixed Outdoor nationals, meaning we’ll need the women! Kneetu will be in touch, or maybe he has been) so please put £50 in, and if you’ve said you want to play at Open Outdoor Nationals then that’s an extra £25 as we’ll hopefully get enough teams entered. If you’re a bloke then you’ve at least got Open Outdoor Regionals to pay for, and some of you will have Mixed, too. Kneetu will confirm who.

So please make our life easy and drop some money into the account so that you’re in credit! Maybe Callum will publish who has what money in the next day or two so you can be sure. But if in doubt follow the instructions on that link posted earlier and pay up!

Lovely, super, thanks.

Oh! on the open outdoor regionals front – check out this thread: and sign up if you’re interested. Don’t make Ashley have to chase you up to see if you can play! Make his life easy.

Ciao for now folks,


Mohawk Emails

Sunday trainings this term

Hey one and all,

The committee have had a chat and feel it is right that Sunday trainings (the indoor slot) should primarily be for the women as they still have indoor competitions this term. This means that if you are a male coming along please bring both indoor shoes and your football boots. If the weather is OK then we will head outside and let the women use the time more productively.

If you’ve real issues with this idea then please say so, but bear in mind that this has been put in place so that the women have the best opportunity possible to prepare fully for their indoor season. This also means that women should make a huge effort to come along to the indoor session to make Lucy’s life wonderful. If only three women turn up then obviously we will stick to most people being indoors (I imagine).

Hope to see you all tomorrow!