Month: <span>March 2012</span>

Blog Posts

“Foul? But I was just punching you in the…

I’m still processing a load of stuff from the weekend – most notably our ‘grudge match’ game, which has given me whole load of stuff to think about in terms of no-contest rules, how to beat drama and why we even play ultimate. Once I have that sorted in my brain, there’ll be a post on it for sure. I also owe Lucy a post which I promised a few weeks ago – so don’t panic, boss. It’s coming too.

This one’s a pretty brief post, about boxing out, position and bidding – because something this weekend reminded me of it.

This weekend, I went to jump for a disc and found I couldn’t – due to my mark running into the back of me as I took my approach steps.

Last year, I was punched in the face (accidentally, obviously) while jumping to catch a break-side knife indoors.

These two things have a few points in common: both times I had position on my defender (through the thrower’s efforts, not my own, I hasten to add) and both times my foul call was responded to with “I was just going for the disc”.

Oh, and both times, it ended up being contested and sent back.

First thing I want to make very clear – I do not view these pretty standard and clear fouls being contested as bad spirit on their part. This isn’t a post about how to recognise when you’ve fouled someone, or even a more useful one (possibly) about boxing out. This is a post about how to deal with that one phrase which is the derailer of almost every contested foul conversation.

“I was just going for the disc” is possibly the least useful phrase to use in a call, for starters. Of course you’re going for the disc – we’re playing ultimate. What’s the other explanation of what you’re doing? “I wasn’t going for the disc, but you were, so I thought I’d hit you”? No-one thinks that. No-one calls foul thinking that (or at least I really hope they don’t). Do me a favour – stop using that phrase.

Mini-rant over – this post is really about how to talk about the foul in order to explain to the defender that they have fouled you. In both of the calls I mentioned above, I found myself unable to convinvce the other person of this. And it’s because I didn’t mention the magic words – the words that are the bane of the “just going for the disc” approach: I had position.

This is the key point. When you and your mark collide, because you’re both running at the same speed to the same point, someone will say “we were both just going for the disc”. What they mean is, “we were going for the same space, and got there at the same time”. When you have position and your mark clobbers you, and they say “I was just going for the disc”, what they mean is “I was trying to get the disc, but you were in the way”.

Position is about having your body in the way, about giving your mark no other option if they want to ‘go for the disc’ successfully than to foul you. When you get fouled while boxing someone out, you haven’t ‘failed’: you’ve achieved your goal – the disc is yours. Unless they contest it.


So, how do you convince them? I haven’t quite got it down yet – but I think the key point I’ve failed to raise in conversations like those above is that of position. If you can explain to them that yes, you understand they were going for the disc, but unfortunately you had put yourself in a position where they could not do so without fouling you, then by persisting in their explanation of “just going for the disc” by their own admission, they’ve just fouled you. They couldn’t go for the disc without fouling you – and they went for the disc.

Maybe that’ll work, maybe it won’t. Go test it out for me.

Blog Posts

You can go hard or you can go home…

I warn you now this blog is going to be a  bit long and have quite a bit of information for you to ingest and in some places be inexcusably cheesy! So grab a cup of tea and make sure you are sitting comfortably and I shall begin 🙂

I am sooooo excited for UWON, this is where we can hold our own and being reigning champions, go back and defend our title. However this is only possible if we work well as a team as well as individuals. Therefore I thought it might be helpful to try and establish our team aims and commitments before the tournament so we are all on the same page and united as a team to make sure we do as best as we can 🙂 Im hoping you all agree  with everything I say, but if not we can discuss this as a team and come to a compromise 🙂

Firstly, my main aim of the weekend is for everybody to have an amazingly fun weekend 🙂 This is the main tournament for us, what we have been working up to all year and we want to go there and play our best competitive ultimate, but also have a laugh and enjoy ourselves whilst doing it :). Therefore I would ask you  to respect mine and Rhona’s decisions. If you don’t agree with us or  think we have missed something glaringly obvious please do tell us, but make sure it is at an appropriate time i.e. before/ after a game or whilst walking back to a line, not whilst we are trying to call a line or during team talks. I’m sorry if this sounds a bit dictator-esque, but from my experience as a player over the last few years I think teams have worked best if there is clear leadership and everyone respects the captains 🙂

Related to this point there are going to be times when we are going to call a line; everyone on this team has their individual strengths and weaknesses, so we need to make sure we get the strongest combination of these skills on the line at anytime to maximise our success in each individaul game to succeed at the tournament 🙂

Thirdly, sidelining! To me this is more important than how  far you can throw, or how quick you can run. Sidelining and team motivation are what will win us this tournament!! Therefore when you are not on the pitch you are the sideline, this should not be thought of as ‘oh Im not wanted to play im just going to stand here and get bored’, NO,  this is where I believe you can have the most impact on the team, being the eyes for everyone and letting us know whats working and whats not and encouraging us all. I will be expecting every single one of you to be supporting and encouraging from the sideline, we have enough people on the team to ensure that we have nearly a full team on the sideline, so we should be the loudest team at the tournament!! I personally feel that everyone plays better when they know they have the whole team behind them, even if someone is just shouting ‘Go Mohawks’ it gets me pumped up and gives me that extra energy boost to go out and run my hardest for that point, who knows I might even lay-out haha!! So shout and be loud and be proud of being a squaw!! Sideline is the most important position on our team 🙂

Penultimatly although we won last year, it doesn’t mean we are going to do it again this year, if anything it is going to be harder, we are going to have to want it even more and focus on winning each game individually. We are only going to get to the final if we put in the effort to deserve to be there. We need to go out into every game as if its  the final and make sure we are playing our best. There are a lot more women in ultimate this year, so we cant rest on our laurels and think that they were easy last year, or all their good women have graduated; look what happened against Uriel at Indoor nationals when we thought that!! I want us to play hard (mentally and physically) both Saturday and Sunday at this tournament, we are paying more we need to get our moneys worth haha!!

Finally, because we have enough players for nearly two teams you have to be willing to sub on and off the line regularly. I have decided to bring a lot of so that no-one is on the pitch for too long and we can make sure that we have people who are constantly on top form and want to run hard for that point;if your not putting 120% into that point your no good to the team being on the line. From personal experience and following Womens last year I think one of the secrerts of our success was that we always want ed to be on the pitch, but we also realised that if we were a little tired or worn out we swap with someone; so I often found myself playing a point or two and then swapping. This allowed me to put in 150% each point making sure that I played to my best!!

Finally (again, I know im waffling now but I promise I will wrap it up now :)) We are only going to do well if we are commited as a team: One man can be a crucial ingredient on a team, but one man cannot make a team. The main thing and most important thing I want us to make sure we focus on is having a good time and playing as a team!!! Remember there is no ‘I’ in team, I am going to be cheesy and quote the three muskateers now, squaws is all about ‘all for one and one for all’. We are a team, we are the best team, but we only will be if we play together as a team!!!!

Sorry this is very long but hopefully you agree with me on these points 🙂 In the wise words of Will. I. AM: – “You can go hard or you can go home”!

Lets go Squaws!!!!


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Mohawk Emails

Regionals Final Team List and Information

Hey Everyone,


Regionals is coming up this weekend and if you are on the list below then you are currently confirmed to play. If you are not on the list you have 24 hours to contact me. If you are on the list and haven’t paid Callum then you need to NOW. If you haven’t paid by Thursday evening you will not be able to play. You must fill in the Google spreadsheet that Rich posted on the Mohawks homepage within the next day. Finally you need to have UKU membership. If you played indoor regionals then you should already have this. If you did not play indoors or did not buy the membership then you need to do so before Friday. Tpo do this go to this page then sign up for one of the membership options. If you are planning on playing tour at all then I suggest you buy the full membership for students and under 18s if you are only planning on playing this tournament then you only need the basic one. You then need to go to this page and ask to join the team.


First Team



Second Team



Third Team

Jon Kit Chan
Ed Pocock


There will be a transport plan sorted later this week and I have attached the Schedule and Captain’s Pack to this post/email. We will be getting there for 9am so you will need to be on campus outside Lancaster House by 7.50am at the latest.


You will need to bring the following,

  • Sleeping bag + roll matt/something to sleep on.
  • Warm clothes to wear before and after games
  • Waterproofs (it’s likely to rain)
  • Clothes for the party (it’s only in the SU bar so not particularly dressy)
  • Football boots
  • Full Mohawks kit
  • Toiletries
  • Money
  • Food for lunch (there’s a bar but it’s not cheap)
  • Bin bags to keep your bag dry
  • Student Card + ID (to get into the party)


It is required that you do not go inside the bar whilst wearing you boots and your bags must be stored outside (hence the bin bags).


On a final note, I hope this does not apply to any of you but I need to say this. Whilst I don’t have any problem with you having fun at the party please do not do anything stupid such as getting on the roofs of buildings, causing disturbances near the residences or causing any damage. We are lucky to have been given the chance to come back this year and stay that the venue after some of the behaviour last year. Anyone seen causing any trouble may be banned from future Mohawks tournaments.


Any questions please comment.


See you soon.


Mohawk Emails

IMPORTANT: Regionals this weekend!

Hey folks,

If you are playing regionals this weekend then good on you! A few things that I require, however, are your phone number and sports fed number (8 digit RegNo on your student ID).

Please fill in this form:

ASAP. I need this information to give to the Student’s Union.

Thanks. If you have not yet paid for regionals then shame on you! Please pay £25 into:

Mr Callum Smith

And email [email protected] once you’ve completed the paying task, otherwise we will assume you have not paid. Callum will produce a list of people in debt to be shamed on Wednesday at training, so don’t be that person (please). Or have a credible excuse if you are, indeed, going to be that person. We need the money in order to pay for fuel and the vehicle hire so do us all a favour and pay up. If you’ve credit in your account then obviously don’t worry, but make sure you do have credit!

As ever, when you email, please say useful things:

Dear Callum,

Richard here. I have transferred £50 into your account for regionals under the reference “Therapist Regionals”. The £50 is for myself and [OTHER MOHAWK] so please accept that [OTHER MOHAWK] has paid too.

Let me know of any problems and I will be more than happy to do what I can to rectify the issues,

Yours, most gracefully,

Richard Roberts BSc

ALSO, massive congratulations our Women’s team for taking 9th at Indoor Nationals in Stoke this weekend just gone. By the sounds of it, Saturday’s are not worthwhile really, so nice work on winning everything on Sunday and bringing home some silverware as Plate Champions!


Fill in the form, pay up, and good job women!


Blog Posts

WILTW – Week 6: How to get out of…

What I learned this week: How to get out of a rut.

In my typical punctual style here is what I learned week 6.

This week I hit a wall. It’s been six weeks since the beginning of term and I feel like I’ve made no ground on getting to where I want to with my own skills and the team. A series of bad or missed practices, horrible weather, failing connections and increasing agitation have all contributed to the feeling that I’m just no good at ultimate, and probably should concentrate on my sideline for the rest of the season. We’ve all been there – you can’t get any throw right, the decisions you make are poor and the more you try to the worse the results are. This could be an off-day, or off-week, but in my case it was an off-month-and-a-half, or that’s how it felt.

Between games I confided in/complained to a team mate, I told him about how I hadn’t got anything right, wasn’t forging connections with my team mates, didn’t feel strong or confident in my throwing. His response (which I like to believe was honest and not just placatory): “I think you’ve been playing really well.”

When you’re in a rut it’s easy to become your own worst critic and sometimes all you need to get out of it is for somebody to tell you that, actually, you aren’t completely useless. And I don’t mean in a patronising way – clearly if somebody’s having a ‘mare they probably know and don’t need to be lied to, but the simple act of being reminded of what you do well can serve to restore your faith in yourself and evaluate your performance in a different way.

After hearing that simple phrase from a respected team mate it was like a pressure had been lifted. Where I had been trying to prove myself (to myself), resulting in forcing options that weren’t there, or over-analysing my decisions and mistakes, being told I was playing well allowed me to play to my strengths, do what I knew I could do and feel proud of my performance. I was content to do what I always knew I could do, and to do it well. I enjoyed the game that afternoon more than any I had done for months previously.

So next time you’re in a rut go and tell a team mate. We play a team sport, which means not just relying on each other on the field but also helping each other maintain our collective and individual esteem. And remember that encouraging words never go amiss, even if a player looks like they’re playing their normal, high quality game hearing “Good job” from a team mate can only do them good.

See you on the field.