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: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjIwmJMqrco – “You can go hard or you can go home”!
Lets go Squaws!!!!