The Uruguayan ultimate team will be playing in a big tournament in Buenos Aires, Argentina April 5-8. We have been helping them prepare by teaching them the fundamentals of the sport along with strategy and plays.
The team normally has practice on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday afternoons. Attendance on Tuesday and Thursday is usually scant because people have school and work commitments in the afternoon. Saturday is advertised as a “come one, come all” and learn about the sport of ultimate day. Amazingly, there is usually one or two people every Saturday that are new to the sport. Kids show up to learn as well as teachers, making ultimate an all-inclusive and enjoyable sports experience.
As the teams’ goal is to win some games and do well at the tournament, we as “coaches” suggested that we have a team practice on Sunday afternoon for all the people that will actually be playing at the tournament. We felt that it was important so that the team could learn how to play with each other, and it would be a good opportunity for learning tournament-specific information (like plays).
So last Sunday (March 18) we had our first practice as a team! Carlos was able to secure some nice fields for us to play on at the local military school/base. The fields were nicer than many of the fields in the United States that are used for practice and tournaments. Nice fields go a long way to running hard, laying out, and feeling like a team!
The practice was wonderful! Everyone was focused and eager to learn. We practiced movement and timing of the cuts from a vertical stack, cup movement for zone defense, and reading the disc in the air. It was really productive and everyone had a great time!
We had another practice this past sunday (March 25) to work on plays on the field and in the end zone.
We are super excited about the tournament in a couple weeks! There is no doubt about the potential of this team. They have improved immensely since we arrived and have transformed into a competitive ultimate team. There is also no doubt that when we leave they will continue to improve and grow the sport of ultimate here in Uruguay!