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Strong Fundamentals Trump Team Needs

by Nancy Sun

Tryouts are such a weird time for me. It's exciting the season is starting and so many people want to tryout for our team, but at the same time the decisions can be stressful and as much pressure as one might feel when trying out, the team is also some amount of pressure on the team being tried out to find a good fit. Since there are a few different options in Boston, it is very important for our team to put our best foot forward and we try to do it as accurately as possible. We try to have a complementary mix of teaching and evaluating so that people can get a good sense of what the team is like (values, personality, strategic sets, etc) and the team can get a feel for what the tryouts can bring to the table. While there do exist specific skill sets that we look for each season (more on this in a bit), at the core, Brute has always had a strong emphasis on athleticism and strong fundamentals: catching, throwing, good decisions, and man defense. It is also important for us to see that people are coachable and able to adapt to different/new situations. All of these characteristics together paint a pretty accurate picture, albeit an overwhelmingly general one, of the type of player we look for taking on our team. 

Attitude and personality fit, while both are very important intangibles that are taken into consideration, have never been deal breakers for us. One of the reasons for this is because we already have such a diverse range of personality on the team - we have teammates who like to ask questions, teammates who are outspoken, teammates who are silent, teammates who are emotional, teammates who view the glass as half full/half empty, etc - and this is something we embrace and have never had a problem with. 

At the beginning of every season, we take inventory of the team and evaluate the roles we need to have filled, based both on evaluations of previous seasons and on personnel losses. Every year without fail, one of the hardest roles for us to fill is the dynamic handler (big throws, big target, touch the disc a lot types) and inevitably, we never have enough of them. Some of the other past specific needs have included: deep defenders, stopped disc cutters, possession handlers, and big marks. This isn't to say that we only look for people with certain skill sets, but rather we do tailor practices to focus on teaching and identifying these skills. The general philosophy is to increase the quantity of people on our team that are good at a certain skill, so sometimes we have tryouts who already fit one or more of our needs, but the tryout process is also a lot about teaching and in that case, it is just as important for us to see improvement from weekend to weekend. 

So I guess this has all been more about the tryout process from a team organizational perspective, but if I had to give anyone advice about trying out for our team, I'd just encourage them to be themselves and have fun out there. We try to maintain an atmosphere of openness and transparency, so if anyone has thoughts/ideas/questions, just tell/ask someone. Don't be scared of asking questions or for feedback and don't worry too much about "fitting into a system". Work hard, have fun, and play ultimate, because that's what we are all together to do. 

huddle Issue 2 Trying Out

Tuesday, May 28th, 2008

Thoughts From Chris Ashbrook
by Chris Ashbrook

Answers To All Of These Questions
by Tully Beatty

Play To Your Best, Tone Down The Rest
by Lou Burruss

Things To Focus On At Any Level
by Jeff Graham

Go After Similar, More Experienced Players
by Greg Husak

Focus On What You Can Control
by Ryan Morgan

Hard Work Stands Out
by Miranda Roth

Strong Fundamentals Trump Team Needs
by Nancy Sun

Athleticism First, Attitude Close Behind
by Chris Talarico

Thoughts From Team USA Tryouts
by Ben van Heuvelen

Perspective From The Team & From A Player
by Ben Wiggins




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