..AND NOW, PRESENTING MOLLY, THE DOLLOP FROM DC.

MOLLY ROY : DC SCANDAL

PAST WORLDS APPEARANCES: 2014 WUCC (SCANDAL)

Scandal'10_Adrienne_0017 (1).JPG

Involvement in the Ultimate community:

Volunteer at various clinics in DC through Scandal, the Washington Area Frisbee Club (WAFC), the Youth Ultimate League Association (YULA), the Girls Ultimate Movement (GUM), the DC Breeze which has recently involved some really neat clinics through the State Department, etc.

How are you approaching the tryouts?

This is my first time trying out for a National Team and I couldn't be more excited. I had no idea what to expect when I applied since I've always been more of a role player on Scandal, never one of the stars (which is totally cool, every team needs role players!). I really just want to take full advantage of the opportunity to play with so many of the stars from across the country. I play with and against many of them every season, but this promises to be a really fun and unique learning experience. I'm training very hard so I can rep Scandal to the best of my ability.

Which countries would you be most excited to see at Worlds?

Japan. Teams from Japan always seem to have such an impressive, highly technical, team-oriented playing style. The team-oriented part is my favorite, I love when a team looks like everyone is on the same page and selflessly filling whatever role needs to be filled in that moment.

Why do you play Ultimate?

I think Ultimate is the greatest sport for so many reasons, I'll try to list some of them:

1. On the field, there's so many different aspects of it that you can improve and excel at--you can run faster, jump higher, change direction quicker, cut smarter, throw farther, throw more accurately, throw smarter, react faster on defense, dictate on defense, play better team defense, etc etc, and when all else fails, there's laying out which can be a whole skill set unto itself that sacrifices your whole body.

2. I also love that the sidelines is a huge part of the game--I get thrown off when I see other sports and the subs are sitting calmly on the bench. I'm so used to the sidelines being active and important in Ultimate and it really means every single person on the team can be important and contribute to the game regardless of playing time.

3. The sidelines is also a subset of the fact that Ultimate is a team sport, which I just love. I've played on Scandal for seven seasons now, but it hasn't gotten old primarily because every year the roster is different, and forming and navigating the new group is always interesting and fun.

4. And of course, the Ultimate community is something everyone always talks about, but it deserves the praise. It's been my primary community and the source of my best friends and many of the best people I've ever met since I started playing freshman year of college. The average level of inclusiveness and goofiness is way higher than I've experienced in any other group of people, which are two things I value very highly in fellow humans

What is one thing you take from Ultimate to your everyday life?

I have learned a lot about group dynamics and managing people, particularly from captaining Scandal for three years and my college team for a year. Captaining requires constant attention to and juggling of many different opinions, interests, and needs, and that translates to anywhere else you interact closely with people whether its work to roommates to traveling in groups or whatever. One thing I've specifically taken with me is the power of smart delegation--it helps take a load off your shoulders if you give a job to a person with the right skill set, and also helps give more people ownership of the team (or work project or whatever) when they are tasked with something special.

What is one thing you take from Ultimate to your everyday life?

I have learned a lot about group dynamics and managing people, particularly from captaining Scandal for three years and my college team for a year. Captaining requires constant attention to and juggling of many different opinions, interests, and needs, and that translates to anywhere else you interact closely with people whether its work to roommates to traveling in groups or whatever. One thing I've specifically taken with me is the power of smart delegation--it helps take a load off your shoulders if you give a job to a person with the right skill set, and also helps give more people ownership of the team (or work project or whatever) when they are tasked with something special.

Who is one person you can think of that could use a little more SOTG in their life?

This isn't a single person, but my career is in government in Washington DC, and my immediate thought is Congress. Can you imagine how much our country could accomplish if Congress used SOTG?! If we could operate under the assumption that all Reps and Senators were trying their hardest and putting forth their honest opinion of what was true and fair, and frowned upon 'win-at-all-costs' behavior? I drool at the idea.

How do you think we can keep the commercial side of Ultimate supporting the growth of the sport?

I haven't thought that much about this, but I do see pro teams incorporating clinics into their pre-game activities or team missions and that seems like a great idea.

 


SARAH MECKSTROTH : MINNEAPOLIS DRAG'N THRUST

PAST WORLD’S APPEARANCES: 2014 WUCC (DRAG'N THRUST); U23 MIXED 2013, 2015

Involvement in the Ultimate community:

I have been coaching high school Ultimate in some form or another since I graduated from high school in 2010 and this year I have also been assistant coaching for the University of Minnesota Women's Team (Ninjas). I think coaches can make a big difference in a program and I think it is really important that those who have the time and ability to coach invest that time. It was because of my coaches in high school that I stuck with the Ultimate and its crazy to think about all the people I wouldn't have met, experiences I wouldn't have had, and places I would likely never have gone to if I hadn't continued to play.

How are you approaching the Tryouts?

I look at these tryouts and am so excited to meet and play with the best in world. I get excited about tryouts because they are an opportunity to play with players that I have only ever played against or watched play. Team USA tryouts are especially exciting because division lines get broken down and players from different divisions get to play together. My goal is to be as physically prepared as I can, play the best Ultimate I can and make a team, but if that isn't the outcome the relationships and experience that can be gained just from that weekend is an amazing opportunity that I am really looking forward to.

Which countries would you be most excited to see at Worlds?

I am most excited about countries that don't always send teams or are sending teams for the first time. It's always great to see the sport expanding. Seeing Team India in this past U23 tournament was awesome and I thought it was one of the most fun games we played.

Favorite Ultimate memory:

I have had the opportunity to play in some amazing games and with some amazing teams, but one of my strongest memories playing Ultimate is 2013 college nationals with the University of Minnesota. Our team worked so hard that year to make it to nationals and that in itself was a big accomplishment for us as a program, but then going and playing the way we did and winning some games we weren't supposed to just added to what was already a great season. Playing at the highest level (for college) with this team that had been my family for the past three years is easily one of my favorite Ultimate memories.

What is one thing you take from Ultimate to your everyday life?

I think Ultimate has helped build my confidence in everyday life. Several years of playing with different teams has contributed, but I think I have learned even more about myself and gained confidence in my leadership style from coaching. Having to be a leader for a group of girls and take what I I've learned from playing Ultimate and teach it, explain it, and in some cases defend it has pushed me to be more confident. I have definitely taken that confidence and been able to apply it with work, school, family, etc.

Who is one person you can think of that could use a little more SOTG in their life?

I can't think of one person/don't really want to call out one person specifically, but what comes to mind when I read this question is the type of person and player I was before Ultimate and how other sports could use some SOTG. When I played other sports, there was some level of spirit there, but nothing like when I started to play Ultimate. When I was playing other sports and playing against other teams I never saw my opponents as more than opponents or thought about the bigger picture, past the game we were playing. I was there to compete and to win, no matter what it took and with little consideration for what people thought of me or my team. After learning about and playing with SOTG, I realized that there was more to a game than just the win. Playing a spirited game has a better outcome for everyone involved and, to me, if your team is able to come out with the win, that win is so much more satisfying knowing that your opponents respected the way you played.

How do you think we can keep the commercial side of Ultimate supporting the growth of the sport?

I am assuming commercial side means AUDL/MLU. I think a lot of that is up to the men who have the opportunity to play on that bigger stage. They all know how awesome this sport is and should have the desire to do everything in their power to continue its growth on any level. If they push for their teams to support youth organizations both financially (when possible) and by running clinics, hosting youth nights, etc. that will foster growth and be a good use of the elevated visibility that commercial side of Ultimate receives. I think there is potential for the commercial side to have an impact on the growth of the sport, but a lot of it is up to those afforded the opportunity to play in those leagues to make it a positive impact.

 


ASA WILSON : ATLANTA BUCKET

PAST WORLDS APPEARANCES: 2010 WUCC (CHAIN LIGHTNING); 2011, 2015 WCBU

Involvement in the Ultimate community:

I've done a little bit of coaching at the high school and college level and internationally in Uruguay. On any league team or hats tournaments, I always try to help the team with one skill pertaining to Ultimate.

How are you approaching the Tryouts?

I took some time off after nationals to let my body heal, but now I'm back to training. There's not much time before tryouts so it's important to balance pushing myself with making sure I'm injury free.

Which countries would you be most excited to see at Worlds?

After living in Uruguay and coaching the team down there I would love to see them on the World stage. They made the trip to the Pan American Ultimate Championships this year and I hope to see them at more high caliber events in the future.

Why do you play Ultimate?

I play Ultimate to live and die together with my teammates. There's a shared struggle that fosters a closeness you can't get anywhere else. I also continue to play because ultimate has a community that keeps on giving. Traveling anywhere in the world you can find the local ultimate community and know that you've already got a family.

What is one thing you take from Ultimate to your everyday life?

Team positivity and striving for excellence individually. In life as in Ultimate, we often find ourselves on a team trying to reach a shared goal. Along the way there will be bumps and we always have a choice on how we react. I try to stay positive within my team and encourage others to do the same. The adversity isn't going to change but our perception of it drastically affects how we overcome it. Apart from that, the best way I can contribute is playing my part as best as I can. There's always something new to learn or some skill to hone. I've found that that rubs off on my teammates in a positive way.

Who is one person you can think of that could use a little more SOTG in their life?

That high school/middle school student that hasn't started playing. Ultimate and its SOTG instill a responsibility for one's actions and the need for communication in confrontational situations that I haven't seen in other sports. It's usually about what you can get away with while the ref is looking the other way. Getting exposure to that in your formative years really shapes how you conduct yourself in life. As a community, we're creating a group of people that can be the teammates, co-workers, friends and life partners that make the world a better place. Saving the world one Ultimate player at a time.

How do you think we can keep the commercial side of Ultimate supporting the growth of the sport?

Like many of us, I've loved seeing clips of Ultimate start to show up on ESPN and hear the announcers make comments that legitimize the sport instead of making digs at hippie culture or the like. That's going to get people interested in checking out Ultimate.

 


JESSI JONES : PHOENIX NC

PAST WORLDS APPEARANCES: 2013 WU23; 2015 WCBU; (+ 1 GAME WITH AUDL FLYERS!)

Jessi representing the USA at the WCBU 2015 in Dubai

Jessi representing the USA at the WCBU 2015 in Dubai

Involvement in the Ultimate community:

UNC Pleiades Co-coach: 2 years, love working with these girls!  Randomly volunteer for: Take The Field- a high school girls program, Middle school girls clinics

How are you approaching the Tryouts?

I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to spend a weekend playing alongside the country's top competition.  A lot of players invited to tryouts are people I look up to and have only competed against, so it will be great to play with them some at tryouts.  My motivations are purely to go to tryouts and give it my best, that's all I can offer, and although it would be amazing to be a part of the selected team, I can honestly say that one of my favorite experiences of U23 was the tryouts, so I'm excited for a great weekend of Ultimate and friends.

Which countries would you be most excited to see at Worlds?

I would most look forward to playing Japan again.  The American and Japanese styles are so different, each with very exciting moments, I would love another opportunity to play against them and be challenged by their fast moving break heavy offense.

Favorite Ultimate memory:

One of my favorite Ultimate experiences was going to Tornea Eterna Primavera this Spring (2015) with a hodge podge Riot based team.  What made it so great was reuniting to play with a handful of my U23 teammates and spending 4 days playing Ultimate together again and touring a cool city and eating random street food.

What is one thing you take from Ultimate to your everyday life?

The biggest lesson I've learned from playing Ultimate is that through everything in life, whether it be success, failure, whatever, the most valuable thing you can do is to build real relationships with those people who are by your side.  Ultimate taught me to always put people first before any result or objective, and that concept is worth using in every aspect of life.

Who is one person you can think of that could use a little more SOTG in their life?

Those ball boys at the NFL games that like to take the ball away when the Panthers score, when all the Panthers players want to do is give it to a kid in the front row.  Just give Cam Newton the ball!  It's for a child!

How do you think we can keep the commercial side of Ultimate supporting the growth of the sport?

One of the biggest ways I've noticed the commercial side of Ultimate helping to grow the sport has been through the amazing media coverage and increasing accessibility of film.  it seemed like every week of the pro league seasons, you would see an Ultimate highlight on Sportscenter, and then someone at work would come chat me up about it.  I love the exposure that those videos and highlights provide, even if it's only sharing the ridiculous plays right now, it's building more muggle interest in Ultimate.

 


ROBYN WISEMAN : MADISON HEIST

PAST WORLDS APPEARANCES: 2014 WUCC (DRAG’N’THRUST)

Photo from the PAUC 2014 finals by Roberto Garrido

Photo from the PAUC 2014 finals by Roberto Garrido

Involvement in the Ultimate community:

Since Fall 2013, I had the opportunity to serve as coach for Bella Donna, the University of Wisconsin women’s team. The ladies are so supportive and hard-working. This year, the team culture is one of the best team environments I have ever been part of. Coaching has helped me take my mental game to the next level, as well as taught me a lot of neat things about myself I never knew.

During the spring/summer, I organize youth programming in the summer. In Madison, I organize the MUFA TRAIN program, which is a series of individual skills clinics that are meant to challenge youth players with more advanced topics they don’t discuss in their high school seasons. I also am a lead coach for the Madison Mixed U19 YCC team.

I also serve as the Women’s Chair for the Madison Ultimate Frisbee Association (MUFA). I get to organize skills clinics, events, and leagues that promote women’s skill growth. As someone who works with college and youth players, I love the opportunity to work with adults. They challenge me to plan things that are fast-paced, engaging, and fun, while still building the community – that’s why adults learn the game!

How are you approaching the Tryouts?

Tryouts in 2013 were the most difficult, yet also the most encouraging and empowering two days of Ultimate I ever played. My journey has not included a lot of really elite-level experience; having the opportunity to occupy the same field space as players I really admire was a surreal experience. I’m trying to use this experience to help me better-prepare mentally and physically for the weekend. I am dedicating more time to conditioning and pushing my limits with sprint endurance. Most importantly, I’m trying to enjoy my training and play more basketball. I love running up and down the court and getting the opportunity to box people out and post up (guards can do it too!).

Which countries would you be most excited to see at Worlds?

I admire so many of the international women’s players in the Mixed and Women’s Divisions. Australia, the Philippines, Colombia, Russia and Germany have some passionate, talented and exciting athletes.

I am specifically looking forward to watching Latvia. Their mixed team, Salaspils FK, was one of the most impressive that I saw at WUCC in 2014. They were one of the youngest teams, but also one of the most gifted in terms of raw athleticism. Their aggressive defense and fast-paced transition offense challenged some of the most elite teams at the tournament, with every game they played coming down to a few points. I’m excited to see the amount of growth they experienced in two years after high level experience.

The Japanese teams play with such discipline and strong disc skills. As a defender, I really admire when players commit to working together on hard-nose, tight defense. The emphasis on having a strong team defensive game plan and execution at that level would be an incredible experience.

Personally, the Dominican women that I met at PAUC were wonderful people. I’d love to see them again in the future ☺

Why do you play Ultimate?

I play Ultimate because it is the only sport that actively emphasizes mutual respect as part of sportsmanship and competition. This unique aspect has allowed me to meet incredible people and create lasting friendships around the globe, while still striving to be the best athlete I can be.

What is one thing you take from Ultimate to your everyday life?

Being a better team player – in Ultimate, there is a role for every person on a team. I have learned to appreciate what everyone brings to a team environment, no matter the setting (work, volunteer groups, etc). It’s important for everyone to feel valued and feel that their contributions are appreciated.

Who is one person you can think of that could use a little more SOTG in their life?

I generally think that all politicians could use SOTG in their life. SOTG emphasizes an awareness that goes beyond thinking about yourself and calling the shots in a manner favorable to yourself and your team. SOTG teaches people how to exemplify mutual respect in the way they conduct themselves in dynamic situations and to resolve conflict with the utmost respect for your opponent. It means acknowledging sometimes you get caught up and lose sight of the rules, admitting that you’re wrong, apologizing and moving forward. Knowing the rules, not playing dirty or taking advantage of the rules and having mutual respect for your opponents is something politicians could bring to their profession. Mutually respectful conversations where we have to see the world through someone else’s experience could really add value to our society.

 

How do you think we can keep the commercial side of Ultimate supporting the growth of the sport?

Involving women in a way that is not just a novelty. I appreciate that teams keep their tryouts/combines open to everyone, regardless of age, experience level, gender, etc. Everyone can walk away from that experience growing and learning, so it’s important that anyone can have that experience. I appreciate teams that recruit the best coaches, and openly attract top-level female coaches.

 


CHRIS LAROCQUE : FLORIDA UNITED

PAST WORLDS APPEARANCES: 2015 WU23

Involvement in the Ultimate community:

I currently am an assistant coach for Florida State.  I played on the team for five years, and the current coaches invited me along to continue what I was doing last year (offensive coordinator in a sense) for the team this year.  There are not many opportunities to teach Frisbee in Tallahassee, but I try to play in the league we have established here.  I teach the rules and how to play the game while out there, and I try to make it fun for new people.  The thing that tends to happen in our league is a bunch of brand new people see the bad side of Ultimate Frisbee.  The chippiness, the arguing, etc.  I try to make it fun for all players participating by handling games fairly and taking opportunities to teach when they are presented.


How are you approaching the Tryouts?

I was a junior at Florida State playing in my third regionals.  My freshman year, we placed 9th and had no chance at nationals.  My sophomore year, we had a chance to be in the game-to-go, but lost to a Nick Lance and Jay Clark lead Georgia Tech team that eventually made it.  In my third year, we ventured to Tupelo, MS which is about seven hours away from Tallahassee, FL.  The field conditions were awful.  It had rained all week, so the ground was covered in mud.  We had an awful Saturday and set ourselves up for an unlikely chance to make it to Nationals.  We fought through Sunday to make it in a game-to-go against our rivals… the University of Florida.  As all games go with Florida, this one went to Universe Point as well.  We had been battling the entire game and it brought us to 14-14 with the next point sending one team to Nationals.  The head captain and I had played 28/28 points in the game, and it all came down to one last throw.  Our captain had the disc 10 yards outside of the end zone, and he locked eyes with me.  Time stood still as he threw a blady flick, intended for me, to the corner of the end zone… I dove and caught it landing just in bounds to secure our spot at Nationals for the first time ever.

Which countries would you be most excited to see at Worlds?

Well I did not get to play Japan or Germany at the U-23 Worlds in 2015, so I think playing those teams would be amazing.  I enjoyed our battles against Great Britain, so I would love to play those guys again.

What is one thing you take from Ultimate to your everyday life?

I think the one thing I take away from Ultimate in my everyday life is the ability to deal with people in a calm manner.  I learned to treat everyone’s opinion on the field as what they believe.  When I apply it to my everyday life, it tends to leave me a lot less stressed because I do not get caught up on if they are right or wrong.  They have their opinion and I have my opinion, and these opinions can coexist without judgement.

Who is one person you can think of that could use a little more SOTG in their life?

I honestly think everyone could use a little more, but I think I could use it.  I feel like I get caught up in the game.  I don’t get caught up in calls too often, but I have a tendency to “disrespect” my opponent at times.  My goal a lot of the times in games is to isolate the best player on the other team and get in his head.  I try to play mind games with that person and throw them off their game.  I think it is just the competitive side to me, and I do not think it is inherently wrong.  I just think it would go in the category of disrespecting my opponent in a sense.

How do you think we can keep the commercial side of Ultimate supporting the growth of the sport?

I think that as the game’s capacity to reach a larger audience grows, children become exposed at a younger age and begin playing earlier.  Five years ago in Florida it was rare for high schools to have Ultimate teams, but five years from now it will be rare for them not to.  Additionally, more people watching Ultimate means more opportunities for the sport to make money which can hopefully be reinvested into youth teams, nationally sponsored clinics, major Ultimate events, and just general promotion of the sport.

 


...AND NOW, PRESENTING JENNY FEY, THE VINEGAR GLUTTON FROM THE DISTRICT.

JENNY FEY : DC SCANDAL

PAST WORLDS APPEARANCES: 2014 WUCC (SCANDAL); 2004 WJUC; 2015 WBCU

Involvement in the Ultimate community:

I live in Arlington, VA, where I grew up and started playing Ultimate. There is a thriving youth Ultimate scene here still. I have coached on and off for the last 5 years, both boys and girls varsity teams. Currently I am a board member with YULA (The Youth Ultimate League of Arlington) and I serve as a liaison between coaches and parents. I am also the 2015 Virginia Youth State Championship coordinator.

How are you approaching the Tryouts?

I always tell the youth players I coach that going to tryouts is absolutely worth it, whether you make the team or not. Obviously I am determined to play my best, and am training hard to get ready, but one of my main goals is actually to meet as many people as possible. I think the best motivator for spirit is knowing your opponent as a person. As I'm sure I'll face many of the other tryouts on the field at tournaments to come, I hope to make personal connections that last beyond the tryout weekend

Which countries would you be most excited to see at Worlds?

I am always excited for international competition! I'm really hopeful that the Philippines have a women's team (I have no idea if this information is already available somewhere) - I've never played against the Philippines on grass, but they are so quick on sand, and the women in the Ditch Media exhibition game looked strong against the US.

Favorite Ultimate Memory: 

Oh man, this is hard - so many good memories! I think winning the Mid-Atlantic Club Region for the first time over North Carolina in 2010. For me, it symbolized the beginning of DC's rise in the elite women's division, coming after many years of tough losses to our formidable opponent to the south. All our accomplishments after sort of stem from that moment for me. Also, any tournament with Opig, my high school alumni team (plus friends!) because we are family.

What is one thing you take from Ultimate to your everyday life?

Hm, as a teacher I'm always emphasizing collaboration. I like to tell my students that Ultimate is one of the only sports where you can't score a point on your own - someone has to pass it to you. There are probably other sports that meet this criterion, but I can't think of any off the top of my head. I think that is a beautiful truth about the game, and a pretty good metaphor for finding success in life in general.

Who is one person you can think of that could use a little more SOTG in their life? 

Haha, Cersei Lannister?

How do you think we can keep the commercial side of Ultimate supporting the growth of the sport? 

I think just listening to consumers and staying up to date with what players are looking for - for instance, short shorts are back baby!

 

 

Hip Hip Hooray to all of the attendees that have worked so hard to get to this point! We salute you, and all you do for the Ultimate community. Oh, and good luck at tryouts!

-TUPO Staff