As many of us know, Ultimate is one of the fastest growing sports in the United States. New high school, club, and college teams are popping up constantly, and the number of pickup games across the country grows every day. I’m proud to say that Trinity University’s women’s team, Altitude, is one of the nation’s newest teams! Eryn Ivey and I (Eleanor) are so PROUD to be coaching together during this inaugural season.
This past weekend, we all piled in cars are headed north for our first official tournament, Ultimate 101 hosted by the University of Texas at Dallas. After some organizational conundrum-solving and a rather speedy warm-up, Altitude commenced with this first ever game against Texas. While the weather conditions weren’t exactly favorable (55 degrees has never felt so cold!), we worked our tails off! Our handlers had some great throws, our cutters were constantly getting open, and our sideline spirit was out of control! Although we weren’t able to pull out a win, I know everyone would agree that we discovered our strengths and our weaknesses and that the first game was an incredible learning experience. Our second game on Saturday was against the reigning D-3 National Champions, Rice. Eryn and I were incredibly excited for this game for two reasons: first, we were excited for our new players to see an experienced squad and participate in a game of Ultimate with constant movement. Second, we wanted to see how our girls stacked up against such an incredibly talented team. Well…we did GREAT! Altitude scored their first point as a team and got a boost of confidence. The last two games of Saturday pool play were against the University of Dallas and Hendrix University. We still weren’t able to get any checks in the win column, but we played hard and kept the games competitive! After the games, Altitude had a LONG stretching session to ward off any first-day soreness (surprise, it still appeared) and then met for a nutritious team dinner (kidding—we got burgers, fries, and milkshakes)!
The forecast for Sunday hinted at a beautiful day for some Ultimate and we were all overjoyed that the weathermen got it right! Altitude had a wonderful second half against in-city rival UTSA, but weren’t able to overcome a slow start. Now we know that we’re definitely not a first-game team. After working through some scheduling issues, Altitude got on the field against a very experience, but under-manned UDU team. Again, a win wasn’t in the books, but it was the closest game of the weekend!
As a first time coach, I was incredibly nervous going into this tournament. I was worried that I’d make a fool of myself and that I’d disappoint my team. However, they were always willing to accept my advice and criticisms (I even made it look like I knew what I was doing a few times!). Overall, I had an incredible time and am looking forward to future practices and tournaments where we can implement some of the new skills and tricks we learned.