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2009 Clinics - your opinions wanted!

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2009 Clinics - your opinions wanted!

Postby discjockey » Wed Dec 17, 2008 4:40 pm

Hey all,

Having run the TUC clinics program for the past couple of years now, I think it's high time that I ask you, our valued members, for some of your input on what you'd like to see in the coming year.

Please feel free to drop me a line, either in this forum or by PM. Whether beginner, intermediate, or competitive, I want to know what you think.

For those of you that have attended clinics in the past, I'd like to hear your thoughts too.

Some thought starters for you...would you like to see:

- more team-based or individual signup clinics?
- guest speakers?
- theory-only clinics (i.e. no onfield coaching, just in depth discussion and chalk talk with whiteboards, etc.)
- gender-specific clinics?
- clinics for conditioning and drills?
- first-aid and injury prevention clinics?
- Q+A sessions?
- DVD nights with colour commentary?

Please don't say 'all of the above'... :scratch:

Thanks in advance,

Ian
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What everyone wants to know

Postby Qryos » Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:13 am

How about something on proper laying out technique?
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2009 Clinics - your opinions wanted!

Postby discjockey » Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:50 am

Yep, Qyros, totally doable. In the meantime, here's an instructional video to tide you over until outdoor season...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-kzZY2gdzk
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Postby c5ho » Sun Jan 18, 2009 11:26 pm

Hey Ian,
The intermediate clinics that were held at the Hangar last fall were great. Could there be some more clinics in that series? I've found that after playing to a certain level, it has gotten more and more difficult to improve without instruction. Talking to the more experienced touring players at those clinics helped me out a great deal. I think I learned more in a conversation and demo than I did all summer playing league. I think we only skimmed the top with those clinics so I would love to see a continuation of those intermediate/advanced clinics that would progess to more involved strategies/techniques on offence/defence/laying out/etc.

By the way, great job on all the clinics. I'm no pro by any means but please let me know if you ever need help.

Thanks,
Calvin.
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Postby discjockey » Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:34 am

Hey Calvin,

Thanks for the feedback. Great comments, exactly what I was looking for. I've been thinking about continuing a progressive series of clinics, and giving attendees more one-on-one time with coaches and touring players. More to come...

Cheers,

Ian
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Postby nobdyhere » Mon Jan 19, 2009 2:58 am

I had a attendant a few of those clinics @ the hanger and found them good as well. I would like to see a similar line up of clinics as it would benefit a lot of players in the beginner/intermediate levels. I wish i was there for the advanced clinic with the GOAT players. However, there was one problem i found with the clinics was that it felt a little dis-organized and a lot of the time the coaches looked at each deciding on what drill to put on next. I think having a lesson plan to streamline the clinics on basic fundamentals would be more beneficial and better use of the limited time that is given. Like longer drill time and not try to work on too many things in a small time frame.

I know this winter league has filled all time slots at the hanger this season so i would assume there won't be clinics this time around. But i hope Ian you can find the room and the time to organize a group of clinics this season.

J
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Postby discjockey » Mon Jan 19, 2009 2:13 pm

Thanks, J...will keep your comments and suggestions in mind too. Next clinics will most likely be just before or at the start of spring league.

Ian
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Postby Aline » Mon Jan 19, 2009 5:07 pm

I've attended a few clinics in the past (both individual and team, both indoor and outdoor) and found them to be informative, but I would agree with J, that they were somewhat disorganized (the indoor one more than the outdoor).

I would suggest perhaps having microphones or something to project the coaches' voices. I found that to be the biggest flaw in trying to understand what they were trying to explain/demonstrate.

One-on-one coaching would be ideal (but that's my personal preference, only because I'm looking to improve my game). Team clinics are fun, but hard to organize a full team attendance to get the full value from the session.

Given the expectation of most of the attendants, drills and practices are more engaging than just theoretical discussions. That being said, I would agree that limiting the topics per session would be ideal so that people can apply what is being taught.

My two cents... :)

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Postby c5ho » Tue Jan 20, 2009 2:44 pm

Having heard some more feedback from different people, I've thought of a couple more things. I agree with the comment about the clinics being slightly disorganized. I can't remember if it was the summer or fall clinics but I remember there being a summary file describing what would be taught in the clinics posted on the TUC site. However, when I went to the clinic, other things were taught. I understand that sometimes it was hard to progress to different skills because depending on the group, the instructors probably decided to keep working on certain skills.

On the other hand, would it be at all useful to have informal sessions? I could see this being more useful for the intermediate/advanced crowd who have specific questions as to how they can improve a certain skill. Personally, I found that when I went to the intermediate clinic, although I learned a lot from the drills, most the material where things I had already learned and I learned a great deal more talking to an instructor on the sideline and having him show me certain skills.

I realize that there's a variety of needs that you're trying to address and it will be difficult to find a balance to provide something for everyone but I just want to let you know that you're doing a great job and I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say we greatly appreciate it!
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Postby discjockey » Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:17 pm

Great comments all, and also things that I have been thinking about. It's good to hear this directly from participants like yourselves, though.

Thanks,

Ian
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Postby Aline » Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:18 pm

I'm in agreement with Calvin. You guys ARE indeed doing a fantastic job. I certainly didn't want to give the impression that the clinics suck, cuz they have been helpful. I was providing more constructive criticism.

In all honesty, I find the one-on-one time more informative as I'm being told what I'm personally doing wrong. It's one of the reasons why I love having coaches around during the Thursday HAT League. In the 2 weeks the league has been running, I've been told little tid bits that have already improved my game.

I know it would be extremely difficult to have one-on-one clinics if a large group attends, hence the suggestion on limiting the topic of discussion. I find that during clinics, the questions asked by the participants are the ones that bring most value to the session...as long as the question isn't about how to hold a disc. :lol:
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Postby Wartank » Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:54 am

i have many thoughts on this which should and will follow off-line. Ian, if you don't hear from me for a week or so, you should probably remind me.

However, I didn't get so many posts on this board by not being a sh*t disturber, so time to shake off the ring rust and take a big bite into @sshol3 rant posting. and mixed metaphors.

Basically:
1) The common theme below seems to be a desire for one-on-one coaching.
2) We have lots of potential coaches; indeed it is part of tuc's request that touring players reciprocate for fields, sponsorship, etc. with volunteer activities, like coaching.
BUT
3) the number of coaches requested for clinics is restricted. able coaches are turned down from coaching events. why in the world would we do this??

one reality is that we often have variable attendence at clinics and we never/rarely seem to have critical mass to separate classes by ability level. However, it's not a bad thing to run the same drills for many/all players. most players can get something new out of 3-man, 45s, huck drill -- i know for myself that i've been taught and re-taught these drills at many/all different levels of competitiveness. Not to mention *just throwing*. I'd love to hear specific feedback from participants about people/drills/events, etc. but IMO throwing is a cornerstone of any ultimate player, something that you can always work on, and rife with opportunity for coaching for any ability level -- a classic one-on-one coaching example. The upshot is that as the class sizes shrink and the possibility of class/ability split reduces, there is an even larger need for more coaches in order to specifically watch and tailor feedback to individuals.

not to mention the fact that many ..hurdles.. exist because this is a volunteer run organization. there's a great community, clinics are cheap, and talent-wise often very well represented. but preparing overall clinic plans, marketing them, administering them, and executing them all take time that we don't have. (While i feel like i give and have given a lot to the community, this is something i have chosen not to do. And the people in official capacities with responsibilities to run these things should be commended.) but in the absence (or heavy constriction) of finesse, strategy, time, money, and experience, you might as well throw more muscle at it.
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Postby jackson.byrne » Wed Jan 21, 2009 7:16 pm

Perhaps a clinic for people interested in coaching/captaining? This would probably be more suited for a class room setting. I think that for players of all ages, knowing how to teach/encourage proper skills in teammates would be a great asset, not just for coaches.
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Postby Wartank » Wed Jan 21, 2009 8:34 pm

classroom is just a setting. anyone old enough to remember greg lang's sessions would be able to easily understand how classroom can work really well too. there are pros and cons to both.

a theory/lecture series a la lang would work well, a game-tape breakdown session would be great, so would a coaching/leadership session. but all of these take a lot of prep so what it requires are seriously motivated individuals.

one other thing -- what if tuc sponsored (or at least gave volunteer hours) for touring players to take coaching clinics? it would be a great way to lend more structure / all kinds of improvements to the sessions.
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Postby RedSweaterBoy » Thu Jan 22, 2009 1:16 pm

I think the clinics are a great way to build a solid foundation but if more people want one on one time maybe TUC can set up something outside of organized clinics?

Not sure if this is feasible but what if the BBS had a sub forum where individuals or groups could post a classified ad of sorts asking for some coaching.

TUC could maintain a list of 'on call' coaches that they could match to the requests based on the needs (skill level, topics, group size etc). When a coach is found they would contact the individual/group and it would be up to them to determine the details.

Again, there are pros and cons to this. It would fill the need for more 'ad hoc' coaching but it could have an effect on clinic attendance. Also it adds workload for TUC to monitor and respond to requests and if demand is high then there could be a lot of people waiting. But I think there are enough players (touring or not) out there during the summer looking to find volunteer hours to support it.
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Postby ethan_m » Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:32 pm

There's some great validity in the training of coaches to be delivering strong programming. While we have many individuals that have taken their NCCP training in other sports, UPA's Coaching Program or have backgrounds in Phys Ed., the training of Ultimate coaches and instructors is in it's infancy. Ian and his crew have done a great job over the past year to bring thematic sessions to gather people together with experienced players - and hopefully the feedback from this discussion will create some momentum in the near future.

Over the past couple of years, a committee was struck by CUPA to produce a coaching certification program to be recognized by the Coaching Association of Canada. At this time, the formal consultation is taking place between the national groups to ensure the training meets their standards and helps to develop players both at the adult recreational level as well as much younger children with different physical capacities through to elite level coaching for competitive teams such as DIRT or MAO.

I remember about 5 years ago, Danny Jose led a series of indoor "Boot Camps" that seemed to be very successful. Lots of strong touring players grew out of those sessions - even Warren Tang! Perhaps it's there's a market for some intense clinics similar to that previous series. . . .
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Postby Wartank » Fri Jan 23, 2009 5:15 am

my recollection of past events starts to rapidly dwindle after the 2 week mark. what set those 'boot camp' sessions apart from regular clinics, ethan? or were those the 2 months called "roy tryouts"?
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Postby Edk001 » Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:25 pm

How about making these clinics a prerequisite for anyone joining TUC for the first time, such as in the Hangar hat league, or someone who's been away from the game for awhile?
Last edited by Edk001 on Sat Jan 24, 2009 12:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby ethan_m » Fri Jan 23, 2009 11:13 pm

Those sessions took place separately from the Roy tryouts. There was a smaller ladies session with a sizable group of men all at the Hangar. I believe it was led by many Goat and Lotus players at the time. I may have been drinking that afternoon, so my memory is sketchy too.
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Postby joguib » Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:20 am

I agree with Warren, many times we have many more coaches interested in attending the clinics than the number who are actually there. I totally agree with adding more coaches per player.

As a coach, I find I get the best feedback from clinic attendees when I am one on one and can monitor them for most of the clinic. Ideal scenario (with a large number of coaches) would be doing a bit of theory as a group, then splitting up with your assigned coach (2-3 players per coach) and applying the theory one on one (running a drill as a group if necessary). Then playing a bit of a game where the coach stays on the sidelines and provides feedback (on what was taught or general) every time the player comes off the field. This provides real time, game scenario coaching.

If you run the risk of having too many coaches to players, I don't think that's a bad thing. If the class is that small, you can have more of a full game with feedback on sidelines. We all know that playing at a higher calibre improves our game.

I also think that if coed clinics are run, there should always be male and female coaches present. Single gender coaches should only occur for single gender clinics.

Finally, I also thought the team clinic organized last spring went really well and we got very positive feedback from that.
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Anything on laying out scheduled?

Postby Qryos » Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:07 pm

Wanted to raise this again. Perhaps something after the regular games are over one night under the lights somewhere. Downsview? Probably wouldn't need a lot of space so perhaps we could even do something on the sidelines.
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Layout Clinic

Postby pblizzar » Mon Nov 16, 2009 7:59 pm

Hey,

just a thought. I think laying out for catches is one of the least appreciated, least taught skills in Ultimate. Any chance TUC would consider running a clinic on how to layout for blocks/catches?
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Re: Layout Clinic

Postby discjockey » Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:25 pm

pblizzar wrote:Hey,

just a thought. I think laying out for catches is one of the least appreciated, least taught skills in Ultimate. Any chance TUC would consider running a clinic on how to layout for blocks/catches?


We'll take it under consideration...thanks for your suggestion. In the meantime, here are a few brief articles on the subject:

http://www.ehow.com/how_4704136_practice-laying-out.html

http://www.ehow.com/how_2365146_layout-safely-ultimate-frisbee.html

http://www.the-huddle.org/issues/19/how-to-get-a-layout-block/

http://woolgathering.cx/ultimate/layouts.shtml (dig the vintage photos!)
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