By SOPHIE AHAVA
University of Mary Washington women’s club frisbee was presented with an opportunity to attend a development combine at John Lee Pratt Memorial Park in Fredericksburg earlier this month. On Saturday, Feb. 9, Richmond Ultimate, a professional ultimate frisbee organization hosted a frisbee combine open for all frisbee players from beginners to expert. UMW women’s club frisbee attended this event with hopes to gain new skills, make new connections and ultimately prepare for upcoming tournaments.
This is not the first year women’s club frisbee has attended this combine. Senior Savannah Steblein has played on UMW’s club frisbee team for all four years of her college career and sees this combine as a tradition. She explains that going to this combine is crucial and beneficial because “fresh eyes may pick up on an issue that the coach may have overlooked because they see us everyday at practice.”
This combine was put into place to help refine player’s skills and help them improve their game play. Steblein said, “throwing has always been my weakest skill, so whenever I go [to the combine], I always try to practice and get tips on how to improve.”
Professional frisbee players run this development training, therefore, all the women there are gaining professional knowledge and insight from players that have learned to overcome the same difficulties.
The frisbee combine welcomed all kinds of frisbee players. Darlene Mugisha is a sophomore here at Mary Washington and this is her first year playing on the club frisbee team. Mugisha explained that the combine “prepared me for playing defense and offense during the game and helped me out with my field awareness.”
Professional players know the game better than anyone and the development combine was set up to teach players like Mugisha and other beginners about the rules and ways of the game. Mugisha continued to say, “it was a great opportunity to learn from experienced players and gain new skills for our upcoming tournaments.” New players that attended this combine left with new knowledge about the game that they can implement in upcoming games and tournaments.
The development combine was not only about doing drills and learning new skills, it also consisted of round robin scrimmages. Sophomore and two-year player, Izzy Burns said “there wasn’t much to prepare for the event because it was all about teaching and it was really fun to meet up with friends from other teams.”
The scrimmages allowed UMW women’s club frisbee to put their new skills to the test. Whether they were a veteran or playing for the first time, everyone had the opportunity to put their newfound skills to the test. Steblein loves how the combine “let us get to know players from other teams as well as [the professionals] leading the combine.” Connections are key.
Whether is was about making new connections, learning new skills, or just going out to have a good time, the Ultimate Frisbee 2019 Women’s Development Combine proved to encompass all of that. UMW women’s club frisbee takes to tradition and will continue to attend this event year after year.
The key takeaways for them included preparation for future tournaments, learning and improving game skills, and continuing to make valuable connections within the sport. Whether you have no experience with ultimate frisbee or have been playing for years, this development combine provided the necessary guidance and skill to make everyone that attended comfortable, confident and more excited than ever to play frisbee.