AFDC Juniors Blog

Welcome to the AFDC Juniors Blog!

Here we will be showcasing written pieces by players and coaches in the Juniors community. Look for new content to be posted every week!


 

Why did I start playing ultimate?

by Ebet Lansing

My name is Elizabeth (Ebet) Lansing and I am a senior at Grady High School. I joined the Grady Ultimate team my freshman year, have played every year since, and am now one of the captains of the girls’ varsity team. I played ultimate at camp for several years when I was younger, but never imagined playing it for high school. To be honest, I didn’t even know Grady had a team. My freshman year, I was approached by a senior, who was a captain at the time and who was in the same yoga class as me. She came up to me and basically said, “Hey Ebet, you’re really tall – we could really use you on ultimate. Come out for tryouts!”, and I never really looked back.

By playing ultimate at Grady for 4 years, I have only gained beneficial experiences. I have challenged myself athletically to better myself at the sport. I have gained close relationships with peers and coaches alike. True, I have had to become more intentional about time management for things like homework and studies, but in the long run, that only serves to benefit me as well. Ultimate has shown me what kind of player, leader, and friend I am, and can be, to others.

      One of the reasons I love ultimate frisbee so much is because I truly believe that it is a sport for anyone. No matter where you are in life, you can almost always take a little time to toss a disc back and forth with someone. People can take on ultimate with any degree of intensity – playing it as your main sport or just getting really good at throwing it at a desired target – but ultimate frisbee, in the most general sense, is an activity that can include anybody. If 7 years ago you told me that I would have traded soccer and tennis for ultimate frisbee, I don’t think I would’ve believed you, but ultimate has taught me so much about myself, both as an athlete and a person, and I am so grateful I did choose frisbee over other sports.

 

 


 

Why did I start playing ultimate?

by Margot Thompson

Even as someone who joined the school ultimate team a week before the season started, it quickly became clear to me the support and respect members of the ultimate community have for each other. I was welcomed into this squad of almost fifty girls immediately. What excited me the most was this new environment where competition is expected, yet dishonesty is scarce. I had never participated in a sport where these two weren’t equivalent. This applied not only to games and tournaments but practice as well; during every season, there are no cut corners, no lack of commitment, no hesitancy for intensity. Ultimate became my outlet to channel these characteristics for the first time in a way that didn’t feel forced—but natural.

Often times what girls’ high school sports gets so wrong is the actual competitor by implicitly setting teammates against each other instead of celebrating their abilities and channeling that strength into improvement. At school, I face this same environment of judgmental learning; comparing grades, achievements, and ability to learn. These invalidating places of ability never allow for effective teamwork which becomes quite contradictory. Ultimate has instead taught me to focus not only on daily self-improvement but to contribute to the team’s collective effort and commitment. This idea breaks down the walls of hostile competition within girls’ sports because it keeps each individual accountable for her own effort while pushing forward the team’s development.

During the offseason, my teammates and coach are what most encourage and support me to live with the spirit of this game. Every time we pass by each other at school, there’s this sense of an inside joke passing between us—like no one can actually understand the gifts of ultimate and its community until participating in it. And every spring, it the season begins to remind me of why I starting playing in the first place.

 

 


 

Why did I start playing ultimate?

by Mackenzie Mitchell

Playing ultimate with the Grady JV Girls team has been the most eye opening and beneficial experiences I could have ever had.

I remember tryouts my freshman year, I was so scared of all the experienced players and I had not a clue as to why I was even there. Sports weren’t my thing. I never played sports. I was never fit. But, when I started to play, I realized how great it felt to be able to move and be part of a team. That team became my second family, and a part of me felt obligated to care for them.

My second year, when I was voted as one of the captains, I remember feeling truly respected and appreciated. I found myself willing to drop everything for the team. There was never a time when I felt inadequate when around my team and my coach. No matter what, I knew I could make a mistake and never need to feel bad about it. There is always this accepting environment; ready to support and defend you no matter what. Playing made me confident in myself and helped me develop a level of self respect other activities could not. Anytime I hear frisbee mentioned or there is talk of an opportunity to throw with my teammates or potential players, I feel myself fill up with excitement.

The girl’s Grady JV team is a team I could never forget. It allowed me to get in shape and also participate in my other activities without problem. I’ve gained so much from playing ultimate and I’ve developed so much as a person. I’ve met my best friends and I constantly look forward the season to see how much I’ll progress through another year.

 

 


 

Why did I start playing ultimate? 

by Sarah Jordak

I started playing ultimate my freshman year at The Paideia School and, at first, it was just another form of exercise in the springtime. However, I was immediately drawn into the positivity and support coming from the community. It was unlike anything I had ever experienced from a sports team. The girls are not just dedicated to the sport but also to the values, such as commitment and skills. Even during pre-season workouts, I could see how passionate and intense all the girls on the team are. Yet, sportsmanship is always the highest priority. And, so is fun. This is a group of girls that will go out on the field and play their hardest and then, at any break in the game, start dancing and singing.

          I have also learned about the strength of women through ultimate. Between points, and if our team was down, girls would raise their arms up in a power pose informing everyone to keep their heads held high. That is my ultimate team. My team worked on breaking gender barriers in small ways such as never calling it ‘man v. man’ but ‘women v. women’ or ‘person v. person’. Those types of things allowed for the break in gender stereotypes. It is empowering to watch my teammates and look up to women in the ultimate community. Being surrounded by fierce women and playing hard has shaped my perspective on the power of women in sports.

The ultimate community has be incredibly supportive, loving, and fun to be around. I have gained confidence and friendships through the sport. Even though I started playing ultimate for exercise, it has become much more to me.

 

 

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