2012 WJUC Team USA Diaries, Kyle Weisbrod 8/23/2012

Posted: August 27, 2012 08:34 AM
WJUC2012 Diaries KW
Kyle Weisbord, Team USA U-20 Girls Coach

Thursday August 23, 2012

The first 15 minutes following our 14-10 finals loss to Colombia were difficult. In our first meeting to lay the ground work for the team last September, Jamie, Leila and I had determined that "winning gold" was our primary, objective goal for the team. Representing the United States, the country with the largest playing population, the most developed national youth program, and the country where the sport originated, spoken or unspoken, we would have held that expectation of ourselves.


That objective goal of gold captured dozens of our own personal subjective goals including creating a strong team identity, developing player ownership over the team, developing a strong team mental game, representing the country with spirit, valuing every playing and non-playing role on the team, building a team culture of excellence, building a team with a strong Frisbee IQ, and providing all players (try-outs, alternates, and active roster players) with the best possible Ultimate experience that they could take back to their communities among other goals. But "going for the gold" was the measuring stick. It was the challenge that likely necessitated success in all of our subjective goal areas.

Once set we rarely, if ever, spoke the word "win." The challenge became the process and all of the controllable activities that we could do to build towards that final goal.

But, nevertheless, the loss was hard to take. In many ways it was shocking. I felt sure, even at 13-10 game to 14 that we were going to grit out the game; that our preparation and sideline, on-field excellence, tested mental game, and relentless energy would eventually find the holes in the Colombian game. And when the game concluded and I stood in line to receive the silver medal I had the very distinct thought of "this is not what we came here for" and had a strong desire not to wear the medal.

Soon I realized that I was right and wrong. The silver medal wasn’t what we had come to Dublin for but it did represent what we had achieved all the same. We had come to Dublin to develop a team; A team built on a foundation of excellence, made up of incredible players from around the country, many that had never stepped foot on the same field together, and that bought in to a common team identity and believed in each other. Colombia played a great final and we fell short of our objective goal. But in almost every other measurable and immeasurable way we succeeded beyond the expectations that Jamie, Leila, and I had for the team and the team had for themselves.

After the finals and a dinner with team, family and friends, as we were walking back to the dorms for our final night together as a team, I overheard Erynn Schroeder say "it doesn’t feel like we lost." And it didn’t. In the immediate aftermath of the finals it would have felt different to have won – I’m sure there would have been a period of giddy excitement. But what I was left with after the post-finals reaction wore off was satisfaction and deep joy of having been part of a truly exceptional team in every way that a team can be exceptional – a rare and special feeling.

Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this experience: USAU staff, try-out staff, try-out players, anyone who supported the players at try-outs and helped them get there, parents, Erin, and most of all Jamie, Leila, and the team. You are my USA!                  


For more information on these teams, visit USA Ultimate's 2012 WJUC page.  The list of diary entries is available at the bottom of the page.