Beach Diaries, Masters (Sandahl) 8/24/11

Posted: August 25, 2011 01:49 PM

So the best part of team sports (at least for me) is the “getting to know your teammates” part.  Humans are inherently interesting to me and playing on such a talented team of people who all have the SAME passion as you creates tons of opportunities for connection. What pass does he like to throw here?  What is his super power?  What makes him nervous?  What makes him laugh? 

As a coach I seek those things out to gain access to player’s motivations, and hopefully as a result to his performance.  As a player on a team full of peers – I can go so much further and that creates a feeling of bonding and camaraderie that is truly delightful.   Combine this with a week of amazing beach Ultimate, in Italy, and the whole thing starts to feel like Ultimate Camp.  In fact, we’ve all started calling it that. 

Welcome to Ultimate Camp.

The site of this tournament is a very large “Turistico Sportivo” which is essentially Sports Tourists Destination.  Imagine a camp that teams and families travel to for a week or two to relax and unwind.  Now imagine that this camp can house and feed 3,000 people easily.  It’s essentially like a college campus whose only department is sports.  There are 4 pools and dozens of other sport courts (soccer pitches, basketball courts, tennis for days). 

In the main building there’s 8 “buffets” for eating.  Most of the rooms are 6 person dorm rooms.  None of us have AC.  It’s kind of brutal actually.  7 sweaty masters who can’t ever get all the sand off ourselves in a room that rarely gets below 80.

But it’s Ultimate Camp – and we’re all in the same boat - so it just adds to the fun.  

On top of that it’s an international tournament so there are 30 countries walking around the dorms speaking lots of language that I don’t understand and wearing jerseys that I’d like to trade for.  Bonus!

All the while we’re finding new things to bond about as teammates. Razzing each for his ‘weakness’ is our sport when not in the game and sometimes even when we are in the game.  Mine is Midwestern earnestness which everyone else calls gullible.  It gets me in trouble with 16 razor sharp wits.  Luckily – I know some of theirs too. 

We also play some old standbys like the “Mine” game where the object is to get a teammate to say the word “Mine” in response to a question.  If they do – they do ten push ups.  And it’s cumulative so often you can get them to do 20 by just pretending you didn’t hear them.  I should know…Troy Revell has gotten me that way thrice already. 

In the end it’s just great to be with such a talented group of guys at Ultimate camp with a chance to create some life long friendships. This is why most of started throwing the disc.  It’s fun to learn to throw and get better at the little things, but if it wasn’t for the people, we’d have left ages ago.  

I can’t wait for more! 

Team USA Beach Diaries

Some members of Team USA will be submitting diary entries during the event to keep everyone posted on their experience in Italy.

  Grand Masters
Mixed Masters