Learn to Play - Maine!

Posted: April 2, 2013 09:25 AM

Maine Ultimate hosts 200 youth ultimate players at three Learn to Play clinics

Maine Ultimate recently hosted three USA Ultimate-sponsored Learn to Play clinics to help grow the ranks of middle and high school ultimate players in the Portland, Maine area. The first two events were open to everyone and had over 160 participants combined. The first event hosted over 30 youth, and the second saw over 130 new participants, with ages ranging from fifth grade up through high school seniors. A third event for women only was also held. The final event was also coached by women and had over 40 new participants come and learn the basics from experienced players and coaches. 

The clinics were promoted through social media and by encouraging the local ultimate community to spread the word. High school coaches and local club and summer league players all received notifications of the event and provided the catalyst for registrations. The same network that gets new people signed up for local, adult ultimate events proved to be very successful at finding and rallying youth participants for the clinics.
The clinics each followed a similar structure, opening with skills and drills to emphasize key fundamentals, followed by full scrimmages. The skills portion of the event focused on the basics of throwing, catching, cutting and defensive concepts, providing coaches the opportunity to really work with and teach the participants. The format also allowed coaches to separate the crowd based on skill level during the drills portion for the games played later in the day.
All three events were very effective in introducing new players to the sport and connecting athletes to people from different schools that share their interest in ultimate. The clinics also sowed the seeds for future growth of Maine’s ultimate community. As our high school and middle school leagues get started this spring, the clinics provided most schools with a larger player pool from which to draw and proved to be a very successful way to jump-start our 2013 seasons.

PHOTO CREDIT: Maine Ultimate

PHOTO CREDIT: Maine Ultimate

PHOTO CREDIT: Maine Ultimate


  USA Ultimate helps local youth organizations run three types of Learn to Play programs: open clinics, like those run with Maine Ultimate; introductory clinics for non-ultimate youth serving organizations such as cub scouts, church groups, recreational programs, etc.; and stand-alone promotional events for large-group gatherings such as the College and Club Championships, state fairs, etc. 

Midwest Ultimate will be hosting youth clinics on Saturday and Sunday, May 25-26, 2013, at the Division I College Championships in Madison, Wis. Check out midwestultimate.com for more details and to register. 

USA Ultimate is now accepting applications for fall 2013 Learn to Play programs – contact mike@hq.usaultimate.org for more information or to apply.


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