Sally Landefeld, Junior Worlds member, speaks

Posted: July 26, 2010 10:29 AM

This August, 44 of the best youth Ultimate players in America will be traveling to Germany to participate in the 2010 World Junior Ultimate Championships. But first, the Open and Girl’s teams will meet at Amherst College next week for a weeklong training camp hosted by USA Ultimate.

Five members of Team USA have agreed to blog about thier experiences for - Bethany Kaylor,Sally LandefeldMaddy RoorbachNick Stuart and Matt Barnes. Follow their progress here as they train, travel and compete throughout the next few weeks.

Our second entry comes from Sally as she prepares for USA Ulimate's team camp in Massachusetts.


It's 4:01am in Seattle, and I'm just waking up to head to the airport to catch my 6:00 flight. Most of the other Seattle players are on the same flight—I think today will be exciting but completely exhausting for us all. Lights out at 9:30pm (6:30pm for us!) will be no problem.

Despite the fact that it is still pitch black outside, I CAN'T WAIT to meet my teammates and for the entire team to finally be together. All summer, "Worlds" has seemed like a completely detached thing that I can't picture. For the past 3 months, I've been training mentally and physically for training camp and the tournament. I’ve been getting to know Michela Meister and Sophie Darch over the phone as a long-distance team-bonding thing. I’ve been answering questions about my summer plans with, "I’m going to play some Ultimate in Germany!" I’ve already done so much for something I can hardly conceptualize. But now it's all starting to be real...I think it’ll finally hit me when our bus pulls up to the dorms in Amherst.

I suppose my "this-isn’t-really-happening" feeling is more about the actual tournament than the girls’ team itself. Thinking more about it, I realize that I already feel like part of this team. I’ve talked to the coaches on the phone, I’ve begun to bond with my "triad" (Michela and Sophie), I’ve hung out with a few of the other Seattle players, and have even Facebook messaged with a couple more teammates. I feel like the team has already started to take shape—being together at camp is just the next step in building the team.

I think team-building will be fairly easy for this group—not just because lots of the girls know each other from previous tournaments and teams—but because we’ve already had contact with at least a few of our distant teammates. The triads were the first of the coaches’ efforts to get us to connect with each other, and more recently we’ve been encouraged to reach out to each other over Facebook/email/etc. At this point I’m totally sick of phone calls and FB messages—I just can’t wait to actually meet everyone!!

Well, off to the airport now.