Saturday, May 14, 2011

Why Should I Care?

A little over three years ago, a group of about 30 captains and leaders of the best teams in the country met in the parking lot of the IM Fields in Austin to talk about the future of college women's ultimate. There were a lot motivated, passionate people in that parking lot- two future Callahan winners, a handful of studs who now captain elite-level club teams, and more All-Region players than I can count. The sentiment that "no one cares about women's ultimate" was probably more prevalent then than it is now, and we were all frustrated by it. We talked about tournaments, growing the sport, media coverage, and the importance of working together to make a difference. I left that meeting uncertain of what the future held, but confident that every single person standing in that parking lot knew one thing: we had the power to change things. Standing in that same parking lot two months ago, I had the opportunity to reflect on how much progress we've made. I think we've come a long way, but I know that we we've got a lot more work to do.

It's easy to be frustrated with the places where our sport, and our division, fall short. Quality tournaments can be hit or miss, you don't see ultimate on the front page of the news, and the women's division nearly always takes a backseat to the open division. The problems seem too big to be solvable. So why should I care? Why does it matter anyway?

I should care because I know how much hard work, time, and emotional energy I invest into being a good player and teammate.

I should care because I know my teammates do the same for me. Caring validates their efforts.

I should care because I love this sport and the people who play it.

I should care because others before me cared enough to shape my ultimate experience positively.

I should care because I can make a difference.

I care. Do you?


  1. Well said, Michelle!

    One of the greatest things about Without Limits is connecting women across the country who do care. It really feels like there is growing momentum in both the women's college and club division for investing in the community as a whole. And that's a wonderful thing.

  2. Thanks Gwen. I know I have told you this before, but you are most definitely one of the people who shaped my ultimate experience positively. Thank you for caring. You have made a difference for me, and for many others.

  3. Great post, I'll be sharing it with the BU women. Sharing is caring!

    But seriously, Without Limits has been amazing because it's given a name and a gathering place to the previously unnamed and un-centered movement. It's bringing those who care together so they can see there IS a movement and they are not alone in wanting more and a better future for the thousands of female ultimate players out there. That they're not alone in practicing or coaching when it's 40 degrees and raining, that they're not alone in sacrificing hours of sleep to plan tournaments ensure women have quality tournaments to attend, that they're not alone in holding themselves to a higher standard and sharing that with others. I can't thank you enough for the endless hours you spend and the effort you put into leading and community building. You're a rockstar.

  4. Thank YOU Sara. See you in a few days. :)