Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Northeast Captaining 101 Clinic Recap

A couple of weekends ago, we were privileged to host the Northeast Captaining 101 Clinic at Swarthmore College.  It seems that every time we visit the state of Pennsylvania, things don't go our way.  Keystone Classic has been a magnet for bad weather and bad luck the past three years, and while the weather was beautiful for the Captaining Clinic, the weeks leading up to the event were nothing short of a logistical nightmare that included facility issues, two round trips from North Carolina to Pennsylvania, and both of our lead organizers ending up in boots (no, not the fashionable kind).  

Thankfully, lead organizer Emily McAfee and the Swarthmore Warmothers did a tremendous job of troubleshooting every situation and overcoming every roadblock to the clinic... their dedication and perseverance allowed us to overcome many challenges.  We were able to host 80+ players from 20 different teams.  A new Captaining 101 Clinic record!

We were privileged to have Mary Kate "Uzi" Hogan (BENT), Molly Moore (Hot Metal), Amy Hudson (Scandal), Amber Sinicrope (Brute Squad), and Tracy Woo (Brute Squad) as our coaches for the event.  They brought a ton of knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm to the clinic.  One player said that her favorite part of the clinic was "getting to hear awesome stories from the Without Limits coaches cause they are all awesome players and people!"  We agree and felt very lucky to have such an awesome crew of coaches, all of whom have been dear friends for many years.

One of the more humorous parts of the clinic was after Michelle, Uzi, and Amy shared their tales of woe of leading college teams and broken hearts after not qualifying for Nationals.  Tracy stepped up to the front of the room to share her bio and said, "For me, there was no difficulty.  We won College Nationals my first year and were ranked in the Top 4 all year long."  Glad to know it works out for some people, Tracy!  ;)

We had a number of outdoor sessions that included Offense 101, Defense 101, Skills & Drills, and Scrimmaging with a Purpose.  We also held sessions in the fieldhouse and classrooms, covering topics such as Mental Toughness, Strength & Conditioning, Planning Practice for Small Spaces, Recruiting for an Established College Program, and Nutrition & Off-Field Preparation.

Another clinic participant had this to say about the weekend, "I felt like this was the first time in the past two years (since I started captaining) that I was getting really pointed feedback on my play from someone who knew the game really well. It was really empowering to have someone watch me play and take time to really give detailed instruction."  We hope that we achieved our goal of teaching the next generation of college leaders, and giving them tools to take back to their college teams to help them grow even more.  The future of college ultimate looks bright!

A huge thank you to the Swarthmore ladies for hosting the clinic.  Your hospitality was appreciated by all and can be summarized by this player's feedback, "LOVED staying with the Swarthmore girls. Our host was awesome, and she read us some of her original slam poetry and we had an awesome time."

Thanks to all for a great weekend!