Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Grumble

I went back to the Ultimate game for the first time today since starting my hardcore relay training. Was hoping to bring John, Dan and Anurag with but they were out at Yosemite with my car, so I had to bike it there. There was this new dude there, thought he was God's gift to Frisbee. It's one thing to be good, to know a lot about Ultimate, to have experience. And to share that knowledge is great. I love it when good players teach me things, because I want to improve. But that's not what this guy was doing. He was clearly trying to piss people off and ruin our game, which is not cool. Especially while not hustling on defense and allowing guys to get open and score easily on you. Especially while causing turnovers by making difficult throws to people that weren't ready for the disc.

I just ran a relay race in Colorado, the Wild West Relay. A few times as runners were finishing their legs up I went back to pace them for the last few hundred meters. Would I go back, wait for them, and when they caught up start a full sprint and blow their doors off? The only point of that would be to show off my speed, and it would be a pretty cowardly way to do it, racing someone that's just run several miles. That's what this guy was doing with his throws. Showing off his "discmanship" at the expense of his own teammates. A throw that's not likely to be caught is a bad throw, even if it's perfectly on target.

What's really sad is that after the way he was acting this other dude with a valid suggestion to help me improve my game felt that he had to ask permission and be careful not to criticize me. Honestly, I had made some plays that deserved some constructive criticism, and it's a shame that one guy being a jerk can discourage other good players from giving pointers.

There is a guy that plays with us on Saturdays sometimes that can be pretty harsh on the players that aren't as experienced or don't have the skills he does, such as myself. But he came up to me and apologized after chewing me out once, and told me he was trying to work on anger management and just let himself get out of control. That's OK, and I respect him; it takes courage to admit that, and hard work to improve. He's doing his best, being mature, trying to understand himself. That's what life is all about.

Our Frisbee game is a plural society; different players are there for different reasons, we have many different strengths, weaknesses, styles and levels of experience and skill. Frisbee is something different to us all. We come to compete, do our best, get a workout and enjoy ourselves. We aren't going to force a player out of our game because we don't like him. We are secure in the fact that one jerk can't destroy our game, and when he realizes that he'll walk away, just as he walked away from whatever game he was at before ours.

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