5 Questions With Geoff Shwartz

The summer is long lost gone and the outdoor season officially ended with Dragon Cup this month. It was such a blast. Happy Halloween to all those who are dressing up today for some trick or treating!

As each month, it’s time for an interview. On September Elwira in her 5 Questions With… what’s important for a rookie player, teams and women ultimate. The topic seemed a bit controversial, but it’s great to hear some opinions. 😉 

Today’s interview is with an Ultimate Frisbee legend, who introduced Poland to Ultimate! I thought it was currently difficult to encourage people to try the sport. Can you imagine the beginnings? Read on to learn more about Geoff and his perspective on Ultimate Frisbee!

Name: Geoff Schwartz
Number: Usually #3, though when I started playing no one had numbers in ultimate
Height: 5’7” (not sure how many cm that is; but I think it’s just under 170)
Plays Ultimate Since: 1983 (pickup games), first club tournament in 1992
Team: Flow
Cutter/Handler: whichever
Favourite throw: forehand around Favourite type of the tournament: beach
Favourite division: whichever
Favourite thing outside of Ultimate: probably skiing

Geoff Schwartz 5 Questions

1. How did you first get into Ultimate Frisbee?

I don’t think I really remember, since it was too long ago. I started throwing frisbees when I was like 9, and I always loved throwing discs. I also did a bit of freestyle and disc golf when I was a kid, and played pickup ultimate. Back then, there was no internet, so I didn’t know about club ultimate, or I would have played a lot more. My college didn’t have a club at the time (it was too long ago), so I only started club ultimate when I was like 21.

2. What does this sport mean to you?

Frisbee has been an important part of my life since the early 1980s. It is a large part of who I am.  

Geoff Schwartz 5 Questions

3. You’ve pretty much introduced Poland to Ultimate Frisbee. What were the beginnings like and how did everything change when you look back at it now?

I first moved to Poland in 1996, to Poznań. And there was no frisbee at all. I had to go to Berlin to play, which I did more or less every other weekend at the beginning. In the spring of 1997 I started organizing frisbee in Poznan. If you want to read the entire story (in Polish), you can find it here.

Of course, the biggest changes between then and now are the number of teams/players/events, and the degree of organization. And the fact, that until about 11-12 years ago, I knew everyone in Poland who played frisbee. Now I don’t even know everyone in the city I live in (Wroclaw) who plays.

Geoff Schwartz 5 Questions

4. What are the most important steps that a rookie player has to take in order to become one of the best?

I don’t really think I can answer that, since it’s been so long since I was a rookie, but I guess my advice would be this. THROW, THROW, THROW, AND WHEN YOU ARE FINISHED THROWING, THROW SOME MORE!!!!

5. Flow Ultimate Wrocław had a great outdoor season with winning the Nationals and ending up the European Club Championships as the 5th team in Europe. How does a team achieve such a goal and remain focused throughout the season?

That’s a good question, since the season is very long, but only the later events really count. I guess you have to give all the credit to Specjał, Milan, Ola and Wróbel, who kept people motivated from early spring all the way through October. Certainly all the work we did from March-June paid off in Opalenica in September.

Geoff Schwartz 5 Questions

Hope you liked the interview. There’re two more to go this year and a summary of two years of Introverted Ultimate coming up. Any thoughts on Ultimate then and now in Poland? 😉 

What’s your Ultimate Frisbee story? Would you like to share it? Feel free to message me on Introverted Ultimate or via email. I’ll get back to you with 5 Questions. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

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