At the end of February, we’ve had a chance to get to know a captain’s perspective on Ultimate Frisbee from Piotrek in his 5 Questions With. It’s the end of March and I’ve got another interview for you!
This time, I’ve asked a rookie player’s perspective. I’ve met Suzy when she visited Gdansk. She went with us to play Disc Golf (which turned out to be such a blast :O ). We’ve talked quite a lot about Ultimate and how it looks like in London. It was so inspiring amongst the winter blues! Why? Well,… Do you remember that first moment when you started playing? The excitement? The passion? The commitment? It’s easy to forget that. Sometimes you need a reminder of how it feels like. It’s especially important when you see how hard it is to acquire committed players who love the sport and want to contribute to it (especially in women divisions).
I hope that you enjoy this interview and get to know a bit about Suzy’s view on Ultimate Frisbee. Perhaps you’ll get inspired too! 🙂
Name: Zuzanna “Suzy” Kurska
Plays Ultimate Since: September 2016
Team: Curve Ultimate (mixed), Chaos (women’s)
Favourite throw: IO forehand
Favourite type of the tournament: HAT!!!
Favourite division: women’s
Things outside of Ultimate: kickboxing, wine, cats, Harry Potter, languages and linguistics, Poland, London, family and friends, children (nannying), eating Nutella straight from the jar
1. How did you first get into Ultimate Frisbee?
I had a friend of mine from Warsaw mention it to me for the first time in…. 2013? or so and I laughed it off thinking how silly would it be to just stand around, throw a disc and call it a SPORT (deep inside I really wanted to do it anyway). Never being a particularly sporty person, I let the time pass, until Ultimate and I crossed ways again. This time it was a combination of my boyfriend at the time, who triggered me to go there, and an app called Meetup, where I signed up for an expat pick up that I never went to. Eventually, I went to the first training and absolutely freaking loved it. I ended up joining my uni’s team later that summer, having only played 3-4 pickups by then.
2. What does this sport mean to you?
Everything! I made so many amazing friends, built up my confidence and found a structured way of training with a goal that allows me to remain fit despite my elderly age ( :p ). I love spending time outside on the fresh air and throwing a disc is an excellent way to take advantage of the vast London parks and to enjoy nature. I love how easy and cheap it is to organise a training, so there’s never an excuse to not do it! Weather is not a problem.
In my busy schedule (two jobs, uni degree, two teams) I barely find the time to socialise. Ultimate changed that – my teammates are my friends and every training is an opportunity to hang out. I love and appreciate the community that Ultimate creates – no-one’s a stranger if they play frisbee, we’re all part of a big family. It’s very important for me.
3. What do you think is the most difficult thing about Ultimate?
Uhmmm when you get injured and can’t play, so your soul dies a little every time you see other people having fun on the pitch? Can’t think of anything else!
4. You’re currently training in London. What’s the Ultimate scene like there? What are the highlights of it?
I’m still discovering a lot about it, but from my experience, it’s an excellent place to start. The teams are literally everywhere, there are men’s, women’s, mixed, professional and competitive, as well as casual and relaxed teams, uni divisions, Ultimate clinics, open trainings, trials, indoor and outdoor tournaments… There’s something to feed every soul! It’s really easy to get and stay involved, everyone roughly knows the community and you can get a lot of recommendations regarding where and wh to train with depending on your level/goals.
I have just been to the neighbouring Reading to enjoy a whole day of one of the famous Eurostars clinics with the bunch of brilliant Reading Women players. This Wednesday, on the other hand, my team Chaos is organising an open training to which any and every woman who is even remotely interested in Frisbee can come and play along with us and learn from our coaches.
In the past year and a half that I played I trained with various teams on various occasions, I came to numerous trials and open trainings just to learn and develop (eg. with Iceni and SYC for women’s and Thundering Herd and Deep Space for mixed), I played pickup across London (Flump, PAF City, Brixton), hat tournaments (e.g. Charity Hat on Clapham Common) and I tried getting involved in all the friendly games we had either between uni teams or other mixed teams (like this Sunday, when my mixed team Curve will hold a warm-up mini tournament for London teams before Tour 1).
So as you can see there are plenty of opportunities to stay active and evolve and, most importantly, develop as a player, no matter if you play for GB or learn to throw a forehand. 😉
5. What are the most important things to you as a rookie player?
Definitely staying in the loop. If I am forced to have a 2-week break from throwing/training in general (for whatever reason: family, exams, health, etc.), I immediately lose confidence in my throws. So just keep training, keep throwing, make sure you have a network of friends nearby who you can throw with (and “nearby” is a huge problem in London, trust me!), so you don’t allow yourself to have long breaks in throwing.
On the other hand, an overload of training and information. I know it’s the exact opposite of what I just said, but it’s so true. If I force myself to train every day, especially with different people and different teams who explain/teach things differently, I get overloaded, very confused, things stop working out and I just get massively frustrated which leads to a regress. Sometimes a little break is good. Or just doing the same training twice, to consolidate what you’ve learned, as opposed to trying to do a million things at a time and expect to get it all at once. Or simply, take it easy, put a smile on and focus on ENJOYING the game, as opposed to beating yourself up for not getting everything perfectly every time. I find it to help me massively – that’s why I do it, after all, to enjoy the moment and have happy memories to look back to. Perfection is not the goal.
On the technical side, I’d say it’s the force/open and break side/marking that’s REALLY freakin’ confusing. I find our beginners at Curve struggle with it the most, and of course, I find myself getting confused about it every now and then in training. It’s still work in progress!
Perfection is not a goal. That’s something many of us should remember. 😉 Hope you’ve enjoyed the interview with Suzy! Also, look out for the April 5 Questions With interview – it’s going to get interesting. I’ll give you a small hint: we’ll get to know a bit about Ultimate from a player from the Netherlands.
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!