In the June interview, we’ve had a trip back to London. Mark shared a quite a lot about his experience and insight in Ultimate Frisbee. If you’ve missed the interview then check out last month’s 5 Questions With…
This month I’m really happy to invite you to an interview with Cat Phillips, who currently plays for Australian Women team Ellipsis and is a player at AFL Women’s! This year she’s been working on the project of the Australian Ultimate League – a gender equitable, semi-professional Ultimate league being run in Australia from September 2018. Cat will be playing on Melbourne Flames, so make sure to follow them and the league.
Name: Cat Phillips
Plays Ultimate Since: 2007
Favourite throw: Blade forehand
Favourite type of the tournament: Grass
Favourite division: Womens
Favourite thing outside of Ultimate: I love hiking and cooking!
1. How did you first get into Ultimate Frisbee?
I started playing Ultimate in 2007 as a fill-in for my sister’s team. I loved it and immediately wanted to play more. I was really lucky that I was still a junior back then so was able to try out for the U19 Australian team. This was a great way to get international experience really early on in my playing career, and to drive me to want to get better right from the start.
2. What does this sport mean to you?
Ultimate to me is all about relationships and values. I love getting to know the amazing people that play the sport and getting to share experiences traveling the world with my teammates. The values that make Ultimate unique are also really important to me – respect, communication, fair play, and gender equity.
3. Building a women team in Ultimate in many places around the world is a tough task. Sometimes the players find it hard to commit to the sport or don’t exactly want to go to the tournaments. How do you get women involved in the sport and what do you think is the most important part of building a committed team to last more than one season?
One of the things I love about Ellipsis is the commitment across the board from the women on our team, and the continual drive of everyone to improve. We have developed this through a strong focus on our culture right from the start, which has taken a huge amount of effort and buy-in from everyone involved in the club. For a new team, I think it is important to have a vision that your players can believe in. Whether this is to win a local league, qualify for nationals, win Worlds, it doesn’t really matter. It just needs to be something that everyone can have ownership of and will therefore want to work towards.
4. You’ve played Ultimate Frisbee on the highest levels. What’s your advice for players aspiring to represent their countries and what should they focus on?
For players wanting to improve their game, my advice is to get outside and spend more time practicing. When I first started playing I would throw every single day – it didn’t come quickly or naturally to me, I just put more time into it than other people did. The same applies to other areas of my game. If you’re wanting to be selected on a representative team, I would suggest finding something specific that is already a strength of yours, and spend hours working on it until it is a weapon.
5. In 2017 Australia took part in The World Games, which were held in Wroclaw. What did you and your team learn from the event? What were the highlights?
We had an inexperienced team at The World Games and my takeaway from the tournament was that a young group of players with a lot of belief could form a very powerful team. The highlight for me was being able to test myself personally against the best players in the World, which is always a very challenging and rewarding experience.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed the interview. With the Australian Ultimate League, there’s a lot to look forward to in the Ultimate Frisbee world. Make sure to follow them to learn more and raise awareness about the sport. 🙂
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!