Did someone set the planet Earth on fast-forward? It’s the last day of June, which means my probably greatest adventure in ultimate frisbee is happening as you read it. It’s European Ultimate Championships time! If somehow you’re not caught up in all that madness you can catch up on 5 Questions With…Meg Goldbuch.
Otherwise, you should read on and see what Dylan Freechild has to say about pro ultimate vs club scene and dealing with losing as an individual and a team. Need some AUDL insights? Read on. 🙂
Name: Dylan Freechild
Plays Ultimate Since: 2005
Team: Seattle Sockeye
Favourite throw: inside backhand
Favourite type of the tournament: Nationals
Favourite division: Open
Favourite thing outside of Ultimate: My dog
1. How did you first get into Ultimate Frisbee?
I first started playing back in grade school when I was around eight or nine years old. I played with a couple of the folks who worked for my dad as well as their kids. I spent a few years wondering if anybody else knew about ultimate frisbee until a team was made at my school for my eighth grade year. It’s the only sport I’ve played competitively since joining the team at my middle school.
2. What does this sport mean to you?
It’s my livelihood. It’s one of the most important things in my life. It’s given my confidence and helped me figure out who I am and what is important to me. It’s my social life and were I’ve made many of my best friends. It’s how I exercise and get out of the house. I’ve been lucky enough to travel all over the world because of it, among other things.
3. When and why did you decide to go pro with Ultimate?
I only played pro for two years. I made that decision because I wanted to see what the league was all about. How the game felt and how those involved were pushing the boundaries of the sport. Making money while doing what I loved was obviously very enticing. I needed help paying for my upcoming trip to WUGC in 2016 but I also wanted to capitalize on something I had put so much time into. Since then I’ve left the AUDL for multiple reasons. I currently play club with Seattle Sockeye!
4. From player perspective how does AUDL differ from Club Scene in terms of logistics, player benefits, game day experience and of course competition level?
I mean the AUDL is really fun for many reasons. All logistics are taken care of for you and you don’t have to spend your own money to play. Gameday experience is super fun. Fans come and watch and what not but my favorite part was that it was just one game. In a one game setting you can really get up for it and go all out every point. A single game is also very important and can make or break your season as playoff bids are based on record not ranking. The competition level isn’t as high as an elite club. I would say the top 10 teams in elite men’s club ultimate are still superior in skill and execution than the top AUDL teams. The rule changes have made some aspects of ultimate easier and some aspects of ultimate more difficult and I think it culminates into a less intense version of the sport.
5. Ultimate is a team sport and despite some star players on the team, it’s not always a guarantee of winning. What’s important about losing as an individual and a team? What’s your advice on dealing with losing and how to motivate the team to focus on future successes?
Losing teaches you lessons you don’t learn when you win. Losing gives you the ability to reflect on mistakes in the game and throughout the season more critically. Losing teaches you there is such a small margin between the two and helps you see winning and losing in the same vein. When you do this you are better equipped to improve after a win and better equipped to move on and get over a loss when you don’t. Each game and point is an opportunity to take a step forward but you have to be present and intentional with how you interact with others and play the game. When you lose sight of that you begin to waste the opportunity to move forward, regardless of the outcome.
Hope you learned something new. Losing, reflecting on mistakes and moving forward is certainly a topic worth mentioning in the future posts, right? 🤔 Leave some thoughts on the Facebook Page. Also, remember to follow Poland Mixed National Team at EUC2019!
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!