I missed out on Rise Up last year and, after attending the 2015 edition, I can safely say I really wish I had gone the previous year as well. I was fortunate enough to be put in a coaching position for the Korean language weekend as well as part of the English language weekend. There were so many great things going on it is hard to pin down exactly what left the biggest impact on me but here are a few.
To start, the coaching and scheduling of the clinics by Mario and Matt was really top notch. Rather than coming in and just dumping their massive background knowledge and experience of ultimate on everyone; it was all presented in a well broken down and easily digestible format. By presenting and leveling all the information starting from the very basics you could clearly see lights going off for players of all levels in attendance whether they be brand new or with several years experience.
Having all that structure and coaching doesn’t help much if the participants aren’t engaged, and the players in attendance were absolutely ready to go right from the start pencil and paper in hand (a big first for me, seeing people taking notes on ultimate… What?). Speaking on the players at the Korean language weekend, it was incredible to see the change from early Saturday scrimmages (library quiet and not much activity) to end of the day Sunday scrimmages (so much activity and chatter setting up Defenses and Offenses that I was struggling to get an audible “disc in” call). I was also blown away by the insightful comments and questions brought up by players of all experience levels during the “Rise Up Wrap Up” moments (one of my favorite aspects of the clinics).
Probably the biggest take away I have is something I hope and think everyone in attendance got, and that is a sense of how to be an effective leader/ambassador in the ultimate community. Rise Up has helped evolve my thought process on coaching ultimate whether I am helping develop newer players on my ROKU league teams, or at a higher level with #LGW.
From simple things like throwing a scoober, initiating a cut downfield or being greenlit to huck to game-changing events like playing women’s Ultimate, RiseUp created opportunities for everyone in Korea.
It was bigger than individuals improving at the sport’s fundamentals and skills; it was about creating a future for the game here and now.
This post was written by Nick Whale, and translated by Hyunju Julie Kim.