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May 26, 2010

It’s the week before UPA Nationals 2010, or perhaps I should say now USA Ultimate: College Nationals 2010 from May 28-31, and teams are flying out from all across the country to battle it out on the grassy fields of Madison, WI.

Sponsors of college Ultimate from VC to 5 Ultimate are sure to be in attendance, along with the folks from UltiVillage who offer DVDs and videos of high-level Ultimate play.

But why tape, or watch yourself or others play? Well, it turns out that through mirror neurons and the like, your bodymind can also learn vicariously just by watching others repeat a skill you have already practiced in the past. This doesn’t mean you can learn everything from video–everyone still needs a coach and to put in the hours of practice and play–but watching yourself on tape, your team, or high-level play in general can give you pointers to work on.

That said, whether you watch WUCC 2010 club play, videos on the new USA Ultimate Multimedia, or disc skills – Alex Snyder on the low release backhand, there’ll be plenty to look forward to after Nationals a few days from now.

Here’s a press release from Wisconsin on their new feature length documentary, the BluePrint:

The BluePrint: The Road to the Repeat” is a feature length documentary that follows the full season of the 2008 Wisconsin Hodags. After two years in a row of making finals, losing and then winning once, the Hodags set out to bring the championship back to Madison for a third time in six years. This would be a trial of focus, dedication, and unity for a team beleaguered by a record snowfall winter, and a line up of bitter competitors waiting for their shot at the returning champs.

The film highlights the 2008 Hodag season through eight tournaments interspersed with scenes from grueling workouts and intense field practices. Feel the contrast of a team which thrives on the ideal of Hodag Love, but expects nothing less than perfection from itself.

Watch the Wisconsin Hodags “BluePrint” DVD trailer 3 here on YouTube.

I asked the Hodags about their training methods, and this is what Drew Mahowald had to say.

“As far as training goes for the Hodags, there are roughly 5 practices a week (except around tournament weekends), including a track, plyometrics, and agility workout. The Hodags are also expected to spend 2-3 times a week weight training, especially during the winter months and early season. The idea was always to build up a strong core & base so that when the season began to wear and tear at our bodies they would be able to withstand the beating. Brandon “Muffin” Malacek was the workout coordinator for the team and prepared and sent out workout plans to the team list before every workout.”

For more follow, and from the staff here at, best of luck to all the college teams at USA Ultimate Nationals 2010!

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