Ultimate Frisbee is the type of sport that consumes you. You find yourself researching how to become a better handle or cutter. How to improve your defense, offense, zones; there is no stopping your guilty pleasure of expanding your ultimate Frisbee knowledge. I personally find myself procrastinating homework and searching stories covered on ultimate Frisbee or, actual footage of past games that are over, just to watch their strategy; what worked and what did not work so my team does not may the same mistakes.
When injured, there is a disconnect. The sport you love has harmed you, and your trust is shattered. You have so many fond memories of the sport, but one bad twist or turn or fall is season ending. Now this may sound extremely dramatic, but when you center your college career around one team, it can be traumatic to be out one whole season out of four total seasons.
Last season, my roommate was a senior and tore her ACL the first week of school. This caused her to miss all of her last senior year of Ultimate. Of course there are other teams you can play on after college, club teams, but these are more competitive and
less free and fun than the collegiate level. She tried to stay in touch with the team, especially being our organization President, but watching her teammates play while she had to remain on the sideline was too heartbreaking. She continued President duties, but left the team and did not go to tournaments or many social events. The injury caused a huge disconnect that no one could fully understand or relate to; therefore, she left the team as that was an easier option for her.
There are ways to prevent injuries however, and my team takes these steps very seriously. Before every practice, we stretch for a solid 20 minutes of intense stretching. We also make clear that if pain is felt at any time, to stop playing and go to the sideline and stretch/do what is necessary. Another way is to take water breaks during practice to offer a chance for a break and hydration. During the winter, we also set up times in the rec to strengthen our muscles. And of course, at every tournament we have trainers to help wrap, ice, and give advice on what to do next. Trainers are important for on-site immediate attention to minor injuries.
Playing a sport you love is an amazing feeling, but you must know your limit and not push yourself to injury. This is because in the long run, you will harm yourself more, causing more time away from the sport. Don’t be a fool and rest when necessary! 🙂