It’s more than a game to many of us, but it’s still a game.
As the weather warms and the days get longer we all get excited about getting outside and playing some Ultimate. While some see pick-up as a time to throw that perfect huck or make a great lay out catch, others are just hoping to get in some exercise or meet a few new people. We need to make sure that Cedar Rapids Ultimate pick-up games are a place where all feel welcome and encouraged.
You, regardless of your skill level or time playing, can help create an environment that helps people have fun.
How can you help?
The best place to start is to acknowledge that our Ultimate community is ALWAYS be better off with MORE participants. The better we are at making new people feel welcome the more people will continue to come back to play regularly, and even bring their friends.
Put a name with the face. When you see a new person at pick-up introduce yourself. Ask them if they want to play catch. We want them to be there, so we need to make sure that they know that.
Build people up. When someone makes a mistake, don’t yell at them across the field. Walk up to them after the point and have a personal and positive conversation about the rules and how they could improve the next time.
Also, different pick-up games should have different levels of intensity. This helps players at different levels find their niche in the Ultimate community. If you forgot about our pick-up Tiers, check out our post from last year.*
*This year we won’t do regular pick-up games on Sundays, but players interested in Tier 3 play can find it at hat tournaments, leagues and club tournaments throughout the year.
When does this start?
Right now! When you come to pick-up on Tuesday or Thursday you will see a new face. If you show that person, in even the smallest way, that you’re excited they’re there, they are waaaaaay more likely to keep coming back.
You are a representative of yourself and the Ultimate community. Many people have very limited exposure to our community, and we may have stereotypes to overcome. Personal interactions are the best way to get others excited about our sport.
This extends to the Social Club league that is starting this Sunday. This league will have a lot of people new to Ultimate and it’s a great opportunity for us to encourage some of them to attend our pick-up games. Whatever atmosphere we create at league games, new players will associate ALL ultimate with that atmosphere. We have complete control of how we present ourselves and by making league games fun, for our teams and our opponents, we can encourage a lot of new players to become long-time players.
Thank you in advance for creating a fun, welcoming and spirited environment at all our games this year.