In this segment, we got the team's captain or coach to answer a few questions to further understand the team's culture and aim moving towards the World Ultimate Club Championships 2018. - Crackerjacks - Chuckies - Havoc - Freakshow
Credits to Gordon Yeo and Matthew See
Preparation for WUCC has been a quite a journey. Early in the season we had to make sure everyone had the basic skill sets to execute the systems we had planned out for the season. That involved a lot of drilling and reps. Next we needed everyone to understand and buy into the system. We had good takeaways from the two tournaments we participated in (AOUGCC and Gendermah), making us more aware of the parts of the game that we were still lacking in. We are down to our very last month of preparation and energy level at every single training is remarkable. Our D line steps up every training, giving the O line a tough time which allows us to see our offensive flaws. With just one more month to go, we are glad that we are only training harder and trying to tie down any loose ends in our game play.
Our players originated from different clubs and schools, thus it was natural for us to have different school of thoughts on the spirit of the game. We try to align our differences as we will like to see consistency in the way we conduct ourselves.
Going into WUCC, we are expecting tight games at all stages. How we react and deliver under pressure will be a big factor in determining if we find ourselves at a higher seeding at the end of the tournament. Strong wind condition and players suffering from jet-lagged are also part of the many concerns that we have. Hence, our exco is trying to arrange a warm-up match in Ohio itself, just 1 or 2 days before WUCC starts and we can use that warm-up match to make necessary adjustments.
We will want to leave a lasting impression (a good one btw) with every team we meet at WUCC, since U24 did a really good job at Perth earlier this year. Can't let that go down the drain, right?
The team has a good mix of youth and experience. We have an exciting batch of players who were on the U24 opens team in Perth and also the group of older players who played an anchor role with Crackerjacks in Lecco and the Singapore opens team in London. The players have learnt a lot from playing together and the end result is quite a nice balance. Every one of us in the team is capable of doing damage on the field. There is really no one player that we would mention as our main player, but some of our players do deserve a special mention. Victor and Kanzy; both have shown great attitude and improvement over the last few months. They are definitely on their way to achieve whatever personal goal that they were looking to achieve on this road to worlds, and they will definitely play an important role in helping the team achieve its goals as well. Extremely proud of this 2 up and coming (quite old) players.
What’s great about this team is that everyone is a competitor. The close loss in the AOUGCC finals made everyone realise we had to take it up a notch. It is heartening to see players put in the sacrifice and extra work to improve. However, WUCC will be the real test. The team will have to adapt and regroup quickly to match up to the higher level of competition.
Our goal is top 10 or die trying.
Credits to Chang Jun Jie
We drafted our team based on both skill level and commitment to the club. One absolute non-negotiable was that only existing players who have played with us at least 1 season will be allowed to represent Chuckies at the Worlds stage. We wanted to reward the commitment and hard work put in by players across previous seasons. In addition, we have a strong culture of continuity and reserved special slots for younger players with potential and have shown significant commitment to the club. We strongly believe in nurturing and moulding young players - to be the best player and best person that they can be.
Leading up to worlds, the team is definitely motivated and ready to give their best. Majority of the players are committing 5 to 6 days a week worth of time for this tournament by having additional training sessions outside of our 3 times a week training. Players coordinated their own track and gym sessions and we often meet up for extra throwing sessions just to work on our basics. Personally, I feel that the team have grown a lot since the start of the season. Opportunities like the Freakshow Invitationals and Mixed Nationals gave us a good platform to mentally prepare ourselves for a proper tournament. We also appreciate the support from local teams such as Freakshow and Shiok who have helped us along our journey by having friendly scrimmages with us and allowing us to practice what we have been working on during training.
Spirit has always been a huge emphasis at Chuckies. Furthermore, after the recent U24 Worlds tournament, players who went came back with a renewed sense of appreciation of SOTG and shared those valuable experiences with other players in the club. Leading up to Worlds, we have multiple compulsory team meetings where a big part of them were spent discussing SOTG. Separately, we established a club-wide spirit committee dedicated to educating players and constantly reminding players the importance of upholding SOTG. We also made sure that players practise good spirit during trainings such as discussing calls professionally and using the BE CALM technique, using hand signs and abiding by time limits similar to those used in tournaments. We are firmly aware that at Worlds, we represent not only our club Chuckies, but we are also flying the Singapore flag. We want to portray ourselves not only as excellent, but also well-spirited Ultimate players.
Having a diverse range of age group (from early 20s to mid 30s) within the team means a diverse set of challenges. For the younger players who are still studying, overcoming the financial challenges of funding the trip to US has not been an easy one. For the boys who are serving National Service, their schedules could not be confirmed until much later, some of those unfortunately meant they missed out being in consideration for the Worlds team. For the working adults, juggling the demands of work and increasing demands at practice meant having to survive on more coffee at work.
My personal goal for the team in WUCC is to show the world what Chuckies is about: Spirited, Fun & Competitive. We know we are capable of a lot on the field, and we hope to show that we are capable of delivering it. I also hope that every player can enjoy this journey on an individual level and have a tournament to remember.
You should be looking out for these 3 players: Competitive, Spirit, Family. Jokes aside, Chuckies is more than any star player, in fact more than the players on the field. As a club, we pride ourselves for our relentless cheering, creative side-line dance moves and a family-like culture to pick each other up. What you should be looking out for is our next upcoming music video! (don’t know what I am talking about? just google ‘Chuckies Lah Lah Land’!)
The journey to Worlds has not been a straightforward one for our team - it was only at the end of last year that we found out that we got the bid. As a result, more time was needed to prepare, such as going through a rigorous selection process and changing the training plan to fit the WUCC timeline. At times, we also struggled to strike a balance with being serious and focused yet at the same time, fun and comfortable with each other. There were many serious talks and “be a better team mate” kind of thrashing out sessions. Nonetheless, one thing that I can see from this team is that the team is getting a lot more open and comfortable with each other. Ultimately, everyone understands that this is a unique experience - you are never going to play with this same exact team, players, at this stage ever again - and it is clear that every single player wants to make the best out of this. Regardless the outcome, the journey itself has been and will be a fulfilling one.
This is the first time majority of us will be representing Singapore in a world’s stage like this. We do not know what we will be expecting but I believe every player will go in there and give their very best.
credits to Lin Risheng
There was no specific selection criteria which we had when drafting the team but rather many factors and considerations were used. Having disc skills, physical fitness, understanding of the game, availability and commitment all played a part in deciding the teams.
Preparations for WUCC is challenging, finding field space and matching everyone’s priorities have been difficult as well as coping with players getting injured. Yet the girls are excited and more importantly have the desire to do well in the tournament. The other day after a three hour training session we ended off with a technically simple drill but require everyone to focus and execute a simple catch and pass. They couldn’t do it. They tried again, and they still couldn’t. And this kept going on for a while. Finally, the coaches decided that perhaps they were too tired but the girls asked if they could do the drill again. They weren’t going to end this way, they knew they were better than that. I couldn’t have been more proud with them. These girls know how to put on a fight. We see the girls picked themselves up after they have fallen, cried with frustration but still turn up the following week for training, Preparations have been exhausting but they are displaying the grit that Angela Duckworth talks about in her book. The competition will come and go but these life skills will be with you long after you leave the game.
The Spirit of the game is important and we try to ensure that players recognized and use the different hand signals and understand the calls. We are still working on this as we have been used to relying on verbal cues rather than hand signals but time will aid this process. I think many of the times players fail to understand that sometimes what they have felt might have happened might not be what had actually happened. There are a lot of emotions that are invested on the field and it is always useful to gain an objective third party perspective. We try to give space for this to happen in training by talking through contentious calls rather than moving on to the next drill too quickly
Our biggest challenge was to cope with not having all our players on the same field due to injuries, work and travel
For our Mayhem girls we hope that we can achieve a top 16 finish and for Rampage the goal is for them to use this as a learning opportunity and share with their younger friends when they return. Both teams will need to display what they have been working on during practice and to stay focus.
Not meaning to sound cliché but everyone in the team is important. In soccer or basketball, a talented individual might perhaps be able to dribble and score on their own, but with Ultimate it is almost impossible to score on your own. We hope that with our team structure in place, the focus will be on how well we play as a team together rather than a reliance of any individual.
To state the obvious, the team deals with winning much easier than losing. When the girls win, they often grab their teammates or boyfriends and post on their social media accounts with some reflections on their journey. It’s the losing that is tough. We had two tournaments leading up to WUCC. We managed to reach the finals for both of these tournaments but at a critical point, one or two of the girls who have played impressively throughout the tournament failed to make a routine pass. It was tough emotionally on them because they felt they had let the whole team down but the team stood by them despite those mistakes. A lot of time, money and effort have been invested into this journey and naturally the girls will want to do well.
With Mayhem, Top 16. With Rampage, the aim for them is to focus on playing their own game.
Credits to Ben Ho and Tracie Tan
We drafted our team based on skills, commitment and the need to nurture and develop our younger players with the exposure to an Olympic-level of Ultimate Frisbee competition.
We see challenges as opportunities, and we must be as prepared as we can be and to adapt to new situations that we might find ourselves in
We want to a) experience high level games, b) have individual and team growth, c) expose our younger Freaks on the Worlds stage to develop them to be better, and d) most importantly, give back to the club as well as the broader Frisbee community.
SOTG plays a big and definitive role in the team, and in Freakshow Singapore. We have spirit captains who will actively talk to game advisors to clarify calls on the fields that both sides felt were grey so that we can all learn. We are also getting Keeks to hold a spirit clinic for the team before Worlds. As a team, we consciously make effort to spend time to discuss rules, calls, hand signs as well as areas we could improve on in terms of SOTG during training, and at competitions.
Preparation to Worlds is a fine balancing act, as Freakshow Singapore needs to work for the team to peak at the right time. It was definitely not an easy journey: through the failures and successes, we will continue to grow as a team, both in terms of skills and teamwork. To prepare for WUCC, we took part in a few tournaments, organized the Freakshow Invitationals to enable Singaporean Mixed teams to be exposed to a regional competition in the lead up to Worlds. To cap off the start of the journey to Worlds, we just completed our Training camp to get everyone focused and excited.
n Freakshow Singapore, we have a mantra #loveteammore. Everyone matters, everyone counts. Support Singapore Ultimate at WUCC2018. #neverenough
As a team, we have to know that we have each other’s backs, and we will pick ourselves and our team mates up and continue to push and grow. Every failure is a learning point. As a team, knowing that your team mates are there for you, that is what pushes us to do our best and bounce back up higher than where we were before. And for all the success, we treasure it as a team, hold on to it and continue to ride on it to constantly push for excellence and perfection. Good things and experience do not come easy, but that is what makes it all worthwhile at the end of the day when we play as a team and achieve our goals.
We want to progress as far as we can. Freakshow Singapore would also like to wish all Singaporean teams going for WUCC all the best, and let’s do Singapore proud!