I have always wanted to give back by teaching Ultimate skills that had been taught to me, but there are not many opportunities or avenues for this to happen. As a young college player, I was lucky enough to grow up with experienced players around me that taught me the skills I have today. There are many college teams that struggle to improve because they are located in cities that do not have a large Ultimate community. Michelle Ng had the foresight to see that there were many schools in the northeast that did not have the kind of guidance that many of us received.
Teaching helps hone personal skills by forcing you to not only break down the basics but also identify the small nuances that can make a huge difference in your own game as a player. I apply the key words I used when teaching "breaking the mark" during my own games and especially when I throw (those being: stepping out far, faking, quickness and level of throw). I hope that the players I coached remember those same key words and push themselves to pretend they have a mark on them every time they throw.
The "Without Limits" clinic made a huge impact by connecting nearly 350 students with mentors, most of whom have 10+ years of experience. The format of the clinic was very effective. Two 30 minutes sessions were long enough to get the main points across and to work with individuals, but short enough to keep attendees attention. The college players asked effective questions and were frequently able to adjust immediately after suggestions were made. They reminded me of myself when I first started playing- eager to apply skills anyone would teach me. This first successful clinic inspired me to become more involved with "Without Limits," and I look forward to the overall experience with the program.
Tina Woodings is the captain of Texas Showdown