Friday, August 11, 2006

UPA WJUC Writeups - 8/9 and 8/10

cross posted for convenience, here they are...

Thursday, August 9th - Thursday marked the first full day of practices for the two US Juniors Teams. Both teams took the time over their six plus hours of practice to focus on individual defensive skills that require teamwide understanding and execution and basic offensive strategies.

The US Junior Girls used their morning session to focus on man offense including cutting skills, some set pieces, and finishing up with a scrimmage. In the afternoon the focus switched to man defense including talks and drills on the mark, dump defense, basic man defensive strategies, and downfield defensive positioning. The afternoon session finished, as the morning one did, with a scrimmage.

After a thorough warm-up in the morning the US Boys went straight into a scrimmage. The scrimmage was followed by a "pace" drill (focuses on pushing upfield and clearing), discussion of the vertical stack offense, and focused (prescriptive scrimmages). The afternoon included marking, defensive positioning, and concluded with more focused scrimmaging. Unfortunately, Columbia HS star Stephen Panasci reaggravated a hamstring early in the day. While his talent will be missed on the field, he has already begun to make an impact from the sideline.

Dinner was followed by interteam socializing, whiffleball, and ping-pong. At 8 both teams retreated to team meetings where the boys talked more about offensive strategy, goal setting, and the mental game while the girls bonded through charades.

Both teams looked crisp for their first days together.

Wednesday, August 8th - Today the top under 20 players in the United States arrived at Northfield Mount Hermon in Gill, MA to begin their quest for two world titles. Players from around the country flew in to Boston's Logan Airport and met and greeted each other as they waited for the bus. The bus, which arrived 30 minutes late, transported the players to the beautiful Northfield Mount Hermon campus where at 8pm regional players and players that arrived earlier met them. The players and coaches enjoyed box lunches (the cafeteria was closed) and then separated into their respective teams. Many of the players on both teams had never met before.

The players spent the evening in team meetings and playing outside and in the plush Northfield Mount Hermon dorms. There is a lot of work to be done over the next 10 days to mold 18 boys and 21 girls from highly skilled and athletic individuals into championship teams. But the work will be exciting and fun and the players and coaches are up to the task.


[Kyle Weisbrod writeups c/o UPA.org]

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

McCabe,

I understand the value of convenience, but please don't steal material from the UPA website. I'd appreciate if you take this post down and just let people click through from Miranda's link.

-Kyle

Ryan said...

ps Kyle your dates are wrong. Wednesday was the 9th.

<3,
Ryan

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Ryan. It'll be fixed shortly. Hopefully there will be more sleeping in the near future to prevent those types of mistakes.

tiinabooth said...

Amherst vs. Team USA

ARHS scored first and went up 2-1 before it was tied at 3's. USA took the half 8-5. We couldn't get closer than 3 or 4 for most of the second half, with our best being 13-10, I believe. USA then scored the next 2 to win it. (Captains for the USA boys are Sam Kanner, Darden Pitts, and George Stubbs.)

Having been on both sides of this equation (USA coach and today trying to challenge USA), I would have to say that they are exactly where they should be. Both teams had lots of unforced turns and neither looked particularly crisp for long periods of time. I know that Team USA has been working very hard at camp and now they need to rest and recover. I am certain that they will continue to grow and improve throughout the week and, of course, I have to pick them to win it all again.

After I left NMH, I went to watch another juniors match down the road in Leverett. Great Britain, after having some monstrous problems flying in to Boston, was playing the NE YCC team. NE went up early, but GB took half 8-7. NE eventually won 15-12.

We have been very lucky in New England to be able to host many of the international juniors teams. I heard the Israeli team was playing Needham this past week, and many ultimate players in western Mass. had a chance to play Australia, GB and USA. I suspect that there will be HUGE crowds in Devens this week to see how it all plays out. I know I'll be there!