Sunday, December 03, 2006

Ultimate Coaches and Players Conference Boston 2007

George Cooke and I spend A LOT of time hanging out under the tent at NUTC. We watch the kids play, the counselors counsel, the trainer tape, and wait for camp emergencies. But most of the time we just talk. The idea for the Ultimate Coaches and Players Conference was born in this environment, two years ago, and it is finally arriving this January 27 in Boston!

Years ago, (skip this part if you hate stories that begin "years ago"), before the Internet, if you wanted to schedule any ultimate games or get into any tournaments, you HAD to attend a Captains' Meeting, often held in Philly or Purchase, N.Y. You would spend the day there, listening to organizers announce their events, talking about the rules, or meeting with other players or captains. While it often involved using up a whole day WITHOUT playing any ultimate, it was still a lot of fun to meet ultimate folks OFF the field.

We are hoping to recreate this experience at the upcoming conference. If you go to you can see our full slate of seminars. We are very pleased that players and coaches from around the U.S. will be attending as presenters and participants. Our keynote speaker is Dr. Alan Goldberg, a nationally known sports psychologist who works with athletes of every level and caliber. He is very entertaining and knowledgeable and, as one NUTC counselor told me last summer, listening to Goldberg "changed my life more than anyone, outside of my family."

Additional presenters who may appeal directly to high school players include:

"Developing a Successful Ultimate Program"
Brian Dobyns--Efland, North Carolina
Brian coaches Backhoe.

"How Moho Worked: Growing Youth Ultimate in Diverse Environments"
Miranda Roth--Seattle, WashingtonBen Wiggins--Corvallis, Oregon
Miranda plays for Riot; Wiggins for Sockeye.

"How to Run a High School Tournament"
Josh Seamon--St. Johnsbury, Vermont

"Real-Time Decision Making in Ultimate"
Jim Parinella--Sudbury, Massachusetts
Jim plays for DoG.

"Drug Use, Abuse, and Dependence in Ultimate"
Dr. Charles Reznikoff--Minneapolis, Minnesota
Charlie plays for Sub Zero.

"Developing Summer Day Camps and Clinics"
Catherine Greenwald--Concord, Massachusetts
Anne Westcott--Concord, Massachusetts
Catherine and Anne played for Lady Godiva.

"Marking: Techniques and Strategy"
Ben Wiggins--Corvallis, Oregon

"Fitness and Training for Ultimate"
Dan Cogan-Drew--Somerville, Massachusetts
Bryan Doo--Waltham, Massachusetts
Bryan Doo is the fitness trainer for the Boston Celtics.

"Applying Mental Toughness Strategies to Ultimate"
Tiina Booth--Amherst, Massachusetts

When you are not attending one of four seminars throughout the day (it will be difficult to choose, I think), you can attend the Ultimate Expo. The Expo consists of two parts:

a) The Trade Show
All types of vendors, from high schools to established companies, will be selling ultimate gear and merchandise. Tables are available for any school team who would like to promote their program and do a bit of fundraising.

b) The College Recruiting Fair
We believe that this section of the Expo will appeal directly to high school ultimate players and their parents. The Fair will feature various tables staffed by college ultimate players. They will be available to answer questions and promote their programs. (for those of you just starting to look at colleges and ultimate, don't forget to use the NUTC College Directory available at

And, finally, at the end of the day, we are going to all meet again for a panel discussion about the Future of Ultimate. The questions the panelists will be addressing are:

What is the future of Ultimate?
Where should we go?
How should we get there?

Early registration opened on Dec. 1. Cost for attending the entire conference is $40/person. If you sign up after January 8, the cost goes up to $60. And if you decide after January 20 to attend, you'll be paying $80. Please note that if your school wants a table at the Expo, the cost is $40, which ALSO includes one admission to the conference!

So that's a quick look at this inaugural ultimate conference. Six years ago, when I founded NUTC, we had 28 players attend for one week. In 2006 we had 217 players over 3 weeks. We are hoping for a similar type of success for the UCPC. We believe that as the sport of ultimate develops nationally and internationally, there will be a greater need for these events. The UCPC is dedicated to the "promotion, teaching and growth" of ultimate. We hope to see many of you there who also want to see our sport expand, develop and thrive!


Lukester said...

This sounds amazing. i wish that i had the financial resources to attend such an event, but it seems unlikely considering I'm simply a volunteer coach.

The list of presenters and topics is impressive. I wish there was something on our coast that was like this.

Anonymous said...

Is ultivillage going to cover it? I'd heard talk of that?

tiinabooth said...

Thanks for the kind comments, Lukester. Since this is our first year, we really don't have any idea of how it will go over, but our long-range plans are to eventually move it around the country.
In terms of ultivillage, we have talked to super-nice Rob and we are going to have his company film part of the conference. We don't know yet which seminars we will be able to cover, but that's a topic we could discuss here. Which seminar would YOU like to watch on-line if you couldn't get there in person? If you ARE planning on attending, which ones are you going to check out? (the full list is at
Also, George Cooke and Jim Parinella are discussing the conference on their blogs. You can visit George's at
and Jim's at
If people are up for another topic to discuss, I would point them toward George's concept of imitation vs. differentiation. In essence, should ultimate grow through imitation of other sports, or would we experience more growth if we emphasized how we differentiate from other sports?

alexaxy said...

It would be cool to see the panel discussion, definately. Will you guys talk about MLU?
Also the Moho one and Fitness Training sound interesting.
-Alex from Kirkland, WA

tiinabooth said...

We are going to invite panelists with a WIDE variety of viewpoints about the future of ultimate, so I am sure that the MLU, plus other innovations will be discussed. Thanks for the feedback, Alex!

Johnny Mac said...

Hey Tiina, I've been keeping an eye on the news for this conference from afar, and I can only say I wish I was still in Boston. The list of presenters and topics sounds spectacular.
I would love to have the entire conference available online so I could access it from down here, but resources are finite...

If I had to make a smaller wish list, I guess it would look something like:
- Dr. Goldberg's presentation
- "Developing a Successful Ultimate Program" with Brian Dobyns
- decision making with Jim P
- "Running Club Ultimate Teams" with Peter J
- marking with Ben
- fitness with Dan C-D and Bryan D
- your presentation on mental toughness

As I say, I'll devour anything that I can get my hands on, so I'd appreciate all I can get.

Good luck with it all - I hope it turns out as good as it looks!

John McNaughton

P.S. Apologies if this posts twice... first time didn't seem to work...

Lukester said...

The top 3 presentations that I would want to see and be part of are:
1. Developing a Successful Ultimate Program
2. Developing Summer Day Camps & Clinics
3. How Moho Worked

Anonymous said...

Top Topics:

top 3
Parinella Decision Making
Wiggins Marking
Doo Fitness

Hon Mention:
Reznikoff Drug Use
Booth Mental Toughness

"That's a man's list."