[Interview] Melissa Witmer on Ultimate Fitness

Melissa Witmer is the mind and body behind The Ultimate Athlete Project, a fitness program designed specifically for Ultimate performance. She has graced us with her fitness and training knowledge on this blog already, and so we were happy to finally catch her for a more thorough interview.

We sat down with her ahead of the Ultimate Athlete Project’s reopening this week to find out more about Melissa herself, her journey through fitness, the UAP, and a brief look at the boatload of other projects Witmer is involved in.

Read those previous blogposts here:
Three Agility Drills for Ultimate
2 Easy Exercices to Warmup your Feet

Had you done strength and conditioning work before you started playing Ultimate? And when did you first partake in fitness for Ultimate?

Like many players in the US at the time, I started playing when I got to university. That was in 1996 at Virginia Tech. I was introduced to strength training in high school with the girls field hockey team. I loved it and continued strength training as a normal part of my fitness routine even before I started training for ultimate. It wasn’t until much later that I made the transition from playing ultimate to stay in shape to training for ultimate.

I started to train for ultimate when I was in graduate school. I left my PhD program in chemistry with no backup plan and decided to just pursue all of the things I loved for a year or two. I got a masters in kinesiology and made a first pass at applying what I was learning to getting better at ultimate. In graduate school the training I was doing was not tailored to athletic performance in the way it is now. I made the most progress in understanding how athletes train after school, when I was in my thirties and decided to give myself one more shot at playing elite level club.

I devoted a lot of time from 2010-2012 to studying how professional athletes actually train. This studying was much more specific and much more in-depth than the learning I did in school. I also had the benefit of working at a center where american football players prepped for the NFL combine. My exposure to professional athletes and the programs they were doing confirmed much of what I had learned. Of course, experimenting on myself was the most convincing confirmation. Despite doing less work, I got far more out of my body athletically in my mid-thirties than in my mid-twenties. It wasn’t even a close comparison.

The main difference is in the focus and timing of training sessions. It’s difficult to understand what a profound difference proper planning makes until you experience it for yourself. The difference in philosophy is to plan training sessions for maximal adaptation, not maximal output. This causes some difficulty for us because when some athletes begin The Ultimate Athlete Project they have the misconception that it’s too easy. Anyone can make a workout hard. But not everyone can plan your schedule so that you adapt to training consistently over a long period of time. The UAP puts a high priority on being efficient and effective with time spent on training. We put zero priority on making sure the workout or the training schedule “feels hard.”

What was your main goal in starting the UAP?

The Ultimate Athlete Project was built to improve the way that players train for ultimate. Ultimate players were already putting time into training. But by not understanding how to train for athletic performance rather than general fitness, they were leaving a lot of athletic potential untapped.

The Ultimate Athlete Project is not the 100% perfect solution. The gold standard is to work with a strength and conditioning coach (not the same thing as a personal trainer!) over a period of several years.

What I am doing is providing a system that will get players far closer to athletic performance training then they currently are. I provide an effective, practical solution that is about a tenth of the price of a personal strength and conditioning coach.

In your experience, where do athletes who design their own fitness plans often go wrong? What aspects do they over and under emphasize?

Common mistakes:

  • too much volume
  • prioritizing endurance over power
  • too little focus (trying to improve everything at once)
  • deciding strength is important and jumping on a common barbell plan that does not include functional strength
  • deciding functional strength is important and neglecting getting really strong

But the biggest problem is really not having a plan. Players have very little idea of how to approach long term planning, and why should they? It’s hard. That’s why people spend multiple years studying the topic of strength training. What The Ultimate Athlete Project does best is to tell players exactly what to do and when to do it. So they can focus on training and on all the other things they need to worry about to become better players.

The UAP is customizable to a specific athlete’s needs, and caters to any level of players (no previous fitness experience required), but how does that work? How is this fitness program able to work for the variety of athletes it caters to?

The UAP is a system built on solid scientific principles. Not many ultimate players have had experience with a strength and conditioning coach writing an individualized program. So despite being at various levels of play, most ultimate players are relatively new to athletic performance training. This is why the UAP works for almost everyone. In fact, it tends to work best for those who have the most strength training experience. Experienced athletes are already used to putting in training time. The UAP directs that effort in the most efficient direction.

I would not say that it is customozable to a specific athlete’s needs. It is customozable to various schedules. The UAP by itself is not individualized training. If an athlete wants some extra attention or modifications due to an injury history, we provide the option to pay for consulting with Ren Caldwell of Ren Fitness. She is familiar with the UAP programming and is excellent at helping players sort through movement pattern problems. Ren and I are huge fans of each others work and it’s an honor to have her hanging out in the UAP, answering member questions when she can, and helping players with individualization when they need it.

Subscription to the UAP opened on Monday the 9th of October. Why is subscription opening at this time, and only open for a limited period?

In the past the UAP has been open for a week at a time during various opening windows. The reason we close is that we need players to understand that the UAP is a long term plan. We do not want players signing up 8 weeks before their season begins. Having everyone join at the same time has helped us to handle the customer support issues that come with managing a large group of people. It has been helpful to have people get started on the program together.

This year we’re doing things differently. We will leave the UAP open for several months. We hope this will allow people to sign up when they are most ready to begin training. The UAP has more help on board this year to take care of ongoing customer support. We hope this change will be beneficial to everyone. We may close at the end of February to again when most players are close to in season.

You first launched the UAP in 2011, how has the program evolved since then?

The principles behind athletic performance training have not changed dramatically since 2011. The UAP is committed to using scientifically validated training methods whenever possible. We won’t change every year depending on what new piece of equipment is fashionable at the time. Every year we make improvements that either make the UAP easier to use or that help our athletes better understand the principles behind the training. We try various experiments each year to see what our athletes find most helpful.

Our latest and upcoming changes are about providing modules that athletes can use to slightly tailor their programming. For example, last year we provided conditioning modules specific to beach ultimate. This year we will provide substitute SAQ and conditioning modules for those who are playing indoor over the winter. We may do a module specifically for those who want to work on their running form. We have other ideas and will be consulting our members for more.

Our biggest innovation on the horizon is the UAP app which will allow athletes to log their workouts on their phones. This project is still in the beginning phases so we don’t want to promise too much. Our long term goal is to help our athletes use their own data to drive better adaptation to training. That’s more like a five year project. Right now we’re happy if the app makes the program easier to use by making it fully functional on mobile.

You’re very well known for your work on Ultimate fitness with the UAP, but that is not the limit of your contribution to Ultimate specific knowledge. What other projects are you currently working on?

Our newest adventure is The Ultimate Skills Project. Like The Ultimate Athlete Project, the focus is on providing players with things they can do to improve their playing. I have brought in some of the best ultimate coaches in the world to create skills modules that players can work on in 1-2 hours per week by themselves or with a partner.

For anyone who has wondered what the difference is between intermediate players and the elites, The Ultimate Skills Project is where you can get that level of focus and detail.

Outside of the US, we are better known for our coaching resources in the Ulty Results Coaching Academy. Every year since 2013, we’ve brought the best ultimate coaches together for a yearly online conference. And we’re building a small but very dedicated group of global ultimate coaches in our URCA Classroom. For those who want a taste of what we offer, we’ve just put together a package of some of our best URCA content from the past few years that covers the breadth of what a coach should know about the game.

Melissa, thank you so much for your time.

The Ultimate Athlete Project and The Ultimate Skills Project are currently accepting new members.

The Ultimate Athlete Project provides a complete strength and conditioning program designed with athletic performance for ultimate in mind. Choose a plan from 2-6 hours per week of training and peak at the time you want to perform best.

The Ultimate Skills Project provides skills training you can do in 1-2 hours per week. Choose the skills you need to work on and work at your own pace.

[Travels] EUCF 2017 Recap

From September the 29th to October the 1st, we were happily surrounded by high level play at the European Ultimate Championship Finals 2017 in Caorle, Italy. Check out our short aftermovie below for a quick peek at the action!

Thursday night we arrived at camping San Francesco and joined the melee at check-in. After we finally found our spot in the dark, we set up our tents and first met our true foes for the weekend: the now notorious mosquitos of Caorle. They flew into my eyeballs the villains! Anyways… back to the ultimate.

Games started bright and early at 8:30 on Friday. As we set up our little booth the first warm-ups and pool play games carried on all around us. On Friday we mostly stayed near the tent, talking to players and coaches as they tried on the prototypes. As the wind picked up during the day and zones became the defense of choice, our little tent held fast.

We had announced another Disc Giveaway Contest(!) ahead of the tournament and were pleasantly surprised when both the first Callahan and the first Greatest of the tournament happened on the first day of play.

(left) 1st Callahan winner: Laurent of Sesquidistus (Stasbourg)
(right) 1st Greatest winner : Dvojta of FUJ (Prague)

The first Callahan was scored in Sesquidistus’ match against Colorado. During a time-out taken by the other team, the Sesquidistus O-line captain set up the defensive play. Laurent told his team: “Alright, let’s set up a cup and get a Callahan.” Setting the example, Laurent did just that. He even came back later in the tournament to claim the disc for the first successful Greatest assist, but Dvojta of FUJ had beaten him to it.

The first Greatest score of EUCF 2017 was successfully assisted in the game between FUJ and KFK. Dvojta was on the receiving end of a banana flick that was tailing out of bounds when he heroically layed-out and threw the disc back inbounds where it was caught by his teammate for the score. Nicely done!

These are just two small stories that showcase the incredible plays that were made throughout the weekend. Not just Callahans and Greatests, although they are of course shows of talent and focus, but beautiful offenses and stifling defenses, picture perfect throws, unstoppable cuts, and massive bids. Ingeborg was even fortunate enough to watch two games from the scaffolding while she co-commentated the Helsinki Ultimate – Troubles game and the women’s final Iceni – Atletico with the wonderful Hannah Pendlebury.

A huge congratulations to all teams, those that medalled this year and the SOTG award recipients. You were a joy to behold.

Thank you everyone for stopping by the stand to try on the cleats or just for a short chat. We enjoyed receiving your feedback and hearing your enthusiasm (which we totally share) that the cleats are almost here! Thank you to everyone who made this EUCF the incredible event that it was. We will see you next year in Wroclaw (Poland) and in the run up to EUCF 2018!

Photographing an ultimate tournament

Today’s guest author Quentin Dupré la Tour, founder and chief reporter of FOCUS Ultimate, is well regarded for his ultimate photography. Spotting Quentin at a tournament camera in hand means a great album is coming soon. He has been taking pictures since age 10, and photographing ultimate since 2005. Actively involved with TOKAY from the very start, Quentin has kindly agreed to share with us some of the insights and methods he has gained in his long photography career.

“Photographing an Ultimate Tournament” is a detailed look into the strategy and technical aspect of photographing a tournament, with a lot of additional insight into general ultimate photography.

Photographing a tournament is quite different from photographing a single match, it doesn’t stop at the story of the game. A tournament encompasses many stories that bump into each other along the entire weekend with events that might change the importance of the picture taken. Therefore you have to approach your weekend both strategically and technically to capture the range of emotions felt during the weekend in order to realize an album that feels complete.

The Strategy

You have to start your weekend with a clear idea of the album you want to create and its boundaries. To help you get started, answer the following questions :

  • Which types of shots do I want to capture?
  • How many pictures do I want?
  • What do I want to publish?

Once you have a better idea of the outlines of your album, you can set up an action plan to quickly get the “easy” but essential shots, pictures that won’t necessarily be the most outstanding ones but will ensure you have a solid basis to build your album on. This also removes the pressure of needing to succeed at shots, because you already have a good chunk of your album shot. Make a quick tour of the tournament grounds to get some game pictures, team pictures and sideline moments. In only 2 to 3 hours you should have between 100 – 300 pictures that will ensure an album of average quality.

The second part of the weekend is more artistic: you’ve already done the job, now you can use your eye to make the difference. While continuing the search for team pictures, try to feel the emotions around you and immortalize them. Move around the fields, observe, feel… In order to capture the atmosphere of the tournament you have to capture the emotions. If you keep photographing the ordinary actions, it’s mainly to be ready to shoot the extraordinary ones. You can now also play with the changing light that will come at the end of the first day.

On the second day, the morning always offers different lights and temperature conditions. Try to concentrate outside of the fields to find moments of life. Before you have completed your pictures, focus on remedying the weaker parts of your album, always trying to find the find the right balance between action on the field, off the field, as well as finding any missing team pictures. At last it is time for the finals, a key moment for you with no room for error: take your shot at the beginning and the end of the game, leaving more room for creativity in the middle of the match.

The Technical

Possible settings at the beginning of the weekend:

TEAM PICTURES
shutter speed : 1/400 to 1/100
aperture : 6 to 8

OTHER PICTURES
shutter speed: 1/800 to 1/2000
aperture : 4 to 5

Once your first pictures are ensured, GAME PICTURES
shutter speed : 1/4000
aperture : 2.8

WHICH MODE TO CHOOSE

If the aperture size depends on your zoom:
You can choose P-mode, or use aperture priority set to the widest possible aperture if your aperture is not open enough and you wish to gain more shutter speed or light. If there is enough light, it might also be interesting for you to stay in manual mode and choose an aperture suitable for all the zooms you will use.

If the size of the aperture is fixed:
Stay in manual mode on a setting that suits you according to the shutter speed you want to have.

For a static picture :
You can either get the desired light with manual adjustments; or you can use the automatic mode of your camera without flash, allowing you to rest and trust your camera to guarantee the picture (useful for team pictures).

Further Considerations

POSITION ON THE FIELD

Look around the fields, you will see a lot of photographers “camp” always at the same place, and that was also my situation. You will also see a lot of photographers stay next to each other: don’t do that! There is no perfect spot to photograph ultimate; it varies according to the game, the division, the level and even some external conditions! Putting yourself near another photographer puts you in direct competition while the field is large and you can get another angle elsewhere! Furthermore, you will never have the same settings or equipment as your neighbor, and just risk having the same picture… but maybe a lesser version.

To determine your position, you need to identify :

At what distance are my picture good?
There is not need to photograph something that happens on the other side of the field if you have a 100mm lens. Take time to think about this, it will help you to analyse the game.

What is the direction of the wind?
An essential parameter of the game since it will determine the type of pictures you can expect.

GAME IS UPWIND: short play, mark is often flick.
In this case, if you are looking for duel pictures and layout bids stay on the break side a little deeper than mid-field. Stay on the open side for aerial duels with discs flying up.

GAME IS DOWNWIND: Long game, mark is often flick.
Teams will generally try to break or huck it. If the team plays the long game, position yourself near the corner of the endzone to capture some diving bids. If the team is more patient, stay on the break side for aerial duels.

SIDE WINDS: different kind of plays, often forced flick.
In this situation the game will be pressed on a line, you have two option: either go for aggressiveness, nervousness and small cuts with contact, or shoot from far to get the duels on unsure passes. I now have a weakness for the first, while I used to prefer the duels initially.

NO WIND: party on the field, everybody knows how to throw.
It is up to you to position yourself according to the situation on the field, move with the lines to the prefered throwing areas of either the more nervous or the more confident handlers: they are the ones who will force their throws and provoke the duels or risk the turnovers.

THE LEVEL OF PLAY

How to act in accordance to the level of play?

Ultimate is not played in the same way at the second regional level as it is at the highest national level. Still, at any level, all the field will be used. Either due to a lack of tactical or technical discipline, or because a tight defense forces the use of all the available space.

The higher the level you will photograph, the more space you will need, but the less you will be surprised by the game. At a lower level stay alert since the action can happen anywhere. At a higher level, try to anticipate the game and read the strategies to get a head start on the action.

THE DIVISION OF PLAY

How to act in accordance with the division you are photographing?

MEN’S
Boys like depth in their cuts and throws, a lot of them will look for strong and fast moves. If the weather conditions are good, don’t stay close to the line, you put yourself at risk and risk missing some good shots.

MIXED
In this division, everyone agrees that the girls will make the difference. Keep an eye on the boys trying to poach and get a slightly errant pass. Position yourself near mid-field to capture the duels. There are also a lot of hucks in this division.

WOMEN’S
Women tend to use the width of the field more, and use the depth of the field less. Often you will find more action on the sides of the field, position yourself near the sideline and near the endzone for a lot of the duels.

JUNIORS
Juniors have no inhibitions, so keep your distance. They are sure of their physical capacities and won’t hesitate to send their teammates into a duel. The game will move quickly downfield, so it is convenient to stay near the endzones.

MASTERS
Masters like to keep the disc, but do not like points that last a long time. At first stay focused on the handlers, they will often be the first to show signs of fatigue and send the huck. So if the point drags on, move closer to the endzone.

Quentin (5)

TOKAY cleats have been engineered to enable any owner to run faster, cut harder and jump higher than ever before. Our focus on comfort and durability empowers you to play your best game, every game. 

Based on community input as well as our own Ultimate and footwear expertise, we are creating a versatile shoe with a custom cleat pattern that optimizes your agility, control and podiatry joy. Coming soon…

[Travels] EYUC 2017 Recap

From August the 7th to the 11th we had the distinct pleasure of having a booth at the European Youth Ultimate Championships in Veenendaal, the Netherlands. For a quick impression of our experience, with all of the rainy bits cut out, watch our aftermovie below!


For those of you who prefer to read about our adventures in Veenendaal, read on! From Tuesday onward we had a stand at Tournament Plaza with our fabulous new tent. This day was quite rainy, but we were happy to give others shelter as they tried on the cleats and indulged in some of our additional activities: coloring, nail polishing, stickers and temporary tattoo’s. Robin managed to find some weights that kept the new tent in place despite the buffeting winds; we met volunteer Jolien Meijer, an expert in 3D printing; and Ingeborg tried her hand at commentary and got absolutely soaked.

On Wednesday we set up the Serpentine Challenge; a course of 8 cones for participants to run between with the fastest time for both men and women winning a free pair of TOKAY cleats!

Robin and Ingeborg’s dismal 12”+ times were soon eclipsed by the much fitter EYUC participants. In the women’s division, even the Belgian women were soon outstripped on the leaderboard with a dominant showing by Heta Karjalainen of Finland with 8”96 (spoilers: nobody beat her during the rest of the tournament). Meanwhile, in the men’s division, an initial strong showing by the British Jok Felsberg was bested by the Italian Davide Parodi. Davide looked set to close out the day on top with a time of 8”57, but the late arrival of a contingent of Swiss guys ended that dream. They tried again and again to best Parodi’s time and then each other with layouts becoming essential to a quick finish (surprisingly to me, this tactic actually worked). Eventually they topped the leaderboard with Ralph Daucourt at 8”35 and the twins Louis and Noel Meier both at 8”40. But as night creeped in the Belgian supporter Ward Fock snuck in with the top time of 8”17.

Thursday saw another impressive day on the Serpentine Challenge with Josh East of GB just topping the leaderboard at 8”15. While Robin was busy at the booth, Ingeborg was lucky enough to commentate the U17 and U20 women’s bronze medal games as well as the even more thrilling U17 women’s final.

Friday was already the last day at EYUC. We had a bunch more curious people about trying on the TOKAY cleats, which was awesome. The Serpentine Challenge was set to close at 12:00 and Moons of Belgium snuck to the top of the leaderboard with an impressive 8”07. But just before noon, Josh East came back to best his previous record time and snag himself his free pair of TOKAY cleats with an astounding 7”67! Heta also came by again to confirm her status on top of the women’s leaderboard. While the men’s leader had changed multiple times a day, she just remained the fastest woman all week. An impressive effort that will also be rewarded by a free pair of TOKAY cleats!

Slowly we started to pack up our own tents and the booth while attempting in vain to dry out our sopping wet artificial grass. Robin set out at a reasonable time for the 10 hour drive back home. Ingeborg meanwhile had booked a plane ticket back, cause she was not about to miss the Dutch U20 women’s team taking on Russia in the final. She was rewarded for this decision with a Dutch victory, the Netherlands seemingly the only team able to deny a Russian comeback during bracket play. An exciting end to a great week in Veenendaal.

We’ve said it before, but we’ll say it again: thank you everyone who made (our time at) EYUC the awesome event that it was. See you next year!

[Welcome] Meet Ingeborg, TOKAY’s new community manager

TOKAY is growing, with Ingeborg Kuijlaars recently joining our team as your community manager.

Her primary mission is to use all her creativity to run the social media accounts with beautifully designed artworks and heartbreaking poetry, plus the many little joys a startup job brings you every day.

But who could introduce her better than herself?

With the Power PUF Girls at Rising High

[Credit: Daan van Duijn]

“I first started drinking coffee seriously in 2007, when I started studying architecture. Incidentally also the same year I found out about Ultimate. I joined the newly founded D.C.U. of Downing College at Cambridge University. As a lefty and a recreational player with a heavy course-load, I managed to avoid learning the forehand until studying for my master’s at the TU Delft. Initially joining Force Elektro as a ploy to make friends, I buckled down to develop some actual Ultimate skill and made the Dutch National Women’s Team for the EUC in 2015 and the WUGC in 2016.
In the Netherlands I also got involved with the organisational aspects of Ultimate. Joining the board of my club for two years, I later became a trainer for Force Elektro and co-founded the women’s team, a challenging move in a technical university town. Along the way I picked up the additional role of co-coordinating the Dutch Indoor Competition, a role I felt compelled to adopt after advocating for the creation of a Dutch Women’s Competition. The Competition (both indoors and outdoors) only counts 8 to 10 teams; but I am absolutely proud of her unofficial role in its creation, and my more active role in its continued existence.

With the FE women’s team at the Dutch Outdoor Competition 2017

[Credit: Martine Bootsma] 

My first year as a trainer and captain of the FE Women

[Credit: Caroline “Bubbles” Jaffe]

Until recently, I worked as an architect in the Hague. As a licensed architect, and therefore a hyper-critical and detail oriented design professional, I had a lot of experience balancing form and function. This experience will come in useful for creating the content that will dazzle you and your news feeds. I am incredibly excited to be joining the TOKAY team to help bring our ultimate specific cleats to as many happy feet as possible. My first trip with TOKAY will see me back home to the Netherlands to attend the European Youth Ultimate Championships in Veenendaal. If you’re at the EYUC (from Tuesday to Friday), do come by our stand at Tournament Plaza to say hi (if you don’t have this chance, you still can say hi here!).”

[Job] We hire a community manager

Context:

TOKAY develops shoes destined to ultimate frisbee players all over the world.  Within the scope of our product launch, we are looking for someone to support the development of our brand on the internet, mainly via social networks.

Directly linked to the founder, you take part to the setting up of the product launch strategy and execute it.

Missions:

Our ideal candidate has exceptional oral and written communication skills and is able to develop engaging content. If you are experienced in social media and brand management, if you are interested in diving into a new adventure and be part of the development of a brand on every continent, we would like to meet you.

  • Set and implement social media and communication strategies
  • Set up the web marketing tools
  • Provide engaging text, image and video content for social media accounts
  • Plan and coordinate the publications on social networks and blogs
  • Respond to comments and customer queries in a timely manner
  • Monitor and report on feedback and online reviews

Profile:

  • Proven work experience as a community manager
  • Master the graphic design and video editing tools
  • Hands on experience with social media management for brands
  • Attention to detail and ability to multitask
  • Writing skills and good spelling expected
  • English mandatory, other langages highly welcome
  • Knowledge of the sport is highly valued

Status:

Fixed-term, part time contract.

Based in Chambéry, Fr.

Contact:

Please send your application at:

  • Robin
  • Founder
  • robin@tokay-ultimate.com

Press Review

Find below all the artciles published about our project, in a chronological order.

In English:


Hello Robin. Can you tell us a little bit about your background in Ultimate?

Hi Mark, well my background in ultimate is not the most impressive; I’m now entering my 3rd year playing. I started to play thanks to a friend, and stuck with the game and all the things surrounding it: the spirit, the community, the tournaments… Read More…

TOKAY’s Story

As in most modern fairy tales, TOKAY’s story begins around a beer, chatting with teammates about life, the universe, and obviously…ultimate. I can’t remember how the subject of ultimate dedicated cleats came into the conversation, maybe arguing about what existing cleat out there had the best grip or ankle support. Read more…

You don’t need much to play ultimate, and that’s always been a selling point. A field, a disc, eight cones, some friends, and cleats cover your non-negotiables.1 Most of those items can be borrowed — but not your footwear. Read more…

Ultimate players’ feet are clapping! Cleat Appreciation Day may be a thing of the past!

A new “frisbee gear brand” – TOKAY – claims to be producing a cleat for the sport of ultimate. The ultimate cleats are designed … to run faster, cut harder, and jump higher. A “swaggy” ultimate frisbee shoe is also in the works. Read more…

En Français :


Robin Lamy, ex-responsable du cluster Sporaltec, a créé la start-up Tokay en vue de développer des chaussures spécialisées pour la pratique de l’ultimate frisbee. Il vient de lancer une campagne de financement participatif sur la plateforme Kick Starter. Lire plus…

 

Contrôle et agilité sont les deux direction qui ont présidé à la conception de la chaussure d’ultimate proposée par Tokay.

Cet été, la start-up Tokay devrait mettre sur le marché une chaussure dédiée à la pratique de l’ultimate.  Lire plus… (lien réservé aux abonnés)

日本語


トーケイアルティメットシューズというアルティメット専用スパイクのクラウドファンディングキャンペーンの紹介。

[Dream Team] Rena Kawabata, Traffic, Canada

Matsuno is the leading players of the impressive japan open team that made it to the finals in WUGC this year, he’s been in every national, continental or world championship since 2006!

How did you come to play ultimate?

A friend in elementary school introduced me to the sport at the end of 6th grade. When I got to high school, I remembered the super fun, new sport called “ultimate” I once learned on a warm summer’s day. I started playing in grade 8 and never looked back.

And how did you stick to the sport?

Despite playing throughout high school and competing at WUGC in 2008, it wasn’t until I played with the U23 Canadian Team in 2010 that I really fell in love with that sport. I loved that team so much, and we had such fun together. My teammates were the real reason I fell in love with the sport.

What’s your best memory about ultimate?

My best memory in ultimate was at the 2013 USAU D-1 College Championships when my team, the UBC Thunderbirds, were playing the top seeded team in our pool. We fought hard against Michigan Flywheel, a favourite to take the title that year, and came through with the win 15-13. I remember my teammates and I feeling unstoppable that game and this was the epic photo that was captured after the winning point.

What’s your vision about the future of ultimate?

I want ultimate to continue to be a leader of gender equity and sportsmanship in the world of sport. My dream is to see ultimate on television and at the olympics in our truest in original form – With women and men competing at equal levels and with Spirit Of The Game at the forefront. I am proud to be a part of a community that cares so deeply about respect and equity. This is why I love ultimate, and this is why I’m so excited about our future.

What’s you thoughts about ultimate frisbee cleats?

Throughout my ultimate career I’ve tried every kind of cleat. Based on trial and error, I have narrowed down my top must-haves in cleat selection. Here are the qualities I value most in priority order:

  1. Comfort – This comes down to the fit and feel of the cleat. I am a woman, so my feet are a different shape than men’s feet, and I found I could not wear men’s cleats due to this difference in foot shape. I also have narrower feet, so I found that certain brands were not as comfortable just based on the fact that they were marginally too wide for my feet.
  2. Stability – This comes down to the stub pattern. I found that I slipped a lot when playing in blade-style studs, and that triangle-studs or a variety of stud shapes helped me achieve greater stability when accelerating, changing direction, and decelerating.
  3. Style – I love wearing #blackandyellow to represent my club team, Vancouver Traffic. In fact, I wear black and yellow socks now as well as a yellow headband and black armbands. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find the right pair of cleats that meet my comfort and stability requirements and are also stylishly black and yellow. I hope that my dream will one day come true!

Credits : Tino Tran Photography

Rena’s timeline

  • 2004
    • Began playing with high school team, Tight
  • 2006
    • 1st Place at Canadian Ultimate Championships in Junior Division, BC Pyro
  • 2007
    • 1st Place at Canadian Ultimate Championships in Junior Division, BC Backbone
    • 2nd Place at Canadian University Ultimate Championships in Women’s Division, McGill University
  • 2008
    • 4th Place at World Ultimate & Guts Championships in Junior Women’s Division, U20 Team Canada
  • 2010
    • 4th Place at U23 World Ultimate Championships in Women’s Division, U23 Team Canada
  • 2011
    • 2nd Place at Canadian Ultimate Championships in Women’s Division, Vancouver Traffic
    • 5th Place at USAU National Championships in Women’s Division, Vancouver Traffic
  • 2012
    • 11th Place at USAU D-1 College Championships in Women’s Division, UBC Thunderbirds
    • 1st Place at Canadian Ultimate Championships in Women’s Division, Vancouver Traffic
    • 9th Place at USAU National Championships in Women’s Division, Vancouver Traffic
  • 2013
    • 5th Place at USAU D-1 College Championships in Women’s Division, UBC Thunderbirds
    • 1st Place at Canadian Ultimate Championships in Women’s Division, Vancouver Traffic
    • 7th Place at USAU National Championships in Women’s Division, Vancouver Traffic
  • 2014
    • 5th Place at World Ultimate Club Championships in Women’s Division, Vancouver Traffic
    • 7th Place at USAU National Championships in Women’s Division, Vancouver Traffic
  • 2015
    • 1st Place at Canadian Ultimate Championships in Women’s Division, Vancouver Traffic
    • 5th Place at USAU National Championships in Women’s Division, Vancouver Traffic
  • 2016
    • 6th Place at USAU National Championships in Women’s Division, Vancouver Traffic