Where Does Your Motivation Come From?

Photo by Brandon Wu at UltiPhotos.com

Photo by Brandon Wu at UltiPhotos.com

By Brian “Strings” Schoenrock

Sunday July 8th, 2012 was the single worst day best day most unforgettable day of my entire Ultimate career. Drag’n Thrust was playing in the inaugural US Open in Colorado Springs, CO the weekend of July 4th.  Our team goal for the weekend was to play on Sunday, as this would mean our team had made it to the championship. We met our goal of playing Sunday, but no one could have predicted how we got there or what would happen next.

Despite unfortunate weather and wildfire dangers, USA Ultimate was able to make arrangements so the tournament could go on as scheduled. The round-robin tournament allowed us the chance to play each of the other seven mixed teams attending the US Open. As it was still early in the season with players new to Drag’n Thrust,this would allow us to really build some team chemistry and see how our team matched up against some of the best teams in the nation.

We started off playing like the very young team we were; making lots of mistakes and trying to rely on athleticism to dig us out of holes. Overall, we had a very up and down seven games, but we were able to place in the top four, matching us up against Slow White Saturday evening in the semifinals. We were very happy for this draw. Slow White was a team made up of much more experienced players who had beaten us the day before, but players who we thought we could use our athleticism to beat.

The game started off and everyone could tell Slow White was running on fumes. It had already been a long day of Ultimate since a round needed to be pushed back to Saturday morning due to the inclement weather Friday evening.  We jumped ahead through the rain that was pouring down on us by relying on our athleticism and patience to score goals. The rain finally was just too much for us to continue playing and the game was postponed until Sunday morning with Drag’n Thrust in the lead: 9-6. We came back to the fields the next morning ready to polish off a victory and stamp our ticket to the championship game. We scored the first point to go up 10-6 before running into a complete collapse. Our mistakes began to pile up and we just could not find a way to finish what we had started the day before. Before we knew it Slow White was ahead 11-10 and we were running out of time. Luckily we were able to score to tie the game at 11-11 as time ran out on the scoreboard at our field. We had one more point to decide who would be playing in the championship and who would start their long trip home.

Slow White received the disc on this point and wasted no time as they made one or two easy throws before throwing it deep to Becky Malinowski, who had already been putting up a huge game at that point. She made a great play over two of the best female defenders I have ever seen. That was the end of our weekend. Walking off the field after that play is the single worst feeling I have ever had playing ultimate. You can tell by the above picture taken by Brandon Wu of UltiPhotos.

The reason this was not the worst day of Ultimate I have ever had, though, was because of the way the team responded. Yes, everyone was very upset. Many people had the feeling that if we had changed ‘this’ or done ‘that’ we would have won. But what stood out to me most was how much I could tell how bad the team wanted to win. Not just this game, but this season. Knowing how close we had come to making it to the championship in a tournament as prestigious as the US Open proved to everyone we could compete all season long. Once we had more time playing together, we showed that was exactly what would happen. We went out and won the Chesapeake Invite, we placed 3rd at Nationals, and the majority of the team came back the next year and won Nationals: a sweet ending to a bitter story.

As disappointing as July 8th 2012 was, that was the day I knew I would do anything in my power to never feel that way again. I believe I was not the only one who took that day as motivation, and I know it will forever be in my mind, motivating me for years to come.

This entry was posted in Drag'n Digest and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.
Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.
Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.
©2024 Drag'n Thrust. All Rights Reserved.