Smile, You’re Playing Ultimate

Spirit of the Game

Officially Spirit of the Game (SOTG) is defined as:

“Ultimate relies upon a spirit of sportsmanship that places the responsibility for fair play on the player. Highly competitive play is encouraged, but never at the expense of mutual respect among competitors, adherence to the agreed upon rules, or the basic joy of play. Protection of these vital elements serves to eliminate unsportsmanlike conduct from the Ultimate field. Such actions as taunting opposing players, dangerous aggression, belligerent intimidation, intentional infractions, or other win-at-all-costs behavior are contrary to the spirit of the game and must be avoided by all players.”

Spirit, like self-control, does not come easily to all and needs practice to hone the skill. So what types of things can you do to improve your spirit?

  • Know the rules of the game.
  • Have spirit goals.
    • As a player
      • Let your team know what you want to work on during the game. Check in at halftime. Let them help you by holding you accountable.
    • As a team.
      • Let your opposing team know what goal you want to work on during the game. Check in at halftime. Let them help your team by holding you accountable.
  • Communication is key.
    • People get defensive when calls are made
      • When you make a call the other player may hear, I’m bad.
      • Ask for clarification.
    • Keep a neutral mindset
      • Stop, listen and explain 
      • Don’t just jump in and respond.
      • Sometimes you are fighting against the reputation.
      • Don’t make assumptions*

*When we make an assumption we misunderstand. We create something that isn’t real, but then become emotionally attached. It’s a downward spiral, as we then try to defend our assumption as truth. I’m right, you’re wrong…Simply put, making assumptions makes an a$$ out of me and you. So. Just. Don’t. Do. It.

And remember, we all play this sport because we love it. The other team is there allowing you to play the sport you love. The players on the other team are people, not opponents.

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