Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Two links

What motivates athletes . Article is about professional athletes, but it applies to ultimate players, too.

Cheating. I read it all, but still can't figure out whether he is advocating or confessing
or mocking or making atonement. I'm not nearly as offended as I thought I would be when I saw the title "How to Cheat to Win". (Of course, it's much better to cheat to win instead of cheating to lose by two.) Very interesting stuff, some of which could have come from even the most honest player who has been around.


mwitmer15 said...

I've read the book, Drive, written by Dan Plink who is mentioned in this link.

Like this article mentions, I realized that the need for purpose would never explain why I feel so much passion and expend so much effort for ultimate. I can say that as a coach of a high school team I'm being a good athletic female role model-but that's just a rationalization.

What a lot of success/motivation research doesn't seem to explain is why X and not Y. Teaching chemistry (my real job) provides ample opportunity for autonomy, mastery, and purpose but I just don't like it as much as I like coaching. It also pays better and probably gets me more respect among my peers and family. :-)

In this link, Malcolm Gladwell posits the theory that "love" may be the explanation. Meaning, I guess, that there is no way to really control what people are motivated to do.

Anyway, thanks for the interesting link!

BCR said...

In the first post of the series he says:

" College ultimate, there's no consensus on what should and shouldn't be ok and everyone takes it way too seriously.

This series of articles is my attempt to help with that problem a little bit. My hope is that by understanding the particular techniques of gamesmanship, they will be less effective and that people will have a bit more perspective about them."

Which seems to clear up where he's coming from, and why?

I'd be interested to see someone compare the effectiveness of his "gamesmanship" in the WFDF vs UPA rules.

parinella said...

Well, I saw that he wrote that, but the tone is still too straightforward to be unambigous. It still reads like more of a "how-to guide" than a "Don't Do What Donnie Don't Does." See "How to Lie With Statistics" as a classic example of how to present the dark side without advocating.

He gave an example of how it worked in WFDF rules when Gewirtz tweaked Double in the finals of WUCC 1997 in what was called the worst game ever.

Lou said...


I began writing this series in reaction to what I'd seen in the college series this past spring. I saw college players struggling with spirit more than club players. By struggle, I don't necessarily mean evince bad spirit, but have trouble dealing with other teams' bad spirit and gamesmanship. A large part of what I am trying to achieve is to educate and raise awareness.

I am aware that the tone of the posts is ambiguous and that's something I've wrestled with throughout the writing. As I've progressed through the different posts, the techniques have moved from the not-necessarily-cheating into the definitely-cheating, and it'll get worse (marking is next) before it gets better. This has made the tone more difficult to manage without being pedantic. There is a possibility that some young player will take these techniques and run with them, but I'm gambling that in the balance they will encourage both wiser and more spirited play.

On a personal note, I can't help but think you are weighing my history along with my words. That's fair. You might find this interesting. (


parinella said...

Hi Lou, thanks for chiming in.

It's a tough topic to cover, for sure. On some level, it's fairly standard and known to all, and it's just a matter of how far one is willing to go on the spectrum. You've already covered some of the "marking" stuff in the "ticky-tack" entry, but I guess you will add "if the marker isn't actively pivoting, straddle his pivot and wrap with your arms" and "if you foul him, make sure he doesn't get the throw off" and "try to foul him on the pivot instead of the actual throw" and "argue that the foul was before the throw". I think some of these could be stopped almost completely by allowing for a liberal continuation rule. If the NBA's "in the act of shooting rule" was similar to the USAU's, Paul Pierce would have been out of the league 10 years ago.

Also, a lot of this is exacerbated by having O and D lines. In a typical game, the O player will have the disc about 3x as much as his defender and so the D player has 3x the opportunity to cheat (most cheating opportunities are on D).
I've added a photo to the main entry, so take a look.

luke said...

gotta like the 'O' player making the most of their defensive opportunities.

Lou said...


Any chance you'd be willing to go back over Boston's year-long experiment with NYNY style nastiness. I know only the vaguest stories about it, but I look at it as a real turning point for Boston (Titanic? Dog? Big Brother?) Ultimate.

Thanks for the pic. How you found one of Al fouling me, instead of the reverse, the world will never know. I'm still mulling over your claim that defense provides more opportunities for cheating. On the surface it seems true, but when I think about the biggest cheaters I remember, a big proportion are o players.


parinella said...

Here is one recap of 1993: There is a reference to some other discussion, maybe on rsd. I don't really feel up to a full new post on the matter. The only new insight I might have is to use your categorizations and point out that it seems to be more about the drama that year than any "cheating" strategy. We tried to play the drama game, we went all-in, NYNY called and had a better hand.

Re: that photo, I knew I had it but I thought the roles were reversed. But it still is a good photo. It's an odd throwing stance, and I can't quite figure out how exactly the two of you got into that pose. Why is your pivot foot in front of him and your right leg behind? And most importantly, did you see the "JORDO DoG #70" on the bottom of the disc?

Smol Dusaran said...

I think it all depends on a team's purpose. Here in the Philippines there aren't many teams yet and everytime we offer clinics, we make sure we teach all about the Spirit of the game aside from the basics of a good backhand throw. Although the game is as competitive as any other sport, the use of honesty and fair play should still be upheld.