I am writing this to explain the vision I have for Petey’s Pirates, what my goals are for the future of this team, and to inform people of what is happening moving forward.
Before I get into the vision for the team I want to address the players who just want a place to play more competitive frisbee and get better so they can be better pickup/league players. Much of this email will not be directed towards you, but I still want you to come to practices and get better because developing players in every facet is the main priority of Petey’s Pirates. So stay with us!
Now, I will apologize in advance with how long this is, but with how we have grown and what potential I see in this team the length is very much needed to explain the vision I have for this team and my goals. The vision I have is that I want to bridge the gap between new players/pickup and high level ultimate. I know many people have played sports and competed for years in various sports but have no outlets to play those sports and they find frisbee and fall in love. Many first find frisbee at a pickup game and outgrow pickup and either move on to leagues or just outgrow the sport. I want to cultivate people who want to build their skills as an ultimate player and who want to be a part of the growing ultimate community here in Columbus. Ultimate is more than a sport to me. People who know me know that I am obsessed with ultimate and a large reason for that is the community of people that it brings together. Ultimate is a unique sport in that it was always intended on being a self-officiated game that requires honesty, respect for opponents, and a high level of sportsmanship. The spirit of ultimate is what helps make ultimate such an amazing sport and is why I believe the community of people who play ultimate an amazing group. When I first set out on this journey to make Petey’s Pirates it was just a way for me to play ultimate with my friends and build their skills so when I captain summer league I could have some steals in the draft. But as I saw the interest continually grow I realized that this team was bigger than myself and bigger than the people on the team. This team is an opportunity to bring people a better understanding of ultimate, bring the ultimate community closer together, and grow the community as a whole. Petey’s has an opportunity to bring in pickup players and people who have never played the game and let those players play against and with people who have years of club experience. We can continue to let people grow and instead of outgrowing ultimate they can grow into the next level or take their talents to teaching the next group of people. I want to build leaders in the community as well; we have the ability to develop experienced players into people who want to teach people how to play and not just play on their exclusive club team that’s goal is only to win. With that being said, we will have a team that focuses on winning, but how I plan on developing experienced/”elite” players is making them into leaders who have to teach. People learn so much by teaching someone how to play that you would have missed yourself. I plan on reinforcing skills and knowledge that an experienced player already knows by forcing them to take the time to help another player who hasn’t played as long.
We all have so much we can learn from one another and I want to grow as a group and grow as a community of people who love the sport of ultimate. We can be a sustainable group because we are constantly in the business of developing players of all levels, so if we lose players to teams next year that is fine because we have developed players to step up and take their place.
I also want to build a community of people who want to have fun while they play ultimate. If your goal is solely to win and you do not wish to grow as a person or build relationships with the people on your team than I do not believe Petey’s Pirates is for you. Team chemistry comes much easier when everyone on the team is open and care for one another. Again, this team is bigger than any one person on the team.
I have a large vision for this team and I am confident we can accomplish a lot together as long as we all are enthusiastic about what we are doing.
Here is the vision drawn in paint.
Next I want to talk about some of the team goals. I want the team to be a fun environment where people can come to develop, but they are not discouraged because all we are trying to do is win. So my goal is to find the perfect balance and find ways to make players better without leaving less experienced players completely behind. If you are ever feeling that you are falling behind or practices are just not fun because things have gotten too competitive I want to know so I can find a way to keep you involved and make sure you don’t get left behind! Also, if you feel you aren’t getting anything out of practices because you are too good to learn I want to know so I can get you involved in a role that will allow you to grow. I have a goal of making regionals with the A team and I honestly believe we could place in the top 7 teams at regionals. That is a stretch goal for us. I want to win every game that we can win. That means that we will not lose our competitive spirit and let games get away from us. I want everyone to push themselves and work hard during tournaments and during practice. Practices are to teach everyone the necessary skill set to fall back on so you are able to handle the difficulties that come when playing good teams. I’m going to start quoting Urban Meyer now to explain why I do what I do during practice and why I believe that learning offensive and defensive systems are an important part to being competitive at the club level. Meyer has said “I have yet to be in a game where luck was involved. Well prepared players make plays. I have yet to be in a game where the most prepared team didn’t win”. I want us to be the most prepared team at any game. So my goal as a coach is to prepare my players for success.
My next goal is to have a highly active, spirited, and competitive B team. We have the personnel to field multiple teams and my goal for the B team is for those players to grow at whatever rate they want and have fun doing it. I want people to experience what it is like to travel with a club team and play in tournaments. Tournaments are amazing because you grow so much as a team and gain so many memories and friends out of them. I want the B team to be able to compete for the spots on the A team next year if those players want them because I want to see them develop into players good enough to take my spot on the team. I also want the B team to be a place that people new to the sport can come and learn from others new to the sport and be taught by the experienced players throughout our team. The B team is part of Petey’s Pirates and I will not forget about them nor will I abandon them to make a run at regionals.
I want to say, if you have been with me in this endeavour since we started in the winter I will remember that and will do all I can to ensure you have a place on the team. That may not be with the A team that is looking to push themselves to become the best they can be and see how far we can go as a team. But I will have opportunities for people to travel to tournaments and play club level ultimate. If people stick with me and do not become apathetic with how the team is developing we have enough interest and skill to field a second team. Please stick with me and help me grow Petey’s Pirates into a great place to learn ultimate. I said it Sunday at practice I am making Columbus an awesome place for frisbee and I need your help to do that.
If you have concerns about the team feel free to talk to me about them. I know many people are worried about the current leadership and I would like the chance to ease any fears you may have and explain in more detail what we are building and that the people I put in leadership roles are enthusiastic about my vision for the team and community and understand that we are building something greater than ourselves.
I want to end with another Urban Meyer quote that really speaks to me. “It is so easy to be average. It takes a little something to be special. Why be around average?” I would love to step outside of easy and be something special. Let’s surround ourselves with other special individuals and make something special!
David Hazlett (Petey Pablo)
For those who want to see the jersey designs. Here they are.