Author: Irene Lu
As the pandemic situation recovered, the highly anticipated “Shanghai Schools Sports Association & Shanghai Youth League 2023” Frisbee tournament finally got underway. On the 4th of March, our school’s Frisbee team “Kraken” had its first match at SUIS WanYuan. It was the first official match in almost a year and a half, with the old players having graduated and the new Grade 10s joining in.
Before the game, we all worked hard to squeeze in time after school to build up the foundational skills and actively discuss tactical techniques. At the same time, Coach Chang taught members defensive strategies and guided us through a stretching exercise. Despite that, we just had very little time to train this year compared to previous years, so the team members may not be so familiar with each other. However, our team’s aim was to learn from our experience in practice, to enjoy each training session, and to gradually make progress. We would all be doing our best in the upcoming games and taking them seriously.
Everyone was excited on the day of the race, arriving 40 minutes early to warm up. We had one last practice of running positions and getting comfortable with throwing the disc. At the last minute, the whole team came together and shouted “Kraken” to boost morale. The beginning is always the hardest, everyone was not yet fully familiar with the role they were playing, and it led us to make mistakes, especially when there was some pressure. Even though everyone put in their best effort, we were still down by a large margin. Some of the players felt particularly guilty about their errors, but the other players encouraged and praised them for what they did well and gave solid advice to them. We did not blame each other because mistakes happened all the time and we were just a new team starting out. We thought it was more crucial to trust each other and to get experience from our failures.
We were not playing wisely enough in the first two games, but in the latter two, we corrected our weaknesses in running the position, improved our defensive efficiency, and gradually started to score with the cooperation of teammates. Each member of the team showed their strengths, with cutters running aggressively to catch the discs and handlers carefully analyzing the situation on the field so as to make the most informed choices. After each score, everyone cheered and celebrated with heartfelt joy. Even when the opponents scored, we applauded and summarized the reasons for their victory. We were always committed to the “spirit of frisbee”, treating each game with dignity and showing respect to our opponents.
After the game, we gathered to watch videos of the game taken by the team managers. Some of the moves made us laugh, but meanwhile, we noticed our shortcomings. For example, there were times when cutters ran too disruptively and blocked the handlers’ throwing line, or when someone got the disc and was too nervous leading to a turnover. The purpose of this was to discover aspects that could be improved and enhanced in future training. After this competition, I deeply felt that the entire team had become more united. All of us had a great time and I believe it was an unforgettable memory.