I grew up on soccer…eating, sleeping, and waking to kick the ball around.
But when I started college at the University of Colorado I was totally burned out. I was on the hunt for a new sport to dive into.
I went to the women’s ultimate Frisbee club team information meeting and immediately knew that my heart would belong to Kali for the next four years. I became obsessed with ultimate, maybe even to the point of addiction. I loved the sense of community, the spirit, and the game itself.
My obsession grew quickly. I would sit down to do homework and end up watching hours of ultimate Frisbee highlights and Callahan videos. I quickly collected a handful of players to idolize. I referred to them as “The Gods of Ultimate”. I admired their style of play, dissecting each perfected pivot and baited layout D. I tried to mimic their throwing form; I wanted to embody their swagger.
I talked about them as if they were celebrities…I probably would have asked for their autographs if I ever met them in person.
Interestingly enough…all of these players were men. If I had searched more thoroughly I surely would have discovered some female players to fan-girl over, but it was so much easier to access male athletes in ultimate. Female exposure simply didn’t exist in the same way.
Eventually, I added some phenomenal female ultimate players to my collection of “Ultimate Gods”. I saw them play at College and Club tournaments, and I was blown away by how fiercely they controlled the field and the pace of the game. But (and this is the part that makes me cringe the most) when I talked about these amazing women, I admired how they “played like guys”. I was referring to how accurately and quickly they moved the disc, how they made bold decisions and executed them with confidence, and how they played defense with unwavering aggression.
I want to change that. I want to show young aspiring athletes why these qualities should be attributed to “playing like a girl”. I want to show how powerful female athletes are and how “playing like a girl” means playing with 100% heart, effort, grit, and dedication.
I hope this tour inspires the ultimate community to continue to push for the growth of women’s ultimate, raising the bar for the level of competition and the access to exposure. I hope this incredible display of women in ultimate gives young athletes a plethora of female “Gods of Ultimate” to chose as their idol. I hope this tour sparks the dreams of young athletes to “play like a girl”.