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The Carletonian

Talking roles and expectations with a captain of CUT

< school that has a long history of supporting a strong Ultimate Frisbee culture, the sport demands a high level of performance almost its players with predictions of continued success. There are high expectations that come with being an Ultimate Division I Team member, and even more responsibility to lead as a captain.

Eric Taylor ’18 has played this sport for seven years and is extremely passionate about it. His enthusiasm and commitment to the sport is further exemplified through four years of playing on CUT (Carleton Ultimate Team), North Carolina – Ring of Fire (a men’s Ultimate club) and the U24 USA Ultimate Team.

But for Taylor, being a member wasn’t enough. He wanted to be a leader and now is one of the three captains for CUT. “As one of the captains, I’m responsible for the content we teach. We also place a huge emphasis on setting and executing the curriculum. This includes instructing the young guys to familiarize themselves with the drills, footwork, positioning, offense and defense schemes. Offensive schemes include horizontal stack, pull plays while defensive schemes focus more on force forehand and backhand. There are both advantages and challenges when being a captain,” Taylor said.
However, Taylor did admit that the work adds up.

“One of the challenges of a captain is taking care of logistics which is time consuming and tiring. I also don’t get to work on my own game as much since I’m focused on the rest of the squad,” Taylor said. “Despite that, I enjoy providing feedback to my players. I’d also like to add when I was a freshman on CUT, seniors weren’t that accessible. Now, I’m trying to change that scenario in order to improve team chemistry and bonding. It’s definitely rewarding for me.”

Regarding expectations, Taylor said, “I think the team expects from me a well rounded game, a strong work ethic and consistency across all plays. Most importantly, having emotional stability and setting examples for others to follow. On the other hand, I would say the general expectations revolve around athleticism and athletic projects. For the most part, we also choose players who have experienced ultimate to make the team.”

Furthermore, Taylor touched upon how pressure and high expectations led to CUT winning the 2017 championship. He noted, “I felt personal pressure but it’s not about hero-ball. We were all motivated and expected the best for each other. In the finals of the championship, despite the pressure we knew we had the talent to win and when the opportunity arrived, we grasped it and made it ours. It was a surreal moment.”

Moving forward, Taylor stressed the importance of the team needing to do a better job with decision making, as well as empowering players to be more independent and intelligent during plays.  

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