When our captains announced the sweets 2017 coaches were going to be Gwen Ambler and Rohre Titcomb, I was speechless. Not only was I going to be coached by two of the best women who have stepped on a frisbee field but I was also going to meet two of my idols in a sport that I play. I cannot adequately express how influential these two women have been in my life. I may have not met them before this past weekend but I have studied their highlight reels. I watched Gwen’s incredible toe the line from WUCC 2014 on repeat. I studied Rohre’s low release squat flick; replaying the YouTube video in slow motion just to grasp how unreal it is (I have attempted it in my room, I can confirm that it is extremely difficult to get that low that fast). These athletes are not just great athletes. They are great female athletes. Most of the highlight reels are dominated by men. Fans are not going to pick the women’s final to go watch because our game is “too slow”. To have these women as role models and idols is amazing, to have them as coaches feels like a dream. Being able to have strong female role models in my life made me the player I am today and the player I hope to become by the end of this season. I guess all I can say is thank you. Thank you to our captains for sending out emails to find us strong female coaches. Thank you to Gwen and Rohre for deciding to coach us. Thank you to my teammates who inspire me every day.
The theme we chose for our first tournament of the season, Santa Barbara Invite, was “First Date.” As far as first impressions go, I’d say we really hit it off. The chemistry was unmistakable (sparks were flying), we learned a lot about one another, and we even ended the date with a promising “Call Me” gesture and a wink from Gwen.
This weekend the Sweets went on our Second Date with Gwen and Rohre. Both coaches made the trip out to Walla Walla for two days full of Frisbee. After a solid indoor practice, my prayers to the Frisbee Gods were answered and the skies parted long enough for the sun to melt the Walla Walla tundra we’ve been stuck in for months. On Sunday we practiced outside for the first time all season. The excitement of lacing up sorely missed cleats combined with the presence of Gwen and Rohre who were there for us, to coach us, was tangible. It was really happening; I was learning from two of the most amazing ultimate players in the game. Maybe every rep (or Mep!) we ran this weekend wasn’t perfect, but our learning was perfect. As Rohre was explaining a metaphor about how the smoothness of our zone O should be equivalent to the ease of German engineered automobiles, I looked around the faces of everyone in the huddle. We were soaking in every word, listening as hard as we possibly could and getting ready for a season of learning and growing together. So, Gwen and Rohre, here’s to our Third Date. We’ll see you at Stanford Invite!