Why Not to Hire an Ultimate Player

Ultimate, a game that I truly think is amazing.  But there are reasons not to hire an ultimate player.

Last game of day 1 is over.  You’re spent from sprinting, screaming, cheering and being in and out of the zone for the last 8 hours.  But the day isn’t over yet.  There’s the end of day sideline chatter and laughter, replaying of plays in your mind, dinner decisions, hotel stop, showering and dropping off your cleats for airing.  Oh, and don’t forget party outfits and party details.

Day 2: repeat minus the party. And then go home.

This is the weekend of an average ultimate.

Going High at Canadian Nationals 2008The most amazing thing about this sport are the players. From your teammates who you trust, the guy you’re defending, you know that they love this game. Why else would you be playing?

Now, I know that I mentioned some very valuable points about why hire an ulti player in my previous post in this series but there are some very valuable reasons why not to hire an ultimate player as well. Not only are ultimate players great people, but they are also considered some of the smartest.

Time Commitments

In “How Hiring Athletes Can Help Your Company“, AJ Shankar from the Polar Bears Ulti Club goes on to say:

“If you play on a high-performing team, regardless of the sport, you’re forced to think about things in a way that’s useful for a startup,” said Shankar, whose company is based in Berkeley, Calif. “There’s this understanding that success is a process, whether its running track workouts or completing a project. It’s all headed toward a success-oriented outcome, but results don’t come quickly… And that some athletes focus on themselves too much.  Stay away from the divas.”

If there’s a tournament (say Potlatch) and your employee is going.  Don’t expect them to be around to take calls, do on call or anything that needs immediate attention.

They are busy.

Very busy.

Very busy enjoying life.

Very busy enjoying the thrill of the chase.

Very busy playing not just with ultimate but also other games that go along with a tournament.

Licking pudding off of seran wrap
Licking pudding off of seran wrap

May through October are the busiest times for ultimate players.  With Sectionals, Regionals, Nationals and local tournaments (or not so local tournaments), an employer should be aware that the employee’s time commitment will be to practicing, being at the gym or watching youtube or reading articles on while they are out of the office.  Sometimes up to 6 hours of practice a weekend and a tournament on a weekend can be as much as a part time job for some players.

To hire an ultimate player, the employer has to know that they are hiring someone with incredible time management skills.  They just might not use them for work.

As an employer, it would be difficult to hire 2 or more ultimate players as there will be conflict. They will request the same days off to travel to tournaments, the IT department will not like all the email chatter that happens 2 days prior to the tournament and 2 days post tourney.

See, your employee has to get pumped up and that includes a lunchtime run or workout, watching youtube videos to get themselves excited and to increase their heart rate during work, and just focusing on anything but work.  On the day before the tourney, their bags are packed and anxious to get out of the office, they check the clock every 5 minutes and to them, it’s the slowest day in the world.

Vision. You don't see it but he does. That woman striking into the endzone for the point at Potlatch
Vision. You don’t see it but he does. That woman striking into the endzone for the point at Potlatch

Post tournaments can be even worse for an ultimate player.  The post tourney depression as they lived in their version of Nirvana for the weekend. They walk slower and usually are limping and don’t ask them to get up quickly to get you anything.  Getting out of a chair is rather difficult at any stage the first 2 days back to work.

For us ultimate frisbee players, it’s worth it.  Every moment we spend on the field, off the field thinking of the game, committing ourselves its overwhelming passion we see that it as a way of life.  We beat to a different drum that sounds like our heart beat and it makes us all so happy.


At the end of the day, we are like everyone else and ultimate players just want to help make this a better place to live.

Mike H.
Hi there,
I am photographer, father, son and ultimate frisbee player.
I've recently switched my career path into Mechanical Engineering.
As someone once said, "What a long, strange trip it's been."