Shark talk

In an interest to learn more about people and our sport I will from time to time stop heckling and instead have a conversation with a fellow player.  In keeping with the theme of this weekend (CUUC) I had a quick chat with Scott Hislop of the UWO Sharks and TFP (as he’s probably better known for).  I first met Scott two years ago in the WODS indoor Winter league where we were on occasion decimated by the UWO team.  Since then our paths didn’t cross until CEUUC when we had a small chat; that chat leads us to this conversation.

This conversation will be in two parts with the first one now and a followup after CUUC 2009.  If you feel I missed any questions then please let me know.

[Tushar]:  You seem to be quite active with sports in general with Badminton and Ultimate.  Are there other sports that you play?  Do you find that Badminton helps you in Ultimate?

[Scott]:  I played soccer until I was about 18 years old.  A lot of sports will help you cross train for ultimate because it is such a dynamic sport. I have found badminton to be an excellent sport in terms of cross training especially for the handler position because it works on lunges for stepping around the mark and overall agility.

[T]: As most everybody knows you’re a core member of TFP, winning gold in almost every tournament you’ve been in.  That is until this year.  What happened at CUC or ahead of it?

S : Part of the reason TFP is so successful is because we don’t like making excuses for why things did or did not happen. The fact of the matter is we came 5th.  What I can tell you is that this was a serious wake-up call for us. You can expect to see a team that’s not only going to meet expectations, but exceed them.

[T]: What’s it like playing with your family?  Is there a greater connection in games?

S : Playing with my siblings has been a real honor.  We have all managed to fill various roles on the team and excelled in each of our respective positions.  With my brother, Tyler, on the mark, a handblock is sure to ensue and when Tory sees one of TFP’s talented receivers going deep, you know she’s going to hit them with pinpoint accuracy. There definitely is a great connection with my siblings and me.  That might be because of how often we play together; we play on two other teams together in the summer in the Vancouver Ultimate League as well as TFP.

[T]: How deep is TFP?  With such a young roster how were you able to destroy veteran teams at Nationals and World’s?

S : TFP is deep. Like Grand Canyon deep.  Our roster may be young, but we are all experienced players.  When you combine the experience that all of our players are bringing to the table with the athleticism we have because we are young, it’s a pretty unstoppable mix!

[T]:Shifting gears to The Sharks now.

You folks had a dominating performance at CEUCC, do you think you’ll be able to carry it through into CUUC?

[T]: Overconfidence can be a debilitating condition.  Are you and the Sharks more confident going into Nationals than Easterns and do all y’all understand the higher stakes?

S : We definitely have a more confident team than we did going into Easterns, but our goal from the very beginning of the season is to win Nationals. Our guys had their first taste of victory as the Sharks, and let me tell you, we are hungry for more.

[T]: Who’s been taking the lead on your team with managing and captaining?

S : We realized at the beginning of the season that some people were better than others at certain things in terms of captaining so instead running a dictatorship-style of captaining; we’ve established a group of captains. Aaron Leung is the administrative captain among other things. Mark Lloyd is one of the most experienced men’s players on the team so he definitely plays a big role as captain.  Higy knows everything about the game and has a good sense of team dynamics.  Ray is the captain of the B squad but he often helps out in practices with the A team guys.  I do a little bit of everything.

[T]: I quite enjoyed how much field time rookie players were given at Easterns even with the powerhouse lines that you have; was that intentional against teams like Guelph and Toronto or is there simply that much talent out there?

S : Like I said earlier, our goal is to win Nationals.  Easterns was a great stage to see how the rookies perform under pressure.  Needless-to-say, we (the captains) liked what we saw!  That being said, our team has bonded so much since try-outs that we don’t even really see our rookies as rookies anymore; they are our teammates. We know how everyone plays and we trust that any one of our teammates will make the “big play” when comes down to it.

[T]: How many more years will you be playing at UWO?  After University will you stay out West or move here?

S : I have one more season after this year.  As it stands now, I will be heading back West.

[T]: Who do you think will be your primary threats at CUUC?  Toronto and Guelph will likely be more focused and the errors that we saw from the GOAT players are likely not to occur again; how will you counter their strong players?

S : Everyone at CUUC is a threat.  Every team there wants to win the title.  We don’t expect any team to rollover and give us the win; we’re going to have to bust our (can I say “asses”?) to win.  We are expecting teams to play harder against us because many of them saw us play at Easterns.

[T]: During Easterns there seemed to be a bit of miscommunication between you and Mark Lloyd, is this something that was due to lack of familiarity and something that’s been resolved since then?  Is your cutting too quick for most other handlers to anticipate?

Mark and I hadn’t had much of chance to play on the same line that weekend. When we did end up playing together in the finals, a little bit of miscommunication is expected.  I thought it was pretty minimal in the grand scheme of things, but then again, the view from the sideline is 180 degrees different from the view on the field. Haha I wouldn’t say my cutting is too quick to anticipate! I think it comes down to the fact that I am a receiver on TFP and a handler on the Sharks so sometimes I might mix up my roles. For example, I might make a cut that is usually reserved for a receiver when I am handling.

[T]: Ten years of Ultimate so far…what else do you have to work on?  What do you see lacking in your game?

That’s the beauty of this game: there is always room for improvement!

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