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URCA Podcast

URCA Podcast

By Jack Dowling
Welcome to the URCA Podcast! Hear stories and lessons from the best and brightest minds in ultimate, and become the best coach you can be!
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A Season-Long Approach to Defensive Gameplanning - An Interview with Bryan Jones

URCA Podcast

Mental Toughness Training with Tiina Booth
Due to some tech issues,  my conversation with Tiina Booth has been lost. Instead, I have prepared a guided review of her 2014 URCA Presentation, 10 Steps to Mental Toughness. I have added some commentary along with selected audio clips from the presentation. If you're interested in watching the full presentation, you can find it in the URCA Classroom:
March 19, 2019
Coaching with Captains - Interview with Keith Raynor
Sign up for the URCA Classroom here: Today I interview Keith Raynor about his 2019 URCA presentation, “Coaching with Captains.” We discuss the importance of communication, establishing clear goals, and empowering captains to become leaders and take ownership of the team. Keith has been a coach for many years at many different levels, and has learned lessons that can be applied to any situation. You can hear Keith on Ultiworld’s Deep Look podcast, and find him on Twitter as @FullFieldHammer (no, he can’t throw one). Stick around to the end of the episode to hear some details about the future of this podcast!
March 11, 2019
URCA 2019 Preview with Melissa Witmer
Melissa Witmer, founder of UltyResults, the UAP, and the URCA Conference, joins me to talk about the evolution of the conference, her thoughts on the future of coaching in ultimate, and her presentations at this year's conference.  Melissa is presenting on creating flexibly designed practice plans. Being flexible wil allow you to run an effective practice, even if you have unknown variables going into practice, particularly with numbers. In addition, Melissa is working with Jools Murray to develop a level 2 testing group within the UAP, which Jools will describe in detail in her URCA Presentation. The conference begins tomorrow (February 25) and runs through March 4. Don't miss out! Register for the conference at : A schedule of presentations can be found here:
February 24, 2019
Hex Offense - Interview with Felix Shardlow
Register for the 2019 URCA Conference here! : ( In this episode, I interview Felix Shardlow about the Hex offense, its origins, tactics, and implementation. Felix created the Hex offense and is responsible for its international spread. Listen to hear about the foundations of Hex within Spain’s tiki-taka style of football, based on spacing players to form equilateral triangles to present multiple passing options for every player. Felix explains why this style gives Hex some tactical advantages over stack offenses. Hex provides some advantages with regard to player development. Because every player can be an option, and because quick movement (often for short throws) is so heavily emphasized, each player can end up touching the disc a lot. It is harder to “hide” in the Hex in the same way that a cutter might stand in the middle of a stack. Additionally, it is easier for players to move from Hex to a traditional stack than for the other way around. For these reasons, many B teams and developmental teams have made the shift to using Hex, as Felix lays out in the interview. For more examples of Hex strategies and gameplay, you can head over to Felix’s website ( Felix will be giving a more comprehensive look into Hex at this year’s URCA Conference- register here, don’t miss it! As always, if you want to send me any thoughts, suggestions, or critiques, please email me at Below are a few links to teams running the Hex offense: Brighton City at UKU Nationals 2015 GB U23 X v. GB Mixed Sussex at Uni Nationals 2018 Japan U23 v. USA 2015
February 17, 2019
Indoor Ultimate, a Different "Flat" Ball Game - An Interview with Benji Heywood
 Register for the 2019 URCA Conference Here! In this episode, I interview Benji Heywood on the topic of indoor ultimate. In many countries, especially in the UK and Northern Europe, indoor has a similar organizational framework to outdoors in terms of leagues and participation. However, this is not the case in warmer countries, where teams may be able to play outside for most or all of the year. In this conversation, you’ll find insights from a leading coach on the subject of indoor ultimate on the tactics and organization of indoor ultimate. The primary differences in gameplay between indoor and outdoor are obvious, but they can have subtle effects. 1) There is no wind, and 2) the field is much smaller. In some cases in the UK, the entire field may be the size of a single outdoors endzone. With 5 players on each side, this causes the field to quickly become quite congested. Vertical stack is a high-variance, underdog strategy, and more standard indoors offenses may appear alien to those only familiar with outdoors ultimate.  Intro/ Outro Music: "La Rue" - Cortex 
February 7, 2019
A Season-Long Approach to Defensive Gameplanning - An Interview with Bryan Jones
Register for the 2019 URCA Conference here!
February 7, 2019
Teaching the Forehand - An Interview with Cate Roscoe
Register for the 2019 URCA Conference here! Welcome to the first ever URCA Podcast! In this show, we'll learn from some of the best and brightest minds in ultimate to help YOU become the best coach you can be. In this episode, I interview Cate Roscoe about her upcoming URCA Conference Presentation, "Teaching the Forehand." Cate Roscoe is a longtime ultimate player, coach, and organizer on the US west coast. In our interview, we discuss her upcoming URCA conference presentation, “Teaching the Forehand.” We also explore her background in coaching as well as other important lessons she has learned through coaching, coupled with her professional career as an educator. When teaching such a complicated motion, you want to keep it simple. Find cues that control multiple reference points. There’s so many moving parts with a forehand, it can be difficult to instruct. Here's a great example cue, courtesy of a young girl from Cate’s youth league:  “it feels like you’re trying to put your elbow in front of your hand.”  Another one that Cate loves, is “bend the opposite knee.”  These cues allow the athlete to focus on only one motion or action associated with the throw, rather than the individual aspects of coordinating a snap from the shoulder, elbow, and wrist. Giving a clear focus for the thrower will result in more efficient self-organization and learning on the part of the thrower. Other Fun Nuggets: Relational Equity: The idea that all members of a team provide some value to the team. This article provided by Cate explores this in more detail. The target audience is teachers, but the applicability towards ultimate training is obvious. For example, a tenet of relational equity is the concept of multidimensionality- there are many routes to success for a team, and everyone is going to find at least one path that they are successful on. By acknowledging your player’s strengths, you not only encourage good behavior in the individual and provide an example for teammates to follow, but you also highlight what value this player brings to the whole team.  Clicker Training: Yes, the same clicker training used in guiding behavior in animals can be applied to humans! Here's the NPR segment Cate mentions. This really only works in 1 on 1 situations when you have a highly motivated learner. Cate has found clicker training to be quite successful in developing math skills in her students. This training method can be applied to ultimate: if you are teaching a new player to throw a flick, it may be beneficial to offer the thrower a reward that is not simply watching the result of the throw. You can use clicker training to reward good habits, even if the throws themselves are not pretty.  Thanks for listening! If you have any comments or questions about the podcast, please email me at! I really hope you can find some value out of this show. I enjoyed putting it together, and am looking forward to hearing back from anyone who took the time to listen! Intro/ Outro Music: "La Rue" - Cortex
February 5, 2019