Paolo, 29-year-old EPFL post-doc at EPFL in environmental engineering from Italy, was chosen by FlyHigh to be “the voice of the beginners”.
This summer, we have rapidly seen him as “hooked” : always present at practice on Mondays (practice open to everyone), then helping us the whole week-end we organized a phase of the mixed Swiss Champs, coming for the team dinner afterwards, then integrating the Wednesday practices after the championships when it was open to everyone, which allowed him to play the Autumn league (and be in the Finals next Monday…)
So we wanted to know more about him :
WHY DID YOU TRY ULTIMATE?
I always had the feeling that Ultimate was a lot of fun and I really liked that you can play it anywhere. Moreover, it’s cool that it combines the technical skills for the throw with the physical skills to run and catch. But I had never tried. Last June I was just arrived in Lausanne and wanted to try something new. So, with no hope, I told myself “let’s see if there’s anybody playing Ultimate from time to time…”
… and to my great surprise there were BOTH a nice and detailed website and an up-to-date facebook page! A real team, not just a pick-up! I could not believe it. I wrote an e-mail to the “FlyHigh” and was told to just join in the following monday. Fantastic.
HOW WAS YOUR FIRST PRACTICE?
So the following Monday I showed up and was again very surprised: more than 40 people were there to play! At some point I was told: “go in the stack”. Stack?… where is it?… I didn’t really get it and started running around randomly in the field, also causing a few picks! Then Ulrike and Stefano took care of me and started explaining the principles of the stack. Which I always like to summarize with a rule of thumb for beginners: when you have no idea what to do, just stay in the middle.
In the end I really liked the entrainment, and decided I wanted to put energies in this new activity. So I went to buy cleats – a nice horrible mixture of orange and purple stripes which many people noted the following week (ah you have new cleats right? Nice color ihihih… ). I felt involved.
After a few weeks I realized that MANY THINGS I THOUGHT ABOUT ULTIMATE WERE TOTALLY WRONG.
Well ok there’s some running involved, but it can’t be a strenuous sport
I guess you can’t play when it’s windy or rainy
Uh there’s quite some running, so matches must be short, maybe a total of 45 minutes.
People can’t play for two hours and then start with another 1-2 hours of fitness
People won’t take it too seriously :=)
ANY PRECISE GOALS?
After all, I just have one goal: to have fun. This means to me improving my skills, playing regularly and possibly reaching a level that will allow me to play in a tourney. But also getting to spend time with the team. I am a sociable person and I like a lot doing things together. I am just a bit slowed down because I can’t speak a decent french yet and don’t want to force people to switch to english. At least I put some effort in learning people’s names, so the other day I could firmly say “Sophie you forgot your disc!” “…my name is Florence…”
Thank you Paolo and Welcome to FlyHigh!