Set specific measures to reduce the dropouts
In various sports, especially at the youth level, mixed practices are quite common. Once the difference in physical size and strength between boys and girls becomes a factor, it is no longer possible for a trainer to consider all players the same. Still, it is important to address these differences and mention that although physical size and strength can provide an athletic advantage, there are other important characteristics of a good athlete and team member. We want to avoid direct comparisons between man-matching and women-matching players. Creating comparisons can lead to adverse effects on the team. Such as junior women-matching players feeling as if they are not as valuable as their man-matching peers; or the man-matching players thinking that they are superior to their woman-matching counterparts. Highlight the many different strengths present in an athlete and emphasise the importance of a team with depth in ability, skill and strategy.
A survey run by the European Ultimate Federation revealed that playing mixed can be difficult for women-matching players for many reasons, but that with the right team, it can be very rewarding. The same survey showed that many women-matching players drop out of the mixed division because they are not integrated enough in the game (for example, not enough Disc time).
The key is to develop tactics based not only on speed, size, physical power and individual performance but also on good positioning, timing, skills, accuracy and team playing. The latter are gender independent and force a good integration and mutual support of all players. Be sure to give all athletes the same opportunity to grow.
Practices to make your mixed ultimate tactics more inclusive
In ultimate, there are various strategies on how to play mixed. Below is a non-exhaustive list of practices to put in place as a coach, and the case studies also give extended and practical examples.
In the offence:
keep tall and fast male players out of the cutting area to avoid poaching
have a flow-based game as HEX rather than a power cutting one.
more work on individual skills and space usage
In the defence:
junk or zone-like defences to have physical mismatches where you want them to be
more work on whole team positioning
These principles make the team a real-mixed team and avoid the dropout of women-matching players and, ultimately, the team's end.
Referenced Case Studies
[missing] SMOG - DEEP SPACE - Mixed Ultimate Team Philosophy
Research: Elite Mixed Ultimate Still Skewed Towards Male Involvement
Statistics Show Female Players Underrepresented In Elite Mixed Ultimate