Create partnerships with other sports

Partnerships are hugely beneficial in sports, both from a resource and performance point of view. From a coaching perspective, it is crucial to break the mental patterns athletes might develop from repeating the same patterns during training. For instance, changing these patterns improves cognitive engagement and engages athletes’ muscles by playing a different sport as a warm-up. Partnering with associations that share the same gender equity values for training or events can benefit everyone involved and promote a supportive sporting community. 

Benefits of partnerships and collaborations. 

Some associations may have many women matching people in coaching, role model and leadership roles. Others might be struggling to find any.  The presence of women-matching players as role models and valued members of the ultimate community can directly impact the number of women-matching leaders and coaches. Suppose women-matching players are not treated and respected as valued members of the sporting community. In that case, it is unlikely that women matching athletes will want to progress into leadership roles. 

The “Coach Like a Woman” program by the Finnish Sports Ministry shows that having “women only” coaching meetings is essential. During this program, women-matching coaches shared thoughts and feelings more freely in this environment than how they would interact in seminars with men-matching colleagues. In a survey run by the European Ultimate Federation, a clear trend indicated that men-matching coaches don’t share the same social and emotional skill set as their women-matching colleagues, who are often appreciated for their social skills.  

Collaborations with other associations that follow similar strategies to increase the number of role models of all genders might boost the development of both associations in terms of recruiting players as you will be able to share resources. It could also increase the quality and quantity of participation in training (open, women and mixed).  

Furthermore, this cooperation extends the network of each association, opening possibilities for recruitment and participation in events that the one alone would not have. 

What can Ultimate give/gain from these partnerships? 

Ultimate fits very well as a ‘warm-up’ game for other sports. For many people, this will be their first interaction with Ultimate. This experience of  Ultimate can encourage players to develop greater pitch awareness (distance from the thrower, cutting/resting space, open/close space, and  Endzones).  

Due to Ultimate being a relatively new sport, it lacks a standardised coaching program where coaches and women matching leaders can learn and develop their skills. International cooperation with other Ultimate teams and federations can exchange coaching practices and resources.  The European Ultimate Federation’s Train the Trainer Program aims to create a network of coaches and provide training in a standardised way using successful methodologies collated from the best Ultimate associations in Europe.  

The EuroStar Women’s Ultimate Clinics program is another example, even though the focus is on the players and not necessarily on coaching methodologies.  

Additionally, as a national federation, you might be eligible to get state grants for these international cooperations.  

See also: European Week of Sport  

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