In their early days on the Ultimate field, every Current player had an older teammate or coach who took the time to guide them to a better understanding of the sport. Now as professionals, some of these players have taken on the role of mentor to help shepherd the next generation of potential stars.
Helping other athletes improve their craft is nothing new for the D.C. Current’s Daniel Kantor (Cornell University/ Boulder, Co.) who has been working as the head coach for George Mason University’s club Ultimate team for the past four years. In that time, he has built the program up from a squad of just 12 players to an A and B team with about 25 players each.
Kantor is one of three members of the Current that have joined up with Major League Ultimate’s new partner, CoachUp, to offer up their expertise to the Ultimate community. He is joined by Robert Dulabon (University of Pittsburgh/ Erie, Pa.) and rookie Glenn Poole (Rutgers University/ Land O’Lakes, Fl.).
Founded in 2012, CoachUp is a service that directly connects interested athletes with private coaches to help youth, high school students and adults looking to improve their athletic performance. They have made it their mission to help people change their lives through sports and fitness, a vision shared by Major League Ultimate and its players.
Kantor said that many of the lessons he hopes to share through the CoachUp program are the same that were instilled in him long before he ever picked up a disc.
“I attended a few of the Air Force Academy’s golf camps growing up,” said Kantor. “They stressed upon every player that we all should do something larger than ourselves in all aspects of life. Their words of wisdom continue to guide me to this day.”
Dulabon, a returning player for the Current, has been working with youth Ultimate players in Pittsburgh for the last several years. He said joining forces with CoachUp was an easy decision because it allows him to do two things he loves at once.
“Frisbee and training are definitely major passions of mine,” said Dulabon. “I always try to keep the game as a central focus in training. Whether it’s strength training, metabolic conditioning or agility drills, I get the kids to think about how that movement will help them be a better player. And it’s been great working with them and I’m excited to expand to a larger client base.”
Poole believes that his time working as a coach has provided him with a different prospective on the game, which in turn makes him a more effective player.
“Ultimate is absolutely a passion of mine, and coaching is a part of it I really enjoy,” said Poole. “It gives me perspective on the game that I can’t get as a player, and it’s both fun and fulfilling to teach other players. New players have an enthusiasm that’s really refreshing to be around, so even after I retire I definitely hope to keep coaching.”
But before Poole and the others decide to hang up their cleats they look forward to sharing their Ultimate wisdom with those who are thirsty for knowledge.
For more information about CoachUp, visit their website at www.coachup.com.