Monday, May 23, 2011

Keep Calm and Carry On

Perhaps one of the hardest things about playing disc is keeping your cool.

See, ultimate has this thing called "Spirit of the Game," which differentiates it from other sports. There are no officials; players are expected to know the rules and adhere to them, all in the name of sportsmanship and fair play.

Thing is, some rules may seem ambiguous (i.e., kind of open to interpretation), and some players may not know the rules by heart. So naturally, there are points of contention on the field. Our captain often tells us, "Huwag tayong magagalit pag may tawag. May karapatan silang tumawag (Let's not get mad when someone makes a call. They have a right to make a call)." Similarly, he reminds us to likewise stay calm when we feel like we have been the victim of a violation.

And therein lies one of the biggest challenges. More than the memorization of rules and the proper execution of plays, it's the keeping-one's-temper-in-check that, I think, requires remarkable skill. How do you stop yourself from flaring up when you feel like the person in front of you is attacking you with words (and, sometimes, hand gestures)? How do you manage to speak in a steady, even tone when another player is aggressively, almost violently, stating his case? How do you keep from getting pikon when the other person just won't listen?

Honestly, I'm still learning. Lately, I find that I'm better able to rein in my quick temper and sometimes quicker tongue. (Maybe it comes with age.) But I've got a long way to go. Maybe I should do more yoga.

How do you control your temper when faced with hostility?


  1. In the past, were your quick-witted comments faster than your ability to bite your tongue? =)

    Usually hostile people amuse me and I make a wise-crack. But not always. The only time I threw a first punch was during a discussion of the rules during a football game. I didn't want to do it, but the other guy told me 3 times that if I didn't like it, I should hit him. So I hit him. I figured if a guy asked for something 3 times he should get it. I plan to share that story in a post soon.

  2. I've regretted things I've said without thinking about them, so I guess I'm a little more careful now!

  3. PS - I was 17 when that happened.

  4. I find it a waste of energy to be mad at petty things. I count from 1 to 10 to control my temper. It's better to be mad than to sane alone.


Oh, so sweet of you to drop a line!:)