Join us for the first of what we hope to be a series of video blogs capturing some of the experiences of the NexGen Tour.
We love stats at NexGen because they give us concrete measurements with which to compare and evaluate performance. They’re not the be-all and end-all of a player’s value, but they sure are fun.
We wanted to put some numbers to NexGen’s athleticism so we asked our good friend Tim Morrill of Morrill Performance to help us out. Tim teaches ultimate-specific strength and conditioning classes and workshops around the US and was kind enough to volunteer his time, equipment and knowledge to the cause.
Tim coached us through a combine-style workout and tested each player’s 40-yard dash, vertical jump and serpentine time. He talked briefly about proper technique before each skill and basically let us just go for it with whatever haphazard form came natural to us.
Tim knows his stuff, but to learn technique takes repeat practice and a couple hours with him was only enough time to realize how bad we are at this stuff and how much room we have for improvement. Compare Tim demonstrating how to start a 40 in the clip below and George Stubbs who ran our fastest 40.
NexGen has athleticism—but like most ultimate players today—it’s raw athleticism. Perhaps the best example of this is Dylan Freechild’s serpentine. He clocked NexGen’s second fastest time at 8.88 seconds. This is his first run.
Now imagine how fast he’d be if he ran it like Tim.
Alas, we can’t all be Tim, but with time, knowledge and practice perhaps someday we can. In the meantime feast on some more NexGen numbers and let us know what you think below.
For more information on Morrill Performance or to schedule a personal consultation with Tim Morrill visit his website at www.strengthandconditioningfitness.com or join him on Facebook.
|Name||10-yard split||40-yard||Vertical Jump||Approach Vertical||Serpentine|
Once again the NexGen roster is overflowing with talent and athleticism. Among the fourteen players already selected eight were U20 World Champions, ten have been named to all-region teams, eleven have attended the USAU College Championships at least once (three have won) and ten have attended the USAU Club Championships at least once (one has won).
The 2013 NexGen Roster*:
One roster spot remains, so stayed tuned to nexgentour.com to see who it will be.
With barely more than two weeks until NexGen’s first game in San Francisco it’s only appropriate that we have a complete full roster.
When we announced the 2013 roster in early May with an empty 15th spot, we too wondered if it was the right decision. Would we be hampering the team by not securing a good player early or would we find the right player to complement the roster in Madison?
It was worth the wait as we’ve added a talent we might not otherwise have selected in UC Davis’s Eli Kerns. We knew Kerns had potential and watching him lead Davis (10 goals, 22 assists) to a surprise quarterfinal appearance at the 2013 College Championships confirmed that he would be a good fit for the roster.
Kerns’ resume includes a USAU Club Championship, a 2010 U20 World Championship and a 2013 U23 selection. He plays club with the Bay Area’s Polar Bears.
The University of Colorado’s Tim Morrissy will be replacing Carleton’s Nick Stuart who has been mostly sidelined since the North Central regional tournament with a nagging hamstring injury.
Morrissy plays club ultimate with Denver’s Johnny Bravo and was teammates with Kerns on the 2010 U20 national team. He will be representing the US in Toronto this summer as a member of the 2013 U23 open team.
NexGen announces it’s 2013 tour schedule which runs June 18 – July 16 and makes stops to play against 13 of the best club teams in the United States and Canada.
|Tue. June 18||San Francisco, CA|
|Sat. June 22||Austin, TX|
|Mon. June 24||Atlanta, GA|
|Wed. June 26||Raleigh, NC|
|Mon. July 1||New York, NY|
|Tue. July 2||Boston, MA|
|Thur. July 4||Toronto, Canada|
|Sun. July 7||Chicago, IL|
|Tue. July 9||Madison, WI|
|Wed. July 10||Minneapolis, MN|
|Sat. July 13||Seattle, WA|
|Mon. July 15||Vancouver, Canada|
|Tue. July 16||Portland, OR|
Roster coming soon.
*Specific dates may still change.
We’re back with Jackson Kelsay recapping the Top Ten plays from the 2011 NexGen Ultimate Tour. If you haven’t check it out yet make sure to head over to our NGN Kickstarter page and consider supporting the future of broadcast ultimate: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nexgen/ngn-nexgen-network.
Get full-length coverage of all 15 NexGen games from UltiVillage for only $14.99. Subscribe now!
Fact 1: The bus is not fast.
Last February when we planned a day for the drive from San Francisco to Boulder, it never occurred to us this might not be possible. An hour after our loss to Revolver we sat in an In-N-Out Burger putting downing a couple 2x2s animal style and wondering whether we might have made a mistake.
Google Maps says the drive from San Francisco to Boulder is something like 20 hours. This is for a car travelling the speed limit. The bus is not a car, nor does it travel the speed limit.
The bus is mechanically governed to go no faster than roughly 57.5 mph, so even if it were capable of going the speed limit (and we’re pretty sure it’s not), it straight up can’t.
George Stubbs claims to have gotten it up to 75 mph during one of his five-hour shifts at the wheel. The supposed record occurred on a long straight downhill section of highway sometime between the hours of 6 and 7 am while everyone else slept.
Sleeping on the bus means using every surface available to find whatever comfort we can. The five bunks are occupied pretty much 24-hours a day during our long drives and by the time the early morning hours arrive sleeping bags and pads litter the aisle and we’re curled up and hoping not to fall of bus seats made to seat small children, not adult athletes.
When we’re not riding the governor at 57.5 mph, it’s because we’re going up a hill at a respectable 40 mph. The 1169 miles stretch we drove on I-80 from San Francisco to Boulder gains more than 5,000 feet in elevation.
It’s 5 am and Jimmy Mickle is at the wheel for the first time. “I just drove through hell,” he says.
He and co-pilot Phil Murray just finished navigating hours of construction-riddled, 6-10% graded, uphill highway squeezed between endless lines of bright orange traffic cones and shoulderless concrete barriers.
They don’t realize how lucky they are as the road from then onward opens up onto the endless expanses of the American Midwest.
“I honestly thought about just taking out a few hundred cones for variety,” Stubbs recalled of his drive through Utah’s beautiful but enduring plains.
Total time from San Francisco to Boulder: 31 hours.
Fact 2: The bus gets hot.
We’re in the middle of driving the ever so slightly longer stretch of highway from Boulder to Atlanta and while it’s flatter, it’s much, much hotter. It’s nearly 11 pm and the outside temperature is still breaking 90 degrees Fahrenheit. This isn’t a problem if you’re sitting pretty in two luxury, air-conditioned coaches like the Christian youth group we just encountered at a truck stop Wendy’s in Salinas, Kansas.
Heat is a bit more of a problem when you’re on The Spirit of Aaron Bell. Inside the NexGen bus, air temperatures exceeds ambient levels and our only relief comes from the hot air swirling in through open windows and evaporating the sweat that’s sticking to our bodies.
Sleeping is more difficult than ever now and we’ve shed not only our sleeping bags and blankets but also our shirts in an effort to stave off the sweltering heat. None of it works however and only after we resign ourselves to the situation and the night gets late and cool enough do people start to fall asleep.
In addition to disturbing our comfort, the heat has started to tax the limits of The Spirit of Aaron Bell. It’s midday and just after crossing the border from Colorado into Kansas the red Engine Alert button on the dashboard begins to light up and buzz in alarm.
We stop the bus on the side of the highway, hop out and go around back to look at the engine. Looking at the engine is about all we’re qualified to do, as we still don’t know what we’re doing. We check the engine oil and it’s bone dry. We have a gallon of extra oil on the bus, but we’re not quite sure how to add it to the engine. After some discussion we pull a cap and decide it’s the right one.
We’ve successfully topped off the engine oil, but it doesn’t do anything to solve the problem of our dangerously high engine temperatures. We’re good on coolant, so without any further ideas we board the bus and are back on the road.
The engine warning goes off several more times and an equal number of stops later we finally decide that we’re going to have to drive slower than we already are — 50 mph seems to be doing the trick.
With the bus under control it’s only another 24 hours until we reach Atlanta. Nothing like a little shared misery to bring people together.
REVOLVER REBUFFS NEXGEN
By Martin Cochran
Wednesday night’s game between the NexGen studs and Revolver brought with it a large and heckle-ready crowd ready for big, exciting plays and the ensuing ultimate did not disappoint. A bit after 8pm the players were ready despite chilly, blustery winds and Revolver came down on D to get a break right off the bat after several trades of possession. NexGen stormed back in the next two points to bring it on serve, showing the Revolver squad that they could quickly punish them for minor tactical and mental slips.
Things continued on serve for most of the first half, with plenty of hucks, high-flyers, and hustle-plays to the crowd’s delight. Revolver’s D came up with two big breaks to take half 8-6 and start on O going into the second half.
Both sides brought the intensity to make it a hotly-contested game with the active travel and up/down calls from observers cooling on-field tempers.
Throughout the second half both squads played tight D and Revolver’s O was mostly able to methodically work the disc under to punch it in consistently. NextGen was ruthless in looking for long shots when they were given any room deep and were mostly successful on the big plays, but a handful of routine catches and throws ended up in turnovers that hurt them down the stretch. The final points of the game saw even more hucks (and turnovers), but Revolver was able to convert more breaks than NexGen and pulled away with the 15-11 win.
Notables highlights were Josh Wiseman’s sky of a crowd just outside the endzone, NexGen guys coming up with almost every errant throw and deflected disks due to their impressive field sense and speed and the wind continually popping up hucks to make almost every deep shot a 50/50.
Martin Cochran captains Revolver