As ultimate players continue to return to the field and the 2021 club season approaches quickly, we’d like to tackle a topic that, for now, is important for athletes: competing with a mask on.
Current USA Ultimate Return to Play guidance requires the use of face masks during competition at all sanctioned events. Whether that will remain the standard for competitive play throughout 2021 is difficult to assess: most other sports, particularly outdoor sports, do not require wearing masks during play, and vaccination progress continues to reduce COVID risk to both individuals and the community.
But, as it stands today, you have to prepare to wear a mask during ultimate competition.
When you go to practice and you need to throw 10 backhands and 10 forehands in warmups, you count them. When you go to the gym, you use Breakside’s Teambuildr app to get your workout and write down your weights, sets, and reps. At home, you might even log your sleep habits or your diet.
So why would you skip tracking your speed workouts? You keep track of your progress towards a 300 pound deadlift, but it’s even more important to your on-field performance to see if you’re getting faster!
It’s often said that what gets measured gets improved. Too many athletes fail to measure one of the most important parts of their training and consequently don’t get the most out of their speed work.
I can hear the excuses now: it’s hard! It’s annoying! It’s expensive! Does it even matter?