Thursday, September 29, 2016

Q&A with No Touching!

We stopped by the banana stand to have a sit down with first-time Nationals-qualifiers No Touching! from Minneapolis, Minnesota.

BACKGROUND: According to their team bio, No Touching! is: "Defined by their core values of Passion, Practice, and Sobriety, No Touching is thrilled to introduce the National Championship to their one-of-a-kind style of ultimate, and they demand to be taken seriously. Seriously. Self-described as the most exclusive club team in Minnesota, and famed throughout the upper Midwest for their complex defensive schemes and unpredictable offense, look for No Touching to carry an unconscionable streak of good luck throughout the tournament.  Easily recognized for the regiment of children and toddlers that fill their sideline, and, of course, by the iconic Banana Stand that follows them everywhere (unless it's too much of a hassle), No Touching is pleased to announce that their average age qualifies for the Master's division.  With their wealth of experience, history of mediocrity, and enduring love of ultimate, they're looking forward to #MakingNationalsFunAgain."

SLUDGE: How long has your team been playing together?
No Touching!Season 4, Episode 8: Nationals

SLUDGE: What were your team's goals (not the scoring kind) for the 2016 club season?
NT!: Same as they've always been!
1. Have fun.
2. Don't take ourselves too seriously.
3. Share in banana-stand-debauchery.
4. Qualify for regionals.

SLUDGE: What are keys to your success in the 2016 season?
NT!: 1. Drink more. Suck less.
2. Don't cut anyone.
3. Don't practice.
4. Age with grace.

SLUDGE: What were biggest factors in qualifying for 2016 National Championship?
NT!: 1. The wind and winning the flips in the 3rd place semis and finals.

2. Jeremy Keiser's pep talk before the CLX game where he prepared everyone for our inevitable loss.  "CLX is wayyy better than us.  And they're going to score up wind.  We can't get down on ourselves when they do.  I mean, they're really, really good."

SLUDGE: What is your team most looking forward to when you play at 2016 National Championships?
NT!: #MakingNationalsFunAgain

SLUDGE: What advice would you give to teams seeking to qualify for 2017 Natties?
NT!: What IS your team?  Is it your name?  Is it your jerseys?  Is it your leadership?  Is it the sum of your players?

If you want to experience change as a team, be more consistent.  Find people who share your goals and see ultimate the same way you do and stick with them.  Stop trying to "trade up" and focus on development instead. We've had 4 fantastic seasons because we've always focused on having fun.  Winning has never been that important to us.  3 years later, everyone has found their niche because no one is worried about losing (or proving) their place on the team.  By allowing every player a permanent role, the focus changes from oneself to one's team.  Now our sum is greater than our parts.

Also, you probably shouldn't take any of our advice because you probably haven't given up on your dreams yet due to your expanding waistline and greying hair.  Go make mistakes while you're young!  Then retire and play for fun and maybe... just maybe... some year it'll be windy enough for you to qualify for Nationals too!

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