Entrevista a Bart Watson (ing)

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Bart Watson
Noviembre 5 de 1980

Equipo: Revolver, Jam
Universidad: Stanford

Títulos: World Games USA tema, Nacionales con Rev y Jam, WUCC con Revolver
Número 24

Well first of all thank you very much for the interview.Congratulations for the excellent year you just ended. You won the twomost important tittles any one could achieve and that is forcelebrate. But you must have made a very good pre season, it’s hard to get to theend of the year as well as you and your team mates did. How was thework before and after worlds so the “gasoline” was almost full fornationals?

BW: At the beginning of the season we set as a goal to win both thesetournaments, so we made sure to create a schedule that made thatpossible. We did everything we could to peak at worlds to make surewe were at our best. Then we took a big chunk of time off (almost amonth) and treated the run to nationals like a new season. Given thatrevolver lost in finals last year, players had plenty of fuel in theirtanks as we got closer to nationals.

FyC: You are very recognized in Colombia because you play in JAM and wonNationals with them, now you won it with Revolver, Which were the maindifferences between both titles? Which were the things in common?

BW: There are a lot of commonalities between any title teams. You haveto be dedicated all year long, you have to have a lot of talent, andyou have to have a coherent team strategy and identity. On the field,both Jam and Revolver had efficient offenses, athletic defenses, anddefensive players who could score goals on the turn. That said, there were a lot of differences. Jam was a much moreveteran team and utilized an offense built much more around breakingthe mark with throws. Revolver’s offense relies more on opening upspace for athletic cutters. The seasons were also quite different.While both teams peaked at nationals, Jam had a more up-and-downseason prior to that, while Revolver has rolled all year. I think thekey in both cases was treating nationals like a new tournament andforgetting the rest of the reason, good or bad.

FyC: It was hard for you, leaving your team for this season?

BW: Yes – though since Jam disbanded it made it a bit easier mentally,since I wasn’t leaving my old team, just joining a new one. It’s always hard to start with a new team, but there are a lot ofplayers I’ve played with on Revolver before (like Beau Kittridge andRobbie Cahill in addition to the Jam players who came along) and a lotof players I respected. There was definitely a learning curve, so Imade sure to work out with and play with my new team as much aspossible.

FyC: How was the adaptation to your new team and your new teammates?

BW: Great. Jam and Revolver share a lot of commonalities in how theyplay (dump sets for instance) since they are both based on strategiesthat have evolved in the Bay Area. The teammates definitely had adifferent vibe, but it was a lot of fun getting to know them. Theywere great and super welcoming of all the new players which made it alot easier.

FyC: We know you’ve won a lot of tittles, but I can imagine there is onethat must have changed your life, which one?

BW: That’s like picking between your children. They all have adifferent meaning. The one I won in college (with Stanford) reallyset me on a path to loving this sport and showing me how a team wins.The World Games titles were wonderful since I got to represent mycountry. Both club titles were great since they capped so much hardwork with teammates I love. I guess if I have to pick one it has to bethe first one, with Stanford, since that helped me make all the otherteams I was on.

FyC: What’s the difference between the Bart Watson that started and theBart Watson now?

BW: Obviously, the more you play the better you understand the game.On the field, I’m definitely more of a thrower than I was – I startedas a cutter and a defender and I’ve moved more behind the disc.Mentally I don’t think too much has changed, I still love playing thissport just to play. Maybe the thing that has changed the most is myconnection to the community. Ultimate used to be something I did, nowit is a part of who I am.

FyC: The best teammate you’ve had? (The one you can play by memory, withthe eyes closed?

BW: There have been lots of great teammates, but maybe Damien Scott.He was the best player I’ve ever played with, an incredible leader,and an incredible teammate.

FyC: What can you say about you as player? I know its hard, but can youtell us your main qualities (characteristics) the thing you think youdo best in field?

BW: These days, I think I see the field and the spaces on the fieldquite well, which helps in timing both my throws and cuts. DownfieldI have a good mix of speed and endurance, allowing me to outlast mostdefenders.

FyC: As I told you, here in Colombia, Revolver has a lot of fans. We (imincluded) follow you guys every tournament, because you are always thecandidates for the title. What has Revolver that no other team in theworld has?

BW: Depth of talent. Lots of teams have stars with great throws orjumping ability, but Revolver’s last 7 (if you could even pick a last7) are better than any other team’s final 7 players. I think it alsohas a team concept based on intensity, humility, and discipline thatfew other open teams really have. We always try to play the sport theright way.

FyC: In Colombia there are three countries that people have in mind asthe best in ultimate. 1. Usa, 2, Canada 3, Japan. You played againstBuzz Bullets, and Matsuono (Furious George) what can you say aboutthem?

BW: They (Buzz) are great. Its wonderful to see the global growth inthe sport and the new styles that emerge. The Buzz Bullets play astyle unlike anyone else and play it wonderfully. When they areclicking their offense is one of the best in the world. It was superexciting to have Matsuno come for nationals and play with Furious,since he is one of their best players. I hope Japanese ultimate keepsdeveloping players like him in the future.

FyC: What can you say about Colombian ultimate, do you know anything?

BW: It is getting a lot better. We got to play Kie at ECC a couple ofyears back and they were quite competitive. It seems like there is awonderful passion for the game in Columbia that really has sped up thedevelopment of players. Given the success of the juniors teams, I’msure Columbian teams will be comparable to the top teams from Japan,Canada, and the US very soon.

FyC: You have almost all the international titles anyone can have, butyou still don’t have any tournament in Colombia, (TEP is a very goodoptions, though there are more options) are you visiting us someday?(Revolver in Colombia, JAM in Colombia, Bart in Colombia?)

BW: I’d love to. One of the great things about the globalization ofultimate is the spread of wonderful tournaments all over the world. Ifinally got to go to Paganello last year and loved it (our team LosTiger took the title!). I’d also love to go to TEP in Columbia orother international tournaments (like Dream Cup in Japan). HopefullyI can find the time and money! I also got the chance to do a coaching clinic in the United Kingdomthis summer, so hopefully I get the chance to do more of those aroundthe world, maybe even in Columbia.

FyC: I believe there is a very important part in the game, the one thatmakes you loose or win, and is the mental part, how do you prepareyourself in that aspect?

BW: I think the key is to try and balance the highs and lows and bringthe same focus and intensity every time you play. If you treat everypractice and game like it is the finals of worlds, you won’t benervous when you get there. I also do some visualization before bigtournaments to help practice mentally for big points. I still getnerves like anyone, but it definitely helps to have thought about bigpoints before they happen.

FyC: What can you say about Nationals this year? What happened withIronside in the last game, they seem to be pretty strong againstsockeye and DW?
BW: We had a great nationals, including the finals. I think theexperience of playing in that game last year (for the Revolverplayers) and winning (for the former Jam players) really gave us anadvantage. Strategically, our defense’s offense played great. Theyreally took their time and made sure to score when they had theirchances. The rest of the tournament also went well. We tried to focus onbringing our best game to each round – not necessarily by trying toplay like heroes, but by playing our roles and working as a team.

FyC: Another important aspect is the Spirit of the game (SOTG) how doyou train yourself, how does your team practice this element of thegame?

BW: Revolver emphasizes this a lot in our pre-tournament thoughts. Idon’t think we train per se, but we do remind each other that we wantto present the right attitude to the rest of the ultimate community.Personally, I try to remember that every player I’m playing against isa potential teammate in the future – that always helps to keep myspirit high.

FyC: How do you manage your social live and your life as an athlete? Imean its pretty common that people go out on Friday and have somedrinks but maybe they have practice on Saturday , how do you do tomake that none of the two activities get affected by the other?

BW: We try to balance these in our schedule, making sure there is timefor players to enjoy their social lives (by scheduling team nights orafternoon practices some weekends). That said, during the season Itry to remember the goals the team is working for and so party inmoderation nights before practice etc. Ultimate is a social sport,with a great community, so I don’t cut out partying altogether, butdefinitely tone it down during the season. That’s what the off-seasonis for (and I will definitely be going out to have some drinks more inthe next couple of months).

FyC: And the last question will be, Can you give some advice for theyoung ultimate players in my country so they can be a completeathlete? What they should do in every aspect in the game so they getcloser to the best players in the world?

BW: Work on the things you bad at as much if not more than the thingsyou are good at. If you are fast but a bad jumper, go do jumpworkouts. If you have a great backhand but no forehand, practicetwice as many forehands. When you are training, remember to train the correct way. JohnWooden, a famous American basketball coach once said, “practicedoesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect.” The point isthat when you are practicing, you should focus on doing your best atwhatever you are doing. Don’t practice if you are going to do it at50%, wait until you’re ready to do it 100%. Finally, take time to enjoy it. If you aren’t having fun, you’regoing to burn out in training. Remind yourself why you are working ongetting better and you are more likely to give your best when you areon the field. Passion is a great recipe for success.