Entrevista a Mac Taylor

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Mac Taylor
Revolver, Johnny Bravo
Defensa; Número 40

Revista FyC: Hey Mac, i must tell you that I'm, personally, a big fan of you! It was really great to follow your games in Worlds and Nationals. Congratulations!


Revista FyC: Well, lets start. Whats your roll on your team? I ve seen you in the defense? What do you do individually that helps Revolver to be the best team in the world?

-This year I was on the D-line all year. Partially because we had offensive stand-outs Bart Watson and Brian Garcia come over from Jam, and partially because my eagerness to huck was leading to too many turnovers. But on defense that’s more an asset than a liablity. Our defense is more aggressive with the disc than the offense, so I’m having a great time on D. I get to huck when I get the disc, and people are willing to take shots to me when I’m cutting deep.

Revista FyC: Do you prefer D or O? you play in defense as I said, it is hard, d players must live with the hardest job in ultimate stop goals, run behind other players, what do you like of playing in defense? The best part of it?

-It’s hard to say whether I prefer D or O. I like being on the D line instead of the O line, but playing O after the turn is my favorite part. The other’s team’s offense just turned it over, so they’re a little disheartened and tired. We just got the D, so we’re fired up with new energy and eager to punch in the goal. Plus, o-line players are generally worse at defense, so it makes the job easier.-Also, I disagree that D is the hardest part of ultimate. Playing on the D line is where the only real reward is. If you’re on the offense, you’re expected to score every time. If you don’t score, you screwed up. If you’re on the D line, it’s special when you score. That’s what really gets your teammates fired up.-One of the most important parts of defense is to not “run behind other players” as you said. You really want to position yourself in front of other players. The offense has an advantage in one-on-one match-ups because they get to make the first move. They’ll always have that advantage unless as a defender, you dictate where the offender gets to move. For instance, I’m tall and confident in my speed and jumping, so (more often than not) I force my mark to go away from the disc. Sure, now I’m following him deep, but it’s on my terms. I dare the other team to huck on me. If they do, and it’s not a perfect throw, I’ve stayed close enough to my guy going deep that hopefully I can catch up and make a play on the disc. If they don’t huck it, then the offender is too deep and only has one option – come back to the disc. But that’s where I am, waiting for him, and I maintain my position between him and the Frisbee. Take away one option with your positioning and body, stay close enough to make a play on the other option if the throw goes up.-This leads to my favorite part of defense. When I’m fronting a guy, making him go deep, but his team won’t huck to him. He gets frustrated, because I’m preventing him from getting it under, and his deep cuts get looked off. Eventually he’ll get frustrated and start mailing it in.

Revista FyC: How do you prepare mentally for doing that job? For example I’ve seen you defending one of the best handlers in the world Ben Wiggins, do you prepare your self by watching his games, videos, learning his movements?

-Almost everyone I play against on Elite club teams I’ve played with or against, either in college or club, or seen play enough times to know their general style. To prepare for Sockeye at Worlds, the team was given their defensive match-ups before leaving. I drew Ben Wiggins, because he’d been hurting us a lot in earlier games, and it was thought that I could stop him from getting the disc as much as he usually does, and my length on the mark would make his hucks more difficult. Plus, I could exploit the match-up on a turnover, and hopefully get some easy deep goals. So to prepare, we watched some footage of their games, and noted some of their favorite moves and strengths. Old timers like Jit Bhattacharya, who’ve been covering handlers since before I was born, had useful advice. I prefer to cover down-field cutters, over handlers.

Revista FyC: I believe a D player must prepare better in the physical way than an offensive player, do you practice just with your team or do you do any other activity to be on your best moment in important tournaments?

-During the season Revolver practices twice a weekend, plus a scrimmage night once a week. Outside of that, groups of teammates living near each other get together for Pod Workouts. For instance, the ten or so of us who live in the city meet once a week and do workouts in either a park, a stadium, or on the streets. Our favorite workout is running hill sprints, but we mix it up with flat sprints, agility and footwork, stairs, plyos, etc. Beau Kittredge is a real workout expert, so he leads us every week, and gets the team stronger. Afterwards we’ll all go to someone’s house for dinner and board games. It’s a great way to bond with your teammates.

This was a long year; Revolver had to prepare for Worlds and then a couple of months after that you had to prepare for Nationals. How did you do so you didn’t arrive tired to nationals?-This was a long year for Revolver. We started practicing and training for Worlds way back in April, and treated it like its own season. Beau arranged workouts for us so we were peaking physically in Prague. After the tournament, we had about a month of time off (some of us stuck around Europe to travel), rest and not think about Frisbee for a little while. The physical and mental break allowed us to come back and attack the USA season with new energy.

Revista FyC: You have won a lot of titles but is there any title that you won’t forget? The best tournament you have had?

-I’ve won a fair amount of tournaments, but Worlds was my first real title, and this was my first national title. The national title means the most to me, as it’s been the goal for the longest time. The game I’ll never forget though is the college championship game my freshman year. We were leading for most of the game, but lost on double game point to Brown University. I’ll remember it because of how little impact I had on the game. I was slow and not very good then, so only played a couple points. It was heartbreaking to watch from the sidelines and not be able to do anything about it. That game has always been motivation for me to improve. The best tournament I’ve had has got to be college nationals my fifth year. It was the culmination of what my teammates and I had worked five years for, and we played great.

Revista FyC: You played with Bravo, now you play with Revolver, what are the main differences and common things between these teams?

-There’s not a lot of difference between the two teams. The offensive and defensive schemes are pretty similar, as well as the team camaraderie and passion to win. I’d say that Bravo plays more with its heart, and Revolver plays more with its head. It’s difficult to leave a team and get to a new one where you have to adapt to new things and new teammates? How was it?
-Pretty easy, actually. As I said, the play style’s not that different. It was just getting to know my new teammates, and finding my role on the team. The guys on Revolver are my best friends. When you sweat and hurt and work for the same goal, it’s easy to become friends.

Revista FyC: What comes for Mac Taylor? What do you have in mind? Which tournaments do you want to play? Which is your next objective?

-The next tournament I want to play is Kaimana Klasik in Hawaii in February. I’ve heard nothing but great things about that tournament. Beyond that, I’m just looking to play some fun tournaments until the season starts again. We’ll have the potential to repeat next year, which would be great, since the bid to some other sort of Worlds tournament is on the line.

Revista FyC: What do you know about Colombia, and the ultimate we play in here? Do you know something about TEP? (Torneo Eterna Primavera)

-I’m pretty ignorant about the ultimate you play in Columbia. I’ve played Columbia a couple times at ECC, and they were both good exciting games. It would be awesome to come to Medellin and play a tournament. If all the girls in Columbia look like you women’s team, we’ll be down there in a flash.

Revista FyC: What is the difference between playing against a team from Canada, USA, South America or Japan?

-Playing international teams is always great. The first half of the game you’re trying to figure out what the other team likes to do, and the second half you try and implement a strategy to stop it. Ultimate is still relatively new, and there’s many offensive strategies untested. Teams from South America, Japan, and Europe all have different play styles, so it’s fun to see what they’ve come up with, and hopefully learn from them.

Revista FyC: What can you say about nationals? Sockeye seem to be far away from what they were in Worlds and Ironside seem to be really strong but they couldn’t beat you in finals…. Chain, FG with Matsuono… but finally Revolver on the top.

-Nationals was great. Our team leadership did a fantastic job preparing us for the tournament, and managing everything while we were there. Off-field leadership is one of the main reasons we were successful over the four days. We were a complete team from top to bottom. Everyone had a role on the team, knew what that role was, and executed it to the best of his ability.-Sockeye performed better than expected throughout the year. It looked like their roster changed slightly at every tournament, but they played with more fire and grit than they have in the last few years, which is why they had the good results that they did.-Ironside had a fantastic undefeated season. I think we came into the finals with a little more legs, hunger, and confidence. Our defense was relentless. Each man focusing only on winning his individual match-up created constant pressure on their offense. Losing finals the year before also helped. We weren’t nervous or feeling the pressure, everyone played their role fantastically, and when needed, players made plays.

Revista FyC: And finallyDo you like baseball, SF Giants?

-Winning the World Series was icing on the cake. I watched the game on the plane ride home from Florida, cheering outs and hits along with everyone else on the plane. A few days later I went to the parade for the Giants, and pretended everyone was there to congratulate Revolver/Fury/Polar Bears on our national titles.