Why Zig Zag Ultimate?
We know that one of the hardest decisions as a parent is deciding which sports clubs you think will best grow your children not only as an athletes, but also grow them as a person. We at Zig Zag Ultimate are driven by a passion to develop players in a sport we love, while also promoting the pivotal aspects of personal development.
Over the years, many have asked a similar question, why Zig Zag Ultimate? So we decided to comprise a list of reasons why Zig Zag Ultimate is the right choice for you and your family! By using our list on the side, please explore a few of the many reasons Zig Zag Ultimate is an incredibly inclusive and exciting sport that is perfect for anyone! From our coaching staff and the impact we have on the community, there are plenty of interesting aspects of our organization to read about!
Reason #1: Coaching Staff
The Coaching Staff of Zig Zag Ultimate is full of current and former players of the sport who have a passion for Ultimate and can't wait to help share the sport with as many as possible!
-Club Director & Head Coach-
Mike "Zaags" Zaagman
The first member of our coaching staff we would like to introduce you to is Mike "Zaags" Zaagman. Serving as the Club Director and Head Coach of our high school and middle school teams, Zaags is one of the most enthusiastic people about ultimate frisbee! Zaags founded Zig Zag Ultimate in 2012.
Zaags has played at the professional level as a member of the Detroit Mechanix, as well as being a prolific player in both high school and college. While Zaags has always had a love for playing ultimate frisbee, he has found his true passion is teaching the game!
-Assistant Club Director & Assistant Coach-
Coach Zahra has been part of Zig Zag Ultimate since the Fall season of 2018. Since joining, Zahra has enjoyed being part of many of the events Zig Zag Ultimate has had, such as the multiple pro games between the Detroit Mechanix and rivals, and the Grandville Parade Pickup Games. She helps coach the Grand Rapids White Lightning (High School team), the Grand Rapids Sparks (Middle School team), and is League Director and Head Coach of our Women's league
Zahra played on SaltaCocote UT (Dominican Women's team), Hammers Ultimate (Argentinean Mixed Team) for the Pan American Ultimate Campionship and currently plays on Midwestern Mediocrity (Mixed Club Team), and Grand Rapids Ultimate League.
Coach Chris helps in coaching our High School team, the Grand Rapids White Lightning. He is well known for his ability to coach defense exceptionally and for his computer programming skills.
Along with coaching, Coach Chris also plays for the Midnight Meat Train (ZZU Club Team) and Midwestern Mediocrity (Mixed Club Team). He and Coach Zahra are teammates on Midwestern.
Reason #2: Non-Contact
One of the largest concerns parents have when it comes to their children taking part in sports is the risk of injury. More and more studies and articles are coming our daily about the different risks associated with playing contact sports. While many of these dangers are present at young levels of sports, it only increases with age. As you move into higher levels of contact sports, the game gets faster, more intense, and puts more strain on the body and often the brain. When this happens, the risk of concussions, muscle tearing, and broken bones becomes greatly increased.
This is why we found it crucial to explain to parents that this sport is non-contact, while still remaining physically challenging. As a result of being contact being against the rules of ultimate, serious injuries such as broken bones and concussions are far less frequent than in sports such as football, soccer, and basketball.
Two of the desires a parent and player have when it comes to sports that often do not work together are for a sport that is safe, but still being physically challenging. While there is no contact in ultimate, the constant running, jumping, and throwing keeps our athletes in great shape and challenges them to be at their best!
Reason #3: Co-ed
As is often discussed in our current culture, it is very important to engage with individuals with different backgrounds than your own. One of the issues that is often encountered with sports is that the community becomes very isolated. Due to many of the most popular sports these days being a one gender sport, the athletes are very rarely adjusted to sharing the field with members outside of their isolated group.
One of the great advantages that ultimate has is that it is often played as a co-ed sport. Zig Zag Ultimate's middle school and high school teams are both co-ed, having all players from their age group learn to play as a team and utilize each other's strengths. By doing so, we feel as though they are more adept to working in a co-ed environment outside of sports as well.
Reason #4: Self-Officiated
When it comes to playing ultimate frisbee, you only need three things to have a game; cones, a frisbee, and a good attitude! As is the case with many sports, it is often a pain to find a referee to officiate the game to make it "official". This often makes it hard to have a true game of many sports.
This is not an issue with ultimate because even at the highest levels of clubs, referees are not required. Part of being a self-officiated game means that the players, not coaches, are required to call their own fouls. These calls can be contested and the two players need to come to a conclusion on the call. We teach all of our players to call their own fouls and make honest calls.
We see this teaching our youth to work through conflicts both on and off the field in a composed and productive manner without the need of intervention from a third party.
Reason #5: Physically Engaging
One of the largest dilemmas faced in life is taking care of one's health and fitness. Many of the reasons parents put their kids into sports is to keep them active and teach them a good habit of staying fit. We at Zig Zag Ultimate have found ultimate frisbee to be one of the greatest workouts that is also incredibly fun!
While many groan at the thought of going to the gym or hitting the treadmill, we constantly find people who are incredibly enthusiastic about getting onto a field and playing with their team! Oftentimes, you are running just as much, if not more, than you would be if you were to run on a treadmill and are combining multi-directional movements into it as well. This teaches our youth to not only be fit and healthy, but to enjoy it as well.
Many people fail at keeping active because they see it simply as a task they need to complete. To find a way around this, we encourage our community to go out and throw a disc with their friends & family, or participate in some pick up games! We have found it incredibly easy to stay fit and active when mixing in a sport you love into the day.
Reason #6: Growing Sport
Many sports communities these days are established and have their hierarchies in their own community. One of the most interesting aspects of ultimate frisbee is that it is a growing sport around the world. Often if one starts a sport in their mid-teens, they are far behind those who have been with the sport since they were young children. This puts most players at a disadvantage because they may have not found that sport until that time or not had a desire to get involved, but are then not able to utilized and are often shut out.
Ultimate frisbee, being a growing sport, allows players of all ages and skill levels to join and prosper! As long as the athlete has a desire to grow as a player and a person, nothing can stop them. It is very rare in this day and age to be part of a sporting community that is growing at a rapid pace and that is as inclusive as ultimate!
Reason #7: Community Building
Last, but certainly not least, ultimate frisbee is a community building activity. As alluded to in the previous reasons why to play ultimate frisbee, it is sport that is easy to set up and can be played co-ed without officials. This serves as a conclusion to all of our reasons to play, because it allows a whole community of people to play a sport that is inclusive to all and fun to play! All ages and skill levels can play ultimate together and we find that truly amazing.
As we at Zig Zag Ultimate have played around the Midwest, we see countless communities get together to play pick up ultimate or form a league to play each other. Whether it is two friends going out and throwing a disc with each other, or a full on league, ultimate frisbee serves as an incredible way to engage an entire community!
We hope to see you come join our incredible community!