An Extracurricular Activity in 1,000 Characters Pt. 2

Leading a Team Without a Coach

by James Thompson

I learned to lead, lose and work as a teammate by playing Ultimate Frisbee. I joined the team as one of few sophomores amongst a bunch of juniors and seniors. Now as a senior, I help recruit and train new members. We do not have a coach; our players teach each other and we also learn from watching plays on YouTube videos. We have grown from 13 to 35 in just two years. My school still refuses to recognize the Frisbee club as an official team and doesn’t give us any funding. That does not stop us. We still practice every day, from the moment school ends until our ankles are too sore to run.  We don’t have jerseys; we bring colored shirts to our weekly matches on Fridays.  We pay for Frisbees and cleats. We are the most determined team at Brookline High. Our existence is the model of what can happen when independence meets passion. When I graduate, the Frisbee team will stay strong and I will be playing in college on a team or a club.

James Thompson just finished his freshman year at Hampshire College and is a 2012 graduate of Brookline High School in Brookline, Ma.