A column by Bert Abbott

Bert Abbott started playing ultimate in 2003, and has become increasingly more involved in the sport ever since. Now, she is an NSCA certified strength and conditioning coach with RenFitness, a captain of Seattle Mixtape and the Seattle Cascade Cup team, and a former coach of the Seattle Rainmakers. She is working with Equity in Mixed Ultimate and 77 Cents to advance gender equity in ultimate. 

Note: Because the divisions of our sport run along a gender binary, including within the Mixed division when fielding a line, I follow the gender binary in my terminology. I want to acknowledge that the experiences of trans* athletes exist in our sport. Those experiences are complex and intersect with the content of this column.

July 20, 2017

The Family We Choose

Sometimes our chosen family can be the ones we look to the most in times of need. 

July 11, 2017

Equitable Team Culture (3/3): Fight or Flight Mode and De-Escalating Yourself

Think about the last time you disagreed with a call. What did it feel like physically? What did you think about? How did you react externally? Do you think you handled it the best way possible?

June 21, 2017

Equitable Team Culture (2/3): Team Routines and Norms

Last week, Bert discussed how to set up your leadership with equity in mind, and this week we’ll shift our focus to everyone on the team. Part of having an equitable team culture is being intentional about the way in which teammates routinely interact with each other. Teams can do this through structures for communication and learning about each other beyond the field.

June 12, 2017

Equitable Team Culture (1/3): Leadership

Check out the first in a three part series on how to build equitable culture on your team. This week focuses on what team leadership can do. 

May 31, 2017

Spirit of the Game & Gender Equity

Last year, along with Niko Heckman, the coach of Madison NOISE Ultimate, Bert spearheaded a movement to establish a divisional individual spirit award for the Mixed division at Club Nationals, much like the Pufahl and Farricker awards for the women’s and men’s divisions. This award turned from more than just representing the most Spirited player to also include a person's work towards Equity. Learn more in this article!

May 15, 2017

Cultural Archetypes of Teams

Bert considers the different cultural archetypes of mixed teams she's encountered and how each can express a value for gender equity that fits within their respective team culture. An individual team can and should have pieces of each of these archetypes, but for simplicity’s sake she reduces complex cultures to one-dimensional, two-sentence summaries. 

April 13, 2017

Don't Blame, Reframe

The way we communicate impacts how we lead our teams and influence the people around us. How can we reframe our conversations and dialogues so that we can move past blaming other people?