Meet the Athlete: Thomas Shope

Shope starts ultimate season

Alicia Mainjeni

How long have you been playing ultimate Frisbee?

I have been playing ultimate for about 10 years.

Why did you start playing ultimate?

My dad started playing ultimate in college and he introduced it to me when I was five or six. I’ve been playing ever since.

How do you manage practices, along with academics and social life?

It gets difficult at times, but I try to prioritize going to practices as much as I can and also prioritizing time for school. I get busy sometimes, but I try to make it work.

What is the hardest part of the ultimate season?

In April, because practices are intense at that point and also getting really busy with school, AP tests and finals. Right at the end of the school year with AP tests it gets harder to manage school. 

Who is your role model in ultimate and why?

My dad, because he is a good player and he has a good attitude towards ultimate and sports in general. He always comes into it trying to have fun, which I really like and want to do myself. 

What skills do you think are important to have for ultimate?

Throwing skills, catching skills, running and it’s also important to know strategy and what to do on the field. Ultimate is self-officiated. It’s important to have communication skills so that you can discuss calls on the field.

What is your favorite memory from ultimate?

Last year when we went to nationals it was really fun. The whole trip was awesome. It was really fun to hang out with the team before and after games. The tournament was really fun.