| Erica Curran
Savage has been proud to outfit the talented players with Precision Dodgeball out of Baltimore. We recently caught up with team member Kim Wilke to find out about what sets Precision apart from their competition.
Savage: How does your team prep for a game?
Kim Wilke: Our squad consists of three separate teams: Women's, Men's, and Co-ed, but we consider ourselves to be one big Precision Family. Each member of the 12-person squad has their own way of prepping for tournaments, whether that be working out several times a week and making sure their fitness level is solid, or going out to a local park and getting reps in by throwing a ball at targets against a wall. Members of the men's and co-ed teams try to hold practices before big tournaments to study film of opponents and work on play calls as well. But before a single game, all of our teams have a customary team huddle to quickly discuss strategy, which positions each person is going to play on the court, and the roles each person will have in that particular match. Every team in dodgeball is different and requires different strategy, so communication is key and that's mostly how our team will prep, by communicating a clear and concise game plan.
Savage: What's unique about your playing style as a team?
KW: Our men's/co-ed playing style is unique because we have one player who is unpredictable in his actions. Sometimes he'll stay in the corner and pick people off, other times he'll jump and dodge around like a crazy person whipping the ball at the opposing team in a manner that it's impossible to tell where it's going to go. We like to use him as a distraction tactic because it's impossible to not watch him as he moves, while our two corners will snipe people who aren't paying attention to them. Another way our playing style in co-ed is unique, is that we utilize the two girls on the court more than most teams. We allow our girls to throw because they both have good arms and are smart, whereas many co-ed teams will keep the girls in the back for catching purposes only.
Savage: Who are some of your MVPs?
KW: The beauty of dodgeball is that it's a team sport, and we can honestly say that so long as everyone on the court performs their role, everyone on the team is an MVP. Some players' roles are to stay in the back for catches, so they almost never throw the ball or get a lot of stats, but they are doing their job, which is all that matters. Whereas other players' roles are to throw every time, so on paper they might look like an all-star due to having a lot of kills.
Savage: Can you share some highlights of your time playing together?
KW: Our women's team was definitely the highlight of this year (being a first-year team). The big highlight for us was definitely winning Elite East Coast Round 2 in Baltimore, MD. No one predicted us to finish in the top 3, so it was great proving everyone wrong and winning the whole tournament. We also finished No. 2 in the East Coast standings for the year and were able to go to Nationals over Labor Day weekend and get seeded No. 5 out of over 20 teams after round robin. The icing on the cake was receiving the sportsmanship award at Elite Nationals for the East Coast.
Savage: What's your favorite place to play dodgeball?
KW: Our favorite place to play dodgeball is really just any gym with a good wood floor and close enough walls/netting so that we don't have to chase balls all over the place. :)
Savage: How does your team celebrate a victory or mourn a loss?
KW: We celebrate victories by cheering each other on and congratulating everyone on a job well done after each game. After a loss, we huddle up and just talk about what we can do better to win the next game. There's no need to dwell on a loss, especially when there's another game to play soon! After a complete tournament, we usually will go out as a team and have some drinks/dinner and talk about how the day went as a whole. Whether we win or lose, we always keep in mind that there is always room for improvement and we just keep planning for how to get better as a team.
Savage: What's your team's hype song?
KW: Sadly, we don't really have one, but if we did our men's hype song would definitely be "Toxic" by Britney Spears!