So . . . why don't top level teams have coaches?
I've run into this question often, and while I can easily cite why college and high school teams need coaches (have to develop players with potentially little experience in a short amount of time), I don't know why or if elite teams need coaches.
Perhaps I am just in the dark. I know that Fury is coached my Matty Tsang, but that has only been for the past three years and they have been kicking people's asses for a long time. I think Machine has a coach, but I can't name another team that has a coach (again, I will point to my possible ignorance).
I've constructed arguments around where the knowledge-base is in our sport. The smartest people in the sport are still playing. In some cases those are the younger players in the open division, but even our older/more experienced players are still on the field. Why would a great ultimate mind be trying to coach an open team when they could be playing masters. But surely there are people out there like me who's careers got cut short due to injury, what about those people? Maybe it is the financial commitment? I kind of find that hard to believe since people pay out of their own pockets to be a part of this community (at tournaments, UPA regs, etc.) we've established that we are willing to shell out coin to stay competitive and involved.
An interesting case against my points would be Stu Downs coaching the University of Georgia. Stu is definitely one of the most experienced and smartest people in the game, so it made sense that as his family developed and age (finally!) caught up to him he would stay involved as a coach. But in that case it was college, where the reasons to coach are much more obvious and the effect he would have is obvious as well.
This leads me to a second question: do elite teams even need coaches? My gut reaction is to say yes. A coach can orchestrate the game play, can see what the opponent is doing and create adjustments to maximize his/her team's chance of winning. There is nothing about ultimate that wouldn't benefit from that . . . but then again I've never played on an elite team. Surely those teams already have captains that do the things that I mentioned, so why bother with a coach?
So that's 2 questions I would love to hear so opinions on?
Why do most elite teams not have coaches?
Would elite teams benefit from coaches?