#MeetTheHustle - Matt Smith


What do you do outside of Ultimate? I'm finishing up my Masters in Sport Management at Georgia State in May and as part of the program I'm currently interning with Point3 Basketball. I also work part-time as the Atlanta Flying Disc Club's Executive Director which involves having my hand in a lot of different areas, but most specifically youth development. I'd like to find full time work in the ultimate industry. The ultimate scene is growing rapidly and I don't think is too far away from supporting people who want to make their living in the disc realm.

Name a recent book, movie, tv show, or video game you enjoyed. With the recent GE talks and as part of a leadership class at GSU I read Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg which I found insightful. She gives practical advice to both women seeking professional success and for men who want to better support the women in their lives.

How/why did you start playing Ultimate? I started playing ultimate my freshman year at Colby College; have been on the fields ever since.

What other sports did you play?  I played pretty competitive volleyball in high school and if pursuing sport in college had been my number one goal I probably would have gone somewhere for volleyball. That's mostly a factor of the small size of male high school players though. A couple guys who I played with are now on the AVP tour and one was on the last Olympic team; lots of talent coming out of Hawaii.

I was a solid basketball player in high school but nothing amazing. I was second team all-state in my division (Varsity, Division II) though was probably more well known on a small circuit of outdoor courts which you can play at year-round due to the nice weather.

I'm an okay surfer; good enough to be a surf instructor but I never competed in any tournaments or anything like that. I should have competed in some hacky sack tournaments but my best friend and I settled for starting a club in high school.

What player is your idol/mentor/inspiration and why? Loved Dwade for his athleticism, class, and talent. Big LeBron fan because of his willingness to share the ball as a superstar (almost to a fault); he also picks some aspect of his game to improve every summer and has closed all the holes, it's something I try to emulate in ultimate.

What is your superpower -most dangerous throw, cut, defensive skill? I'm slippery downfield. I'm good at jukes and opportunistic cutting and I think I want to win more than most people on the field. I jump really high for my size though it's about average in terms of absolute reach. My inside break is getting sick nasty even at an elite level and I'm a very crafty short range thrower. 

Who are your favorite athletes/teams? Atlanta Hawks, the Hustle and Alleycats, I mostly follow NBA and AUDL at this point -- I'm a homer for the Hawks and have been for about 4-5 years now. I obviously love the Hustle, I like the Alleycats a lot because they have a bunch of great athletes who make sick plays and are generally under-appreciated. Also the only two guys ahead of me for goals in AUDL history are on the Alleycats and I respect the hell out of them for that since I know how tough the grind to get goals can be. John John Florence is the best surfer in the world and is incredible to watch (seriously consider YouTubing some highlights).

What would you choose as your "walk up" song? Iron by Calvin Harris.