training for tournaments

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training for tournaments

Postby biodarwin » Tue May 25, 2010 9:36 am

How does one train for a major tournament? My goal this year is to win the AM division @ Louisiana State Championship. I have until Sat, Oct 9. I will also have a small advantage, it will be played on my home course :) I have been playing a lot of tournaments in the last few months, trying to get used to playing them, averaging about 2 per/month. My average drive is in the 340-350 range. I do not understand distance lines so it is both my max and golf D.

I guess what I am asking is, does anyone have a more elaborate training routine they use? I am asking mostly about disc golf related things. I am a power lifter so being in shape will not be an issue. Right now I am playing 4-5 times a week, staying after and playing HORSE on the last hole with a couple friends. I have a portable basket and I putt with it at least 2 times a week. I work from home so sneaking out on "breaks" and lunch to do drills will not be an issue. I live 5 minutes from a soccer field. Anyone have any ideas?
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Re: training for tournaments

Postby jamon » Tue May 25, 2010 11:52 am

For me, there have been a few things that have really improved my tournament play this spring.

The first being: keep it smooth! slow it down a bit and youll be surprised that you can still drive just as far with more accuracy.

Play smart: Learn to take the routes with the least amount of risk. Disc selection is also really important, ie throw overstable into a headwind, even if it means sacrificing some D.

Third, practicing putting! Stepping up to 25-30 footers knowing your gonna drain em is an awesome feeling! Start out with short easy putts to get the confidence up and work yourself away from the chains. Poor putting can easily turn a 2 into a 4, this is where most strokes are gained or lost.

oh yeah, dont forget to have fun :lol:
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Re: training for tournaments

Postby Thatdirtykid » Tue May 25, 2010 4:16 pm

Minimize risk, and putt more. Try to make sure your disc is traveling away from OB. IE A hyzer line over ob is safer than a anny toward ob. Get comfy with your putts, and don't run the chains if you can't make the comeback putt 9/10 times. Thats what has killed me when I was leading tourneys.
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Re: training for tournaments

Postby biodarwin » Tue May 25, 2010 9:02 pm

I might continue to tweak this, but I plan on trying something like this for a month, then give an honest self-assessment and alter the program for the next month depending on what still needs to be worked on. Putting is pretty much standard regardless, until I am automatic from 50ft (if ever)

Non - Tournament week
Monday(30 minute putting, 45 minutes Field work - Hyzers, Play 1 round, 30 minutes putting)
Tuesday (30 minute putting, 45 minutes Field work - Anhyzers, Play 1 round, 30 minutes putting)
Wednesday (30 minute putting, 30 minutes Field work - Overhands, Random Draw Doubles Mini(I run this each week), 30 minutes putting)
Thursday(Off or play casually with friends)
Friday(30 minute putting, 45 minute Field work - Distance)
Saturday (Play 2 rounds back to back)
Sunday (Local pitch and putt doubles, Handicap League)

Tournament Week
Monday(30 minute putting, Play 1 round, 30 minutes putting)
Tuesday (30 minute putting, Play 1 round, 30 minutes putting)
Wednesday (30 minute putting, Random Draw Doubles Mini)
Thursday(Off)
Friday(30 minute putting, 45 minutes throwing a bit of everything, nothing too hard tho)
Saturday (Tournament)
Sunday (Local pitch and putt doubles, Handicap League)

Then one week off on a non-tournament week for every 4 weeks you run the routine.
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Re: training for tournaments

Postby thecomet » Wed May 26, 2010 12:09 am

First of all, jamon has been killing it this year and I still haven't found my tourney rhythm, so listen to him =] I will say a few things, though.

Work on your biggest weaknesses. Those are the areas that you can improve on the most. If there are a couple shots you struggle with or if there are a few holes your friends beat you on, work on getting them down. You can't be amazing without being solid first. Also, work a lot on your putting. It is hard to play a good round with bad putting, or a bad round with good putting. Good putting also takes a lot of burden off the rest of your game. This doesn't mean throwing 20 putters at the basket. It means setting up to every practice putt and carrying out your routine. All that matters in disc golf is that you can step up and make that first putt every time. Finally, work on getting your confidence up. Confidence will allow you to commit to an aggressive shot, but will also allow you to make the smart lay up on a tough hole knowing you can get birdies elsewhere.

I wouldn't develop a strict schedule. Your game is going to change, and your body is going to feel good and bad at times. Just go out there and stay focused, and make sure you are having fun every step along the way. Setting a strict schedule is just going to make you feel like you need to do things when you shouldn't. If you are having fun and staying focus, you'll want to do whatever you should be doing. Also, I wouldn't have the mindset of preparing for a specific tournament. It is good to set goals and all, but doing well in tournaments is all about bringing your game and executing confidently, not about feeling like one weekend of your life is do-or-die. Get your game to where it needs to be, and you'll do fine.

Hope that helps.
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Re: training for tournaments

Postby biodarwin » Wed May 26, 2010 5:47 am

Setting a strict schedule is just going to make you feel like you need to do things when you shouldn't.


I find it hard to believe that disc golf is the only sport where organized practice serves no point. I think this would be an interesting discussion. I bet the top pros have a fairly organized training schedule of some sort.
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Re: training for tournaments

Postby Thatdirtykid » Wed May 26, 2010 10:43 am

thecomet wrote:First of all, jamon has been killing it this year and I still haven't found my tourney rhythm, so listen to him =] Also, I wouldn't have the mindset of preparing for a specific tournament. It is good to set goals and all, but doing well in tournaments is all about bringing your game and executing confidently, not about feeling like one weekend of your life is do-or-die. Get your game to where it needs to be, and you'll do fine.


I agree with this statement quite a bit.
I do however think a fairly strict regiment works great for some people. When I was at my best competitive I putted in my living room (college was nice) for 30 minutes before every class.
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Re: training for tournaments

Postby Discwrangler » Wed May 26, 2010 11:55 am

Core training. Side lunges using a step and hit the powerball for stronger forearms/grip/power.

All this develops consistency.

Play catch with a putter, pay attention to the shapes you need to use during a round and practice those.

Putt, putt, putt and believe, believe, believe.

Finding ways to strengthen your mental game is huge. I've read alot of books developed for traditional golf, and they translate seamlessly for out game. Zen Golf was a great help.

Trying to develop the warrior spirit has been the path I've been on lately. Keeping my emotions in check has always been a weakness for me, so that's what I work on now. I watch alot of MMA training videos and get inspired by how hard those guys push themselves....that's what builds confidence...pushing through above and beyond what the next guy is willing to do. Finding places within yourself you didn't know existed.
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Re: training for tournaments

Postby Mark Ellis » Wed May 26, 2010 5:27 pm

This is a good topic but a huge topic. One deserving of articles, books, videos and dissertations.

With a huge topic it may be best to start with a broad overview.

In order to excel in tournaments you must first be able to make the various shots required occasionally in practice or practice rounds. Then you must advance those skills until you can make the various required shots consistently in practice. Then you must develop a tournament head and the mental toughness to be a able to make the required shots in tournaments occasionally and not be overwhelmed by the pressure of tournaments. The next step is to be able to make the required shots in tournaments on a consistent basis. The final step is the ability to play at your very best in the biggest and most important tournaments and excel during the most critical moments.

That is summarized in one paragraph but it is a tall order.

If you cannot make a particular shot in practice it is unrealistic to think you can do it under the pressure of a tournament. Even if you get lucky and do it once, most tournaments are more than one round and the big ones are multiple days or a week long (like the World Championships), so temporary luck or temporary competence is not enough to succeed. In short, whatever you cannot do (under pressure) will bite you in the butt.

There are lots of shots needed in disc golf. You must be able to power and control long shots; straight, hyzer and anhyzer. You must be able to control midrange shots; straight, hyzer and anhyzer. You need the touch to control short range shots; straight, hyzer and anhyer. Finally and most importantly you must be able to putt in all conditions. Now for each of the shots let's mix in wind, weather, topography, elevation and your own body and head (the ability to handle and excel under pressure).

With so much to learn where do you start? Most players just go to their local course and play rounds with their buddies as often as their schedule allows. They start tournaments and continue with them for as long as they meet with easy success. A few genetically gifted players quickly graduate to the Pro ranks and become immediate contenders, eventually finding their place in the pecking order of the top Open players.

Everyone starts with a innate skills and potential. What they accomplish with those innate skills has more to do with their level of motivation than their potential. This is also true in every other area of life.
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