CHOKE... help me or shoot me?!

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CHOKE... help me or shoot me?!

Postby 7ontheline » Sun Jul 17, 2011 9:43 pm

I asked four Pro Grandmasters if I could could join their group at this mornings singles. On the first hole, one said that there was over 100 years experience in our fivesome (including my 10 months.) The 60 year old birthday boy shot -7 on Shelby Forest's toughest course to tie for first cash while I shot one of my worst rounds this year, +8. I missed 4 putts inside 15' with my Ion, early released and grip locked tee shots, and blew several upshots too far by to make the comeback. Nothing felt right, so stupid me paid again for an impromtu round of doubles with a few veterans that stuck around including the 60 year old kung fu master... no seriously he's known as "Karate Don." These guys are never going to let me play with them again :(

Any suggestions to break yourself out of a funk during play AND how do I convince these guys to let me play with them again so I can redeem myself?
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Re: CHOKE... help me or shoot me?!

Postby Flipflat » Sun Jul 17, 2011 9:59 pm

After only 10 months of playing, those dudes were probably not expecting much out of you. They've probably played with lots of noobs. Probably the best way to hang with them is to keep it in the fairway, and make basic shots, accuracy over power, etc... It kinda sounds like you're putting alot of pressure on yourself, so just think of how low their expectations and relax. :)
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Re: CHOKE... help me or shoot me?!

Postby Jsw » Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:35 am

I love playing with really good GM/oldschool guys. Those guys have so much control , deadly spin-putt technique, and usually have interesting or obscure discs in the bag. You would do yourself a service by paying attention to their approach to the game instead of wasting the round beating yourself up over your game.

Comparing what you can do next to someone who's been playing for a few decades after only playing 10 months yourself doesn't sound like a fun way to go about playing disc golf.

As for your two questions...

1. You probably just lost focus because you were overly concerned with your score or "keeping up" with the veteran players. Take your head out of the game by focusing on making the shot at hand.

2. Who the hell cares how bad/good you play? If you have good golf etiquette and aren't obnoxious 95% of people will have no problem playing with you. The other 5% probably just like to play solo or with their close friends so they can bitch about their wives more comfortably.

TL:DR = cheer up, it isn't the end of the world.
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Re: CHOKE... help me or shoot me?!

Postby JR » Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:45 pm

Monitor shaking BANG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




























Or take a chill pill and let the fact that disc golf is hard and takes a long time to learn and never to really master sink in. Unrealistic expectations add your anxiety and tales your focus away from what you need to perform in the throw. Don't worry about the veterans or how you look. I'm not saying that you need not look to more experienced players but you throw on your turn, not them. That goes for training too. You just gotta pay your dues and go to a field and practice form and different lines and later once you've mastered the basics also practicing shot manipulation is a good idea. You do need trick shots to get out of trouble. Once you get the hang of stuff on the field you need to test your mettle in actual courses. That will play with your mind because things that work in the field often fail in an actual situation. The reason is another thing you need to train -your mind. You gotta develop a set of steely ones and let your nerves shrivel and die out of a lack of use. Whenever you are afraid and don't commit fully to a shot the chances are that you won't perform your throw with as good a form as you can do in practice in an open field.

A quick first tip on the course is to make sure you don't pussyfoot your throws by always following through fully. Another longer term tip is to truly gain skills in basic shots so that you know beforehand that you can perform this shot at will and thus have the track record to prove it and so are calm even in tighter spots. Once you know you can make it there's nothing holding you back. Your mind is your worst enemy. No kind of working from the other players will mind fuck you and mess your throw as bad as your own head. Once you are Teflon coated mentally outside and inside pressure just passes through you without negative side effects.
Flat shots need running on the center line of the tee and planting each step on the center line. Anhyzer needs running from rear right to front left with the plant step hitting the ground to the left of the line you're running on. Hyzer is the mirror of that.
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Re: CHOKE... help me or shoot me?!

Postby 7ontheline » Mon Jun 10, 2013 11:59 pm

Shoot me for choke putting. After two years with soft light weight opaque Ions, they're out and firm max weight classic Judges are in. My overall game has gotten better after winning my first tourney, Advanced Masters in November of 2011. After that tourney all my starts have been MPM. My problems now are more poor putting and course management under pressure. This 2012-2013 Southern Nationals season I've got 5-2nd places, 3-3rd places, and this weekend choked it up to finish 5th of 27. I couldn't putt for shit this weekend and missed 7 putts from within 20' including a three putt double bogey on the last hole of the tourney where par would have been a three way tie for 2nd instead of 5th. From 125' I decided to upshot with my Roc3 (first time all tourney) instead of my Ion and blew too far by... that second three putt of the tourney on the very last hole included a very frustrated 12 footer off the band.

The last holes of tourneys are killing me. Last spring at the Dogwood, the biggest tourney of the year, I was tied with a guy in my group for what would be last cash on the last hole. We both had birdie putts inside the circle but I was out and airballed. He missed his 20' putt but I didn't make my 20' comeback for a three putt bogey. Last fall at the Naquin the second biggest tourney of the year, I lost by one stick missing a 25 footer low into the cage to tie for 2nd and resolved to be more aggressive in 2013. At the 2013 Dogwood tourney this May I had a five shot lead going into the last round and three putted twice coming into the last hole tied. I had a 40 footer for birdie, he had a 20 footer, I airballed, he missed and ended with par but I couldn't make the 25' comeback to save my par. Too aggressive on a low percentage birdie attempt, but I couldn't forget the missed 25' opportunity low putt last fall at the Naquin. I practice putted a lot and my putting has improved but those 6000 practice putts this year seem so distant when I see the disc go by without a tickle.

I'm starting Mark's putting confidence program again and have one day under my belt with these super great new Judges. Any other advice other than don't quit my day job?
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Re: CHOKE... help me or shoot me?!

Postby Monocacy » Tue Jun 11, 2013 5:05 am

Sounds like you have two things going on:

1. Dealing with the pressure of the last round - The good news is that you are playing well enough to have pressure. A number of books describe the mental game needed for ball golf, but I have not read any so I can't give a recommendation. Perhaps others can chime in here.

2. Long comeback putts - What style of putting do you use? Can you put a little more loft or hyzer on your putts so that your misses don't blow by outside your make range? When you practice putting, do have a lot of three-putts beyond a certain distance? If so, it may make more sense to lay up rather than run the basket from that distance and beyond.

Edit: One other thought - an overstable putter (Rhyno, Jokeri, etc.) is much easier to range on those 125' approach shots.

Best of luck to you, sir
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Re: CHOKE... help me or shoot me?!

Postby Mark Ellis » Tue Jun 11, 2013 6:26 am

With all the issues raised it is easier to shoot him than help him, so...

Please install the blindfold and stand 7ontheline against the wall. :D

However if the Governor, at the last second, signs the order sparing the condemned and freeing him for one more chance at his disc golf life then the least we can do is help with some small, confusing and contradictory advice (which is what we do at the site, with the best of intentions, of course). :lol:

The most obvious problem mentioned is choking in the middle of the round (or if choking is too strong a term then allowing one bad shot to lead to the next). In varying degrees, no one is immune to this. We are all human and our emotions and confidence levels affect our performance. So on a hot streak our confidence soars and on a cold streak our confidence wanes. It happens to us. It happens to professional athletes paid millions of dollars. It happens to the old coots who crushed 7ontheline the other day.

The better your skill and the stronger your confidence then the less you are susceptible to mid-round collapses. Experience, wisdom and mental toughness helps too.

There is no one solution or strategy which is universally effective. Depending on where your head is at, trying harder and focusing more might work. At other times for other players, trying less hard, caring less, going on autopilot might work. Some players play great when they get mad. Some players laugh it off. Some players just need one lucky break to get back on track. Experience will teach you what usually works best for you.

Here is what I do. I play more conservatively. Rather than focusing on parking my next drive, I focus on hitting the first gap of the drive. If I hit the first gap then I know that I should at least par the hole. Rather than trying to run the short upshot or long putt, I will shoot softer and safer, insuring that I don't turn a birdie opportunity into a bogey.

By playing conservative you should be able to make pars (and therefore disembark the bogey train you have been riding on). Once you string together a few holes of basic competence you can feel your confidence returning and with it a chance to recover your game.

The tournament choke is the bane of some very talented players. Their opponents know this. They might start as world beaters but as soon as they get their first bad streak or even their first unlucky break they are incapable of overcoming it. Recognizing the danger and the fact it can harm any of us, we can use casual rounds as a training ground to teach ourselves the skill of overcoming adversity. So the next time it starts to happen to you, stop to think about what is happening and cooly, rationally decide to free yourself of negative emotion and plan your strategy for recovery.

If none of this works, the firing squad needs practice too.
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Re: CHOKE... help me or shoot me?!

Postby JR » Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:05 am

Sometimes the wise thing is to lay up even when you have developed Balls of Steel TM. Which you should so locate your nearest foundry and dip erm practicing pressure putting might be more beneficial.
Flat shots need running on the center line of the tee and planting each step on the center line. Anhyzer needs running from rear right to front left with the plant step hitting the ground to the left of the line you're running on. Hyzer is the mirror of that.
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Re: CHOKE... help me or shoot me?!

Postby 7ontheline » Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:40 am

Monocacy wrote:
2. Long comeback putts - What style of putting do you use? Can you put a little more loft or hyzer on your putts so that your misses don't blow by outside your make range? When you practice putting, do have a lot of three-putts beyond a certain distance? If so, it may make more sense to lay up rather than run the basket from that distance and beyond.


I've been spin putting the 167 Ions and they do better for me when I really put some "hit" on them. In practice, 19 times out of 20 from 20' I'll at least hit some metal and the disc is usually less than 15' away. I practice in a flat open field where I can get the most wind exposure possible to compensate for the practice I do inside the house where the only wind is the A/C. Of course, most of the courses I like to play tourneys at have elevation changes on the greens where blow byes and roll off are possible unlike the couch behind my indoor practice basket. I guess I gotta change my putt to be more tourney style to be more conservative and practice on uneven footing. I'm hoping the firm judge will add more control in hand and being max weight will add drop instead of the Ion's glide.

Years of throwing Ultrastars and an addition to hucking far has my discs going further than all the Masters around here. Problem is almost all the top Masters have been playing 5-10 times longer than I have and are all better putters.

How do I get my heart rate to 120 in practice like it is while playing, perhaps if I didn't want to win so much I'd do better but that's not me :?
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JHern wrote:If your putter isn't your favorite disc, get a new putter.
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Re: CHOKE... help me or shoot me?!

Postby JR » Wed Jun 12, 2013 12:39 am

How to get competition pulse to 60 is the guestion. Putting program on all kinds of elevations...
Flat shots need running on the center line of the tee and planting each step on the center line. Anhyzer needs running from rear right to front left with the plant step hitting the ground to the left of the line you're running on. Hyzer is the mirror of that.
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Re: CHOKE... help me or shoot me?!

Postby Stringbean » Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:24 am

Visualization can really help your performance. When you practice putting, take some time to pretend that you are actually putting in a round. Randomly place your putters at different distances around the basket. Walk up to each disc and go through your routine the same way you would if you were in a tournament. Pretend that other players are watching you as you putt.

Before the tournament, take 15 minutes to sit down and play a round in your head. Picture yourself hitting your gaps, parking upshots, making putts within the circle, jump putts, etc. It's a good way to calm your nerves and build up your confidence before your first throw. In addition, signals are sent to your muscles to prime them for the activities they are about to perform.

Another idea... take a couple of tylenol after the first round. Could be that your muscles are fatigued or joints inflamed which is causing subtle changes to your form.
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Re: CHOKE... help me or shoot me?!

Postby 7ontheline » Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:21 pm

I've been putting much better since I dropped the light soft Ions and made a complete change to the less stable heavy firm Judge. I shot a 1021 on the final round of this past weekend's tourney birdieing 7 of the last 11 to win by two strokes. :D

My secret... a lot of putts, as in more time spent practicing putting and < 150' upshots on tight lines through trees than time spent playing rounds over the past three months.
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Re: CHOKE... help me or shoot me?!

Postby JR » Wed Sep 25, 2013 5:14 pm

Congratulations it is always nice to see the results of practicing.
Flat shots need running on the center line of the tee and planting each step on the center line. Anhyzer needs running from rear right to front left with the plant step hitting the ground to the left of the line you're running on. Hyzer is the mirror of that.
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Re: CHOKE... help me or shoot me?!

Postby Stringbean » Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:55 pm

I played a round during my lunch hour but forgot to pack my putters. Fortunately dude was there selling discs out of his trunk. Picked up a 176g firm judge. Wow, great disc... made some long putts, may stay in the bag.
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