This post is partly for Ewu who told me that my blog is lacking in ultimate content.
I have to be honest... for some reason I'm not as excited about club regionals this year as I was last year. I've even already gotten my semi-annual pre-regionals haircut already. Maybe it's because this year our region only has 2 bids to nationals. Maybe it's because of the lack of tournaments this season. (The only "real" tournament I've been to is Winston Cup in North Carolina and that seems ages ago (I didn't go to Boston Invite and club sectionals to me wasn't really a tournament.)) Maybe it's because our practice attendance has been lacking for the last couple weeks and thus we haven't been together to pump each other up. Whatever it is, I need to start mentally preparing myself for this weekend.
What do I normally do to mentally prepare for tournaments? I visualize what I'm going to do in game situations. It sounds dumb but seeing me doing something in my mind really helps me when I find myself on the field and I actually have to do it in real life. For example, I imagine myself as a dump, setting up on the breakside 15 yards away from the thrower and about 2-3 yards back. I imagine streaking upfield in 3-4 hard steps, planting hard, and then coming back along the same path that I took and clap-catching the disc. I also imagine myself trapped on the sideline, faking and pivoting and really stepping out to throw a backhand to get it the disc off to the dump. I even imagine myself calling fouls or disc space because sometimes, I get flustered and mess up my throws when I call "disc space." It's like I can't talk and throw at the same time or something. I also imagine cutters in a ho-stack making cuts and in my mind, I place defenders in certain locations on the field moving at certain speeds, and then decide in my mind which throw is the best decision. And then I imagine myself moving immediately after I make the throw to get the dish back or moving out of the way so someone else can make that cut. The one game situation that I've been visualizing the most is being trapped on the backhand side with the cutters in a ho-stack offense, and throwing a backhand I/O break to the sideline cutter. It gets me so excited! Hehe. :)
On defense, I imagine dictating a downfield cutter and staying low to the ground, on my toes, ready to maintain a buffer between me and my girl so that I can stay with her and shut her down. I imagine myself marking, knees bent, staying on my toes, taking a step off of the thrower (because I usually mark people bigger than me with longer arms) and watching the eyes of the thrower. Side note: what do you look at when you're marking? I know some people look at the disc, some people look at shoulders, some at their hips. I've done that before but then Bryan makes fun of me because it looks like I'm staring at the thrower's boobs (not that I should care anyway - I can look wherever I want, so hah). Anyway, I've started looking at peoples' eyes because 90% of the time, people throw to where they are looking.
I don't just imagine myself doing the normal things that I do every point - dump cutting, getting the dish, throwing, etc. I also imagine myself doing the awesome things that I never actually do in real life... making awesome layout grabs and layout Ds. And don't make fun of me because I know you do it too!! I think the more you visualize something and the more detailed-ly you visualize it happening, the more that you're likely to do it on the field with the correct form and timing.
Anyway, I started off this post not being that excited about regionals, but after writing about visualization and actually doing it as I'm writing, I'm pretty excited for regionals now. :)