A collection of random thoughts:
Even though I play better when I'm happy and relaxed, when it comes time to big tournaments, it's difficult to stay loose and calm. In big games or tournaments, there's something at stake, a goal to achieve, whether it's a team goal of making it to the next round, or a personal goal you have to be awesome. Everyone, teammates and coaches alike, is more tense, more excited, and more fired up. You've heard that teams have won because they "wanted it more," right? There's definitely truth to that. For me there is a balance between staying calm (throwing accurately and making good decisions) and being fired up and intense. I feel like it's hard for me to do both. =P
I think people play awesome when they think they're awesome. Sluts and I were talking about this the other day... successful athletes are all a bit arrogant. You play well when you believe you can play well. You have to be confident in yourself and in your abilities. Just think like Yang: "I'm Awesome!!"
The point isn't over until it's over
You're allowed to celebrate and do a victory dance after you've done something awesome on the field. You're allowed to get angry at yourself for making mistakes. Just don't let it get to your head and don't dwell on it. If you drop a disc, yeah it sucks, but now you're on defense so don't mope around with your head down (while your girl is now sprinting deep). I find that a lot of new players do just that: feel bad for letting the team down. Well, ultimate is a team sport and stuff like that happens all the time. Instead of feeling down about it, use that anger and intensity to play great defense because the point isn't over! That also means when you get a D, it's not time to celebrate just yet, pick up your feet and make a cut (or pick up the disc to get it moving!)
Yelling is kind of like singing. Projecting your voice is all about using your stomach, not your throat. There's a lot of yelling going on in a frisbee game. On sMITe, the yelling isn't meant to put people down or make people feel bad, rather it's meant to instruct or encourage (or heckle =P). I think it took me a really long time to learn how to yell correctly: both the content of what I'm saying and the physical act of yelling. Make sure that what you're yelling is helpful, like up calls, helping the mark by calling "inside" or "around" depending on where the cuts are on the field, "turn" so people know that the disc is turned, or "last back" to let the last person in the stack know that they're the last in the stack, etc. During one point in sectionals, I was yelling at one of the cutters to space out better for ho-stack, and I didn't pay attention at all to what the handlers were doing. Turns out the other team set a zone and the cutter was in the correct position as a deep. Oops, sorry Carolyn =P I guess the lesson is to know what the offense or defense is before you start telling people what to do.
I'm really self-conscious about my yelling because I don't want to seem angry when I'm yelling. I think when people yell from their throats rather than their stomach, the yelling sounds a lot angrier (I don't know if that's actually true or if it's all in my head). And especially when the yelling comes from someone who's older (either in reality or in frisbee years), it can be kind of hurtful or discouraging, even if it's not meant to be! So I guess I'm reminding myself to be more helpful and encouraging when I'm yelling, and to project more and not sound angry, and if you're on the receiving end of my yelling, don't take it personally! =P I am open to criticism too. :)
Good luck to all the teams who are playing in regionals this weekend!!!