Two years ago when we lost to Northeastern in the New England regional finals, I cried. Smeri yelled at me: "STOP CRYING! WE HAVE ANOTHER GAME! GET IT TOGETHER!" After the next game when we beat Dartmouth for the bid to nationals, Smeri and Doris cried.
Everyone is emotional in different ways, and how those emotions play out on and off the field are also very different. And especially in big games and tournaments, emotions have a big role in how we play.
Personally, I play my best when I'm happy, loose, and playing with people I love. It's really important to me to have great connections with people on and off the field. I'm really inspired by cheesy speeches about "look how far we've come this season" and "take a look at the faces in this huddle... these are the people you've played with for a year (or two, three, four)." I play my best when I'm having a great time and playing ultimate for the sake of playing ultimate, with people who I love and trust. Maybe part of it has to do with being a handler. My teammates count on me to have accurate throws and good decisions so when I'm angry or distracted, I have poor judgment and my throws get all wacky.
I know some people who get fired up when they're teammates heckle them or when their coaches yell at the team to step it up and say "c'mon, you're better than this!" or "WTF are you doing!?!" It's true, the team might not be playing at their potential, and some people on the team might need that kind of motivation to get going, but I'm not one of them. Maybe I'm just not mentally tough enough, but when I hear those words directed at me, I get really tense and nervous that I'll further disappoint someone. Even when I don't intend to, I feel like I play less aggressively than I normally do. Not to say that I didn't need Smeri to yell at me to get my head back in the game. I definitely needed that.
I get ticked off when guys on the sidelines play fantasy (I say guys because I only know of guys who do it). That means they pick players on the field and get positive or negative points depending on whether they get a D, score, huck, or drop a disc, turf a disc, misthrow, etc. Most of the time I can't tell that they're playing fantasy because I'm too involved in the game, so I don't really care what the sidelines are doing. But when I can tell, it's really really nerve-wracking for me. I know it "doesn't mean anything against anyone" and it's "just for fun" and it's "something guys just do" but I get really nervous that someone is tracking my mistakes. I really should just care less about what the sidelines are doing and focus on my own game. =P
Anyway, too much emotions for one day. More to come later.