Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Chesapeake Open

I think I went to Chesapeake Open with the wrong mentality. A few days leading up to the tournament, I was mentally preparing myself to play all out. My goals were to win every offensive point I was on, and play shutdown defense on every downfield cutter I was guarding. I wanted every decision to be a smart, calm, intentional decision and the execution of my throws and cuts to be flawless. I wanted my play to be integrated with the team so that we functioned as a unit and that we would be so in-tune with each other that we would just know where to throw, where to clear, and where to cut. I wanted to play so that when I looked back on the weekend, I'd have no regrets, and that there wasn't anything I did or didn't do that could've helped us play better as a team. I always have lofty goals for myself that I never achieve, but there was an element of my goals that was missing.

I felt like I focused too much on myself and my personal performance rather than helping the team get better as a whole. This was one of the few tournaments where I didn't look back and think "OMG why did I do that?!?!" for every other point. In general I'm pretty hard on myself in terms of personal performance for a tournament, but for Chesapeake, I have more positive sentiments than negative ones. That definitely doesn't mean that I think I played amazingly, just that I thought, in general, I played well. Anyway, I think one area of improvement for me is being a better teammate, giving better constructive criticism in more constructive ways.

We didn't have Jin for Chesapeake, so I felt like we had to step up as a team to motivate ourselves, to find our fire to play to our potential. In the past we rely on a coach to tell us what we're doing wrong, to make us do sprints when we have a turnover to remind us of our mistakes so that we would do better in the future (whether it's because we're avoiding sprints, or because we have something to be angry about and some people play better when they're angry). I don't know how other people felt about our tournament, but personally I didn't feel like I was on the same wavelength as the team in terms of intensity and fire. And I'm not sure why. Maybe I was focusing on myself rather than the team, maybe I was just distracted with other things, I don't know.

Anyway, I don't know what I'm getting at, but that all in all, Hatch did ok, and we have much to improve on. I don't have the line sheets with me and it's been a few days since the tournament, so I'll just write a few highlights that were memorable to me:
  • I really enjoyed playing with the new cutters on Hatch. A few of them didn't go to Winston Cup so this was my first tournament playing with them. There was a big difference in my on-field chemistry with new cutters who I've never played in a tournament with, and the new cutters who I've played in one tournament with. And it was fun learning how to play with new people and developing connections :)
  • There was one point in our last game of Saturday against Blue Route, where there was a turnover and I saw an opportunity for a fastbreak when Suzanne and I made eye contact and she just sprinted deep. I ran to the disc, picked it up and threw a backhand huck. As I ran after her, she caught the about 15 yards from the endzone, and I got the dish back from her on the open sideline. Most people were still clearing wide (good job guys) so there were only 2-3 people in the endzone after stall 5. I saw a Blue Route defender poaching in the open lane, watching me and not the stack, so I just put a flick huck to Suzanne for the score.
  • Shortly after the double-huck-to-Suzanne point, Blue Route set a zone on us, which I normally love, but I couldn't for the life of me, stop sneezing violently during this point. Bernie was about to throw to me (I was a wing) and saw me sneezing away and almost dropped the disc because she almost let go of the disc as she faked at me. Somehow during the point I got the disc, and saw someone going deep, so I hucked it while I was still sneezing. I normally start moving right after I throw but in this case I decided it wouldn't be worth it, so I stood there sneezing for the next 20 seconds as the rest of my teammates scored. When I came off the field, my eyes were really watery and there was a lot of snot in my nose. So I blew my nose and there were definitely two dead ants, and some dirt, that came out with my snot. =P I think they might have crawled in when I was taking a nap on the ground during our bye the previous round, but that means that they've been in there for more than an hour and a half (warm-up, and this happened during the second half of the game). I know, I know, ewwwww. I was really grossed out too :(
  • Jin's parents are so awesome and smiley. I now understand why Jin is always so happy and smiley all the time. :) They had so much food for us and took such good care of us all weekend. They even had beef noodle soup for us on Friday night and Saturday morning (which EP ate and then threw up on Saturday =P). They also took some of us out to Chinese food lunch on Sunday. :D This is definitely the most well-fed I've been at a tournament lately.
  • Our zone offense looked pretty good all weekend. There was good movement of the disc among handlers/wings, and when the disc got through the cup, the poppers/deep cut in for easy passes upfield. It was really fun to watch :)
Things that we can work on in the next few weeks:
  • Starting better. We worked on this at practice a few weeks ago, but I think we still need work. In all of our games, we were down at least 1-4 before we started getting our heads in the game.
  • Dumps. Our dump cutting is getting better but can use some more work. Handlers mirroring each other when the disc is trapped, looking for the swing after every dump. Using the dump/swing as an offensive move rather than just a reset of the disc.
  • People holding onto the disc for too long. Handlers and cutters should be looking to dump it after stall 4/5. We should play a game where stall is at 6 or something.
  • Straight up force. Still need more talking from the downfield D to help the mark. A lot of times we're just not taking anything away.
  • Endzone. We would have a lot of good flow upfield and then endzone was ehhhh not so good.