SB Invitational is this weekend and I am not sure how I am feeling. Last year, the Squids won this tournament; it is my only competitive tourney win. This year we are seeded low, are a different team, and have high aspirations. I am thinking about receiving the first pull on Saturday and seeing 70 yards, 7 defenders, and 15 other teams standing between me and my goal. To be honest, I feel a great deal of gravity surrounding the situation - more than you'd think would be surrounding a Ultimate Frisbee tournament.
The truth is, I have never been a vital part of a team before. Last year (and in previous years) I played my role, but because of the other throwers we had on the team, my role was minor. In soccer, I never was good enough to be on the starting line up. My whole life, I was a secondary player on the team - I was able to watch my teammates wrap up the games we won and be responsible for the games we lost. But not this year. This year I am the veteran, I am the quarterback, I am the thrower. I take full ownership in my team's performance.
So I actually have some jitters. Butterflies. Yeah, im actually a little nervous. But its a good nervous. Its got to be that same nervous that comes before any performance - a test, a show, a date. The key thing is to let body do what I know I have trained it to do.
So I focus in. Yeah, winning the tournament is the outcome goal (and it is attainable), but thinking about that goal isn't going to help me do that - that thinking is the opposite of focusing on the moment, the task at hand.
How can I find this focus?
I think about the physical game.
- What are the particular physical actions I will be taking this weekend?
- What state is my body in? Where are my injuries and how can I work around them?
- What will I be doing on offense to get the disc?
- What cuts will I be looking for? When? How will I communicate to my cutters?
- What throws will I need to make?
- How will I play downfield defense on particular matchups?
- What will my mark look like? How will this change with field position? With team strategy?
- How will I fuel my body with food and liquid? How will I rest it? Help it recover?
I think about the mental game.
- How will I eliminate distractions durring warmup?
- How will I avoid frustration on offense and instead of throwing up prayers, keep doing the hard work till we score?
- How will I react to teammates screwing up?
- How will I react to lucky or unlucky breaks?
- How will I participate from the sidelines?
- How will I act when we are up by a lot? Down by a lot?
- How will I coach/teach younger players?
- How will react to a win or a loss?
- How will I feel about playing teams I am rivals with? Playing teams I have friends on?
- How will I know when to talk to my team and when to shut my mouth?
- How will I prepare to feel the unexpected?
I am ready