Regionals is a big deal. Some of the more seasoned ‘hawks may give off the impression that it’s a nuisance, but trust me it’s not. It’s the time of year where we get to see all our hard work developing the club and working as a team come together, and usually with some very positive results alongside them. Now that the event is looming (I know it feels like it’s snuck up on me somewhat), a lot of people will be wondering how to be the best they can be for this big event.
Firstly, make sure that you get all of that pesky uni work done and dusted before the weekend. It isn’t good to have a ‘what I should be doing vs what I want to be doing’ debate while you are there. Being distracted will not help you focus on the task at hand, and may even lead to you not enjoying yourself because you spent the whole weekend stressed. If you plan out what work you need to get done now, chances are it will be easy to get it done in time.
If you can, get throwing around this week. Try and work out any of those little problems you’ve been experiencing in your sidearm/backhand. Maybe your knee has been getting in the way, maybe you’ve got a bit of an airbounce, maybe you weren’t getting enough spin on the disc in the wind. These are all things that can be dealt with in a relatively short amount of time, if you can spare it. Throwing around will make you a lot more confident.
Next up, make sure you come prepared. Yeah, the weather forecast may say one thing, but trust me anything can happen. Don’t be that guy (sorry Toto) that gets hypothermia, come with thermals, bring a hoodie or something to wear between points to keep you warm. Bring some waterproofs in case its wet. We all know the weather is variable, don’t get caught out. Bring some food to snack on too. It doesn’t have to be particularly healthy stuff, the body needs a whole lot of nutrients during a tournament weekend.
Something that happens every year… Someone sleeps through their alarm and makes the whole team late. Rumour has it we may be taking a bus there together. There will be people on that bus that can’t afford to be delayed, and you may get left behind. Party responsibly on Friday, or risk being that guy (sorry Sim/Frenchy).
Probably the most important point of all, remember that you are part of a team. Do everything you can to be part of that team, because if you do, it will make the victories all the sweeter, and there will be people around you to pick you up after the defeats. What does this mean?
- Prepare alongside the team. Throwing around, warming up, pre-game drills can all be done together and help turn you from the individual superstars you are, into a steam-rolling team of death.
- Make sure you celebrate your scores, you can’t win a game without scores, and there’s nothing more intimidating than a team that loves scoring.
- At the same time don’t criticise your teammates too harshly. In the past we’ve always done better when we are happy with each other, and that’s because we don’t make players feel like they are being called out. Most of the time, someone knows if they’ve done something wrong, and if they don’t talk to them quietly about it, rather than making a big deal.
- When you are on the side-line, help your teammates out, they can’t see everything on the pitch, and an active side-line can really be an eighth man on D. What’s more, it can help keep you focused. I know that I struggle to keep my game composure if I’ve been off for a few points, but if I’ve been actively investing myself in the game from the side-line, none of the doubts have any time to seep in, and I’m ready to go back on as fierce as ever.
- Touch lots. Studies have shown that teams that touch more tend to be more successful.
Importantly, remember to enjoy yourself, a whole lot of Frisbee players never get to experience being a Mohawk at a Uni tournament, you guys are of a lucky few who get to be alongside one of the biggest teams with the best atmospheres of any club in the UK. Chances are, even if you’re bricking it and you think you’ve had an awful day, there will still be plenty of fun to be had with some of the hundreds of ‘hawks that are there.
Finally, make sure that you go and support the other Mohawks teams that are there, regardless of how experienced you are/aren’t. It means a hell of a lot to have a big side-line which other clubs can’t match.
One of my favourite moments at a tournament ever was last year. (I think this makes my top three). Our second team had been having a fantastic weekend, beating a lot of first teams, and ended up in the game to go to division one nationals against disc doctors. It was cold, it was wet and it was the last game of the day. Despite this, all three of the other Mohawks teams were there on the side-line in force, drowning out the chants of dD and willing the seconds on. The atmosphere was absolutely incredible, there’s video footage of the game (maybe just the winning moment, I’m not sure) on push pass. Felix can give you more details on this, but if you can watch the game, I’d advise you to prior to this weekend. On the back of this, and some great performances all round, the second team beat dD and took their spot as the third best team in the region outdoors. (Unprecedented and exceedingly awesome).
I’ll see you all soon!