What is Your Disc Golf Tournament Morning Routine?
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We are all creatures of habit, and it’s a good idea to develop good habits when you are a competitive disc golfer. One example is having a fairly consistent morning routine on tournament days.
Not all disc golfers will have the same type of routine and that’s perfectly fine. Success is all about finding things that work for you and your game. Of course, it also depends on the types of tournaments you are playing. Many MPO players in A-Tiers and Elite Series events are teeing off in the afternoon. They will have more time in the morning to kill before they start their pre-round routines.
Then, most of us are simply weekend warriors, playing in C-Tiers, club events, and even College Disc Golf events where we may have an earlier morning start or two tournament rounds to play in one day. In this scenario, you might not have that much time to wake up, get ready and go through your pre-round mental and physical preparation.
No matter how much time you have or what types of disc golf tournaments you are playing in, you can still develop your own routine. Having a routine is beneficial because it can get your mind and body warmed up without having to think too much. The routine becomes second nature, but gets you where need to be before you start your round.
Here are some of the common elements you may want to incorporate into your pre-round tournament morning routine:
Give Yourself Plenty of Time
For some players, the routine is to roll out of bed and drive straight to the course. If that’s what works for you, then great. If you want to fuel your body with breakfast, leave enough time to also warm up with stretching, throwing, putting and other exercises. Make sure you leave enough time for yourself to do everything you want to do before your round. On the other hand, you also want to be careful not to get there too early. Sometimes, you get there and go through all of your routine, only to then sit around and get stiff while waiting for the actual round to start. Find the right timing that works for you.
Eat & Hydrate
It’s usually smart to eat before you play. For breakfast, eat something that is healthier and will provide you with enough sustenance to get through your round without weighing you down. Take the time to pack snacks that can help provide fuel during the round. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Grab a coffee, energy drink, sports drink or soda if that’s what you need to give you extra pre-round energy. Pack a lunch to have something to eat in between rounds on a two-round day.
Make Sure You Have Everything in Your Bag
This is a good exercise to do the night before a big event. Mentally walk through your hole-by-hole game plan and make sure you have all the discs you need in your disc golf bag. Pack a retriever if you are playing a course with water. Pack your snacks, drinks, extra towels, chalk bag, etc. so you aren’t scrambling or forgetting stuff the morning of the event. If packing up your bag, accessories and supplies is part of your morning routine, then that’s fine as long as you are consistent, thorough and budget enough time to take care of it. There’s nothing worse than rushing to get ready and getting to the course, only to realize you forgot to bring something important.
There are all sorts of stretches and warm-up drills you can incorporate into your pre-round routine. The goal is to get your important muscles and joints loose and warmed up before you start throwing. Stretching will give you better endurance throughout the day, help prevent injuries and keep you from getting too stiff in between shots.
Take some time to warm up with some throws. Find an open area or field to throw some discs or play a few holes if you can. Don’t start with full-power shots. Throw a few putters and mids to get loose and work your way up to longer throws. Think about the hole (or first few holes) you are starting on and practice throwing the correct disc and desired shot shape. Get that shot dialed in so you are comfortable with it when the round starts. There’s no better way to calm the nerves and get settled into your game when you start off with executing the throw you imagined.
Spend some quality time on the practice basket(s). Practice short putts, longer putts, straddle putts and anything you feel helps you get your form locked in. Putting practice is mostly about muscle memory and finding your feel before the round. Everyone may have a different putting routine, so see what works best for you and be consistent with it as part of your pre-round routine.
Know the Schedule
Good tournament directors will send out and/or post all the information you need to know before the event. Know when you should check in and where you need to be when it’s time for the shotgun player’s meeting or your tee time start. This will help you build your pre-round routine around the tournament schedule so you aren’t missing anything important and can budget your time and energy effectively.
Ultimately, your pre-round routine is yours and yours alone. Figure out the timing, techniques and tasks that work best for you and will have you mentally and physically prepared when it’s time for the round to start.
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