3 months straight. That’s how long I’ve been training daily in an effort to ready myself for the 2015 Glass Blown Open. I’m slated to arrive in Emporia on April 26, which means I’ve got 6 weeks left to prepare.
It’s been 12 weeks of working out, meditating, practicing putting, studying up on the mental game, field work when possible, and a variety of other preparatory activities. That’s the longest I’ve been that dedicated to anything that didn’t result in money or landing a girlfriend. The crazy thing is that it’s been relatively easy.
So, I sit here now scratching my big bald head wondering how I’ve been able to stay dedicated to this when all of my previously well laid plans to get better at disc golf have mostly fizzled out in 3 weeks or less. Sure I’ve always avidly played, but dedicated practice was sporadic at best. Why now? What’s different?
A big part, of course, is the public accountability. I have intentionally made a big deal out of this here and on FaceBook strictly for that reason. When you know people are watching, you are much less likely to quit. That has definitely helped a lot, and I recommend using accountability for anyone trying to achieve any worthwhile goal. But I don’t think that’s the biggest reason.
I really think that the biggest thing is that I finally have a concrete reason to practice. I’m actually practicing for something. For the first time, there is a specific event, on a specific date that I am preparing for. I actually have a deadline. No, it’s more than that, I actually have a deadline that I care about.
The GBO is more than just jumping in the car at sunrise on a Saturday morning to drive a couple hours to a tournament. This is a week long event with 2 C tiers and an A tier (NT stop for the pros) that’s happening 8 hours from home. This is a week of my vacation time. This is an event that I want to get every last bit of enjoyment out of. A huge part of that will be showing up and knowing that I’m well prepared. I know myself well enough to know that if I show up ill prepared, I’ll just beat myself up the whole time. That would make for a terrible vacation and would be no fun at all!
Up until now, I’ve always practiced for the nebulous goal of “getting better”. That’s about as motivating as eating broccoli because it’s good for you (that stuff is awful, just awful). Sure, I’ve always wanted to play disc golf at a higher level than I do. But that want alone is too easily overpowered by a warm bed and a snooze button.
Having a concrete disc golf deadline has changed all of that. It’s made that snooze button my enemy. It’s made going to bed early easy. It’s helped guide all of my decisions like a compass constantly pointing in the direction I want to go. Committing to going to the GBO, getting the time off of work, and reserving the hotel for the week has given me the motivation that all of my previous disc golf improvement plans have lacked.
Now here’s the kicker that hopefully helps all of you…
Anyone can have their own personal GBO. I don’t mean a disc golf tournament in Kansas. I mean an event or day that you can make special and meaningful. I mean an event or day that you can put on a calendar and count down to. People do it for their weddings. People do it for their vacations. Why can’t you can do it for disc golf?
Here’s some possible things you could put on your calendar to give you a deadline that motivates you:
- Register for a tournament that happens in a month or two, but register one division higher than you normally play.
- Challenge a buddy who is better than you to a cash game and schedule it a month or two down the road.
- Challenge some friends to play for something embarrassing (loser has to wear a dress next time you play on a busy weekend) and schedule that game down the road a bit.
- Join a local league and put the last league day of the year on your calendar with a goal of how you want to play by then.
- Book a disc golf vacation and plan to go play some well known, tough, challenging courses.
There’s a ton of ways you can give yourself a meaningful disc golf deadline. These are just a few. Spring starts in just 7 days! Summer is right around the corner! Just sit and think about it for a minute. What are some important disc golf related events that you are looking forward to this year? How will you make sure you are at your best for them?
Have you ever wanted to get better but found yourself not sticking to a practice plan? Try giving yourself a disc golf deadline. It wouldn’t hurt to tell a bunch of people about it too. So far it’s been working great for me. There’s no reason to think it wouldn’t work great for you too.
You know what else works great for helping you get better? Subscribing to this blog! You know I’d stop asking if everyone just did it already! Do it. You won’t be sorry!