Almost two months ago, I reserved a hotel room in Emporia, Kansas. About a month ago, I registered for the 2015 GBO. About a week ago, I started my preparation.
If you happen to live under a rock, the GBO (Glass Blown Open) is one of the biggest disc golf tournaments of the year. They expect to have 900 registered players this year. Not only is it huge, but it’s supposed to be one of the best run tournament experiences in disc golf. It might be THE best.
The GBO isn’t just a 3 day disc golf tournament (and NT stop this year!), it’s a week long event that takes place in what some (especially trilogy throwers like myself) consider to be one of the meccas of disc golf. Emporia is the home to Dynamic Discs. Emporia is home to world champion disc golfer Eric McCabe (who started and still plays a large part in running the tournament). Emporia is one of the most disc golf friendly towns in the US. I, for one, can’t wait. At 43, I haven’t felt this kind of anticipation since I was a little kid trying to go to sleep on Christmas eve so Santa could come.
I know for some that might sound a little over the top, but if you have followed this blog or any of my other social media accounts at all you will know that my life revolves around disc golf. Every waking moment is consumed by plastic. For me, going to the GBO is going to be the highlight of my year. And while some might think that’s a little nutty, there’s a very large group of disc golfers who feel the same way I do.
The GBO currently has well over 800 people preregistered. I’m definitely not the only one who is excited. If you are at all considering playing in this event, my best recommendation is to register now.[tweetthis]If you want to be sure to get a spot, register for the 2015 GBO now![/tweetthis]
I’ve played a metric ton of disc golf tournaments over the time I’ve played disc golf. Only once have I played in a tournament close to this scale. That was the 2007 Am Worlds in Milwaukee. While that was a great experience, it’s not a performance I care to repeat at the GBO.
Knowing the right thing to do and not doing it is a distinctly human characteristic. A very honest assessment of my tournament season last year reveals more excuses than anything. At the beginning of the year, I was making good progress, but by the end of the year I was competing in tournaments more as a social exercise than I was trying to compete. I’m pretty disappointed in myself for that. I really want 2015 to be different. I know I have the potential to compete, I just need to have the discipline it takes to get me there. Heck, putting practice and execution alone would have added a solid 60 points to my rating last year.
With the tournament 5 months away, I know what I need to do to prepare. As I found last year, it’s actually doing it that is the hard part. So I’m going to introduce one of the most powerful motivators known to man into my preparation: Public accountability. I’m not going to quietly prepare behind the scenes with no better reason to get out of bed to practice every day than the fuzzy thought of a tournament that’s months away. I’m going to prepare publicly and invite all of you to follow along.
I don’t just invite you to read along, though. I invite you to prepare right along with me. I invite you to step up and bring your absolute best game to the GBO. I’ll be bringing mine and I’d rather lose to people who brought their A game than to beat people who decided it was easier to sleep in through the winter months.
Every week, I’ll be posting an update here on the blog. I’ll share my goals, plans, practice regimen, training plan, diet, and everything else. If you follow on Facebook, you’ll get daily updates on specifically what I did or did not do that day. I hope to post progress every day, but I’ll be honest and up front. If I slack on a certain day, I’ll post that too. And I expect all of you to give me shit for it.
Today, I’m going to start by sharing two of the most important things I’ve done so far. If you are going to play along, I think they are the first two things you should do too.
Step one: Set a goal.
I’m big into setting goals in life. Literally everything great I’ve ever done has been the result of setting specific written goals. I set goals because they work.
So what is my goal for the GBO? At first it was just to go and have a great time. While having a great time is critical, it’s really not my main or only goal. I visualized myself driving out of Emporia after the tournament. What would I have done to drive away happy? What would make me content that I’d left everything on the course? What would allow me to not have any regrets or second thoughts or “If I had only” type of moments? How would you answer these questions?
The answers I came up with, surprisingly to me, had nothing to do with how I would finish at the tournament. I had at first thought that my goal would be something like “Come in the top ten in my division”. That won’t work, though. I’ve learned over the years that you can’t control a result. I even wrote a post about that here. Winning a tournament is an output. It’s completely out of my control. What’s not out of my control is doing the things that could lead to a win.
I can control how much I practice. I can control my physical fitness and diet. I can control my form and technique. I can control my mindset. I know how good I can play when I’ve planned, prepared, and expected to win. So that’s my goal.[tweetthis]Setting a goal is the first step to doing anything great in #discgolf or in life.[/tweetthis]
Here’s what I came up with for myself. What will you set for your own goals?
I will devise a 5 month training program designed to hone all of the skills I’ll need to compete at a high level at the GBO. (I will plan to win) I will make no excuses and will give myself all of the time and tools needed to execute my plan daily. I will not skip even one day of preparation. I will have fun doing it. (I will prepare to win) I will roll into Emporia with the confidence that comes from a solid 5 months of preparation. I will give my best game to all of the competitors at the GBO. I will play to the best of my ability knowing that if I do that, I will be thrilled with my performance regardless of the place I come in. (I will expect to win)
In my mind, “winning” isn’t related to the actual results of the tournament. Now, I’ll be honest. If I follow through for the next 5 months, I strongly feel that I do have a shot to at least cash. But I don’t want to attach my enjoyment of the GBO experience to a place on the score board. I’m going to bring my A game and whatever happens happens. There are going to be some incredibly good disc golfers there. A lot of them are, right now, significantly better than I am. A lot of them have plans to prepare just like I do. I may get beat down like a narc at a biker rally, but if I leave my best self on the course, I’ll still feel like I won.
What will it take for you to drive away content and feel like you’ve won?
Step two: Make preparation possible.
I’m very fortunate in that I get to make my own work schedule within reason. I still have to work 50 hours a week, but I get to pick when those 50 hours are. So, I just changed my work schedule to all nights. Other than Sundays (I work retail, so working at least one weekend day is required), I’ll be able to play and practice every single day.
By doing that, I just removed my number one excuse for not practicing. I can no longer say, “I had to work”. I’ll get into my exact practice schedule and regimen on a future post, but right now, I’ve cleared 20 hours of my schedule a week to practice disc golf. Over the next 5 months, that’s over 400 hours of practice and play to get ready for the GBO.
If you are curious as to exactly what I’ll be doing, follow along over on FaceBook. My new schedule starts this coming Monday (12/15) so that’s when the FB updates will start.
What will your practice plan look like? How will you make sure that you remove all possible excuses and procrastination? What will you do to ensure that you can prepare to win?
I Need Your Help.
The collective disc golf experience of the people that read this blog is vast. I’d love your feedback. If you have any suggestions that will help me to better prepare for this tournament, I’m all ears. I also want your accountability. I need people to call bullshit on me if and when it’s needed. When I drive out of Emporia in early May, I want to do so knowing I left everything I had in that small Kansas town. Comfort is the enemy of success and every once in a while, we all need someone to make us feel a little uncomfortable to keep us on the right track.
I’m looking forward to this journey. I’m looking forward to having all of you along with me. If you want to keep up with this new weekly feature, or any of the other regular content we put up, please consider subscribing to the blog. I promise we’ll never sell your info or spam your inbox. Thanks for following and I’ll see you on the road to the GBO!!!