Friday, April 20, 2007

Spring Fever

Do you feel it? I've got it. It's the Ultimate spring fever (not the other one). All over the place from the internet to the grassy fields discs, tournaments, and tryouts are happening.

It is a great feeling to have Ultimate fever. The key thing to remember is to pace yourself. Get out, play, and think ultimate, but remember all the other things in life. In your first few years in a hobby or sport, the tendency is to jump feet first and immerse yourself in the activity. As time passes you'll get the opposite of the fever - Ultimate burnout. With burnout comes the rest of the season which will feel more like a chore.

Pictured Above: More from Michigan sectionals.

One way to help avoid burnout is to keep your priorities straight. For example, coaches are taught to build a philosophy and establish priorities so that they don't let the team take over their lives. Most football coaches I've read about prioritize with something like:
  1. Faith
  2. Family
  3. Team
  4. Friends
I think a player also needs to have their priorities. There's nothing wrong with spring Ultimate fever and a passion for the sport, but remember that other things are important.

A few other ways to maintain early passion and avoid burnout are:
  • staying healthy - simple rules like sleep, hydration, and nutrition
  • having fun - enjoying activities and your social circle
  • making short term goals - challenging yourself and your team and avoiding plateaus
  • pacing yourself - not playing too much (I always break this rule)
  • doing other things - make sure to mix it up
If you've got the fever then run with it. Just remember this feeling and try to maintain it.