Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Tournament 1 - Lesson 3 - Winning is only half the battle

Our teams record day one at TUF was 1 win and 2 losses. Both losses came down to Universe points, and in both cases we had a chance to win the game with the disc in our hands (either by a D or catching the pull). After losing, the rest of Saturday you have to swallow your pride and when people ask you how you did, you say 1 and 2. Then you come up with a few excuses to make you feel better.

Pictured Above: John McArton catches a tight one for Tombstone with a Magma defender on his back (photo courtesy of Dave Sheffield)

Well, it turns out that in this case our two losses were the type of character building losses that proved to be the difference on Sunday. Our team had learned that every game is a battle that you can't constantly dig out from holes, and after squeaking into the quarters on differentials we pulled off a Universe point win and a highly contested game (probably the best game of the weekend). This then led to a win in the semis and a win in the finals.

"One tournament day does not make a season"

That's how you get better in this sport. You need to lose, come close to losing, recover from opponent scoring runs, and make scoring runs. While all these ebbs and flows are happening, you need to strive to win (see my book review where I take this concept from and another post on the topic). You need to challenge yourself on an individual basis and find opportunities to play outside your normal set of successful tools. Errors can be frustrating, but successfully pushing your game is worth it. It's not easy, but these are the situations that make you better.

Five teams could have won TUF this weekend, and my team got lucky on the weekend and took a path that both challenged us to the point of throwing in the towel, but resulted in a team with chemistry, heart, and experience (all in six games? maybe I'm pushing it here). This was mainly due to calm and experienced leadership that wasn't panicking (or at least showing it).