Monday, July 09, 2007

Adapting to Tournaments

I've had a few people ask me how I can play so many tournaments. This is an interesting question, and I pondered it for a few moments on my weekend off.

I definitely think off-season weight training is key to strengthen your entire body, and taking off a very short period of time after the end of the season before getting into the gym helps. Also, I try to sleep at least 8 hours every night and don't do too much extra strenuous exercise other than practice during the regular season.

Pictured Above: A little miss read and an in air hit on Steve Tam in our finals at Jazzfest (photo courtesy of Jaleel)

My current theory is that like the body can adapt to a variety of environments, it can also adapt to playing ultimate every weekend for extended periods. The anecdotal evidence is how I feel after a tournament. On Monday after my first tournament of the season, I feel horrible. It takes almost the entire week to recover. On the following Monday after the next tournament, I'm tired, but I'll be recovered by Tuesday's practice. After the first tournament this is how I feel.

If I take more than four weeks between tournaments, then I'm back to square one and I'm feeling horrible after the next tournament. It seems like adaption?

This theory is related to my thoughts on the best way to get in shape for tournaments - play tournaments. As much as workouts are important to preparing you for the event, they never get you completely prepared, but they may improve your physical attributes. Unless you are willing to somehow simulate a tournament worth of ultimate on the track (sprint for a few minutes, rest, sprint again, repeat 15 times = 1 game, repeat 4 times with a bye) it's hard to prepare for the duration of the actual event.

Pictured Above: Torontula and Friends with out trophy from Jazzfest.

I still think we're a little crazy in how much we actually play during a tournament, but at the distances some of us travel it will is hard to change the culture and expect less at a tournament. Ultimate is not a 2 or 3 times a week game with playoff series, it's a tournament based sport. To prepare for the big events you need to adapt your body by playing regularly in tournaments. That's my theory.



Nirk said...

i think it's more of an errant throw by me than it was a misread by steve.

Malcolm said...

looks like a misread