Guest article by Crispian Paul


Take care of your body

We’ve all heard this before, drink enough water, eat well and get enough rest. Most people need at least 8 cups of  water per day—even more if it’s warm or you’ve been sweating a lot. Also, don’t forget to replace your electrolytes if either of these are true.

Make sure that you are well nourished in the days leading up to and on the day of the event.   Whatever you choose before your round and between rounds, make it something that will sustain you without being too heavy. Then, maybe snack throughout your day to keep your energy up.

Getting enough rest is important in all aspects of life, including disc golf. Sleep allows our bodies to rejuvenate and our cells to regenerate. Try not to play injured and seek medical advice if you must.

Wear your sunscreen and reapply! Also, try to wear  UVA/UVB blocking sunglasses and hats if you are able to tolerate them, as they protect your skin and eyes from the sun’s harmful rays.


Plan ahead and be prepared




Read the rules and know them. Have access to the PDGA rule book if it is a PDGA event. Scout the course in advance if you can. Know how long it will take you to get there and how long you will need to warm up before check-in or your player’s meeting and be sure you have plenty of gas in your vehicle the night before so you can have a stress-free morning.

Keep an eye on the weather reports for the days leading up to your tournament. No one wants to go play a tournament round in inclement weather without the proper gear. It’s always a good idea to bring plastic bags of varying sizes (for your phone, keys, etc) and multiple towels, even towels to put under your potentially wet or dirty bag at the end of the day. In addition, extra shoes, socks and even clothing can make your rounds and trip home much more comfortable. Try to find out and plan for the course’s unique conditions, (e.g poison ivy, water). Will there be food available nearby for purchase during your lunch period or do you need to pack lunch and snacks?

Plan for what bag additions you would like to have available to you. Some items to consider: Any necessary medication, sunscreen, bug spray, a notebook, extra pencils, hand warmers/gloves/ear covers, an extra mini, a permanent marker, snacks, extra water, a bandana for your face (no one wants to accidentally get poison ivy by using your disc/mud wiping towel to wipe your face!), alcohol wipes or other poison ivy cleanser.


Choose your bag wisely


First, be sure you  have water, a mini marker, a pencil and a rulebook or access to one, at minimum.  As far as discs, throw what you know and keep it simple. The day of a tournament is not the day to start trying out new discs. Throw your most predictable discs and be sure you have a couple replacements available for your absolute, “must have” discs (just in case). Be sure you have the appropriate discs for the wind conditions. This is where more stable discs will come in handy.


Develop a pre-tournament routine that works for you

Most players like to have a quick stretch, and “test out” the wind and warm up their arm with some practice drives in a variety of directions, followed by some upshots and some practice putting.


Some like to walk the course, especially if it is one with which they are unfamiliar. Alternatively, some like to at least walk—or even play—trouble holes on a course, such as a narrow in bounds or over water. Finally, some players like to take some quiet time, do some yoga, meditate or listen to music before a round in order to relax. Speaking of being relaxed…  


Prepare your mental game

Unless you’re a top professional, and even then, chances are that every person is nervous at least once during a tournament. Practicing and being prepared will all help you keep a positive mental game.


Beyond that, having some quiet time, a mantra, meditation, yoga, listening to music you enjoy—these are all relaxation tools for the player. Remind yourself that you are not there to compare yourself to anyone else. In the end, you are there to play the course to the best of your ability and to have fun. You can only throw one shot at a time. If you have a poor shot or play a hole poorly, try not to let it carry over through your rounds.