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Im a rec player and when i play events i feel that i am pressured to get better from better players.

Is there anyting wrong with being a rec player? I mean, you could be the greatest rec player of all time.

I know the goal is to get better and believe me i constantly try, but sometimes I feel like I am just going to be a rec/intermediate player (depending on the field i can play intermediate im sort of on the fringe.

Who is the average player?

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It all just a game, something we do in our free time because we enjoy it. Don't let anybody pressure you to do something you don't want to do with your leisure time. If you are going to be the rec division stud, go for it.

Probably off topic, but I am the exception to the Mark Ellis rule. I do practice. I field throw. I videotape my motion and compare it to better players. I read articles and watch videos on how to throw farther. I suck. I can't throw 250 ft to save my life. Being a ex-college football player hides my long history of being inept at things involving eye-hand coordination (offensive linemen just have to be able to hit the guy in front of them which involves less skill than say hitting a tennis ball, which I also can't do) and I just can't get the whole step and arm and hips and release in any sort of sync. I also have no touch, so when I putt the disc can literally go any which direction. Weenie arm who can't putt=terrible disc golfer. So, I could legitimately play Rec, and since guys who own two discs and have been playing for a week routinely beat me I won't win and I'll avoid the "Sandbagger" catcalls.

Here is the catch...I've met a lot a good guys over the last 15 years. Being able to hang out with my friends is one of the main reasons I play in tournaments. None of my friends play Rec. They at least play Advanced Master. So when I play, I sign up for Advanced Master. I'll play one round with some friends, then another round with that guy who hates me because he sucks almost as much as I do and we always play the second round together. Anyway, my point is that I sign up for a division that I have no chance of winning because I don't play tournaments to win some discs or inflate my ego. I go to have a good time, smoke cigars someplace where my wife won't see me, tell inflated tales about long-ago road trips to long-forgotten tournaments, listen to my friends make fun of my pathetic skills, throw some plastic, maybe go to a bar afterward and lie about how well I played. I really can't do that playing old man to the kids in the rec division.

Besides, I get cranky explaining what a mini disc is used for.

If you keep playing, you will find where you fit. For me I fit someplace where my skills can't hack it, but it's where it fit. The guys who take my money don't seem to mind too much.
Scott,

Keep trying and you will eventually develop a real game. Over the years I have seen several seemingly hopeless cases who did so. If you are a big, strong guy then all you need is coordination. I bet I could get you throwing over 250' and eventually cashing in and winning lower divisions.

Talent and motivation are co-equal limiting factors. You sound like you have the motivation. You can go a long way toward overcoming lack of talent.

I had been playing for a few years when a guy I knew complimented me on how my game was developing. He explained that he saw me play when I was a beginner and thought I was the worst player he had ever seen. I laughed. He insisited that he wasn't joking, that I was the worst player he had ever seen. This guy has now passed away but at the time he was an established pro. Within a few years of that conversation I was playing at a higher level than the pro. Some of the Michigan readers of this site will recognize his name. He was Gale Vaughn.

It is all right to start as a terible player. There is no reason to continue being terrible forever. The first step is believing you can improve.
Thanks alot mark!

I just played in my first PDGA sanctioned event and finished 3rd in MA3. I feel like I finished in 2nd because we had a serious (self admitted) bagger who won b 15 or so shots. I finished behind the second place guy by two shots and had a 150 ft flick out of some trees hit dead chain only to fall out below the basket on my last hole to get within one.

The main reason i started this thread was to get some enlightenment on talent levels in the game. I played with this guy from MA1 and he told me next time i need to level up. Based on my score though, had I played MA2 I would have finished 16th, about 17 shots off the lead. If I am going to play tournaments i want to compete not play great and finish 15 back.

I am trying to get better, and in the last 2 months i have. Beginning of summer I shot 10-14 over per round. Me and a buddy decided to practice and put in the time for this tournament. I shot 60 (par), 63 (3 over) and at the alternate course i shot 61 (7 over: started with 3 doubles LOL) and a 57 (3 over). I am very proud of these scores, even though I am a terrible putter and missed everything outside of 8 ft and missed two 5 footers. But i got a basket and will be enrolling myself into Marks putting clinic... LOL.

How good can I hope to be? I know its a silly question, but when i see the likes of feldberg, climo, bennett, i cant help but think they were better than me from the get go. I hope to make it into the higher 900s. I think its a reasonable goal, as i touched 901 on my last round. It was my first tourney and I have only played (with intentions of actually trying and keeping score) about 6 months.

mark ellis said:
Well Donnie Reece, you are not average- you play tournaments! A tournament Rec player is far better and more motivated than the average casual player on the average course. If you want to be average you need to regress and forget about things like keeping score, following rules (especially courtesy and vandalism) and realizing how good some players become. You should also wipe out any hidden desires to practice and get better.

The average player plays with the same group of people and will never enter a tournament and will never get significantly better than their buddies. They have no need to and many have no real desire to. Which is fine. We are all average at some things and suck at others (with truly few exceptions like Dr Rick Voakes who is a Renaissance Man) Only when we find something that really clicks with us do we go to the effort to establish competance or greater.

An average, resonably athletic guy (or girl) should be able to eventually compete credibly at Am 1 level, if they have the motivation. The only hard part of disc golf is putting. Throwing with a modicom of power and control is not all that difficult. Eventually most players can become proficient at throwing. Putting is a whole different animal. But even the weakest putters can find a putting stroke and putting head with enough motivation.

So how good can a given player get? Motivation and talent are co-equal limiting factors.

I had no idea that Jon Brakel was even in the FBI. I need to be more careful. Does Jon realize his own brother is a terrorist? or an revolutionist? or one of those Ists?
Yeay, Scott... someone who is where I'm going to be when I'm good enough to be called terrible!

And, Donnie, in your future reply you wondered about how good the likes of Feldberg, Climo, Bennett were from the start... I don't know that for sure, but I know the best guy I've played with said he was winning tournaments after 8 months. It was pretty depressing but I've never, ever been the "talented" guy. I've always been the guy who had to work his tail off for whatever and I guess I end up preferring it that way because I end up getting better than those who have tons of talent handed to them and no need to have to work.

Scott Kickbusch said:
So, I could legitimately play Rec, and since guys who own two discs and have been playing for a week routinely beat me I won't win and I'll avoid the "Sandbagger" catcalls.
Here is the catch...I've met a lot a good guys over the last 15 years. Being able to hang out with my friends is one of the main reasons I play in tournaments. None of my friends play Rec. They at least play Advanced Master. So when I play, I sign up for Advanced Master. I'll play one round with some friends, then another round with that guy who hates me because he sucks almost as much as I do and we always play the second round together. Anyway, my point is that I sign up for a division that I have no chance of winning because I don't play tournaments to win some discs or inflate my ego. I go to have a good time, smoke cigars someplace where my wife won't see me, tell inflated tales about long-ago road trips to long-forgotten tournaments, listen to my friends make fun of my pathetic skills, throw some plastic, maybe go to a bar afterward and lie about how well I played. I really can't do that playing old man to the kids in the rec division.
Besides, I get cranky explaining what a mini disc is used for.

If you keep playing, you will find where you fit. For me I fit someplace where my skills can't hack it, but it's where it fit. The guys who take my money don't seem to mind too much.
FYI-from the stories I hear from those who used to play with him, Feldberg was not very good when he first started and was typically BOB on most cards.
No matter how you call it, some folks just have more "natural talent" than others, that is just a fact. I play with two guys that are better than me almost every day and LOL, it always seems that when I come with my "current level A Game", they always just seem to "step it up". The both throw sidearm/forehand for distance, I throw RHBH but it's only RARE when I get a throw as long as them. The only thing that saves me is that I'm a pretty good putter, up to 20 ft.

One guy HATES PDGA style DG, ie: way to many crazy rules, with OB's and Mando's, ect. but he's the best thrower of the three of us. Yep he has 3 disc's 1 old Champ Eagle driver, 2 Putters but he can make that Eagle do "3 S-turns thru the trees"!! Carry's them in a old spaulding bag, while I have the Innova Large bag and have 8 different types of Innova Champ disc's (from Un-Stable ot Ov-Stable) and 8 DX back up's, with the backpack straps and "Look like" I should be playing in AM1 or Grandmasters, he has more talent than I throwing plastic. Yes, I practice especially my putting but I just don't think I have the physcial assets to ever "huk at disc" as good as he can.

Maybe if you start the game of DG as a young'in, the techniques come easier and your more moldable, I got a feeling that I will be at best "mid-level" Rec. or I'll be the "RUG", ie: the bottom of the barrel in Grandmaster's. I'll probably play some Tournaments at Rec. level for next year then step up to Grandmaster level and have my ass handed to me constantly, just to throw with other in my age group.

B.J. (bogeyman) Ondo
Pikes Peak Flying Disc Club
Colorado Springs, CO.
"Im a rec player and when i play events i feel that i am pressured to get better from better players."

When you write this its probably because they see something in your game that shows potential. I think its a compliment. If you have the time and desire you will likely get better. If not you will still enjoy going out to the park when you can and throwing plastic circles. Its all good.
Well for the tournament me and my buddy played 7 times a week for 2 months, and it helped alot. You might be right about the something in my game. I am a very unorthodox player and I throw mainly overheads. I throw a tomahawk about 300-320 ft that goes exactly where i want (I can do alot of different things with it i.e. make it scoobie and slide, or flip and get around a dog leg. I was told by Kevin McCoy that is was a "pro" type tomahawk. I also throw thumbers as approach shots and I can threaten basket anywhere within 200 ft with my thumber. if...well when (i say "when" because i am starting to practice alot more) i become a good putter I should be able to move into MA2 immediately. I finished 3rd and missed 2 from 5 ft and hit nothing outside 10ft. I also throw sidearm, about 300ft, but i can only throw 2 sidearm shots with real distance. I can take an understable disc, like a beast, and launch an anny, but i have no control or I throw an S curve with my Excaliber. I have really good control with the S curve shot, but it limits me in tight positions.

That seems to be my problem. I put so much value on control. I dont like to take risks for the big bomb, i just dont have the confidence. I depend on my upshot game to make up for the lack of D of the T. As i usually put my disc closer from 200ft than my competition can from 100, but if i want to go to the next level I am going to have to improve in that area. I just got stokeleys book, and I saw an immediate improvement in my backhand. I was throwing it about 250ft last night while i was goofing off in the yard without trying to put any real power in it all. So I cant wait to try and develop that shot. I think learning a good backhand will take me to that level. Give me a more consistent shot that i can throw with power. I am glad i learned a sidearm first because most players just never develop that part of the game and its so useful.

I didnt take his move up comment as a bash or put down, im glad he thinks i have the game to compete at the next level, but I just felt it was a little rash. My first tourney? i was a little pressured.

David Barish said:
"Im a rec player and when i play events i feel that i am pressured to get better from better players."

When you write this its probably because they see something in your game that shows potential. I think its a compliment. If you have the time and desire you will likely get better. If not you will still enjoy going out to the park when you can and throwing plastic circles. Its all good.
When i started this thread, I was content to just be a MA3 player, but after my last tourney this past week I want to get better. I can see the potential in my game, I think others can to. The TD for the tournament was the guy who introduced me to the game he said that he was proud of my showing and how far i have come in such a short time.

But we had a pro shoot a 50 at my home course.... thats 10 under. Now i know most courses that play average 300 - 500 ft per hole have seen scores that low....

But my course has 2 par 5s over 1000ft, and two par 4s. Its got a ton of OB and we have a great 6 or 7 holes that are in the woods. when I compare that score to mine (I played a tee set that was about 3000ft shorter) I just dont know if i will ever reach that level.
In answer to "how bad" were pros before they got good question. I can tell you that just a few years ago I could beat Brett Comincioli on an 18 hole round at his home course. Not every time, but often enough that I thought I had a shot every time we played. Brett just finished 71st in Open at Worlds. He's not a top pro but he's not at the bottom either. Half of his rounds were rated over 1000. My rating is 862 and has been in the same area for several years. So, what's the difference between Brett's improvement over my stagnation? Practice. Brett has a putting routine that I don't think many can rival. He putts about 60 to 100 times every night. He has this system worked out where he makes so many putts from one distance then moves to the next. You can read about it if you search "putting practice" on the discontinuum.org forums.

I'm not sure where all of you play, but in Illinois the PDGA, Brett, Bruce and I made it safe for Rec players to play Rec. Once the PDGA started doing ratings for all members, I started looking for PDGA tournaments that I could play to develop a rating. The only PDGA tournaments being offered in Illinois were pro and advanced tournaments. So, I played Advanced. And got my butt kicked. A lot. It was far from fun. But I got my rating and I was solidly Rec. Part of the reason that I started running the IOS tournaments with Brett and Bruce was to offer all PDGA divisions at sanctioned events. I was the only Rec player at the time who was playing Rec with 10 years of tournament experience. I too did not know anyone in the division. That problem was solved after the first round. I now knew 4 guys in the Rec division. I started teaching these guys the rules and giving them rule books. It suddenly seemed like a really good idea to have a TD playing in the Rec division.

I won the Rec division overall that year at the IOS and by the next year my rating slipped up to the Int division. Then I hurt my back and have not completed a tournament since (but that's another story!).

At the IOS we encourage people to play their division by rating. We also encourage people to try playing up by having the same entry fee for all Am divisions. I've never understood why it should cost more to play Int than Rec or why it should cost more to play Advanced than Int, etc. We also encourage people to play up by offering low cost trophy-only options and half-in pro options. We also make it safe for Rec players to play Rec by tracking the rating of non-PDGA players and not allowing them to bag without a rating. We also use this to promote PDGA membership so that becoming a PDGA member is not a punishment.

I think the IOS has made a positive impact on disc golf in the area in which we operate (northern Illinois) and I am proud that I have made a contribution to better the sport. However, you can do your part also. Play in the division in which your rating dictates unless YOU decide that you want to play up. If you are a non-PDGA member and aren't going to join, at least look at your tournament results and figure out a simple tournament rating average, then make sure you aren't bagging and you aren't getting discouraged by playing over your head.

One thing that we found out by calculating ratings is that there's less bagging going on than we thought. Some guys do shoot the lights out at one event and then play like a jr. girl at the next. It's easy to over look that the guy that played 10 throws better than anyone else, trailed by 25 throws the week before. It's amazing to me how defensive the baggers get though when you legitimately do track their rating and tell them that they can't play Novice, Rec or Int. Argue all you want buddy, but you're not playing Rec at my event!
I've only been playing a month. Each week my scores get slightly better. I'm a lefty whose shots currently go right, playing on a course that's a peninsula where the water is always on the right. It's a challenge, but I'm out there every morning it's not raining. I like it, it's fun, it gets my day off to a rousing start no matter what I shoot-I'm probably below average right now, because I just made my first par on a hole this morning!
Natural Talent guys vs. Think too much about it guys.

One thing that I've found is that some guys develop slower because they spend more time thinking about it. Natural Talent guys are often guys who just go out and play. Their body and subconscious mind learns the sport and they improve. The think about it guys want to understand why the disc does what it does and how. Some of those guys do get to the top (see Tiger Woods) but others never do, however, my experience is that they tend to develop slower. On the other hand, they often end up as great mentors and teachers of the sport, see Blake T. Mark Ellis is definitely a think about it guy.

BTW - don't just assume that someone who shot a -15 was a bagger, may have been but may have hit the groove on that day and just couldn't miss. I've seen it happen often enough.

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