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Greetings DiscGolfersR.Us people,

I am writing to get support, and advice. When I play Disc Golf, I generally average around PAR. I am talking about playing a round with family, friends, playing a new course or practicing. Yes we all get bad shots, bad rounds, and even bad days. I tend to shugg it off and continue having fun.
But I have entered three tournaments (Debary "Tour Del Sol" = won Rec Division, Orlando Open = Rec Division & lost and Barnett Championship Adv Masters = kicked my own ass). One out of three isn't that great. I do not have a great deal of discs, and the ones that I do have, I know how to throw them and how they will react. But it seems that when I played the last two tournaments, My disc went haywire and didn't listen, ALOT. I made stupid throws and dumbass mistakes that cost me a lot of strokes.
Could this be classified as "Performance Anxiety" during tournaments? Could it be as simple as "I am not having fun" when I play in tournaments? I am getting tired of putting in money to enter a tournament and walk away with my head held down in shame because I know that I could have done a hell of a lot better. Does anyone else have the same problems? Can anyone relate? What does the DiscGolfersR.Us community have to say?

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Playing tournaments does come with a lot of anxiety. You should feel good about yourself for taking on the challenge. You should also know that this is totally normal.
When we go out for a casual round, we do it on our own terms. We play with who we want and we play when we want. Tournament play bring a lot of factors and conditions that we don't normally play with.
I know how it feels, you have no feel for the disc, your mind is outside of your head and you cant even begin to understand what is happening! This is normal!

The good news is you have been there and done that. You can now learn from your experiences. You are paying your dues being new to the tournament scene.
Here are some things that have helped me get through this......
-Practice the course, especially the holes that you have nightmers about.
-Practice by your self, and play by your self. In a tournement, its you and only you. there is no moral support out there. Play at YOUR pace and on YOUR terms.
-Practice under pressure. As you are practicing alone, set up a senario in your head so that you are under extreme pressure to make the shot.
-learn from your mistakes, If you blew it in round 1, make some changes, Go back for revenge in round 2.
-forgive and forget! Don't dwell on your mistakes. As soon as you tap in your double bogie, imediately start to think about the next hole, what disc, what line, VISUALIZE SUCCESS. you have got to be able to shake it off in a tournement or the entire experience will be miserable. This will also give you a greater chance of having fun.

The key to playing well in a tournement is exposure. You have got that. Now go back next year and smash some skulls!
I find that tournaments churns up my adrenaline...which can lead to poor shots...so my advise...

--Play slow and methodically...focus on your routine, whatever it may be...
--Breath...concentrate on slowing down your breath..it really helps me relax
--eliminate unnecessary conversation--some people like a chatty group, others find it a distraction--ear buds are a good choice if you fall into the latter category
--Play conservatively unless pressured to play aggressively--its often not the most aggressive player who wins, but rather the player with the least number of
--always, always focus on the next shot, not the last shot and think positively

just my 2 cents on what works for me
You're not alone! I'm right there with you. I have entered a few tournaments and every round made me feel like a new player to the sport. I just fell apart at the Wintertime Open in Pasadena, CA. I've been thinking about my poor performance ever since. I'm now working on slowing down my game, breathing and making myself feel comfortable in uncomfortable situations.

Another factor that may contribute to feeling odd at tournaments is that I've become so accustomed to my home course that I know exactly what disc to throw on each hole – and i do it over and over again. That is not helping my competitive game when most of the tournaments are not at my home course!

Lastly, I'm now making it a point to practice more off the course. In fact, I'm on my way to a park with an open field and lots of trees. Good luck at the next tourney!
Just don't give up on yourself. Leave any bad shots behind. Always think just about the hole you are currently playing.
Keep playing, after a few more tournaments. I would bet the "yips" will subside, but I would say it's pretty common. Since it tends to be a mind game, treat it as such. Pretend it's just another round with your buddies and play your game. I always get into trouble when I try and compete with the people I'm with and not compete against the course.
The only "odd" thing I do in a tournament setting, is I will not check my score during the rounds. I'm more at ease not knowing if I'm ahead or behind.
One should/could look at any dg play in tourney or casual rec as a learning experience.Don't beat up on yourself,money spent towards tourney play benefits many great charities,food banks.Besides,everyone cannot win.Enjoy the sport,fellowship,meeting new players.
Myself,I usually shoot terrible.Advice from other dger's usually will help with those problems you don't see yourself performing.Great advice from others that have posted.
Use your brain and be deliberate. Don't try anything too crazy unless it is necessary. Go for par and take the birdies when they present themselves. Play smart (and conservative).
And relax. Edit function does not work.
The more tourneys you play the easier it gets. I also like to play for money, not a lot but enough to make you not want to loose. A cash game is as close to tournament play as I have found. I like to do with this with friends so if you loose you always have a chance to get it back.
If you forget the prize your searching for and enjoy the prize of playing with ,and being around many talented golfers you will find you enjoy yourself more,and therefor your game will improve.Tourneys have made me a better golfer,and i have only placed in a few,keep competing and suporting the great game of disc golf and we will all win.
I'm learning to deal with this too. It helps me to get past my mistakes if I remember that every shot is a completely new shot. If a shot goes wrong, that doesn't mean I have to do something extraordinary on the next shot.

Let's say I hit an early tree on a par 4 hole. I have already been punished for my mistake. It's over and done with. I try to just accept that I am no longer playing for birdie, and don't make a bad situation even worse. Just recover with a conservative well-placed shot and get out with my par.

Trying to be a hero often turns a small mistake into something worse.
My 1st few tourneys I did really bad, and kinda felt bad about that myself. Now I go out there and play the best I can, I try to play the hole not the whole game at once! Just take it one hole at a time... otherwise the bad hole you just played well fallow you! I still never play as good in a tourney, but I have fun I never walk away in shame, as I know every one either has the problem or has had the problem!

Have Fun!! It is a tourny and so there is more stress, but if needed put some music in your ears and just relax!

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