Ever have one of those games? I feel like I had one on the weekend while playing LouEvil. Normally things click when I play Ultimate and every pass gets there before the D, I know what the cutters are thinking, and I select the right throw. That game though…sigh!
Let me explain what happened. We had won our crossover game first thing in the morning and now we played LouEvil in the pre-semis. The first game had gone well with reasonable defense, great hucks, and in general we had a good time. We carried our momentum into the second game and took an early lead before starting to falter. I recall one point where our zone caused 6 turn overs and I threw three turns (one ill-advised throw, a drop, and a pressure D) before we finally managed to score. I should have suspected that I was playing terribly at that point but didn’t until in the second half came my wake up call: A scoober that faded away from the cutter who was going in the opposite direction. What should have been an easy breakforce throw for a point instead became my defining moment of the tournament.
The problem with that throw wasn’t that I made it or that I didn’t recognize that it was bad (I eventually did recognize how bad it was) but that it happened to be our last game of the day. There’s no way to determine whether or not I had mentally refocused after that game.
One of the most important abilities that any athlete must have is the ability to refocus upon the game. Frank Menendez, who I’ll talk about in later posts, told me that while I had made a few throwaways it was important to recover with safe play. Instead of removing myself from the game that I should stay in, play a role but change that role slightly.
I’ve seen many players that remove themselves from games simply because of bad play. It’s important to return to a state of mind where one plays well and make an impact on the field. Removing oneself from the game tends to hurt your own team more than helping by doing what you do best.
It’s unfortunate that I didn’t get to try and make a comeback but I’m sure that it will happen again and I’ll get another shot at redemption.