Monday, April 25, 2016

Training for Tournaments

By Jason

Hodge-podge post!

Got an interesting email from a woman in school for massage therapy that is doing a project on disc golf. (Hey Erin and Justin!) She asked the following:
  1. What (if any) training routines/techniques would someone use to prepare for a disc golf tournament?
  2. What are common injuries, short- or long-term, that result from playing disc golf?
  3. What muscles are used? What muscles are over-used or over-compensated?
  4. What self-care habits do you recommend for disc golfers? (ie. diet, fluid intake, stretches, massage, etc) 
I'm a major slacker when it comes to real preparation - most of my warm ups look quite like Ryan's!

I do have a generic core set of principals that I use - that are shared below:

1. Training for tournaments. 

Tournament play can be extremely slow and have you on your feet for a big part of the day, probably carrying a well-stocked backpack, umbrella and stool. It's most similar to training for technical trail hiking in terms of training. A stroke or 5 lost at the end of the round due to fatigue is very common - so having the reserve strength to play as well at the end of the day as the beginning comes from being physically prepared.
  • Aerobic Endurance
  • Anaerobic Endurance
  • Upper Body Strength
  • Lower Body Strength
  • Flexibility
If the player had the ability to play a tournament style day once a week - meaning 2 full rounds, at a tournament pace - that would be ideal. It's slow, it's painful and it is the best way to adjust yourself to the physical demands and pace of play.

3-4 days a week, I'd hike for an hour over varied terrain - this could be joined with playing disc golf as well, if possible.

Jogging / treadmill / elliptical trainers used in an interval style training would improve cardio and general fitness.

2. Common injuries: 

  • Tennis Elbow: Over gripping the disc too early in your swing, poor form, over use
  • Neck Strain: From strong arming the disc instead of driving the power from the ground up, incorporating your hips. Also caused from "over-opening" the shoulders (which is also caused from not building the throw from the ground up.
  • Plantar fasciatas - this comes from wearing out your feet. Planting and twisting on your plant foot can cause a tearing of the bottom of your foot's connective tissues.

What muscles are used

Your entire body is engaged in playing disc golf, but the throwing arm side of the body is going to over develop. Your neck, shoulder, back (upper and lower) are going to overdevelop on the throwing side compared to your non-throwing side. This has a nasty habit of causing neck strain, nerve pain, back pain in the long run. Hands down best thing I can suggest is a general floor exercise routine of push ups, sit ups, squats, stretching and pull-ups and chin-ups. Having a general fitness level will help keep the muscle groups in balance.

Diet - specific to tournament play

You want to have a huge amount of calories available on a tournament day. If you've ever played a long, hot tournament - you'll see guys DEAD TO THE WORLD at the end of the day. I don't ever suggest eating when throwing, but I do suggest finding down times to eat as often as possible. The goal is to not be hungry.

Fluid intake is massive. 5 liters would be a fair estimation depending on heat / sun. I would try to find ways to have water stashed at pre-determined check points because nobody wants to carry that amount of water - but hydrating from the time you're awake is key. 


I personally stretch the following: Neck, Back, fingers / wrists / elbows (the opposite way they naturally bend), hips, hamstrings, calves. I'll do these when I'm sitting around watching TV at night, and I'll add some basic stretching to my pre-round routine.  

I also wanted to talk a bit about the St. Jude's Research Hospital. My internet buddy Marty G - who works at the PDGA asked if I wouldn't mind sharing some of this information. Of course!

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and the PDGA urges you and your friends to join us as we pursue our partnership in supporting the kids of St. Jude. It's that time of year when disc golf is seen "in giving color" and we need you and your club to become part of this effort! It’s totally FREE to join (unless you are actually competing in the tournament)

By helping the kids of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, you will be honoring our sport and helping it immensely. Join the PDGA in helping fulfill St. Jude’s unique mission in the fight against childhood cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. Be part of the answer — St. Jude is a place of hope where no family ever receives a bill for treatment, travel, housing, or food.

Individual Fundraising Incentive Items

The St. Jude Disc Golf Charity Invitational event committee is excited to announce these fantastic incentives that are available to every fundraiser. As you’ll see, the more you raise for the kids, the more great stuff you’ll get.

Special thanks to Wright Life for providing gift certificates that may be redeemed for anything in their online store, including a great selection of disc golf products.

Important Note: Fundraising will continue through June 30th 2016, a full month after the tournament so you have even more time to ask your friends and family to support the kids of St. Jude! We'll send all of your incentives in July.

Create Your Fundraising Team Today

Together. Everyone. Achieves. More.

Create a fundraising team with friends and members from your club. Encourage your fellow disc golfers to join you in promoting the sport we love by fundraising for the kids of St. Jude. Go to our event page at, click "Become a Fundraiser" and start a team today.

As you’ve seen, there are terrific incentive items for all fundraisers. Beyond that, special items are now available for top performing teams/clubs and their captains.

Form Teams + Raise Money = Win Prizes

Above and beyond the incentive items available to all fundraisers, the St. Jude Disc Golf Charity Invitational event committee has put together a list of additional prizes for next week’s Bang The Chains - Team Challenge. Listed below, are the contests and prizes that will be awarded each day of next week. Each prize drawing will occur on the following day and the winner(s) will be announced on the St. Jude Disc Golf Facebook page and notified via email.

If you haven't signed up and started a fundraising team, do it now! Become a Team Captain and start recruiting!!

Bang The Chains - Team Challenge

All times shown below are in Pacific Daylight Time.

Monday, April 25: Build Your Team!

For each fundraising team member you’ve signed up, before midnight April 25, the Team Captain will be entered in a drawing to win a $50 Southwest Airlines gift card plus a set of three (3) Inaugural St. Jude Disc Golf Charity Invitational golf discs (2015 collector's item). 20 members = 20 chances to win!

Tuesday, April 26: Get The Word Out!

Every Team Captain, whose team uses the St. Jude fundraising tools to send out at least 20 emails (between midnight, April 25 and midnight, April 26) will be entered in a drawing to win a set of three (3) Inaugural St. Jude Disc Golf Charity Invitational golf discs. (2015 Collector's item)

Wednesday, April 27: Donation Sensation!

The Team that receives the highest number of individual online donations (between midnight, April 26 and midnight, April 27) will win a portable 6'x6' disc golf warm-up net, courtesy of Rukket Sports ($130 value) plus a St. Jude Golf Flag, signed by all of the 2016 St. Jude Disc Golf Charity Invitational winners.

Thursday, April 28: No One Left Behind!

Team Captains who at midnight April 28 have no members with $0 (zero!) funds raised, (minimum 5 team members) will be entered in a drawing to win a St. Jude Golf Flag signed by all of the 2016 St. Jude Disc Golf Charity Invitational winners.

Friday, April 29: Raise The Roof!

The Team that raises the most money during this 5-day program will win a custom set of DG Magnetics for 18 baskets, courtesy of DG Magnetics ($365 value) plus a full set of 6 St. Jude Unity Discs signed by all the 2016 winners. (Courtesy of DGA, Gateway, Innova, Legacy, Prodigy, and Vibram)

Get Your Unity Discs While You Still Can

For the first time in recent history, manufacturers have agreed to put their competitors' names on their own discs, uniting their efforts to raise as much money as possible for this amazing organization. They all know how important this effort is.

DGA, Gateway Disc Sports, Innova Disc Golf, Legacy Discs, Prodigy Disc, and Vibram Disc Golf have all teamed up to produce rare runs on premium plastics available online for $20 each. Full set’s for $120. Get them while they last!

For tournament info:
John Heaton #4409
Event Chair

For sponsorship info:
Annabelle Udo-O'Malley #70843
Sr. Regional Event Specialist / St. Jude

For silent auction info:
Leonard Muise #3974
Silent Auction / In-kind Chair


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