You have spent the past weekends and some weekdays tirelessly training for your next obstacle course competition. You learned the best way to attack the wall, decided whether you are going to flip over the cargo net (or not), and learned to keep your momentum through the ladder bars.
You have bumps and bruises strategically placed on the inside of the arm, on the back of your leg, and of course a scuff or two on the front of the shin right? Don't worry, a bruise is considered a cost-free accessory for the physique round so you will fit right in. Other than your bruises, you feel pretty well prepared ... but are you ready for gameday?
What Is Game Day?
Game day is the day of any competition, be it a bodybuilding, fitness, or in this case obstacle course competition. This is the opportunity to put your skills on the line and see where you rank among fellow competitors and peers.
This is a big day, and like any test day you want to be prepared to ensure optimum results and finish saying "I did my best." To achieve this you must prepare for the following phases: Before take off, Upon Arrival and Game Day.
As an Obstacle Course Champion, I learned that strategy and planning are key on and off the course. These three areas will help you perform at your optimum level, avoid excessive stress and help you to enjoy yourself along the way.
This begins ultimately when you decide to compete in a competition, and you start your travel, hotel and requested time off arrangements. This may be the most crucial time.
Add An Extra Travel Day
This allows for rest and travel ease. This also removes you from your day-to-day activities early to alleviate any excessive hassle. This is not realistic for everyone but if you have the opportunity take it. This will also allow time to adjust to the contest environment before other competitors arrive.
Review All Itinerary
This includes airline departure/arrival time, competition schedule and hotel check-in and check-out times, venue, airport shuttle service and distance from airport to hotel. Pack all schedules, tickets, contest registration forms, fees and lists in special folder and place in your carry-on luggage.
Get hotel location and cell phone numbers of coach, trainer and teammates before you leave home. Contest anxiety can cause you to confuse even your home number.
Call ahead of time or look at hotel Website to check hotel amenities. No need to drag a microwave if the hotel restaurant will warm your food up for you.
Pack & Inventory
Pack all necessary items 2 days before departure. This allows time for laundering, dry cleaning and last-minute purchases. Remember to check all of the equipment and items you use during practice and rehearsals.
Complete an inventory list as you pack so items can be easily accessed during competitions. It is easy to allow nerves to let you think you forgot something. The list will reassure you and ease anxiety attacks.
Also pack an additional bag to carry items that will need to go to the actual site of the competition. Place all competition suits, shoes, and competition music. These are the hardest to replace if luggage arrival is delayed.
Okay, now you are here! Follow these tips to make sure you are ready for the competition.
Enjoy The View
Take in all of the sites on your path from the airport or train station to your hotel. Take special notice of supermarkets, stores and a place to celebrate your competition upon completion.
Call family and loved ones and let them know you arrived safe and sound. They may be just the voice you need to soothe those jitters.
All necessary items should be in your special pre-packed folder. Arrive to registration on time which is at least 10 minutes before scheduled start time. This will avoid long lines for weigh-in and allow you to ask any questions and hear the questions of others.
Be sure to note course and routine practice time, transportation to course and competition time and length of time to practice. Registration is also prime time to see your fellow competitors, teammates and friends. You will want to chat so you can get it all out of the system in order to focus on Game Day.
If you are lucky the walk through is the day before. Run hard just as if it were practice right? WRONG! Even if it is the day before you don't want to unnecessarily wear yourself out. Familiarize yourself with the course and competition stage.
If there is an obstacle or floor you have never practiced on by all means go for it. However, this is not the time to: mimic the gal who just flipped over the net, hurdle when you have practiced the dive roll or to change a routine just because someone uses your song.
Use this time to see the differences and similarities to what you practiced. Take a moment to mentally adjust and move on.
Get two wake ups 15 minutes apart (better to be safe than sorry). Get in the bed even if you are not sleepy. Use visualization or journaling to ease your nerves and relax your mind. You are more prepared at this point than you think.
Game day has arrived! Your preparation is paying off. Now finish the job you came to accomplish.
Start your day with a cleansing inhalation and exhalation and long stretch while still in bed. Make it slow and controlled. If you practice Yoga or Pilates then go through some of the invigorating postures and movements to get the blood flowing.
Make your claim to your creator and/or speak or write out your goals "To complete the course," "To present well in Physique Round," "To walk away as the Champion." Stake your claim and make it happen!
Have what you would normally eat during hard practice days. You need energy to complete the course so feed the machine. Don't be fearful of the physique round. If you follow a smart plan you will not ruin it with a smart breakfast. Think of the items that make you feel energized and light and enjoy.
Go to the competition site at the earliest possible time. Stake out reasonable space for you to feel comfortable during waiting time. Avoid high traffic areas and spots close to food vendors.
This is your time. Bring headphones, a book and sunglasses, whatever it takes to keep your energy positive and on you. This is not the time to ask for training ideas or give training techniques. Your coach, teammates, and training partners have done their part.
It is now up to you to make it happen. Use this time to visualize yourself at the starting line, moving instantaneously with the sound of the gun, attacking every obstacle with precision and finishing with the ability to say "I did my best."
Ready, Set, Go!
This is what you have been waiting for. Approach the line with confidence, positive self talk and make it happen. Acknowledge your opponent, take your mark and explode.