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Tourny or not to Tourny


Wish
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It's winter (well for some)

 

So this past season was the first time since 2011 (when ZO from 2010 helped me suck a lot) I did not attend a tournament.

 

Reason for this past season was my back. While not horrible and I could ski fine, mornings were tough. I did not take a single set before 11:00 when my back was ok enough. To often morning sets were required in most tournaments. So did not sign up.

 

Surprisingly I only missed the people namely those from Lake38, Jacksonville, Melburne and a few locals. Didn't really miss the Tourny sets. The reality is I could probably ski with these groups without Tourny hastle, cost and nerves. It also helped to be a sometimes crash test dummy for Danali as an incredibly fun and learning distraction (thank U Adams).

 

On the flip side, tournaments challenge me greatly and I need that, keeps me practicing so I don't suck, assures I see the fine groups of folks and occupies an otherwise weekend of possible honey does.

 

My back is better. Much better actually. Thank you planking, sleep number bed and anti inflammatories. I've skied as early as 9am without issue.

 

So now what? To Tourny or not to Tourny.....that's my question

 

I have a feeling I'm not alone in this type of decision. Who has or is going through this now or has in the past?. What did you do? Why?. What would make u go back if u retired from tournys? Regrets?

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This doesn't apply directly to you, but just a thought. If everyone continues to treat tournaments as an option that will always be, and go as they come and please, they will not sustain. Again, not directed at you, but we should all support tournaments as much as possible if we want them to remain and sustain.
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So most importantly you have to enjoy your skiing, now tournaments are a true measure of where you are at, and drive most people to improve themselves and it doesn,t have to be your technique or score, dealing with tournament nerves, different drivers, different lake, can help you deal with other situations in your personal life.

Only one person can answer the question you have asked, let us knowwhat you are going to do.

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Interesting question and dilemma. I was/have been in your situation. Did tournaments almost every week-end for 10 years in central Florida. In addition to skiing, became a senior judge and senior driver to "give back to the sport". In 2012, walked away from tournaments....numerous reasons better left unsaid. Have not done a tournament since.

Since walking away, I still ski at the same level and ski as much, if not more, than before...still working to improve and love the sport. Lucky that at 62, am healthy, strong and run decent short line @34 mph.

It has taken me this long to consider doing a tournament again, just to see if I wanted to get back into it. If I did, it would be with a different approach. No driving, no judging and just go to see if I could ski as well as I wanted to ski and enjoy the experience. But being a competitive guy, not sure it would be just for fun! Paid my membership fee last year, but never made a tourney. Paid my fee for 2019 and thinking of trying a tourney or two.

Yeah, the first year or two, I missed it, but now, really enjoy skiing for the joy of skiing and working on improving without being concerned about tournament preparation. No regrets at this point as I have focused on other activities.

What ever you decide, doing what feels right for you is your best path. Best of luck to you what ever you decide....and hope your back stays healthy. Maybe I will see you at a tourney this year.

 

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@jacamp ...meh not really. Just interested if anyone has or has had the same delema. Seems to me there's a ton of skiers that have walked away that could easily be competitive. I know a few in my small circle and one of my buddies runs a club (for the most part) where lots choose to stay away. What's stopped(ing) them? What's gonna bringm back?

 

More of a winter discussion then a personal thing.

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@Wish I'll bite. So for me, I didn't compete for a very long time. Still enjoyed skiing a lot. Personal progress was all that I cared about and I didn't really care if I had a score on the books or not.

 

But a few years ago I got the bug for taking my practice sets and challenging myself to put it down when it mattered. Not just when I felt like going and skiing.

 

As a skier now, I enjoy working hard in practice knowing that I have a tournament coming up. If that tournament goes well, I leave wanting more. If it doesn't, I leave ready to get back to practice to prepare for the next one.

 

I skied 4 different tournaments in June last year and it was the most tournaments I have ever skied in a single month. I got in a groove and my confidence was higher than ever before. That stretch made me want to practice harder, eat right and really dial in on my stuff because I knew I had another "test" coming.

 

So I guess to answer your question, I think competition is healthy for any skier regardless of ability. If you ski poorly at an event, you simply go back to practice and keep working. And if you aren't healthy, you step away and regroup. Reading your first post, it sounds like you have already regrouped. Why not take what you have learned forward?

 

My photography is kind of the same way as my skiing. If an image doesn't come out the way I want it, I regroup, research (practice) and find a way to make it happen. Sometimes I hit it out of the park first try and that's a really good feeling.

 

 

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One of the reasons I got into tournaments was just to go watch other people ski who were better then I. By default, I also met the best people in the world because of it, and now have lifelong friends all over the world who fully influenced the direction and outcome of my life.

 

I really like what @Skid said, and it resonates with my experiences also. But there is so much more to it then what we get out of it personally.

 

If people only go to tournaments to stroke their own ego they are missing out on what a tournament is supposed to be about. The more experienced skiers are a huge resource to others in a number of different ways. Yeah testing yourself provides justification and personal motivation, but its not everything.

 

In recreational competition, you will look up to anyone who can put up a bigger score then you can. Put differently, anyone below you on the ranking list is in admiration of the skill you have on the water. If your scores are not impressive to you, don't think for a second they're not impressive to someone else. That in itself is inspiring to others, and has a greater purpose. Seeing people come off the water and be upset all day long over a score drives me crazy. There are plenty of people out there who would kill to even attempt the opening pass you may have fell on.

 

Right now with the current state of the tournament side of our sport, we really cant afford to loose anymore good people. Each year its getting increasingly difficult with the skeleton crew of those left putting the effort in to host, score and judge and organize a tournament for people to go to.

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Adam, best answer yet and great perspective. Had not thought of anyone lookn up to me... haha. Glad to see this thread continue and hopefully get others perspectives. And thanks for building skis that equate to a fountain of youth without question. Will see how my back shakes out. Keep the thread rolling. I know I'm not the only one.
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I have never been competitive to win anything that I have skied in so that never factored into the equation. I have been out of tournaments for 3 or 4 years due to illness/injury and I miss it. I miss challenging myself but most of all I miss the people. I did hit up one event this year just to hang out.

 

I am working to get back to the point where I can ski again this year. I don't expect it will be back to my previous level but if my body holds up I am going to do my best to ski 2-3 events this coming summer and I am excited about it.

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@wish - glad to hear your back issues are hopefully a thing of the past. Last season was my worst because of knee issues, but surgery & rehab have put those issues behind me.

I skied less tournaments without adequate practice than ever before in my life. Luckily for me. it's the people and the peripheral stuff related to tournament weekends that keep me coming back. Forgive the "off-topic" question, but what led to your back issues, and more importantly - what have you changed in your routine to keep them away?

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@RichardDoane Couple decades of bulged discs. Was doing really well despite them (physical therapy, life style changes) up until the late summer of 2017. Helped my father build a home wall remodeling. Where u build it on the ground and then lean up into place. Stooping over to slam in framing nails did me in. All was well until a few days later. Just getting up out of the water was the worst when skiing. Pretty bad after that for some time until recently. Got back on a prescription anti inflammatory (dislike using drugs for most things so had not gone that rout), sleep number bed reset to a much diff number then what I was used to, planking, and stationary bike. Skiing without pain for the past few months for the first time. Felt weird actually. Of course now that I'm doing better, I ended up with a week or so of crap weather, another week of the flue and now a downed boat waiting on a part that didn't get shipped when it was supposed to. Grrrrrr...
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