Practice with a Purpose

Last night was a small group, but a very solid night of tag and from the start it felt more purposeful to me than the average Saturday night. With the Philly tournament in mind Joe and I worked on "self-imposed" rules to follow to simulate tournament play as best we could in our arena that is really not set up for that. He had some friends there and the public players came in and out of games all night, but regardless of what anyone else did, for at least the first half of the evening we worked on shot rationing, proper base evacuation and walking through what would be reload stations (and once upon a time were reload stations in this arena, but haven't been used as such for many years) to simulate some of the things that will apply in the tournament, but don't generally apply to us any other time we play here.

Now, here's something I didn't know about myself...apparently when in the heat of battle I lack the ability to count quietly to myself in my head! To simulate the energy loss of taking shots and taking hits we just estimated that if for each you count up to 60 when either occurred you would know about what the equivalent power supply would equate to before a reload was necessary...and then we'd just walk through the place where the reload ought to be considering we were never really depleted of power. I thought this would be a good exercise to get accustomed to how much energy we are actually expending, because when it doesn't count I just shoot at everything (I've always cared more about score than accuracy). So I could feel this was making me more aware and breaking me of my normal habit. However, the point is I found myself unable to count in my head. For every shot I was muttering the number to myself under my breath, but you know how it is to play actively and more often than not I would tag someone out while simultaneously saying aloud "17!" Smile...just my funny observation.

From the way he was playing last night I know that Joe was a smart addition to the team. Most of the games went to him for top score and I was generally next in line. Sometimes I miss the days of feeling like queen of that arena (he has successfully taken me down a notch by bringing the level of play up a notch), but I respect that this just means a higher bar has been set. Dan said something last night (don't remember what) that made me reply with "I can hold my own against Joe" to which Dan answered "You can?" (which I know was inadvertent smack talk with no malice behind it)...but that exchange was enough to make me say "game on"...and count out loud a little bit more ferociously :) But seriously, last night was excellent practice because the games and the competition, small as they were, were good quality all the way around. And I appreciated learning a new tip for implementing the courtesy shot. So, I tip my hat to Bhodi and all the other players for an excellent night of practice with a purpose.

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