Please 2021, show us the best you got!

Hello again! The 2021 season has started and it has already offered some incredible highlights and tightly contested match ups. Disc Golf Pro Tour Elite Series is now five events old, and we have seen the always reliable Sockibomb dominate and Eagle conquer a couple of those tournaments. Some new comers like Casey White have shown us their convincing skill sets and we are sure that they are up there to stay. In FPO Kona Star Panis sits third in standings, while Catrina Allen and Paige Pierce have first and second place. We are so happy that disc golf events are running over the seas, but we are even more stoked to see our top notch European players compete with each other all around Europe. We just saw the most incredible start for this season at Tali. Hot round from the chase card by Lauri Lehtinen to get even with Väinö Mäkelä, and of course the season opening was settled with sudden death. At Tampere disc golf center we saw Lauri Lehtinen kinda dominating the field with the course record again, obviously. Turku, the third stop of the Pro Tour, offered a new course record from Seppo Paju, but Väinö mäkelä was able to win it all with one stroke after three rounds! Of course the future stars are made in smaller disc golf events, so to get those started also would be crucial for the sport and for all disc golf related businesses. 

Still, our priority is our NBDG disc golf team. A lot of work has been done by the team. Last year or so, everyone has had some uncertainties about the future considering the disc golf season and so has our team. It has not slowed them down. They still put the work in over the off-season and we could not be more pleased about that. Some of them had some struggles to find the motivation and some of them had injuries. They found a way to overcome those difficulties and now they are back on track!  We contacted them about their off season training, the results of it and the expectations about the 2021 season.

How is it going for Team NBDG?

Jørn Idar Kvig

How are you?

I am doing okey things considered, but not going to lie; the covid restrictions makes it hard to stay positive and motivated. Tournaments are cancelling and as we are not even allowed to have weeklies, trying to look forward to something is tough.”

How did your off-season training go?

The off season went okay, mostly consisting of late night training sessions on football fields and snowy putting sessions. Had a few goals set before the off-season, and felt they were completed about 85%”

Please walk us through your weekly training schedule.

Weekly training schedule is minimum 5 hours training, pre-planned if possible to be efficient. It has to be pre-planned, with a full time job, family and side hustle all at once. Minimum 2 hours are for technique backhand / forehand, 1 hour physical and then 2 hours on putt and approach. With a basket outside our house, I like to take a quick 15 minute putting session, which adds up to an extra hour here and there.”

Which part of your game you focused on the most during the off season?

I have been focusing mostly on my backhand technique this off season, only throwing putters and midrange to not think about the distance. This was a lesson from my 2019-2020 off season where that was also a focus, but quickly became a focus on distance. That did not give much result, but going with slower speed discs makes me focus better on technique.”

Are you happy with the results from off season training?

I am happy, I feel like I have gained distance and improved my form to something that is more energy efficient and is not making too much stress on my body. “

Strongest part of your game at the moment?

My strongest part of the game at the moment is my usual strength, the short game. I spend a lot of time on my approach shots from 20-60 meters, which gives me confidence.”

What do you consider the weakest part of your game?

My weakest part of the game is no doubt my mental game. Due to the uncertainty of covid both for my professional and private game, my mental game has suffered a lot. Both in terms of my confidence and not being able to play and practice my shots, but also in my focus, always being afraid that "something" can happen.”

Name a few events you are most excited about this upcoming season. 

I really look forward to playing the Norwegian Championship, which will be held at Hamar. This was the venue for my very first championship back in 2017, and I can't wait to challenge the holes there now with 4 years of practice and dedication behind me.”

Have you set any goals for this season? What are they? 

I had plenty of goals set, but I have decided for my mental well being to put them away. It is more important to feel that I am having fun on the course, without the pressure of having to reach goals. So my goal I guess, is to become a happier disc golfer under this pandemic.”

Please tell us how you feel about your game and this season in general.

All in all I do not feel my game is as good as I want it to be, but I feel like the hundreds of practicing hours I have each year gives me a great foundation to be able to quickly improve when the time comes. The 2021 season looks to become pretty much the same as the 2020 season, so let's just get going and see if we land OB or inbounds by the end of the year.”

Steffen Rise Andersen 

How are you?

“I'm doing good, beside my injury, working in Danish disc golf association and local clubs while healing.”

How did your off-season training go?

It went well, I started to get better and felt like this would be a good year, putting in my basement from 9 m gave me confidence in my putting. Sadly I got an injury in my back, and it got worse, no time limit on it.”

Please walk us through your weekly training schedule.

“At the moment, a lot of calm back training, also I have to make 10 putts every time I go to my basement. That is approximately 5 times a day I go there. Playing putt and approach course with putters and fuse only.”

Which part of your game you focused on the most during the off season?

“Putting and also plain distance, but at the moment my distance training is on hold because of the injury.”

Are you happy with the results from off season training?

Yes, I got about 10 meters more on my drives, and my success rate on putting went up a lot.”

Strongest part of your game at the moment?

Putting. That is the biggest strength for me as a player.”

What do you consider the weakest part of your game?

“My mental game is the part that needs the most work still.”

Name a few events you are most excited about this upcoming season. 

“Getting back to the course and playing for the love of disc golf.”

Have you set any goals for this season? What are they? 

“One goal, to have fun. If you look too much at specific goals, many times you forget the fun.”

Please tell us how you feel about your game and this season in general.

“I felt great before the injury. The bag is now settled and my mental game is getting stronger so now it is just time to get the injury away.”

Antonia Faber 

How are you?

“Hi there, I am great, thanks. “

How did your off-season training go?

“My off-season was really slow. Due to my elbow injury, I did not throw any discs in about three months. So my main focus laid on yoga.“ 

Please walk us through your weekly training schedule.

“My training schedule is a little bit depending on my tournament schedule. 

Since almost all tournaments that I was planning on playing until the end of June have already been canceled, my training schedule is not on a high level right now.

And as many others, I have to balance my training with a full-time job and my family. So training is sometimes also depending on the mood of my kids and if they will go practice with me.

I definitely try to fit in yoga at least 2 times a week and also some skating.

Now that it is not too cold and we still have light in the evening, I do practice putting in my backyard after work. 

My husband and I (and sometimes also the kids) go to do some field work about once a week as well. Just try to throw some specific lines out on a field or even in the woods.”

Which part of your game you focused on the most during the off season?

“I guess that would be putting. I think this is also a strong part of my game. 

Aside from putting, I strongly believe that core training and yoga will help the game the most. More so, than going to a course where you have played hundreds of times and just play another round.”

Are you happy with the results from off season training?

“Since I was struggling with an injury at the end of last year, I took a long time off. So I just started to get my training going. But, since all tournaments that I was planning on playing this spring and early summer have been canceled or postponed, I am still in a good mood. I guess I will be ready, once tournaments are back.”   

Strongest part of your game at the moment?

“The strong part of my game has always been putting and mental game. Stick with the putting routine and believe in yourself.“

What do you consider the weakest part of your game?

“I guess that depends on the day. Sometimes it is the distance (then it feels like I can't get the discs to start flying), other times my approach game is off. But I feel like it is normal, that not everything works perfect all the time. I mean, disc golf is just my passion and not my job. I don't get to practice many hours a day.” 

Name a few events you are most excited about this upcoming season. 

“Well I was excited for all Euro Tour Events, the European Open and the European Championships. Due to work, I will not be able to play Tyyni, which is the only Euro Tour Event not canceled or postponed of those that I was planning on playing. So right now, I am hoping to get to play at least one international tournament this year.” 

Have you set any goals for this season? What are they? 

“Not really. Of course, I would like to earn my 5th German title, but regarding how the year started so far, I have not set any namable goals, yet.”

Please tell us how you feel about your game and this season in general.

“Right now, I can't really say anything about my game. I know that playing for fun and tournament games might be totally different for me. This in mind, there have been no tournaments allowed in Germany so far. So I have nothing to relate my game to. 

But I will keep practicing and working out and hope to be in good form when we get to play again.”

As it shows, a lot of work has been done to get the game where they want it to be. Some bad breaks like injuries have been suffered and the goals of the season have changed. We are hoping all the best for our MVP:s on their personal and disc golf life. Let's hope that 2021 gives us some juice instead of lemons. 

Writer: Pyry Sinisalo

English
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