Maintaining High Levels of Mental Stamina?

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CaptainKirk
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Maintaining High Levels of Mental Stamina?

Post by CaptainKirk » Sun Mar 01, 2015 8:29 pm

I was just at my first real tournament this weekend (first as a high-scoring captain), and I came out guns ablazing. However, after the first five rounds I began to drop off in performance, and I had a few too many unnecessary negs. I tried the Red Bull trick, but it didn't pick me up at all. I have restless legs, so I'm always bouncing. What else have you guys done to be sharp throughout an 8+ round tournament? I have 2-4 upcoming tournaments that I can't afford to slack in.
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Re: Maintaining High Levels of Mental Stamina?

Post by gettysburg11 » Sun Mar 01, 2015 8:42 pm

Always bring snacks and drinks. I found that out after my first tournament where I was ready to fall asleep by round 10. Now we always bring big bags of stuff to drink and munch on to keep our energy up throughout the day.

And I have the restless leg thing too.
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Re: Maintaining High Levels of Mental Stamina?

Post by Maury Island incident » Sun Mar 01, 2015 8:43 pm

I had some issues with this last year, and I've found that caffeine hurts more than it helps. In fact, I had three negs in the second half of a 5-4 bubble game at HSNCT last year, causing us to blow a lead and miss playoffs, which pretty much swore me off caffeine during tournaments. Drinking a lot of water works a lot better, since it keeps you alert but not hyper. I have brought a water bottle to tournaments this year and had fewer problems with mental fatigue.

Staying mentally alert during the lunch break has also seemed to work, as well as the cliched getting exercise and a good night's sleep.
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Re: Maintaining High Levels of Mental Stamina?

Post by no ice » Sun Mar 01, 2015 8:50 pm

This topic was previously discussed here, and I think the most pertinent advice came from my teammate:
tofutoaster wrote:Have a full breakfast that includes protein. Do not eat junk such as poptarts or doughnuts for breakfast, they will leave you tired in the afternoon. Also, drinking water a week before maximizes hydration during the tournament when you cannot afford time going to the bathroom. Therefore, you make up the water that you won't drink on the tourney day the week before.
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Re: Maintaining High Levels of Mental Stamina?

Post by Cody » Sun Mar 01, 2015 10:24 pm

no ice wrote:
tofutoaster wrote:Also, drinking water a week before maximizes hydration during the tournament when you cannot afford time going to the bathroom. Therefore, you make up the water that you won't drink on the tourney day the week before.
This is still the worst advice on this topic I've seen. Biologically speaking, that's not how water consumption works. More importantly, you can use the bathroom at tournaments!
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Re: Maintaining High Levels of Mental Stamina?

Post by Banned Tiny Toon Adventures Episode » Sun Mar 01, 2015 11:53 pm

Cody wrote:
no ice wrote:
tofutoaster wrote:Also, drinking water a week before maximizes hydration during the tournament when you cannot afford time going to the bathroom. Therefore, you make up the water that you won't drink on the tourney day the week before.
This is still the worst advice on this topic I've seen. Biologically speaking, that's not how water consumption works. More importantly, you can use the bathroom at tournaments!
Are you telling high schoolers to not drink water for a week before the tournament?!?!?
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Re: Maintaining High Levels of Mental Stamina?

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Mon Mar 02, 2015 12:01 am

If you're going to use caffeine or red bull, abstain from it before the tournament for a while. If you use it too much (and I am very guilty of this), it really dulls the effect.
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Re: Maintaining High Levels of Mental Stamina?

Post by schen » Mon Mar 02, 2015 12:31 am

The Man Whose Pharynx Was Bad wrote:
Cody wrote:
no ice wrote:
tofutoaster wrote:Also, drinking water a week before maximizes hydration during the tournament when you cannot afford time going to the bathroom. Therefore, you make up the water that you won't drink on the tourney day the week before.
This is still the worst advice on this topic I've seen. Biologically speaking, that's not how water consumption works. More importantly, you can use the bathroom at tournaments!
Are you telling high schoolers to not drink water for a week before the tournament?!?!?
hi i would just like to say that i think drinking water is really important for mental stamina no matter what time it is

also, i have observed that eating a lot of food at lunch actually makes my afternoon performance drop considerably, if that helps
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Re: Maintaining High Levels of Mental Stamina?

Post by Kilroy Was Here » Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:57 am

Loud music always helped me, and when I was in high school someone always brought a ball that we could throw around to keep our energy up.
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Re: Maintaining High Levels of Mental Stamina?

Post by UlyssesInvictus » Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:59 am

I go on walks between rounds (like through the halls).
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Re: Maintaining High Levels of Mental Stamina?

Post by remake20 » Tue Mar 03, 2015 12:26 am

Taking the advice given in the last thread, I've found the water/walking/exercise between rounds seems to help, though the biggest impact is just a good night's sleep and breakfast. I tried the almost dangerous levels of caffeine and it had so little effect it was almost laughable and I don't even consume that much caffeine anyway.
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Re: Maintaining High Levels of Mental Stamina?

Post by heterodyne » Tue Mar 03, 2015 12:49 am

I try to snack if possible throughout the day to keep myself from eating a ton at lunch. I have a firm belief that pastry ring consumption helped our team significantly at PACE last year.
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Re: Maintaining High Levels of Mental Stamina?

Post by AKKOLADE » Tue Mar 03, 2015 6:01 am

please drink water, my god
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Re: Maintaining High Levels of Mental Stamina?

Post by AKKOLADE » Tue Mar 03, 2015 6:01 am

like, go drink water right now.

don't drink water for a week, holy hell
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Re: Maintaining High Levels of Mental Stamina?

Post by AKKOLADE » Tue Mar 03, 2015 6:17 am

Okay, now that I'm no longer put off by terrible advice. Here's some advice I have from just personal experience*.

1) Seriously, drink water. Yes, you can drink other liquids, but just as a life-long piece of advice: drink water. Being fat sucks, don't get fat, don't drink soda etc. very often so you won't get fat. If you really need flavor, drink unsweet tea.

2) Sleep. When you're younger, you bounce back from this easier (if I get less than six hours I'm basically just BRUH all day), but a good night's sleep is really important to functioning. SCIENCE says teenagers need 8.5 to 9.5 hours of sleep a night. You (royal you) probably aren't getting that. GO GET THAT

2a) Also, when you're older, you'll look back at the times you skipped sleep and think you were basically the biggest idiot ever. Sleep is the best.

3) Exercise regularly. If you need a spike in activity, doing something like what Collin said and tossing a ball around (without nailing anyone in the head or whatever) or walking or jumping jacks or whatever can help out with this.

4) Eat breakfast. Don't be dumb. You don't function as well if you're hungry. Don't be hungry so you won't be dumb!

This article may overstate things a bit, but its advice does seem to be spot on.

*I am not a medical professional (yet). This is not medical advice. If you need medical advice, go see a physician or other qualified health care provider (might I mention that pharmacists can get you pointed in the right direction?) and stop posting on the Internet.
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Re: Maintaining High Levels of Mental Stamina?

Post by The Stately Rhododendron » Tue Mar 03, 2015 6:15 pm

Core workouts, as those who saw me at NASAT can attest.
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Re: Maintaining High Levels of Mental Stamina?

Post by Lo, a momentary rabbit-stage » Tue Mar 03, 2015 11:52 pm

While it would be nice to get 9 hours of sleep and exercise between every round, I don't know how feasible that always is.

For me, and at least a couple other people I know, it's pretty hard to get more than 6 hours of sleep the night before a quizbowl tournament. I just get too hyped, and my body naturally wakes up 4-6 hours after I go to sleep, completely unable to calm down. (Seriously, it sucks. I go to sleep at 10 proud of myself for having the chance to get a full night's rest, and then I wake up and I'm like "AH, RISE AND SHINE!" and it's 2:30 AM and everything is horrible.)

Caffeine is helpful for me, but I wouldn't recommend it in huge, instantaneous doses. I bring a fair amount of black tea and dark chocolate (which may or may not have caffeine in it, actually) and just work on that throughout the day, as well as lots of water, and that seems to do the trick. Not eating a huge lunch is also really helpful. The most helpful thing is kind of unrelated and has been previously stated, but paying attention on bonuses even if you're completely out of your element on them and forming possible answers in your head while listening to all tossups helps you stay alert and with it. I'm the epitome of a fourth scorer, so my contribution on bonuses is usually just nodding my head dumbly to whatever seems the most likely, but it still helps. If you get in that mindset of "There's only one or two or four tossups I have a chance of answering this round, so I may as well tune out the rest", you're going to crash quickly.

But yeah, by all means if you can employ the whole exercise + tons of sleep method. Real alertness > caffeine alertness any day, but if you can't manage it try the other stuff.
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Re: Maintaining High Levels of Mental Stamina?

Post by acrosby1861 » Mon Mar 09, 2015 10:49 pm

I find that walking around in the halls in between rounds helps a LOT, especially when you're antsy like me. Also, try to relax and get some sleep the night before. This helps, too.
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