How to build "stamina"

This forum is for discussing tournament formats, question styles, strategy, and such.
Post Reply
Scone
Lulu
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 1:37 pm

How to build "stamina"

Post by Scone »

I recently had the opportunity to play in MN state (congrats Wayzata A), which was a 12 team round robin with 6 games in the morning and 5 games in the afternoon. While that might not seem out of the ordinary, I'm used to only playing stretches of about 3-4 games and having a break afterward. So, I found the experience very exhausting, and I played awfully for many of my rounds. I simply didn't have the intellectual stamina to play that many rounds back-to-back.

I think that one possible contributor was my food consumption, more namely my lack of it. I forgot to bring any snacks, and at the end of the morning rounds I felt stomach pains - after pizza, though, I felt great.

To extend the question more generally, what are some tricks for maintaining focus for prolonged game time, and what can I do to prepare for similar events in the future?
Samir Sarma
Eden Prairie High School
Class of 2022

User avatar
connor.mayers
Wakka
Posts: 101
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:48 pm
Location: Lancaster, PA
Contact:

Re: How to build "stamina"

Post by connor.mayers »

Staying well-hydrated and well fed are the two most important things IMO. I always bring lots of water and snacks to munch on throughout the day to tournaments. Make sure not to over stuff yourself though, which can lead to fatigue.

A good night's sleep is always helpful, I try to always go to bed by at least 10 or 11 the night before a tournament and will sometimes nap on the way there as well to make sure I'm well rested.

Some quiz bowlers, myself included, have benefit from stimulants such as caffeine, but that certainly won't work for everyone.

At the end of the day, you are always going to be tired. Quiz bowl is hard and taxing work! But doing these things more and more often will help and get your body used to the rigor that a quiz bowl Saturday entails.
Connor Mayers
Penn Manor '20
Millersville (dual enrollment) '20

User avatar
The Stately Rhododendron
Rikku
Posts: 456
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 7:18 pm
Location: Heart's in the woods

Re: How to build "stamina"

Post by The Stately Rhododendron »

physical activity such as push-ups, core exercises, and runs during lunch break will do you just fine.
IKD
Yale 18
Oakland Mills 14
"I am the NAQT beast I worship."

User avatar
Jangar
Lulu
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:31 am

Re: How to build "stamina"

Post by Jangar »

On the note of lunch in terms of energy, the content of lunch can also be quite important. Many players (myself included) find that ingesting a lot of carbohydrates or sugars, or large quantities of food in general, can lead to sleepiness and fatigue in the afternoon. I know of some teams who will collectively pack lunches for tournaments in order to avoid having to eat at bread-heavy restaurants like Subway for lunch, and it seems to work quite well for them. It would appear that protein- and fiber-rich meals are most conducive to preventing the post-lunch slump, although there's only so much of a team's performance that can be attributed to their nutrition.

Also, as with most things, quizbowl stamina can usually be gained by practice. Although it's very rarely feasible to run a whole-day practice at which the experience of playing quizbowl for nine hours straight can be simulated, just going to more tournaments and trying your best to stay active and alert at each one will definitely help you down the road.
Angus Maske
Paul Laurence Dunbar HS '19
Stanford '23

whatamidoinghere
Lulu
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:07 pm

Re: How to build "stamina"

Post by whatamidoinghere »

Going off of diet advice, I have seen that a breakfast with more fats and protein would last me longer in the morning than a sugary cereal breakfast. In addition, eat something like cheese or a snack with protein and fat in order to keep the energy much more long-lasting compared to carbs and sugars
Avinash Iyer
Mission San Jose '21
A person on either Team Escobar, Escobar, MSJ, Mission SJ, or Mission San Jose
"Franklin the Turtle"- Karan Gurazada, Josh Rollin, and the rest of 10ppgcorner
"You're only as good as your last haircut"

Scone
Lulu
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 1:37 pm

Re: How to build "stamina"

Post by Scone »

What would be a good thing to bring for lunch that's high in protein and fiber? I'm not that skilled in preparation nor nutrition.
Samir Sarma
Eden Prairie High School
Class of 2022

User avatar
Jangar
Lulu
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:31 am

Re: How to build "stamina"

Post by Jangar »

Scone wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:11 pm
What would be a good thing to bring for lunch that's high in protein and fiber? I'm not that skilled in preparation nor nutrition.
This can be a little hard to work around for lunch since many meals rely on carbs as a base (such as sandwiches), but I've seen instances of players bringing thermoses of soup (such as chili, which has a lot of protein due to meat and beans), although this is probably a little bit cumbersome to bring around. For what it's worth, I've also seen somebody eat strips of steak straight out of a plastic bag. To each their own, I guess.

Snacks and breakfast are easier to work with. You can bring some vegetables in a bag to snack on, or one of those snack packets that has containers of cheese, meat, and nuts, all of which contain a solid amount of fats or protein. For breakfast, eggs are always a good option for a lot of protein.

Of course, all of this should be viewed through the lens of one's own personal dietary restrictions, and there are plenty of options that omit meat or animal-based foods.
Angus Maske
Paul Laurence Dunbar HS '19
Stanford '23

Subotai the Valiant, Final Dog of War
Lulu
Posts: 91
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 6:12 pm

Re: How to build "stamina"

Post by Subotai the Valiant, Final Dog of War »

As usual, I have methods opposite to everyone else...but I might as well post about them.

I usually consume an insane amount of sugar through candy and sweet coffee drinks, and I rarely run out of gas unless I'm recovering from a concussion, don't get enough sleep to begin with, or am playing the final afternoon of NHBB nationals (which is especially exhausting for me since I play literally every history and geography event and make deep playoff runs in most of them and is not indicative of what 99% of people will deal with in 99% of tournaments). It's worked for a while.

I suppose you do crash from eating sugar, but not if you're eating more sugar during the crash.
Daniel, Hunter College High School '19, Yale '23

Scone
Lulu
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 1:37 pm

Re: How to build "stamina"

Post by Scone »

As usual, I have methods opposite to everyone else...but I might as well post about them.

I usually consume an insane amount of sugar through candy and sweet coffee drinks, and I rarely run out of gas unless I'm recovering from a concussion, don't get enough sleep to begin with, or am playing the final afternoon of NHBB nationals (which is especially exhausting for me since I play literally every history and geography event and make deep playoff runs in most of them and is not indicative of what 99% of people will deal with in 99% of tournaments). It's worked for a while.

I suppose you do crash from eating sugar, but not if you're eating more sugar during the crash.
This makes me wonder how many other quizbowlers rely on sugar crunching in order to get them throughout tournaments, and how sustainable that is long-term.
Samir Sarma
Eden Prairie High School
Class of 2022

iarehavethestupid
Lulu
Posts: 65
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2018 8:49 pm

Re: How to build "stamina"

Post by iarehavethestupid »

Scone wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:49 am
As usual, I have methods opposite to everyone else...but I might as well post about them.

I usually consume an insane amount of sugar through candy and sweet coffee drinks, and I rarely run out of gas unless I'm recovering from a concussion, don't get enough sleep to begin with, or am playing the final afternoon of NHBB nationals (which is especially exhausting for me since I play literally every history and geography event and make deep playoff runs in most of them and is not indicative of what 99% of people will deal with in 99% of tournaments). It's worked for a while.

I suppose you do crash from eating sugar, but not if you're eating more sugar during the crash.
This makes me wonder how many other quizbowlers rely on sugar crunching in order to get them throughout tournaments, and how sustainable that is long-term.
As someone who has drunken 5 cans of Coke at lunch during a tourney, it doesn't work.
Ethan Xu
Liberty Middle School 2017-2019
James Clemens High School 2020-2023
2019 ASCA MS State Champion

Subotai the Valiant, Final Dog of War
Lulu
Posts: 91
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 6:12 pm

Re: How to build "stamina"

Post by Subotai the Valiant, Final Dog of War »

Well yeah...that means you probably had a huge crash a few rounds later. Eating small amounts of sugar over time works a lot better than eating a huge amount at once. And I don't go too crazy with it, which might be why it works for me better than other people have said.

Regarding whether it's sustainable health-wise, I only eat an actually problematic amount of sugar at nats, which don't happen often, and if anything, the stress of playing nats is significantly worse for my health than whatever results from the sugar.
Daniel, Hunter College High School '19, Yale '23

User avatar
The Ununtiable Twine
Auron
Posts: 1000
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2007 11:09 pm
Location: Lafayette, LA

Re: How to build "stamina"

Post by The Ununtiable Twine »

I often take a power nap during lunch. A nap combined with a Dr Pepper and/or some Skittles works wonders. Players often think of the lunch break as a time to eat and chat, but if you think you'll be playing past, say, 6PM, you may be better off taking a nap and snacking at lunch.
Jake Sundberg
Louisiana '04-'10, '14-'16, '18-'xx
Alabama '10-14
President, University of Louisiana at Lafayette Club for Academic Competition

User avatar
meebles127
Lulu
Posts: 29
Joined: Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:27 am
Location: Salem, Virginia
Contact:

Re: How to build "stamina"

Post by meebles127 »

One thing I've found particularly helpful is abstaining from caffeine until after lunch. Normally around round 6 or 7 I'll drink a caffeinated pop and it'll be enough to get me through the rest of the tournament.
Emily Gunter

Salem High School (Salem, Virginia) '21
Captain 2018-Present

Author of: My Guide to High School Outreach and So You Want to Buy a Buzzer System

"It's by Dali, it has the creepy clocks, but I can't remember its name!"

jnelson
Kimahri
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue May 16, 2017 11:01 am

Re: How to build "stamina"

Post by jnelson »

The best things you can do are eat a good breakfast and bring solid snacks (trail mix, granola, those cheese/nut/jerky packets someone mentioned earlier).

When it comes to lunch, just try to eat only til you're satisfied. A lot of teams make the mistake of not eating breakfast or snacking, so when lunch arrives, they're starving and they overload on carbs.

All in all, try a few different things and see what works for you.
Jeremy Nelson
Marist High School (IL) '05
Alcorn State University '09
University of Illinois '12

User avatar
Bloomington
Lulu
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2019 4:31 pm

Re: How to build "stamina"

Post by Bloomington »

At the Barrington invitational, my team brought some donuts on the ride there, and some light snacks, but we didn't eat much. After the first five rounds, we all ate some pizza, and we felt a lot better afterward. But we never really felt that hungry.
Soren Gjesfjeld

Player, Bloomington junior high school 2017-2020.
2020 FMS Invitational champions

Scone
Lulu
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 1:37 pm

Re: How to build "stamina"

Post by Scone »

I'm going to post to this thread once again because on November 2nd at the Mounds View Invitational, instead of ordering pizza, I brought black bean chili and an apple for lunch. Having that meal, combined with toast and cottage cheese for breakfast, meant that I felt great during playoffs—better than I had ever felt at a tournament.
Samir Sarma
Eden Prairie High School
Class of 2022

sho16
Kimahri
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:37 pm

Re: How to build "stamina"

Post by sho16 »

I always try to have the most sugary drink at Starbucks for lunch. If I don't, I literally almost start falling asleep during a later round.
Shohom Chakraborty
Winston Churchill Middle School 2016-2018
Mira Loma High School 2019-2023

User avatar
dpeelen
Kimahri
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:43 pm
Contact:

Re: How to build "stamina"

Post by dpeelen »

I'm pretty late to this but I figured it wouldn't hurt to reply here. I'm a freshman currently and I've found it very beneficial to just be constantly thinking between matches, before and after matches and at lunches. I usually talk to my teammates about our performances and comments about it. Personally, I get super excited during matches so adrenaline really helps. Connor mentioned food and water, and food is good (especially breakfast), but the water I think is good because in my first tournament I didn't bring water and it was drained. So water is vital, but food is good. Lastly, sleep is great to have. Personally, as long as you don't anything dumb like watch Netflix until 2 am you should be good. I go to bed around 9 or 10 and get like 8 or 9 hours of sleep, which is good for me. Overall, it just good nutrition and sleep is the best way to conquer fatigue or tiredness.

-Danny
-Danny Peelen
CCHS '23

Scone
Lulu
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 1:37 pm

Re: How to build "stamina"

Post by Scone »

dpeelen wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:38 pm
I'm a freshman currently and I've found it very beneficial to just be constantly thinking between matches, before and after matches and at lunches. I usually talk to my teammates about our performances and comments about it.
This is interesting to me, since my intuition would tell me that I should be taking breaks more often than thinking. Currently, I think I side with my intuition. This is tangentially related, but one thing that I've found that tires me out is when I overthink questions during matchups where, really, we should have an easy time winning. Negging against an "easy" team really drains my confidence as well as my energy, so I've been trying to avoid that so that I can save my energy for important matchups. As for between matches, though, I suppose it could be helpful to review some flashcards or Wikipedia stuff.
Samir Sarma
Eden Prairie High School
Class of 2022

User avatar
dpeelen
Kimahri
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:43 pm
Contact:

Re: How to build "stamina"

Post by dpeelen »

Scone wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:04 am
dpeelen wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:38 pm
I'm a freshman currently and I've found it very beneficial to just be constantly thinking between matches, before and after matches and at lunches. I usually talk to my teammates about our performances and comments about it.
This is interesting to me since my intuition would tell me that I should be taking breaks more often than thinking. Currently, I think I side with my intuition. This is tangentially related, but one thing that I've found that tires me out is when I overthink questions during matchups where, really, we should have an easy time winning. Negging against an "easy" team really drains my confidence as well as my energy, so I've been trying to avoid that so that I can save my energy for important matchups. As for between matches, though, I suppose it could be helpful to review some flashcards or Wikipedia stuff.
It is interesting indeed since usually talking about the previous round I had played often for two reasons: to improve for the future and to keep my same energy. I find myself often get super excited (like SUPER excited) for quiz bowl so it might be that I have lots of energy to spare, but I don't want to stop the gears in my brain. It is kind of a personal thing and is probably not a good thing for some people since it "drains energy" for them, but it works for me.

You also bring up overthinking and playing "easy" teams. As a freshman, "easy" teams come more regularly since I am often on JV. Truth be told is that as long as you don't really choke and just play like you normally do, you should be able to beat the team. I usually like to say that fear is the mind-killer, I tend not to think about negging since I, and I am willing to bet that you as well, get plenty of buzzes in a game. Usually, I stay cautious on the next question if I negged the previous question to counter a neg snowball. I think overthinking your performance really hurts for that note as well. At the end of every game, I usually feel good about my performance, often taking the negs as opportunities. As for overthinking, it happens to the best of us. I notice that when I overthink on an answer, I tend to be correct on the question I was overthinking if you're able to overcome that fear or at least do something to lessen its effect on your performance, you can do so much more. I don't have much else to say. :)
-Danny Peelen
CCHS '23

hokie168
Lulu
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 11:20 pm

Re: How to build "stamina"

Post by hokie168 »

I posted this in the Collegiate Discussion section about how to stay focused during long tournaments like ACF Nats.

There's really no secret shortcut to building stamina. It's more useful to just keep a healthier lifestyle, which would help with your schoolwork as well. My advice would be:
1. Get sufficient sleep, preferably 8 hours nightly, for several days before the tournament.
2. Eat a reasonably healthy diet.
3. Get sufficient exercise. 45-60 minutes 3 times a week is probably enough to avoid being horribly out of shape.

After that, adjustments can help but are pretty marginal. The one thing that I did for ICT and Nats was to have a large dinner the night before, then have a small breakfast and a very light lunch on days with games. Having a little food means you won't be distracted by hunger, but you also won't end up being a beached whale in the afternoon because you ate an entire pizza for lunch. That said, ICT, Nats, and CO are tiring for pretty much everybody even if they're in shape. Concentrating for that long is hard.
Dennis Loo
Former coach at TJ and IMSA
Former player at UVA and Virginia Tech

Post Reply