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jcpetro97
05-14-2012, 03:25 PM
so.. comp newbie question... Did you all find, that as you got to your first comp, ( or maybe still do ) as you are practicing, that as you get closer to the date, you start feeling a little jumpy about the comp? I am doing my first single-entry event in a few weeks, and all of a sudden, I am feeling like more practice runs are needed....

Which actually brings me to another thought.... when you are doing a run through for a full KCBS comp... how many full practices are you all doing? Just wondering...

Cack
05-14-2012, 03:31 PM
The greatest athletes/competitors will tell you that they still get nervous before every game/competition. It's what you do with the nervous with the game starts that determines how good you'll be.

Parts_Guy
05-14-2012, 03:58 PM
Our 1st comp of the season is next weekend(26-27) and we just had our practice run this past weekend. I feel like throwing up every time I think about the comp. Happens to me every time too...lol.

boogiesnap
05-14-2012, 04:07 PM
some good thoughts on the subject just recently here:

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=131966

fnbish
05-14-2012, 04:08 PM
This is just my 2nd year so I still feel like a noob. While I don't think you can ever have too much practice there comes a point where you just have to trust you know what you are doing/going to do and then do it at the comp.

I haven't done a full practice run in a while as I feel we have the full event timing down. But now we practice different recipes on meats we think need work in flavor/tenderness. For example last week I wanted to work on chicken before the comp I did over the weekend as chicken was by far my worst category. I mean it is just a complete dumpster fire. So I started with a different chicken recipe the Sunday before and cooked it 7 or 8 different times that week tweaking it slightly each time until I got the flavor I wanted. And it paid off as my chicken did much better.

So I now don't want to tweak the chicken anymore and will work on pork next since that needs some changes to flavor.

Capn Kev
05-14-2012, 05:07 PM
A competition is about 75% preparation, and 25% execution. If you've done it enough times, achieved the results you were looking for, and DOCUMENTED how you got there so it's repeatable, then I think you should relax. Make sure you have a detailed schedule posted on your wall during your cook, and it takes away a TON of the anxiety. Just follow the tasks, meet the timelines, and let the judges determine what happens after you turn things in.

jcpetro97
05-14-2012, 08:40 PM
Thanks everyone! Some great feedback, I appreciate it

Sent from my Kindle Fire using Tapatalk 2

BC Squared
05-14-2012, 08:45 PM
Sheesh, just relax and have fun! That's what it should be about, don't get so serious! Be flexible, **** happens!

jcpetro97
05-14-2012, 09:56 PM
Hebe thanks BC. I am a musician as well and typically. I get nervous leading up to a performance. However when it comes to showtime those nervous butterflies are gone and I am all business. I would expect the same thing here.

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Red Valley BBQ
05-14-2012, 09:59 PM
I was a nervous wreck when it came to my first KCBS competition. But the jitters go away for the most part the more seasoned you become. My advice: have the details of the last 60 mins before turn in written down so you can reference it when it comes to crunch time. Having that list will save you from forgetting anything you wanted to do. Stop by for a visit if you have any questions...or just need a cold one to settle the nerves. We will be getting there sometime Friday afternoon and staying until Monday morning.

txschutte
05-14-2012, 10:12 PM
We just did our first comp about ten days ago. I was a nervous wreck.

I had practiced all I could, fretted over details, and just about made it no fun for myself or my team mates.

First, It's BBQ. The same thing you do to relax in your backyard. Have fun while doing it.

Second, work on fundamentals like we did. No DQ's, Turn ins on time, and no DAL's.

Third, enjoy those around you. I met some awesome folks that weekend, all of them willing to give me a tidbit of advice.

We all have lofty goals of being the next contest crusher at BBQ. The jitter and anticipation are just part of it, but it all makes it worth it when you crack a brew at 1:31 on Saturday, and say, "It's all up to the judges now."

Roll with it, have fun, and good luck!

Pelkster
05-15-2012, 07:52 AM
It was one year ago that I was getting ready for my first comp. I did two or three practice cooks to get my timing down, but I was still nervous as all get out. I don't think I slept much the week before the contest. Now as I am gearing up for the first comp of the year (same one I lead off with last year) I'm not really nervous, but I am really excited. Looking forward to seeing a lot of my new friends I met last year. The cook is what it is. Like others have posted, meet your turn ins, stick to your time line, and everything else will fall into place. Trust in yourself and your team to get the job done, and make sure you enjoy the experience. :)

HarleyGirl14226
05-15-2012, 09:30 AM
Just like Keith, we were preparing for our first comp. last year - and we were super nervous. We did multiple practice cooks, with a full run through two weekends before to get our timing down...

Once we got to the site, we were lucky enough to be right next to Sean at Red Valley BBQ who helped us get set up and provided moral support. While it was stressful, they helped us remember it's supposed to be FUN. :-D

Now we're gearing up for the first contest of the season, and I can tell you we're just as nervous/excited as we were last year... I don't think that ever goes away - and maybe if it does it means we're not looking forward to it anymore - so I'm glad we still feel that way.

Stop on by and say Hello in Roc City!

Jeffp
05-15-2012, 09:34 AM
If I dont get the jitters, I'm going to quit doing it because for me it means I'm bored with it. I get nervous the week before and more so on the drive to where ever we are going. Once there though, I get set up see friends and all seems right.

jcpetro97
05-15-2012, 09:49 AM
Just like Keith, we were preparing for our first comp. last year - and we were super nervous. We did multiple practice cooks, with a full run through two weekends before to get our timing down...

Once we got to the site, we were lucky enough to be right next to Sean at Red Valley BBQ who helped us get set up and provided moral support. While it was stressful, they helped us remember it's supposed to be FUN. :-D

Now we're gearing up for the first contest of the season, and I can tell you we're just as nervous/excited as we were last year... I don't think that ever goes away - and maybe if it does it means we're not looking forward to it anymore - so I'm glad we still feel that way.

Stop on by and say Hello in Roc City!

I will definitely do that. I plan on coming down during the KCBS comp on Sunday to walk around, and try to meet some of the folks from this fine message board. I will make a point to come say hello...

MattyB
05-15-2012, 09:53 AM
Especially @ ROC City, take a walk around and chat up some teams. Check out KC and the Smokeshack Band so you know what not to do...(kidding Pelkster!) ROC is a perfect way to get your feet wet. I've heard there's over 100 teams this year, so your odds of DAL are pretty minute. Enjoy your cook, enjoy your time and prepare to become addicted.

Oh, by the way, the preliminary forecast for next Thursday is PERFECT. After last year, we're due for some good weather.

MattyB
05-15-2012, 10:24 AM
Hey JC, when are you planning on getting on site for the ROC? If you're going to be there Friday night, there is a welcome party for all the teams that evening at the beer truck by the stage hosted by us Buckner Brothers (we've been compared to a small village or an army). It's another great way to meet other teams, plus its free pizza and beer. The only people not allowed to the welcome party are Flyers fans, which I have a feeling that everyone is okay with that.

jcpetro97
05-15-2012, 10:39 AM
Hey JC, when are you planning on getting on site for the ROC? If you're going to be there Friday night, there is a welcome party for all the teams that evening at the beer truck by the stage hosted by us Buckner Brothers (we've been compared to a small village or an army). It's another great way to meet other teams, plus its free pizza and beer. The only people not allowed to the welcome party are Flyers fans, which I have a feeling that everyone is okay with that.

Not sure yet Matty... Probably Saturday morning. I only live a couple of miles from the site, so we may get there early Sat morning, around 7am, since we are only doing the rib comp. If I can get away on Friday evening, i may stop down to the welcome party, we'll see. I do plan on coming back Sunday to walk around while the comp is going on, and trying to see if I can get in before the park opens to the public at 11, so I am not walking around too close to turn-in and can talk to a few folks...

jcpetro97
05-15-2012, 10:43 AM
Especially @ ROC City, take a walk around and chat up some teams. Check out KC and the Smokeshack Band so you know what not to do...(kidding Pelkster!) ROC is a perfect way to get your feet wet. I've heard there's over 100 teams this year, so your odds of DAL are pretty minute. Enjoy your cook, enjoy your time and prepare to become addicted.

Oh, by the way, the preliminary forecast for next Thursday is PERFECT. After last year, we're due for some good weather.


Looking forward to it!! I took the Smoke on Wheels class with my manager last year, gonna take the DivaQ class this year. It HAS to be better weather wise than last year. I froze my backside off!!

As far as our goals... It was simple... Have fun, and not finish DAL. Everything else is gravy

Pelkster
05-15-2012, 11:28 AM
Especially @ ROC City, take a walk around and chat up some teams. Check out KC and the Smokeshack Band so you know what not to do...(kidding Pelkster!)

Let's talk about that Friday night as you're buying me a beer :tea:

Pelkster
05-15-2012, 11:33 AM
Hey JC, when are you planning on getting on site for the ROC? If you're going to be there Friday night, there is a welcome party for all the teams that evening at the beer truck by the stage hosted by us Buckner Brothers (we've been compared to a small village or an army). It's another great way to meet other teams, plus its free pizza and beer. The only people not allowed to the welcome party are Flyers fans, which I have a feeling that everyone is okay with that.

Flyers Fans are cool. Everyone else is just jealous :becky:

HarleyGirl14226
05-15-2012, 12:02 PM
Flyers Fans are cool. Everyone else is just jealous :becky:

Jealous that their team is home playing golf right now??? Or that they have to wear Orange? :laugh:

BBQ_Mayor
05-15-2012, 12:22 PM
At my first comp I was a wreck. Slept maybe 45min the whole night. But that was years, years, years, and years ago..:rolleyes:. Now it's second nature traveling, setting things up, prepping, cooking and even clean up but I'd be lying if I said I don't get nervous, jittery or exicited. I love the feeling!
Just have a good time, thats the only thing your guaranteed, everything else is left up to others.
Good Luck!

Pelkster
05-15-2012, 12:27 PM
Jealous that their team is home playing golf right now??? Or that they have to wear Orange? :laugh:

Orange is a cool color. And as far as playing golf...if the :icon_devil's keep playing like they did last night, they won't be far behind on the tee time list.

HarleyGirl14226
05-15-2012, 01:05 PM
Orange is a cool color. And as far as playing golf...if the :icon_devil's keep playing like they did last night, they won't be far behind on the tee time list.

Touché...

didisea
05-15-2012, 05:19 PM
Set realistic goals for your comps. 1st comp should be:
Turn in all meats and on time. No DAL, and have fun.

Second Comp - No blocking and tackling errors, or at least don't make the same mistakes twice. I always have a problem remembering to check the dampers on the smoker when firing it up. Sure enough, I did it in the first comp this year. My dampers were shut, fire wasn't where it needed to be and I got behind. Write those "checks" into the cook plan. Which leads to the next good piece of advice, don't panic.

Third comp - assess your scores from the judges and look at what needs to be fixed, I'm not sure how you get your scoring, but look at what parts are not scoring well and ask yourself what went wrong to cause that score, and do I NEED to change something to fix it, or were you just judge farked.

Shot Fairy
05-15-2012, 07:07 PM
You will definitely be having a case of the nerves . . . It's a guarantee. Try to relax and have fun. If your comp is having a 9:22, BE THERE! As a first timer, you need to make sure you enjoy the experience. What I find to be the most important advice, is this: Photograph each and every box you turn in.

Trust me (and we have not been in this as long as a number of the regular posters), what you think is a rockin' box in the beginning will make you shake your head two comps later.

Next most important: Make sure you have a bad-weather backup plan. We have found that canvas tarps are more effective at keeping your canopy cool/dry and also lend weight in the event of a "highly rotational, rapidly approaching storm system", which we have had the priveledge of enjoying on multiple occassions so far. As far as the "freezing my *** off comment, if you haven't competed in a bowling alley parking lot in mid-February in northern Illinois (think high temps between -2 and 30 with snow and/or rain), you don't know what freezing your *** off is!! There are a number of brethren who can attest to that!! But it's soooo much fun!! SERIOUSLY!!

HarleyGirl14226
05-16-2012, 12:29 PM
What I find to be the most important advice, is this: Photograph each and every box you turn in.

Trust me (and we have not been in this as long as a number of the regular posters), what you think is a rockin' box in the beginning will make you shake your head two comps later.

What he said!

We went through our pics from our comps last year once the season was done and couldn't believe some of the boxes we turned in.

Now we know - take a look at that parsley again in the light of day - don't assume what you did at midnight/1am is really that good. :wink: I know they aren't supposed to judge the garnish, but let's face it - a big piece of parsley that is light green and wilted probably isn't going to look good to the judges...

El Guapo
05-16-2012, 11:44 PM
JC,

That you are nervous tells me you are already way ahead of the game. Our first comp was the very first Roc City, which was ribs only. We rolled in without a care in the world - because we didn't know any better. Had we actually done some homework, as you have, we would have known we should have been a little nervous.

We have a few more comps under our belts now, and for what it's worth, here's a few things we have learned along the way:

1) plan your cook and cook your plan. Prep a timeline for your cook from beginning to end and stick with it;
2) Know that no matter how well you plan or how many contingencies you have in place, something is going to happen you didn't see coming - the temp dropping 20 degrees when the rain comes in, the small grease fire in your cooker when you are trying to finish chicken, etc. The best brisket we ever cooked came after our overnight cook was over-served and passed out and the fire went out. Stuff happens, but how you adapt and overcome is part of the fun;
3) make sure you stop once in a while and look around so you don't let the experience pass you by. Whenever I do I am always struck by how wonderfully absurd the whole thing is and it reminds me that first and foremost it is I about having fun with a bunch of fellow BBQ nuts.

Stop by and say hi at Roc City. We'll be in the back corner, actively adding to the aforementioned wonderful absurdity.

jcpetro97
05-17-2012, 06:36 AM
Thanks everyone! Looking forward to next weekend! I will try and see as many of you as I can. If you are around Saturday feel free to come see me too and say hello. Team name is Off Beat On Que

Cant wait!

Sent from my Kindle Fire using Tapatalk 2

MattyB
05-17-2012, 03:09 PM
You can't miss our RV. It's filled with many leather-bound books and it smells of rich mahogany.

Pelkster
05-18-2012, 12:38 AM
You can't miss our RV. It's filled with many leather-bound books and it smells of rich mahogany.

"English Baxter. You know I don't speak Spanish. What? You pooped in the refrigerator? And you ate the whole... wheel of cheese? How'd you do that? Heck, I'm not even mad; that's amazing. How 'bout we get you in your p.j.'s and we hit the hay."