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motoeric
03-24-2010, 01:56 AM
Hi,

I'm using the term 'sport' to illustrate a point, not because I believe that competition BBQ is a sport. That's another debate (and one that I couldn't care less about).

My question is this, do any competitors treat BBQ as if it is a sport or other high-end competition outside of the monetary investment and the research/practice?

High end Chess/Scrabble players will make sure that they get enough sleep, maintain a decent blood sugar level, listen to music that they believe impacts cognition and eat foods that help keep them mentally sharp.

Athletes are educated on kinesthetics, wear activity appropriate attire, hydrate properly, avoid alcohol while competing, have proper rest, etc.

Is there use to be found in similar tactics for competition BBQ? Is there a need to be as mentally sharp as possible? To be in as much physical control as possible? Can we learn lessons from other competitive venues?

Eric

grillfella
03-24-2010, 02:23 AM
Eric, after watching the pitmasters series I noticed Myron mixon take this approach at one point he stated that he does not drink during comps and takes it very serious. The guy from slap yo daddy needed sleep at one point and was kept awake by a nearby party. He ended up waking up late and it affected his "Q". All in all if you are doing something you love be it for comp or just cooking for your family you should be on your game. As for me it's hard to "Q" without a few beers:becky:

CivilWarBBQ
03-24-2010, 02:58 AM
I think you saw a good example of how serious the top teams are about what they do at North Little Rock. There was very little boozing and carousing going on - especially when you consider there were over 200 teams on the lot.

Many cooks mentioned how much different the vibe was there vs the KC Royal. With so much money on the line, the majority of teams brought their A Game, and that meant doing every thing they could to maximize their chances.

daedalus
03-24-2010, 06:00 AM
I have always thought that the term competitive bbq is a bit of an oxymoron. Historically, BBQ is a very communal event, and typically centered around celebration, family, and comradery. It strikes me as odd that a serious competitive "sport" has sprung up around it. Still though, I think part of the cool thing about these competitions is the cross section of people who get involved. Everyon seems to have their own agenda. Some teams go there seriously intending to win, some use it as an excuse to party, most are probably somewhere in between.

As to your original point, I think it is important to remember that not everybody gets to be a professional athlete, chess player, etc. You have to be very good to even get a chance to play at that level. In BBQ, with the exception of a very few invitation only events, pretty much anyone who wants to pony up the dough can compete.

Buster Dog BBQ
03-24-2010, 07:50 AM
Well, if you are tired, grogy, or hung over you will probably make a mistake. I have never understood why a team wants to spend the money required for a contest to go out and get ripped and in turn do crappy. Seems like they could go to the bar cheaper.

Lake Dogs
03-24-2010, 08:26 AM
Is there use to be found in similar tactics for competition BBQ? Is there a need to be as mentally sharp as possible?

I think the answer is a resounding YES. Mind you, in the average comp you'll see most
folks bring their B game (meaning, enjoying it a little more and not quite so worried).
As CivalWarBBQ said earlier, when the stakes go up, so does the game.

Funny, KCBS for me is different than MBN. MBN we cook SIGNIFICANTLY more meat,
and stay stone cold sober all night. However, I learned playing competitive tennis
years ago, my A game is better when I'm a little relaxed and ready to take no
prisoners (played singles, USTA, 8am popping the top on a beer). So, for on-site in
MBN, I have a beer or two before we get started; it relaxes me and I do a better
presentation.

Divemaster
03-24-2010, 08:42 AM
I have to agree with Brother Lake Dog…

While we go to a comp to have fun, we really work that fun around our timing. I find it interesting that we can usually find a number of fellow competitors in our area and yes, many are drinking. Us, we may have a beer or two but we are normally done with it well before midnight.

We also try to make sure that each of us gets enough sleep during the night and while dinner is important, we’ve found that breakfast is critical for us to be on our game.

We spend way too much money not to take our ‘A’ game to each comp. We have recognized this when it was more of a ‘B’ or even ‘C’ game and how poorly we did.

RubMeTender
03-24-2010, 09:56 AM
I think that if you are operating on 2 hours of sleep and nursing a hangover throughout a busy competition day, then there is no way you can be as effective.
I think for the most part the teams I've been around have **almost** found that fine line between too much fun and acting too serious.
As competitive as it can be around turn in times, it really is still a bunch of good old boys cooking in the backyard. The backyard is just huge.

As far as looking like athletes..............

Lake Dogs
03-24-2010, 10:10 AM
I think that if you are operating on 2 hours of sleep and nursing a hangover throughout a busy competition day, then there is no way you can be as effective.
I think for the most part the teams I've been around have **almost** found that fine line between too much fun and acting too serious.
As competitive as it can be around turn in times, it really is still a bunch of good old boys cooking in the backyard. The backyard is just huge.

As far as looking like athletes..............


Think: SUMO

:becky:

Jacked UP BBQ
03-24-2010, 11:07 AM
I go with the flow, I can drink and still be on my A game, we have a system that allows us to party and still get it done. Do we sometimes regret it yes, has lack of sleep sometimes screwed us, yes! I choose not to drink on comp nights anymore because I don't like to feel like chit the next day.

Podge
03-24-2010, 11:33 AM
sorry, answered the wrong question to this thread so I deleted my orignal answer.

I take BBQ competitions very seriously !.. I think most of you do too. If I want to cook with a group of freinds, and just have a good time, and not worry about if I win or lose, (or climbing the ladder to do so).. I'll save $700 and do this at home.

Sawdustguy
03-24-2010, 01:14 PM
In the sense of the preparation, attention to detail, execution and determination a BBQ contest is very similar to an athletic event. Now with that said if we make BBQ Contests "Full Contact", you got something.

Lake Dogs
03-24-2010, 01:17 PM
BBQ sauce wraslin' with Lee Anne Whippen.... I like it!!!!

RubMeTender
03-24-2010, 01:40 PM
BBQ sauce wraslin' with Lee Anne Whippen.... I like it!!!!

I'm thinking she could beat 75% of the guys on this forum alone.

Lake Dogs
03-24-2010, 01:48 PM
I'd pay money to lose at Sauce Wraslin' with Lee Anne... It would be worth every dime.

HOWEVER, someone darn shure better be taking pictures. I'm not going the route of "No
Pics, Didnt Happen"!

lunchlady
03-24-2010, 04:59 PM
We have gone both routes (drinking and NOT drinking) and been equally successful with each.

At any given competition (or banquet :wink:) I normally only sleep from about 2am until 5am anyway (This includes the 2008 Jack)
The way I look at it is that there are too many fun moments to be had... and I don't want to miss any of them so I sleep once we get home. It may not be the right way, or the way someone else does it, but it's my way, and it works for me.

I agree with the eating though... makes a HUGE diff in how you feel with no sleep.

Rub
03-24-2010, 09:47 PM
I've learned sleep is important to me at contests. That's one reason why I love my Stumps. I also have lots of routines/rituals which help me remain consistent. And don't forget the importance and benefits of visualization. It's also a big part of what I do.

CajunSmoker
03-24-2010, 10:48 PM
anyone who's ever been around me knows I tend to have a few adult beverages:roll:. I do take my cooking seriously though. My doctor says that "it's impossible to cook without a drink in my hand" and has a watch tatoo'd on his arm that's always at 5:00.


Why argue with your doctor:thumb:

grillfella
03-25-2010, 02:55 AM
anyone who's ever been around me knows i tend to have a few adult beverages:roll:. I do take my cooking seriously though. My doctor says that "it's impossible to cook without a drink in my hand" and has a watch tatoo'd on his arm that's always at 5:00.


Why argue with your doctor:thumb:


nice!!!!!!!!!!!:-p:-p:-p:-p:-p

Chipper
03-25-2010, 06:11 AM
I think it was Charles Barkley who said "Any sport where you can drink beer, isn't a sport".
We find sleep and moderate consumption works of us.

KuyasKitchen
03-25-2010, 07:02 AM
Some BBQ sauce might help Lee Anne. For my tastes, she's a little underdone and needs to go back onto the grill to get a little more color. :)

I don't compete, but I'd love to. And, I cannot see why anyone would go get smashed when spending that kind of money to attend an event.

TooSaucedToPork
03-25-2010, 09:24 AM
I think it depends on the contest, and contest organization...At MIM we are there for 4 days, Wed-Sat, and certain days are party days for teams. Wed nite and Thurs nite we drink...Friday after the contests are done around 5 (how appropriate) we drink, but cut ourselves off around 9 or 10 to sober up for cooking at 4am...KCBS contests I will have a few beers, perhaps a few Jack and cokes if I'm feelin friskey, but never get trashed...too regmented of a schedule to not have your game face on...

ique
03-25-2010, 09:38 AM
Is there use to be found in similar tactics for competition BBQ? Is there a need to be as mentally sharp as possible? To be in as much physical control as possible? Can we learn lessons from other competitive venues?

Eric


I workout on weekends. My reps include

- 10 parsley boxes
- 5 sets of 100 reps with a stainless steel injector
- 1 Sleep deprivation session
- Forearm weight training with a 12oz dumbbell

Jacked UP BBQ
03-25-2010, 09:45 AM
I workout on weekends. My reps include

- 10 parsley boxes
- 5 sets of 100 reps with a stainless steel injector
- 1 Sleep deprivation session
- Forearm weight training with a 12oz dumbbell


Forearm weight training??????? Is that for? Oh forget it!:hand:

ZILLA
03-25-2010, 10:35 AM
I treat competitive BBQ more as a competitive game and there are things that I NEED to do personally, So that I can be "on my game".

I cook solo from a canopy and an open cooking rig. I generally have no help at all, so I need to have my chit together

Well rested? absolutely, I don't do well at my age without some decent sleep (call me grumpy). Or I may miss a detail that's important to my finished product. I also want to be well rested so I can enjoy myself at the comp and still have enough energy to drive home after the comp is over.

I don't drink during alcohol during the cook. I may have a few beers Friday night or after clean up Saturday while waiting for awards to start. Maybe two or three.

I make sure I eat regular meals of good food not just typical BBQ snack foods. Again this goes back to helping me feel good and think clearly during the comp.

I also live by lists and printed schedules prepared before I leave home to keep me organized and on time.

I strive for consistency from top to bottom in my supplies and routine at every cook. Consistency in, consistency out!

I'm often seen as quiet (at first) to new cookers that I meet. I'm listening, I'm watching, and learning from others.

I read almost everything I can about recipes and technique.

Planning, purpose, practice, learning, and experimentation at home IMO make a cooker a winner.

I also keep notes from every cook.

Last but not least I try very hard to make my camp as comfortable for me as possible, as secure from the weather as it can be made, and my cooking rig as easy to work from as I can manage.

This is the advantage that folks with trailers and RVs have. A respite from the elements, a comfy chair for a rest or sleep, work stations that are easy to work from make a huge difference in being able to focus on cooking instead of keeping your turn in containers from blowing down the road.

I love the fun and social aspects of competitive BBQ, BUT, I'm not going to just throw my money away so a cook who is better prepared than I can just take it from me. They're going to have to earn it. :boxing:

motoeric
03-25-2010, 11:37 AM
For those that agree that BBQ cook-offs should be treated the same as any other serious competition by it's participants, what part of the process is most important to you?

Is it the 11:00 am to 1:30 pm window?

Do you do anything special to ensure that you are at your peak at this time?

Eric

The Giggler
03-25-2010, 11:51 AM
Being organized goes a long way to being successful. We have our meats trimmed and ready to go at check in. Setup camp, inject, season, then socialize. I have found that staying hydrated (water) helps in the sleep deprivation department. There's plenty of time for shenanigans at a contest, and there's definitely time to be focused. Boxes are built the day before, so all that needs to really happen at that point is the cook and presentations.

I perfer to get to a contest well before its time to work, and really like the two day, two contest format with KCBS being the first day, and Grilling on the second. Getting there early takes the rush out of the equation. When its time to get some rest, it does take a fair amount of discipline to bid goodnight to our friends.

Planned meals are also a part of our routine. I'm especially a fan of La Frieda's Black Label Burgers on Friday night.

ZILLA
03-25-2010, 01:24 PM
For those that agree that BBQ cook-offs should be treated the same as any other serious competition by it's participants, what part of the process is most important to you?

Is it the 11:00 am to 1:30 pm window?

Do you do anything special to ensure that you are at your peak at this time?

Eric

From 5:30am when I light the pit to 3:30pm, generally the latest brisket turn, in I'm pretty focused. I cook a little hotter than many stick burners so I can start a bit later. That leaves very little wiggle room so my schedule dictates the day and keeps me pretty busy. You have to stay on it. Once I get going there is no one thing that is special so to speak. At turn in time all guests need to go for a walk or something. Most Texas cooks have a one hour turn in time Min. and the larger the cook the more that time increases so we have that at least. If I have any free time I try to sit down and rest my feet. I try to make a point to go over and get ole Texana riled up at some point during the day just for grins. Now this is on a nice day. Add foul weather to the equation and it's a different story, double diligence here.

goodsmokebbq
03-25-2010, 01:31 PM
I'm for any sport where I'm a light weight :boxing:

CivilWarBBQ
03-25-2010, 01:40 PM
The most important part of a cook for me is Mon-Thurs before the contest.
If we are well prepped and arrive onsite early the stage is set for a good show. When we are running late and trimming chicken onsite it is always an uphill battle.