Never been to a competition before? Not sure how to prepare? Here are 5 tips for a successful competition as a competitor.
Setup your cube before the competition
Ensuring that the puzzle you are using to compete with feels the same as the puzzle you use to practice at home is important, especially when striving for faster times under the added pressure of a competition environment. By setting up and breaking in your puzzles well before you compete, you are able to become fully used to the turning speed and performance of your puzzle.
However, it also may be a good idea to bring some forms of spare lubricants and a screwdriver, in case of any hardware emergencies at the competition. Having both a fast and slow lubricant is great in case your puzzle is feeling too fast or too slow at the competition venue, which may be due to nervous turning or different venue temperatures.
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Bring Hand Warmers
Especially in colder environments and events that run in the morning, bringing some hand warmers is extremely important, as whether your hands are warm can make or break your speedsolving times. Obviously, this is less applicable to competitions held in warmer locations.
Common hand warmer solutions include
- Hot hands, commonly available at supermarkets or chemists
- Snap activated heat packs
- Microwavable Heat Packs
- Hot water bottles
Check the Schedule and Arrive On Time
Arriving on time, and making sure you are ready to compete can both help ease nerves and allow the competition as a whole to run smoothly and on time. By arriving on time, you are able to adjust yourself to the environment of the competition venue, and by arriving on time
Be Optimistic, Relax and Take Your Time!
Dwelling on past results, particularly unfavourable solve times, may negatively affect your future results. By focusing on the present, being optimistic and taking your time, you can not only positively influence your current attempts and increase the enjoyment and quality of your competition experience.
Before your solve attempts, you have up to one minute before the lifting of the puzzle cover and inspection time starts - so take your time before your attempt. Deep breaths are especially helpful for relaxing and calming nerves before your attempt as well. Be sure to maximise the 15 second inspection time before your solve as well.
When you are not competing volunteering at competitions, especially smaller ones, is extremely helpful for the competition torun smoothly and on schedule as competitions rely on volunteers for scramblers, judges and runners. Most competitions run a judging and running tutorial for new competitors in person at the start, so check your competition's schedule for more information.