Matt Bell’s disc golf resume is quite impressive and he showed the world he was going to excel right from the start. His first tournament was in Santa Cruz, California, where he currently resides, and despite taking an 8 on hole 2 at DeLaveaga, he won in the intermediate division by 2 strokes. Only one year later after a brief stint in advanced, he moved into Open and has been touring as a professional player for the last four years.
Just like anyone else on the road, Matt knows that tour life can get exhausting and can feel like too much of a grind if you don’t take care of yourself. We chatted with him to find out how he mentally manages his tour season and what benefits he’s found from life on the road.
Speaking From Experience
In case you’re curious about his touring credentials, Matt knows a thing or two about travel. To date he’s been to 46 states and has played over 250 courses! When he arrives to a new town in preparation for a tournament, the time he spends enjoying himself is just as beneficial as practice time:
“Sometimes I’ll feel like I need 2 or 3 more rounds on the course to feel comfortable. Other times just taking a day off to read a book is the best thing to feel mentally and physically ready to go. Sometimes I’ll spend hours putting/practicing in the days before an event. [From time to time] I’ll find something else to do such as play miniature putt putt golf or pool. It’s good to mix it up if you can to avoid getting mentally or physically drained on tour.”
It’s All In Your Head
Bell has gotten his routine down when it comes to packing, traveling, and taking care of his physical performance, and notes how important the mental aspect of the game is while on tour. He speaks to motivation as being a key element in what prevents him from wearing down at the end of the season, where many of his wins often come from.
Friends, family, and fans also keep Matt in check, and if he feels as if tour is getting the best of him, he can draw on these people for the energy needed to get back in the game and shred at his next event. While nearly all players can probably speak to the importance of their personal community, it holds a special place in Bell’s heart.
Stepping back to see the bigger picture also serves him well, as reflecting on the whole idea of touring professionally can help when times get tough.
“When it comes to inclusion and comradery, the disc golf community is second to none. Playing in the Open divisions on tour is the fast track to meeting great people, traveling to amazing places, and playing great golf,” said Matt.
The entire team at DUDE wishes Matt an awesome 2018 season and knows that toward the end of the year when everyone else is tired, he’ll be right there with a positive attitude and a mindset that’s ready for success!