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Off-Season Training

09.11.07

In the name of the sport we all love so much, my warmest greetings.

Many of you may still be recovering from the 2007 USARPS League championships in Las Vegas. The lessons of such a tournament may take months, if not years, to fully unlock. Ask any of the competitors who made it to the Final 16; excellent play is rewarded with victory, but the costs are high. Some top players even say that high-level tournament competition may take years off of one’s life. However, the rewards are great, and the dangers do not dissuade the thousands of seekers who assemble every year to compete in sanctioned USARPS League events.

Likewise, the ESPN2 coverage of this year’s tournament in Vegas is currently under study in every RPS training facility, gymnasium and classroom. New players seek to gain a competitive edge, while tournament veterans look for specific weaknesses in other known players.

“But it’s only November,” some of you may be saying. “Why should I worry about training now, so far removed from the actual event?” I never heard an aspiring player say those words to me and subsequently stand in the winner’s circle in Vegas. To be sure, all great RPS athletes train intensely for six to eight weeks prior to a major tournament, but the off-season is equally important. It is the peaceful and meditative Yin when compared to the martial Yang of tournament play. Here are some tips to maximize this most fruitful period of the great RPS cycle:

• Whatever you do, don’t over-train. Many fierce RPS competitors miss the thrill of competition, and will seek to recreate this feeling through intense play throughout the year. While an occasional “difficult-to-hard” training session can be a useful tool, you want to avoid injury in the off-season, so take it light most of the time. Choose friendly matches over high stakes, and take this time to try out all those new and experimental RPS strategies you’ve been blueprinting. Some of them may be useful enough to retain for the upcoming 2008 season.

• You may wish to experiment with changes in your approach to nutrition and exercise. As always, do this under the guidance of your physician, coach, trainer or holistic navigator.

• The off-season is a great time to analyze prior mistakes as well as hone more successful strategies. As always, retain what is useful. Discard that which holds you back. This training tip holds true for all your RPS related endeavors, as well as in life.

• Adopt a Hero. For many, having a personal hero in the sport can be a great boon to your training. Perhaps your playing style is flamboyant and cocky; look no further than Antoine “Shears” Maanum, a 2007 USARPS final eight competitor. Maybe you rely on your psychic ability and “Faculty X” luck engineering. Aaron “Premonition” Rich would be a fine role model. If you are approaching Master level play and favor a “complex/adaptive” approach, my own humble example may be of some use.

• I hate to say this, but if your 2007 performance wasn’t what you expected, perhaps it’s time to find a new trainer. Before handing your coach the pink slip, be sure to check his or her prior record, as well as current record with other athletes. If your coach has a stable of thoroughbreds, you may have to blame yourself for being the only lame nag. RPS coaches are easily found, though accreditation can be tricky. For the best possible training results, you should consider Roshambollah Learning Systems ™. The price is very fair considering the training you will receive, and I can be flown to any destination for individuals or groups of any size. All interested parties may contact me through the USARPS League. Don’t rely on worthless “RPS Training by Mail” courses. Let Roshambollah Learning Systems ™ take your game to the next level.

• Finally, I will predict that by the 2008 season at the latest, every top competitor will have a training/promotional video available on YouTube or social media sites like Facebook and MySpace. While top players seldom release all of their training secrets, there is a significant intimidation factor involved in having a solidly produced video; also disinformation may be included therein. Players such as “Shears” Maanum, Jamie “Landshark” Langridge, Dave “The Drill” McGill and the Midnight Rider already have videos available on YouTube, and many more will follow in their wake.

Above all, consider the off-season as a time to relax. Spend time with your friends and loved ones, enjoying the enhanced perspective of “all that is” that comes with devotion to RPS. There will be plenty of time to sweat in training, and bleed in competition, with the impending 2008 USARPS season.

My best wishes to you all,

Master Roshambollah