Stimulants and Rituals for Quizbowl

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Stimulants and Rituals for Quizbowl

Postby bretthogan43 » Wed Aug 10, 2016 11:50 pm

In this thread I would like to discuss the different kinds of stimulants that different individuals use before and during a quizbowl match such as whether or not drinking an energy drink, soda, water, coffee, certain snack food or anything else really makes a difference when being consumed before or during a match or practice and if this helps one focus and hone previously acquired knowledge any better than having gone without food or drink in the first place. Also, I was hoping to gain some insight from hearing if any other people out there have a certain pre-match ritual that they go through and what kind of mentality one needs going into a match in order to stay on top of one's game. I understand that this doesn't have anything to do with knowledge or learning anything and some of you may find this thread stupid, and I also will understand if this thread winds up getting deleted. However, at the time this was posted I considered the question fairly relevant to playing quizbowl and also quite the interesting discussion topic. Thanks in advance to anyone who reads and/or replies.
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Re: Stimulants and Rituals for Quizbowl

Postby Urech hydantoin synthesis » Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:13 am

Depending on how much sleep I got the night before, I either use one of these before the first match and after lunch, or just after lunch.
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Re: Stimulants and Rituals for Quizbowl

Postby Oo-kamakiri » Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:23 am

200 mg (one 12oz cup of coffee) caffeine pills. I use these as a pick-me-up to counteract the post-lunch slumber. I have not had any negative quizbowl related experiences with these, and they don't give me the jitters unlike energy drinks.
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Re: Stimulants and Rituals for Quizbowl

Postby heterodyne » Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:55 am

The Hilarious House of Frightenstein wrote:200 mg (one 12oz cup of coffee) caffeine pills. I use these as a pick-me-up to counteract the post-lunch slumber. I have not had any negative quizbowl related experiences with these, and they don't give me the jitters unlike energy drinks.


In addition to Kai's mysterious bag of pills, I generally get a five hour energy or two for tournaments.
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Re: Stimulants and Rituals for Quizbowl

Postby Borel hierarchy » Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:13 am

So if you want to be a functional human being, you probably shouldn't do what I've done in the past, but upon realization that people test in better when they're in similar environments to the environments they studied, I turned that into an excuse to continue wearing the same Illinois hoodie every day over my hobo-esque outfit of a tshirt + sweatpants. This also resulted in me doing late night study binges with energy drinks and multiple tournaments where I was drinking 3-4 energy drinks and it is disgusting and don't ever do this to yourself.
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Re: Stimulants and Rituals for Quizbowl

Postby The Stately Rhododendron » Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:43 am

Throughout High School, I did some basic core workouts before games. In my more indolent college days, I've been doing these less, but they work to wake you up and to intimidate the competition. Generally, I do some combination of push-ups, planks, dolphin kicks, butterfly kicks and sit-ups.

Don't see why you'd take 5 hour energy or a pill. If I'm really beat, I'll get an americano, but like Terrence McKenna points out, caffeine is a bad drug. Try not to do it.

Very excited to talk about rituals!
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Re: Stimulants and Rituals for Quizbowl

Postby Auks Ran Ova » Thu Aug 11, 2016 2:44 am

- I usually have a sugar-free energy drink in the morning** and then another one if I'm flagging after lunch, though I think this effect is worse primarily because I am now Old. Terence McKenna is lame, caffeine is all right. My recommendation, as with all legal drugs, is that if you want some caffeine you should ingest it in a way that's an enjoyable experience in and of itself--find something you like the taste of and go with that, don't just blast a 5-hour energy or a caffeine pill out of a sense of obligation.
- Speaking of lunch, eat something light but reasonably filling. Bring a snack if you think you might get hungry but don't go nuts and load up at lunch, or you'll spend the next three rounds in a food coma.
- I used to recommend getting less sleep before tournaments, but I think that's because adrenaline and anticipation would keep me involuntarily awake at night regardless but then also fuel me through the day. On that front, do whatever comes natural to you--if you can get a full night's sleep and not be sluggish in the mornings, that's probably the healthiest way to go!

**WITH BREAKFAST--don't be me at that 2008 tournament when I had some crazy-ass thing with warning labels on it and 12000% of my RDA of vitamin B12 and very little food, and then threw up at lunch.
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Re: Stimulants and Rituals for Quizbowl

Postby Cody » Thu Aug 11, 2016 8:05 am

I really did not expect this topic to be about caffeine.
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Re: Stimulants and Rituals for Quizbowl

Postby Bride by Mistake » Thu Aug 11, 2016 7:38 pm

in eight nationals i think i've gone through around 20 altoids canisters
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Re: Stimulants and Rituals for Quizbowl

Postby The Polebarn Hotel » Sat Aug 13, 2016 10:20 pm

I just drink a lot of water. And usually, since the Ithaca quiz bowl team is notorious for waking up in the wee hours of the morning to attend tournaments that are 4-5 hours away, I have a coffee right before the tournament starts. It hasn't always worked super well, especially when I fail to sleep on the bus in the morning. Usually, though, being in a permanent state of having to use the bathroom works well for me. Jumping jacks are also great.
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Re: Stimulants and Rituals for Quizbowl

Postby Skepticism and Animal Feed » Sat Aug 13, 2016 10:50 pm

At my first-ever college tournament, I asked one of my teammates to punch me, in the hopes that this would give me an adrenaline rush and cause me to perform better in our final game. Said teammate declined and also quit quizbowl after the tournament.

Part of me wonders if that would have worked.
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Re: Stimulants and Rituals for Quizbowl

Postby Adventure Temple Trail » Sun Aug 14, 2016 12:02 am

Skepticism and Animal Feed wrote:At my first-ever college tournament, I asked one of my teammates to punch me, in the hopes that this would give me an adrenaline rush and cause me to perform better in our final game. Said teammate declined and also quit quizbowl after the tournament.

Part of me wonders if that would have worked.


It doesn't.
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Re: Stimulants and Rituals for Quizbowl

Postby UlyssesInvictus » Sun Aug 14, 2016 12:43 am

Adventure Temple Trail wrote:
Skepticism and Animal Feed wrote:At my first-ever college tournament, I asked one of my teammates to punch me, in the hopes that this would give me an adrenaline rush and cause me to perform better in our final game. Said teammate declined and also quit quizbowl after the tournament.

Part of me wonders if that would have worked.


It doesn't.


But what if one were to be the one punching...?

Disclaimer: don't do this.
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Re: Stimulants and Rituals for Quizbowl

Postby The Stately Rhododendron » Sun Aug 14, 2016 1:14 am

UlyssesInvictus wrote:
Adventure Temple Trail wrote:
Skepticism and Animal Feed wrote:At my first-ever college tournament, I asked one of my teammates to punch me, in the hopes that this would give me an adrenaline rush and cause me to perform better in our final game. Said teammate declined and also quit quizbowl after the tournament.

Part of me wonders if that would have worked.


It doesn't.


But what if one were to be the one punching...?

Disclaimer: don't do this.


Physical pain is a useful element in the ritual transformation of analog processes into digital ones.
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Re: Stimulants and Rituals for Quizbowl

Postby Sima Guang Hater » Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:36 pm

I like to eat apples during tournaments, when I remember to bring them (or more likely, when a teammate reminds me to bring them). I find they give me a constant low level of sugar infusion as the day progresses, rather than a massive burst of caffeine that can result in a crash.

For rituals, I like to loop a single hype song on my phone and listen to it throughout the day. I'll also go over some subject in the morning that I know well, just to feel comfortable.
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Re: Stimulants and Rituals for Quizbowl

Postby Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Tue Aug 16, 2016 9:46 am

Throughout the 2016 year, I consumed at least two sugar-free Monster energy drinks at each tournament I played (except possibly MYSTERIUM) a tactic inspired by none other than Andrew Wang. I managed to get through 14 rounds of Chicago Open on no sleep (!) by drinking three Monsters throughout the day. While I don't really recommend not sleeping before tournaments (I nearly passed out during dinner afterwards and slipped into unconsciousness in Andrew's car afterwards), I will say that Monsters are effective at getting you through a long day despite exceedingly unfortunate sleep choices. Monster can't truly make up for lack of sleep, though, as evidence by the fact that my best tournament performances of the year ("stanford housewrite", MLK, and the first day of ACF Nationals) came on days where I had both Monsters and at least five hours of sleep.
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Re: Stimulants and Rituals for Quizbowl

Postby Vainamoinen » Mon Sep 12, 2016 10:44 pm

The Stately Rhododendron wrote:intimidate the competition


*annoy the competition
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Re: Stimulants and Rituals for Quizbowl

Postby The Stately Rhododendron » Tue Sep 13, 2016 12:06 am

Vainamoinen wrote:
The Stately Rhododendron wrote:intimidate the competition


*annoy the competition


THE SETTING: HSNCT 2014, Round 21

Will Overman sits down in the room with the rest of Maggie Walker, as well as star moderator and Mad Men-era literary expert Andrew Hart. Wow, what a wonderful day, he thinks, I wonder who the next competitor is, I am sure they are honorable, nice people.

Oakland Mills, "the most unpredictable team in quizbowl (Eric Xu)," enter the room, amped and listening to their hype music.

Will: :shock:

Isaac and Paul hit the floor, doing crunches, push-ups, hip hikes, what name you. There's no need for a Whirlpool in their laundry room, they just need the washboards on their abs!

Will: :aaa:

Will is disturbed, agitated, one might even say intimidated. However if Will is anything, he is a diligent planner. He knows, despite the momentary loss, he will win the war. In a few years, when everyone else has forgotten this, he will post on the forums at the precise time that Isaac is about to read a Howard Becker paper. He will post that Isaac is "annoying," forcing a response and limiting Isaac's productivity, thereby ensuring that his notes on Howard Becker are less than star quality.

Later, ICT, Yale A vs. Caltech

Star Moderator and All Around Nice Guy Andrew Hart: For 10 points each, name this American sociologist, the founder of labelling theory.
Isaac: piece of cake, Becker
Hart: Howard was part of this larger school of Sociologists
Isaac: :yawn: Chicago School
Hart: In his paper about "these and Collective Activity," Becker analyzes the perceptions and creation of these.
Isaac: wait, I don't know, I didn't take good enough notes
Jacob: :facepalm:
Adam: :inserts meme:

On the other side of the room, Caltech's side, the side of Will Overman:
Will: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
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Re: Stimulants and Rituals for Quizbowl

Postby RexSueciae » Tue Sep 13, 2016 12:43 am

Throughout my career, I have watched opponents chug energy drinks, pop pills, and perform all sorts of pregame rituals in order to amp themselves up.

I have completely foregone all such measures. This is why opponents may have occasionally witnessed me falling asleep during a game due to fatigue or illness.
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Re: Stimulants and Rituals for Quizbowl

Postby bretthogan43 » Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:29 pm

I am resurrecting this thread because I would like to know if there are any recommendations for songs to listen to before a match. I usually jam a bunch of dragon-slaying power metal like Manowar, DragonForce, etc, with some Eminem and Wiz Khalifa thrown in for good measure. I am open to any suggestions.
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Re: Stimulants and Rituals for Quizbowl

Postby Sit Room Guy » Wed Feb 08, 2017 4:23 pm

I always find that either foreign countries' patriotic music (Especially British because then you can understand the lyrics) and 50 cent's "In da Club" work best. Judge me all you want.

EDIT: If this thread is still about general quizbowl stimulants, I find that a lot of good players also drink Red Bull or Mtn Dew (e.g. Luke Tierney, Matt Lehmann). If it's also still about rituals, until Senior year I'd always insist on sitting radially closest to the moderator. I don't know why or whether it helped.
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Re: Stimulants and Rituals for Quizbowl

Postby AGoodMan » Wed Feb 08, 2017 4:50 pm

In terms of rituals, I try to wear very comfortable clothing for long tournaments (unless of course, if it's IHSA or Masonic). This usually turns out to be a pair of jeans and my favorite dark blue hoodie for some reason.
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Re: Stimulants and Rituals for Quizbowl

Postby bolshevik » Wed Feb 08, 2017 6:12 pm

JakobeanEra wrote:I always find that either foreign countries' patriotic music (Especially British because then you can understand the lyrics) and 50 cent's "In da Club" work best. Judge me all you want.

EDIT: If this thread is still about general quizbowl stimulants, I find that a lot of good players also drink Red Bull or Mtn Dew (e.g. Luke Tierney, Matt Lehmann). If it's also still about rituals, until Senior year I'd always insist on sitting radially closest to the moderator. I don't know why or whether it helped.


Yes to this. Red Army Choir works very well as pump-up music on the bus before tournaments/matches IMO. Metallica is also pretty good.

Besides that, I drink a lot of water throughout tournaments. I eat toast and fruit in the mornings and not much else, and at lunch I snack a little bit to rejuvenate. As for rituals, captain is between me and Caleb and via tradition is decided by who first calls dibs on the day of the tournament/match. Normally Caleb gets it.
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Re: Stimulants and Rituals for Quizbowl

Postby Your Feline Genome » Wed Feb 08, 2017 7:39 pm

JakobeanEra wrote:I find that a lot of good players also drink Red Bull or Mtn Dew (e.g. Luke Tierney, Matt Lehmann).


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Re: Stimulants and Rituals for Quizbowl

Postby Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov » Wed Feb 08, 2017 7:53 pm

Let it be known that at the 2016 MIT Winter tournament, Lexington A was significantly trailing AMSA A, in the final. Colin Cantwell delegated B team's Kyle Doney to sprint out of the building, and across the street to the MIT Student Center to buy him a Mountain Dew.

Apart from being a great workout for Kyle, after chugging some Mountain Dew, Colin powered 4 tossups in a row. Unfortunately, Lex A still lost.
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Re: Stimulants and Rituals for Quizbowl

Postby dhumphreys17 » Wed Feb 08, 2017 8:13 pm

bretthogan43 wrote:I am resurrecting this thread because I would like to know if there are any recommendations for songs to listen to before a match. I usually jam a bunch of dragon-slaying power metal like Manowar, DragonForce, etc, with some Eminem and Wiz Khalifa thrown in for good measure. I am open to any suggestions.


300 Violin Orchestra (Quintero) and The Final Countdown (Europe) for me, among other such songs, are what I listen to before big matches.
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Re: Stimulants and Rituals for Quizbowl

Postby acrosby1861 » Wed Feb 08, 2017 9:12 pm

JakobeanEra wrote:If it's also still about rituals, until Senior year I'd always insist on sitting radially closest to the moderator. I don't know why or whether it helped.


I do this too. Mostly to hear the moderator better.
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Re: Stimulants and Rituals for Quizbowl

Postby Sit Room Guy » Thu Feb 09, 2017 11:21 am

If you want to absorb the habits of better quizbowl players than me, apparently there was already a thread on this viewtopic.php?f=5&t=15235
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Re: Stimulants and Rituals for Quizbowl

Postby LaurenJernstadt » Thu Feb 23, 2017 9:58 pm

Typically, if our team has a match or tournament nearby or doesn't start till the afternoon, we find we work best when we have a buzzer practice that morning. It gets our trivial senses on alert and can be a great way to wake up in the morning. We also like to do a little thing we call the buzzer game when driving down. We take turns serving as readers, and we pull questions from an online packet, a packet made by a teammate, or a quizbowl book. There are no teams; we just yell "BUZZ" to ring in (or in our coaches case, honk the car horn). Its all about getting the mind alert early on in the day because an alert quizbowler is quicker on the buzzer.

Tip for my fellow Lit Nerds: During the time between arriving to the tournament site and the start of the tournament, I have two different ways if studying. First, I quickly review my flash card set which includes common literature titles in quiz bowl. I give a one sentence plot description, the author, and typically the type of literature (drama, novel, short story, etc.). It has helped me recognize literature titles that I probably would have trouble remembering without studying them that morning. Also, if the site has wifi, I will quickly get on YouTube and watch as many episodes of Crash ourse Literature possible. It helps give me an in depth review of story plots without having to go through reading, and I find it helpful simply because I can easily guess questions early on based on key points in the Crash Course Episode. Of course, I do study more in depth in the weeks leading up to a major competion (States and Nationals!). Having information fresh though can be very helpful

Like I said, its all about being alert and fresh with information so that you aren't pressing the buzzer milliseconds behind your opponents!

P.S. Whenever we go to National Tournaments, one player brings his Wii so that we can "warm up" our buzzer fingers with a quick game of Super Smash Bros. Academically purposeful? No. Fun way to wake up? Heck yeah! He also brings along a "quiz bowl" stylesqe game for the Wii as well which is very fun!
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