This blog post was written by Mark Guenther, a PATHFINDER alum and one of the winners of the Team Assessment Open Division.
Training, strategy, mindset, partner, gear, footwear!
All of these things are thought of as keys to success at Team Assessment, and they certainly each play a dominant role in how you will perform over the course of those long 48 hours. There are two other factors that can go a long way in determining how you feel when you arrive at the start point: lodging and support crew. Where you sleep, eat, practice ruck dumps, and how much of it you have to do yourself can have a profound impact on your weekend. Having someone other than your partner supporting you to the start can be a huge advantage.
Hotels are for amateurs!
I say that in jest but if you can find an Airbnb or VRBO it is far superior for your ability to truly rest leading up to the event. Yes, you will sacrifice how close you are to the start point. Bellbrook, OH has next to no rentals available but Dayton is about 15-20 minutes and usually has plenty of locations available. Now, if you have the means for yourself and your partner to each get your own room, then a home rental is not as beneficial. But, sharing a hotel room never results in the best sleep. When renting a house or condo each person can have their own room so sleep schedules/snoring/midnight bathroom trips do not interrupt the sleep of the other person. On top of this, you generally have more room for all the foam rolling and stretching that is certain to occur.
Another benefit of a rental over a hotel room is you have far more control over the quality of food you are able to prepare, and you do not need to leave every time you want a meal. Your body will get all the processed food it cares to consume during the event, so cook in and enjoy your final good meals for a while.
Everyone needs a little help from their friends.
If you can get a support crew - do it! This is especially helpful if you are driving any real distance. Team Assessment is a significant physical and mental event and every little bit of extra energy you can squeeze out makes a difference. Having someone who can help with driving, carrying your stuff, double checking your packing list, timing ruck dumps, and if you are lucky preparing meals gives you the real advantage of arriving at the start with a clear, relaxed mind. Who knows, your house mom could provide live footage for all to watch you achieve glory!
Good luck to all the contenders!