Becoming a USCF master

Is what I intend to do. My USCF rating is currently 2102, but I am underrated.  I have been as high as 2169, and have spent years in the 2130 -2160 range. The main problem is I have moved from a place where I could play tournaments that began at 2 p.m. to a place where the tournaments all start absurdly early in the morning, Austin Texas.  Can I learn to wake up in the morning and start traveling to tournaments again? Can I reach my goal of 2200 by 1-17-15?  It all hinges on the first goal.  I honestly believe I can achieve 2200 mainly by just conditioning myself to wake up early in the morning, since my last five tournaments I have performed at around 2250. It is laughably easy and tearfully difficult to accomplish my goals, becuase I am NOT a morning person. I go to sleep at 6 or 7 a.m. normally, and I hope to learn to be waking up at 8:30 or 9!  Well, I believe in the power of mental determiniation. If I can keep my goal in mind enough and just REFUSE to sleep past 9 a.m. EVER I will be successful.  And that, my friends, was one boring, boring blog, but you read the whole thing anyway :)


  • 4 years ago


    I have had a very similar experience to what you are describing. For many years it was hard for me to go to sleep any earlier than 4 am which then caused me to get up at about noon. Waking up early and being tired all day even didn't necessarily mean I would go to bed any earlier the following night, just that I would sleep that much longer when I finally did fall asleep.

    I think you are on the right track in your prognosis that consistency is the key. I finally overcame this issue when I started my sales job. 5 days a week I HAD to be up at 9. It took about a year and a half, but sure enough, it got to the point where even on my days off, with or without an alarm every morning at 8:45 I would just naturally wake up. In turn I became tired and always wanted to sleep from 12:00 to 1:00 am. For me it was the existence of an outside non-negotiable factor that allowed me to gain this consistency. In your situation I think this will be your challenge, as for you its all a matter of will-power. I have rarely been able to achieve this kind of thing on will-power alone and unfortunately need that external non-negotiable. 

    The only better schedule I ever had than that was the time I lived with my Mother in the desert. No electricity made it so that I very quickly fell into the rhythm of waking up with the sun and going to bed in its absence . . . as I could not see anything and reading by flashlight can only go on so long. 

    In summation you should hire a hitman with instructions to take you out if you ever sleep past 9, and then cut all the power lines connected to your house Wink

  • 4 years ago


    Good Luck..being a night person who sometimes needs to get up in the morning, I feel your frustation. You sound very determined and I'm sure you will reach 2200 and beyond. I found the hard part was that 11:00am wall I hit. Power naps and simple "mind over matter" seem to help me, but then we are all different. We all have to find our own best way.     

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