The 2018 disc golf season has been a roller coaster for Team Discmania's Simon Lizotte. A first place finish at the Memorial Championships got things off to a great start, but then Lizotte was forced to pull out from the Waco Charity Open due to getting stuck in a horrible traffic jam, and withdraw from the recent Jonesboro Open due to injury.
When Lizotte took himself out of the Jonesboro Open, many were surprised to hear of an injury, but Lizotte himself doesn't consider it to be a true injury. He says it is more of a chronic back issue he's had for years.
"The back issue started in 2012 and I couldn't throw backhand for six months," Lizotte said this past weekend. "I saw multiple doctors throughout Germany and no one could figure out what was wrong."
Lizotte found acupuncture to be helpful and his back soon felt better and the pain was gone until the 2014 USDGC when it flared up again. During the flight back to Germany that year, he felt a pop in his back and the pain dissipate.
The pain would continue to be nonexistent until the 2017 PDGA World Championships. During the tournament, Lizotte was visiting chiropractors and relied on a Cortisone shot and pain killers to get through the event.
Lizotte says he didn't feel pain until this year's Las Vegas Challenge, "I did the distance competition and did a few 360 throws and I felt it get tight again. The next morning, I could barely stand up. Watch the video of the first round, I'm barely throwing hard at all."
He played through the pain, but was frustrated and confused.
"I was in the best shape of my life. It made no sense. I was fine during the Memorial as well," Lizotte said.
The back pain flared up again after the Waco Open and he was forced to not throw for two weeks.
Recovery Plans in Place
After taking those two weeks off, Lizotte has been visiting a chiropractor and doing yoga. He can now throw pain free and knows he needs to focus on continuing to take care of his body and warm up properly before every round.
He gives a lot of credit to the yoga work he's done in recent weeks, "I can't get lazy. It can be hard to get up and do a half hour of yoga, but when you're done, you feel amazing. It's great for your body to stretch like that."
Lizotte also believes the extra off-season bootcamp helped things not get too bad, "I still talk to our coach Andreas Gertsch at least once a week. He sends me workouts to help prevent further setbacks. He talks about the mental aspects too. He's giving great advice on everything right now."
Back in Tournament Action
When asked about returning to tournament play, Lizotte sounded excited and anxious to get back on the course.
He says he is planning on being back at the Glass Blown Open from April 26-28, "Flight is booked and things are on schedule. As of right now, that is the plan. Just with some extra warm up time."
We'll continue to be in touch with Lizotte between now and the GBO as he continues to prepare to return to disc golf tournament play.