I enjoy learning about new companies that some people may not know a lot about. One of the companies I learned about recently was MVP. I obviously knew about them, but, actually knowing what they do I just recently learned. So, I wanted to talk to players from the company and I got the great opportunity to talk to Jennifer Sawyer who throws for MVP Discs. She was a pleasure to talk to and give her answers a read! Enjoy!
1) How did you get into Disc Golf?
I got into disc golf like most do, a couple friends brought me out to the course one day, I'm guessing here but I'd say about 15 years ago. However, my first time was with girl friends! I have been very fortunate as I've always had other ladies to play with from the very start and not very many can say the same.
2) Who inspires you to continue to play?
I have to say that the Michigan ladies continue to inspire me to play, both those I work with and compete against. I run the CC Ladies League at Cold Brook Park in Climax, MI and I have worked with a lot of new players over the last couple of years. I absolutely love seeing when something they're working on 'click' and their face light up. They continue to improve all the time; some have even jumped up divisions after playing for just a short time. I am really lucky here in Michigan as the ladies disc golf scene is pretty strong and keeps growing every year. The ladies I have met from competition have become my closest friends and without them I don't think I would compete quite as much. There's nothing better than a weekend road trip with your girls and a couple rounds of disc golf!
3) What made you want to start accepting money?
In 2013 I played AM Worlds in Emporia, KS. Heading into the tournament I told myself that if I did well I would move up in 2014. I placed 6th and felt that I had to honor my promise to myself! Moving up to FPO in Michigan was tough. It meant competing against the likes of Liz Carr and Ragna Bygde. I improved more that first year in FPO than I ever did playing AM. It also taught me how to lose. Which seems counter intuitive but it's just as important! Learning how to bounce back from those bad shots or bad rounds is invaluable and it taught me how to laugh it all off.
4) What is it like to be sponsored?
Being sponsored is really an honor and I can’t say that it’s not great! It’s comforting to have a support system, people who are rooting for you, and believe in you even after a bad round. It helps keep me focused on improving my own game and not worrying about what might happen if I don’t have a good showing at a tournament.
5) What is it like to be on Team MVP?
I can’t say enough about being on Team MVP! They care about their players and have put together a team of really great people who are all doing a lot to grow the sport in their areas of the country and the world. We're a family and it feels that way, with a good mix of support and banter among each other. The people at MVP HQ are really great too, not just the players on the team. There is a great team of people behind the scenes at HQ and they are taking MVP in a great direction. I'm just as excited to see what's next out of MVP as everyone else! Not to mention I love being able to represent a Michigan based, family owned company that focuses on the science behind the disc. There really couldn't be a better fit for me!
6) Favorite Disc?
My favorite disc is a tough question to answer! I think I have to give you 2; Fission Photon and Plasma Envy.
7) Favorite Course?
Favorite course is also a tough question but I’ve got to say Flip City in Shelby, MI and Hickory Hills in Traverse City, MI. Flip City for the environment; all the quirky additions to the course is fun to experience because every time you’re there you find something new. Not to mention the course is amazing and a lot of fun to play! Hickory Hills for the view of the Grand Traverse Bay at the top of hole 19. It’s also a really fun 650’ downhill shot!
8) What is a good starter pack for players who have never thrown MVP?
For new players who have never thrown MVP before I would recommend an Impulse, Relay, and Atom. For more experienced players trying out MVP for the first time I would suggest the Octane, Wave, and Envy.
9) What advice can you give to players who want to step up their game?
The best advice I can give for players looking to step up their game is to step up your competition. You may feel defeated for a while but playing with better players will only make you better and you will learn so much more.
10) What can we expect from you going into the 2018 season?
I’m really excited for the 2018 season. I’ve been working hard this off season and once the snow melts I’m looking forward to getting in some field work. Expect to see me all around the Mitten! I’ll be playing a few larger events this year and luckily a couple of them are in my backyard.
11) Do you have any pre-tournament rituals? If so, What are they?
My pre-tournament rituals include eating. You can’t play hungry! I also make sure to stretch a lot and get my blood flowing so my body is ready to perform and I don’t have to think so much about it. I like to bring my yoga mat and go through a couple Vinyasa sequences, play a couple holes, and then dial in my putt for the day. I try to make sure to do this before 2nd round as well. After eating and sitting down for a bit I want to make sure I’m not stiff.
12) What do you do to help grow the sport?
I run the CC Ladies Disc Golf League at Cold Brook Park in Climax, MI throughout the summer. It runs May through the end of October. This will be my 5th year with the league as I took over as Director in 2013. I am also co-Director of the Michigan Women’s Series which is a series of women’s only tournaments that are hosted by various Michigan clubs. This year we have 6 total events from May through August.
13) Is there anything else you would like people to know about you that they may not?
I’m not sure what else anyone would want to know! But outside of disc golf I work in construction management for a General Contractor and have been for over 10 years now. Projects I typically manage include water and wastewater treatment plants and military installations. It keeps me quite busy during the season but fortunately I am able to take some of my work on the road with me. So if I’m at a big event out of state I’m usually working evenings. It's not the most glamorous idea of being at a big event but it's what allows me to do what I do!
I would like to thank Jennifer for letting me talk to her and ask her these questions. She was an amazing person to talk to and interview! If you would like to learn more about her or MVP you can find them on social media! Look out for more coming soon!
Picture credit goes to Hailey Hankinson