Every year I would list all major tournaments I knew, even when there were no scheduled dates yet. There are about 12 to 15 tournaments in my area, within 5 hours driving distance. I would also include some important tournaments that required flying. For the weeks that didn't have major tournaments, I would try to insert some possible club tournaments. My goal was to fill in every week with 2 to 3 options.
I would keep monitoring the list all year around. If we didn't play in any tournament for a week, that's exception. You have to treat it this way, or you can never get close to your goal.
I would like to spread major tournaments once a month, if possible. I had to negotiate with the piano teacher when the time was in conflict. We tried to ask for being completely excused once a quarter. For couple of times, we just took a bye from the tournaments without alerting the piano teacher.
Our typical schedule on Sunday was like this:
- leave home at 9am
- drive one hour to Brooklyn
- take two hour piano lesson
- drive 40 minutes to Westfield, grabbing a lunch on the way
- play the Quads
- drive 45 minutes home, get home around 8:30pm
We survived by doing that for four years.