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The mental battle of competing..

You never know how you will react to the pressure of a competition until you try. It

is different for everyone. Some people have minimal nerves, but others are not so

lucky! Don’t be too hard on yourself the first time you compete. Use it as a learning

experience and if you do well its an added bonus!

I remember reading a statement online that said something along the lines of

“everyone will have a bad run in competition, but its how you deal with it that

matters, not how you rode. It can either make or break you.” This statement has

stuck in my brain and is so true. Don’t let competition nerves get to you, power

through and find a way to help combat them.

I used to get horribly nervous and I felt like I would loose my aggressive style due to

a fear of loosing the wave. I battled with it all of last season and struggled to find a


I trained as much as possible through the winter and I have now found a new

confidence within my surfing. Since developing this I feel I have not had to battle

with nerves as much. I am someone who needs to feel confident with my tricks to

surf well in competition.

Its not always easy though, at my last comp my nerves it hit me again. I am in the

process of switching boats so I have not been able to train for the usual amount of

time before competing and I let it really get to me. I didn’t feel confident or ready

for the comp and on day one I didn’t ride my best at all. As soon as I got up I felt the

shaky feeling within my legs that I used to get. I dropped the rope and began to surf

but felt timid and afraid. I managed to land everything I wanted to in my first pass

without falling but I didn’t feel as though I did the tricks well. On my second pass

I got up switch and fell on my switch 360 attempt. I felt as though it was my worst

switch riding in a long time. While I waited for the boat to come and pick my up

for the final part of the course I gave myself a little pep talk. I managed to find my

confidence again and get up and ride aggressively finishing my run at the level I can

truly ride.

On day two I went out there feeling confident and rode a lot better. I still didn’t ride

quite as well as I would have liked but managed to bring myself back to finish on the

podium. Although I know I didn’t ride my best I was really happy with my ability

to snap out of my funk. It was a huge learning experience for me and I am now one

step closer to winning my mental battle when competing.

Try to learn something from everything life throws at you. Experiment with

different techniques and ask others what helps them to deal with nerves. We all

have good and bad days, but don’t let it take you down. Use it to become stronger

and let it inspire you to work harder so you can reach all your goals.