Influence: Emily Gate
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
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.