Author Topic: Mental Tricks  (Read 1165 times)

toolate

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Mental Tricks
« on: July 02, 2019, 11:52:18 AM »
Some days I feel I can do nothing wrong. Other days nothing right.
This is also true in the surf.
What mental tricks do people use on those days when you feel like you are NOT in the ZONE? Those days when you are always in the wrong position for the wave...afraid to commit for the steep lip...


PonoBill

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Re: Mental Tricks
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2019, 12:31:48 PM »
Basically two things. First I just tell myself to harden the fuck up. Generally, anything I'm doing is in conditions I've faced before. For example, yesterday's clusterfuck at Swell City looked like a thousand other times I've looked at that water and thought "Man, that looks nasty." Of course, that didn't exactly work out as I would have liked, but I pulled up my big boy shorts and went for it.

The second trick is simply saying "If you don't do this now, why will some other time be better". Works equally well for paddling out in surf that terrifies you a little and/or doing the dishes.
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Dusk Patrol

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Re: Mental Tricks
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2019, 01:28:16 PM »
If not in the zone, I use that as an opportunity to experiment or at least pay conscious attention to what I'm doing. That changes it from a frustrating situation to a learning situation. 
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eastbound

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Re: Mental Tricks
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2019, 02:28:15 PM »
national team camp coach explained to my daughter (she made the pool for a year at U16) that, if youre not feeling right, or youre nervous, play hard til near exhaustion--clears the head and if youre fit youll have plenty more for the session

so, yeah, paddle hard, go hard for waves--head should clear, the take a tiny rest and resume

if i have a problem, it's that i can get too relaxed--sometimes i have to yell at myself to stay focused move feet to best position and, generally "want it"
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FRP

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Re: Mental Tricks
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2019, 04:36:03 PM »
A few of my strategies. No fear. Enjoy the drop. It is just water. There will always be another wave. Relax during the beatings. I try to look around and remember how insanely lucky I am to be out in the waves playing. Finally from my surfing guru Katherine Bruwieler, “You can be the hunter or the hunted, you decide”.

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Re: Mental Tricks
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2019, 04:46:14 PM »
I think fear of wiping out plays a big part to feeling "off"  Relax, embrace the wipeout, go for everything, forgive yourself if you fail, and quit thinking about it. 
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Dusk Patrol

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Re: Mental Tricks
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2019, 05:21:29 PM »
“You can be the hunter or the hunted, you decide”.

I love this idea.  I'll decide to be the hunter ...up until the point I'm trapped inside, getting Maytag'ed ;D

Great thread topic btw

« Last Edit: July 02, 2019, 05:30:35 PM by Dusk Patrol »
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TallDude

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Re: Mental Tricks
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2019, 06:58:53 PM »
They are all good days 8)  If you're not having fun, then do something else that is. I could just float in the water and be fine.

Bean

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Re: Mental Tricks
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2019, 08:22:23 PM »
Fake it till you make it, also applies to your stoke level.

OkiWild

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Re: Mental Tricks
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2019, 08:29:25 PM »
They are all good days 8)  If you're not having fun, then do something else that is. I could just float in the water and be fine.

Same. When I start getting frustrated from falling off because it's choppy, too much water moving, too much wind...or just not being able to make the drop, I stop and reflect on the situation. Lucky to just be out there floating around, enjoying the water and scenery. Everything becomes better.

toolate

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Re: Mental Tricks
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2019, 11:36:43 PM »
Wow! fabulous replies everyone! Mahalo For your insights and encouragement!

SUP Leave

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Re: Mental Tricks
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2019, 07:28:24 AM »
I have noticed that surfing is a rhythm sport. Seems like the days that you are 'on' you just have the rhythm of the spot wired. You are are reading the crowd, the waves, current and other factors and getting into good positions for the waves and rides you want.

I suppose better surfers can force the action, but I find that if I am blowing waves, missing peaks, picking close outs, etc that I need to sit outside and watch for a while to see if I am missing some key point. I surfed the last 2 weeks straight and it was interesting to see how different factors affected the line up.

I was trading waves with 4 other surfers at a good right the other day. I had the crowd sorted in my head. One fellow was a beginner and could not go right, so I would take the same wave as him sometimes, one guy blew about 50% of his waves, so I could watch his positioning and take waves that he blew, the other 2 guys knew the spot better than me so I could watch them for positioning cues. I was having a great session. Then a new guy came out who went for every wave. He was a good surfer and basically was of the mind set that he would go for every wave. He messed up the rhythm of the lineup and my session turned sour.

So, I sat outside and watched and noticed that he never back paddled unless it was his turn at the peak, but he would paddle for every wave from just inside the pack. Annoying as it was, he basically was testing the line up and if someone blew a wave he had it. I'm not a really aggressive surfer, so I backed off a couple of waves where he did that to me, but after watching a minute I figured out what the new guy was up to and  got it going again. I would just turn and take my waves, and without fail he would be there 10' to the right paddling too, once I had the wave, I would chirp and he would back off.
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Re: Mental Tricks
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2019, 02:23:30 PM »
When I first read EB's post I thought; that's just another 'horse trainer' who will do anything to add to his credits  ...' certainly true in a generalized sense, but the other part of that I relate to is 'getting tired' and finally relaxing.  I find three stages: Anxiety and nerves first paddling out - a relaxed, breathing normally, middle period and a stumbling, falling, missing-it final stage when I 'jes gotta get outta there.

As c'hitty as I am, I always pick an empty peak. (beachbreaks - break all up/down the beach) I have a cart so it's easy to get away from the folks who cram the first 20 degrees of any entry point. 

Get it while you can...

Jim
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supsean

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Re: Mental Tricks
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2019, 03:43:44 PM »
I always find that a hydration break or just sitting out on the sand and looking at the waves is a good reset button.
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nalu-sup

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Re: Mental Tricks
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2019, 04:40:18 PM »
I can relate to the "toughen up and attack mode", because it is definitely therapeutic, and can feel pretty good, but it does not give me that calm/focused/centered feeling that I think of as being in the zone. After 45 years of studying the oriental approach to such things, through martial arts (karate, aikido, tai chi), mediation, energy work (Jin Shin Jyutsu, Qigong), etc, I would simplify it to two very simple tools. 1. When things are not going well, we tend to breathe fast and shallow; panic breaths. Slowing and deepening the breathing brings a stronger, calmer focus. 2. When we are upset with the situation, the energy tends to move up into the chest and shoulders (kind of like a dog raising the hair on its back), which is connected to the shallow breathing problem. Try thinking of settling your energy into the lower abdominal energy center, what the Japanese call the Hara, and the Chinese call the Lower DanTian. Learning to make this shift is at the heart of every oriental discipline, martial art or other, and can work just as well with an intimidating surf situation.
Hope this isn't too weird for a SUP forum, but it works.
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