Sailing

Is Your Head Stopping Your From Racing to Your Potential?

You have to believe in yourself and have the self-confidence to sail your own race!

So what kind of a head do you have on your shoulders? Are you sailing and competing at the level that you’re capable of? Or do fears, self-doubts and comparison thoughts paralyze you and prevent you from performing to your potential?

If some of these questions bother you, then you probably already know how critically important the mental part of sailing is. If you want to take your performance to the next level, then you have to be willing to take your training far beyond where most sailors stop. Most serious competitors religiously work on the physical part of their sport. They’ll work on their strength and fitness. They’ll work on the proper technique and racing strategy. Is this stuff important? You betcha! You can’t become successful without “paying your physical dues” in this way. Hard work is definitely one of the main keys to your success. Without it, you’ll quickly fall behind.

CONTROL YOUR FOCUS FOR CHAMPIONSHIP RACING

  1. Keep your focus on what YOU are doing in your boat and NOT on others.
  2. When you race, concentrate on “seeing, reading and reacting” to the weather, currents and competition, NOT on your thinking.
  3. When your focus leaves what you’re doing and goes to your thoughts, quickly bring it back.
  4. Leave your race expectations on shore – Stay in the moment by moment flow of the race.
  5. Focus on your pre-race routine and nothing else to stay calm and confident pre-race.

Unfortunately, this is where most sailors stop. When they go into their races, they hope they’ll perform well, they hope that the conditions will be with them, they hope that they’ll have a good finish. You would never leave your conditioning, technique or racing strategy to chance. So why would you leave the most important part of your sailing – the mental side – to chance?

Think about this: Unusual and unpredictable weather and tide conditions aside, races are won and lost before the start! In other words, being successful is almost all mental on race day. What you focus on both before and during your Regattas can affect your confidence level, how calm and confident you feel and thus can make or break how you race. For example, your concentration needs to stay in the moment, on responding immediately to the racing situation that you find yourself in and being ready to adjust at a moment’s notice. If you let your mind jump ahead to the future, (i.e. thinking about winning or losing) or slip back to the past (i.e. a previous mistake or race), then you’ll end up getting yourself too uptight and distracted to perform to your potential.

You have to believe in yourself and have the self-confidence to aggressively sail your own race – rather than your opponent’s – when you’re under pressure. Developing this master mental skill of concentration will help you do this.

With a little work, this mental skill – as well as a few important others – can be systematically trained to the point where you develop a reputation as a mentally tough competitor. We can help you get there.

Dr. Alan Goldberg is an internationally-recognized Sports Performance Consultant who works with sailors around the world, helping them to develop mental toughness and race to their potential. Dr. G has been a clinician at the US Sailing national Convention and writes on the subjects of peak performance and mental toughness. He is the author of the revolutionary new book, This Is Your Brain On Sports: Beating Blocks, Slumps and Performance Anxiety for Good! Check out his popular Mental Toughness Training Package.

  • I used to get too psyched out by other sailors when I raced. I'd see them and start worrying about how good they were. Thanks to your program I only focus on what's going on in my boat and the results have been amazing! Grateful!

    Dennis Florida
  • When I competed in big regattas I would always fall apart and what really frustrated me was that I was great in small races! What a turnaround!

    Ben L. Florida
  • Thanks for your CDs! I couldn’t stop my mind from racing and my results showed! After working with your program I know just what to do mentally and I’m more confident than ever!

    Evan J. California
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Resources

OVERCOMING PERFORMANCE FEARS AND BLOCKS Are you struggling with a seemingly mysterious performance problem? Have you or your athlete suddenly lost BASIC abilities? FINALLY understand where this FRUSTRATING problem comes from and what you can do about it!

THE MENTAL SIDE OF ATHLETIC INJURIES The mental pain caused by your injury and the temporary or permanent loss of your sport can be far more devastating than the strained or torn ligaments, pulled muscles, ripped cartilage or broken bones. Unless this type of pain is directly addressed and “treated”, your overall recovery will be slow and incomplete.

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