Professional surfer, Kolohe Andino looks to his coach Mike Parsons to make him a better surfer. As Parsons knows from his own days as a pro surfer, the mental training is just as important as physical training. Surfer magazine connected with Parsons to talk about the mental game of surfing. Parson shared five aspects of the mental game that every surfer needs to work on in order to the best surfer you can be. You can read the entire interview here.
Below are the points Parsons made and our commentary on each point.
Confidence is at the foundation of every great surfer
Confidence is at the foundation of every great anything – athlete, business person, student or artist. When you’re confident you can do something, you’ll be much better at it than if you question your ability. When a friend first attempted surfing 10-foot waves, he backed off every time. He didn’t have the confidence to go for it. The mental game of surfing stood between him and the surf high.
Know your strengths
So often people focus on improving where they are weak. But if you know your own strengths, and get even stronger in those areas, your weaknesses will diminish by comparison. Yes, you want to strive to improve overall, but when you know your strengths and drive them, you’ll gain confidence. Be decisive. This is the challenge my friend had. He’d start to go for the 10-footer but he’d back off.
Decide what you’re going to do… and do it. As Parsons points out in his interview with Surfer magazine, Kelly Slater is the master of this. Anyone and everyone can question his choices, but that doesn’t dissuade him. Slater knows what he believes and believes what he knows. That decisiveness gives him the competitive mental advantage.
Be confident, not arrogant
This is good advice in life and in surfing. There’s a fine line between the two and it’s respect that makes the difference. Respect other surfers – whether in a competition or in the line up. Nobody likes a cocky son-of-a-bitch.
What happens on land translates to the lineup
Good point. You are who you are. If you’re a happy, confident person that’s who you’ll be in the water and out. And it feeds on itself. You surf well, you feel better about yourself. You feel better about yourself, you build confidence. Confidence helps you surf better.
Do you have tips on winning the mental game of surfing? Please share them below.