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Practice Makes Perfect

Practice Makes Perfect
Fiji junior surfers going through their training drills. Photo: Fiji Surfing
July 09
11:00 2017


The success of the Fijian 7s team took many hours of training, running sand dunes, weight training and hours of practising set plays and so on.

Imagine the level of commitment that a champion swimmer needs to have in order to follow a black line, up and down a pool, lap after lap in order to shave ½ second off their times. Can you feel the strain a weight lifter puts their body through or the punishment a boxer endures. The obvious reason successful athletes endure this is so they can achieve their goals, be successful so as we the public call them lucky.

In comparison as surfers we have it fairly easy on the training front. The activity of surfing is extremely enjoyable in comparison to many other sports. Boats drop us into most of the line-ups on offer, we sit and wait for a wave to come, paddle for short distances and then ride a wave.  Yet it never ceases to amaze me at how up and down the level of commitment to our goals we can be.

Training for surfing to achieve improvement, like all other sports training, is about developing good habits, raising our fitness levels, developing correct technique, competition strategies and improving our mental and physical strength. If we are truly committed to achieving our goals of improvement then our training needs to allow for the developments necessary, to strengthen us physically, mentally and to challenge our comfort zone.

Training in difficult conditions challenge you physically and mentally. Each of us can learn how to deal with close-out surf better, find speed in small surf and read wind affected surf better. Those of you who compete should understand more than most how challenging conditions can be during a competition. Training on a regular basis will ensure a variety of conditions and prepare you better when called on to perform in questionable conditions.

I believe that the pain/ discomfort from training in anything is far less than the feeling of being “knocked out” of a contest that we’d hoped to do well in. The more willing you are to train in poor conditions the “luckier” you’ll tend to be in a heat.

Another area that elite surfers understand is the need to constantly improve by slightly adjusting their technique. Using more rotation, more compression, and more eye direction and so on. I find that the surfers who are able to make these slight improvements/adjustments begin to perform radical multiple manoeuvering on more and more waves. Fine tuning your action involves subtle changes so work at changing or improving every aspect of your surfing performance.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua




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