These two interesting articles were written by Stan Popovich, who is the author of "A Layman's Guide to Managing Fear Using Psychology, Christianity and Non Resistant Methods" - a book of techniques that are effective in managing persistent fears and anxieties. Perhaps beginners and competing surfers can draw some useful tips for surf competitions…
Managing your anxieties in surfing
At times, our worries and anxieties can overwhelm us. In addition, our worries can distort our perception of what is reality and what is not. As a result, this may interfere with your surfing. Here is a brief list of techniques that a surfer can use to help gain a better perspective on things during their anxious moments.
Sometimes we get stressed out when everything happens all at once. When this happens, a person should take a deep breath and try to find something to do for a few minutes to get their mind off of the problem. A person could read the newspaper, listen to some music or do an activity that will give them a fresh perspective on things. This is a great technique to use right before your next event.
Remember that our fearful thoughts are exaggerated and can make the problem worse. A good way to manage your worry is to challenge your negative thinking with positive statements and realistic thinking. When encountering thoughts that make you fearful or anxious, challenge those thoughts by asking yourself questions that will maintain objectivity and common sense.
Remember that all the worrying in the world will not change anything. Most of what we worry about never comes true. Instead of worrying about something that probably won't happen, concentrate on what you are able to do.
Another technique that is very helpful is to have a small notebook of positive statements that you can carry around with you. Whenever you come across an affirmation that makes you feel good, write it down in a small notebook that you can carry around with you. Whenever you feel stressed before your event, open up your small notebook and read those statements. This will help to manage your negative thinking.
In every anxiety-related situation you experience, begin to learn what works, what doesn't work, and what you need to improve on in managing your fears and anxieties. For instance, you have a lot of anxiety before your event and you decide to take a walk to help you feel better. The next time you feel anxious you can remind yourself that you got through it the last time by taking a walk. This will give you the confidence to manage your anxiety the next time around.
Take advantage of the help that is available around you. If possible, talk to a professional who can help you manage your fears and anxieties. They will be able to provide you with additional advice and insights on how to deal with your current problem. By talking to a professional, a person will be helping themselves in the long run because they will become better able to deal with their problems in the future. Remember that it never hurts to ask for help.
It is not easy to deal with all of our fears and worries. When your fears and anxieties have the best of you, try to calm down and then get the facts of the situation. The key is to take it slow. All you can do is to do your best each day, hope for the best, and when something does happen, take it in stride. Take it one step at a time and things will work out.
Do not stress over your competition?
Many surfers sometimes get anxious when they go against a tough opponent. They get nervous on who they are competing with and they get so worked up that they lose focus. In the end, they make mistakes and end up beating themselves up if they do not win. As a result, here is a list of techniques that a surfer can use to help manage the stress of going against the competition.
The first step is to learn as much as you can on your opponent. Although this may seem obvious, some surfers may think they already know what they need to know. Remember there is always something to learn about your competition. Read the reports about your opponent and watch him or her performance. Try to figure out an angle on how you can beat your competition. The more you know about your competition the better your chances are you will win. This will also help to reduce your worries in the future.
Do not assume anything about your competition whether they are stronger or weaker than you. Every athlete has his good and bad times and just because you may be facing a stronger opponent does not mean that you will lose. Remember that you and your opponent both have an equal chance of winning. You are both starting from scratch. This should help you to give you confidence going into your next event.
Focus on how you can best strive for perfection in your own event instead of worrying about your opponent. For instance, you are going against the number one athlete in the tournament and you are nervous. Instead of focusing on how good your competition is, focus on your performance. Concentrate on how you can perform your event and how you can best improve on your problem areas.
Realize that you can't win all of the time and that also includes your competition. You may be the best athlete in the world, however you will still sometimes lose. No one can win all of the time. When facing a tough competitor, use this fact to your advantage. Even the best athletes will make some mistakes.
It is not uncommon to get nervous when you go against a better opponent. All you can do is to focus on your skill sets and do the best you can. This will help you in the long run.