Losing Your Touch? How To Get Out Of A Slump

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Back To Basics

If you feel as though you are losing your touch out on the race course sometimes you need to go back and start at the beginning.

If your performance is a shadow of your past, you need to go through each one of the potential problem areas.

First, check the finish of the boat and your equipment and make sure that it is up to racing standard.

Practice working on weaknesses

Next, go sailing and work on your steering, your sails and adjustments. If you think the problem is something you are doing, work with your team to analyse. Once analysed come up with a consensus to fix the issue.

Once you have an answer, go out for a full training session or two to work on and fix the problem that is causing your current “go-slows”.

The most important point here is don’t go looking for excuses, go all the way back to the beginning and recheck everything. Once that is done, go sailing to improve your performance.

Be honest with yourself, you may find that you are not footing because the sails are not sheeted properly. You are not pointing because you have not bent the mast to suit the conditions.

A question often asked regarding a slump is “have we peaked too soon”. Sometimes, before an event, it does no harm to have a poor result to bring you back to earth.

Treat it as a wake-up call and go back to the basics to evaluate where you are really at. An overconfident sailor gets too relaxed and does not concentrate on steering, keeping the boat flat & trimmed correctly or studying the sails and equipment diligently enough.

Debrief to identify weaknesses

When you have a bad day, during the debrief, list at least 10 things that you could have done better. This should include input from everyone on the team. 

Once the list is put together, use your practice sessions to work on each of the problems identified. Sharpen your skills so that next time you race these problems do not occur again.