Do nothing, get better?
It’s been two and a half months in Europe, and now I am on my way home! I am physically and mentally exhausted, but overall, happy with the progress that I have made and the things I have learned. I have been pretty bad about writing updates lately, but will try to be more regular going forward.
The last regatta of this block was the Delta Lloyd Regatta in Holland, which just finished today. Result-wise, I didn’t do very well. On the first day of the regatta, I actually had a great day. I executed some fantastic starts and had decent boat speed. Going into the regatta, I was feeling really mentally tired and a bit sick. On the first day, when I was sailing well, it was no problem, but then, as soon as I started to make mistakes, it really hit me and I felt really low energy for the rest of the regatta. I got really frustrated with myself a lot at this regatta, because I felt that I was capable of doing so much better that I did.
Historically my reaction to this would be to get super fired up to start training right away to try and fix all my weaknesses. This time is different. I am still motivated for training and to get back to work, but I also realize that the reason that I underperformed my expectations here was not because of a lack of training. It was simply because I was really tired going into the regatta and not in a mental or physical state to perform.
I guess this is one of the benefits of having done many things wrong in the past: I have lots of experiences to learn from. Last year, I had a 4 month period where I really hardly improved, and I now realize that this is probably the reason why. It went like this: fatigued -> bad race performance -> frustration -> train even more -> even more fatigue -> even worse race performance -> … you get the picture…
I think this is a very natural reaction. If you have a problem, you want to fix it. In the case of sports, the obvious way is with more training. I’m starting to realize that maybe that is not always the answer. For me, it was a really weird concept to get my head around, but now that I have, I am quite confident that with some genuine time off, a lot of my problems from this regatta will solve themselves.
I’m making it sound like some massive innovation – for me it is, but I’m really not talking about anything that crazy. My plan is to take 7 – 10 days fully off when I get home before getting back into it. We will see how it goes : )
Once I get back into training, I will be preparing for the Laser North Americans, which are being hosted by the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club at the end of June. It has been a really long time since I have raced at home, and I am REALLY excited for it!
Thanks for reading,