The Psychology of Winning


Psychology Of Winning – We need to understand the psychology of winning to become truly great in our sport.

Should We Chase The Latest Go-Fast Gear?

Too many of us chase newer and better boat designs, faster sails, and the latest go-fast gear and techniques. Perhaps the most important factor to sailboat racing success is psychology.

Not to take anything away from expert technical skills or impeccable boat handling. It’s the sailor who has not only mastered these but has control of their thoughts and emotions that wins.

How many regattas have you been at when there has been a sailor who always seems to have a stroke of luck, winning the regatta without winning a single race.

When you come up against that sailor, they always win a tactical battle making you feel as though you are slow. This is another instance of when psychology has beaten you because that was the outcome you already expected.

They seem to combine incredible luck with moderate boat speed.

These sailors tend to be quiet thinking sailors but the real reason for their outstanding results is just that – thinking ahead. These sailors treat the race as a game or a problem to be solved, they are psychologically strong.

Anyone can be “lucky” like this and if you want to win you need to study the game. It needs to be studied as a whole and develop the right mental approach to the problem.

Don’t allow emotion to influence your decisions. Letting your fear of light air, tough competition, unstable wind or a multitude of outside factors cloud your thinking.

If it is the tough competition that concerns you, look for their weak points. Know that they are beatable and use a little psychology to get it into your head that you can do it. But above all, you have to have the will to win.

Cultivate The Right Mental Attitude

The surest way to improve your racing results is to cultivate the right mental attitude. That is the psychology of winning.

You do that by continually learning something new. Improvement is incremental and every new bit of knowledge helps to build confidence which in turn gives you a psychological advantage.

Learn the rules so that when you meet the class heavyweight on the course you will not meekly surrender.

Many sailors don’t have the confidence to challenge someone who they think is much better than them. This happens even if they know they are in the right.

Knowledge, that gives psychological strength will enable anyone with a competitive boat and crew to win any race anywhere.