Overcome Emotions



We all need help to overcome emotions when having a bad day. On occasion, all of us let a poor performance on the water affect the eventual outcome of a race or regatta. Your emotions in the heat of battle will determine your success.

How Do We Turn The Tide In Our Favour

If you are competing in a multiple-race regatta and after a few days of competition, you find yourself well down in the standings, it is hard to be optimistic about the final outcome.

What you and your team need to do is ask yourselves the question, what can we do to turn the tide in our favour? Don’t throw in the towel.

The first thing that you need to do is work past your emotions. Evaluate each race and note where mistakes were made. Be honest, sometimes one simple manoeuvre has set off a series of events that compounded that problem.

Once you have identified the issue, work out what you can do in the following races to make sure you don’t repeat it. Talk through with the crew what you are going to do differently when that situation occurs again.

Go Back To Basics – Overcome Emotions

When you are having poor results, don’t be too shy to go back to basics. Think back to past regattas where you enjoyed more success. You need to be consistent and not take major risks to try to salvage the event.

Reevaluate how you are steering, how your team are sheeting the sails, and how you are setting the rig. Often when having a bad regatta, many competitors make major changes, looking for the magic bullet.

In nearly all cases it’s been losing sight of the basics that has caused the issue.

Having a better second half of the regatta is the reward for regrouping and keeping emotions in check.

Chain Reaction – Overcome Emotions

Having a setback after starting a race series well is usually caused by abandoning your well-tried and tested routines.

Was it trying to cover both sides of the course at the same time or attempting to cover too many boats in shifty conditions?

There are a number of ways to improve your regatta if you have started out poorly.

  • For instance, try a more conservative start. When you try for the very best position on the line, you risk failure.
  • Sail more freely and put the bow down when appropriate. Don’t pinch to be the highest boat in the fleet. Sometimes when we are struggling in fleet races, we blame our lack of height for our poor results. Often the cause was not allowing the foils to have the requisite flow to get you the same height as everyone else.
  • When you are behind off the wind, there is a temptation to sail low to gain on the boats in front. A short sugar hit when looking forward at your initial angle soon turns to dismay when you reach the leeward mark having lost distance. This seldom works and you must maintain VMG in order to be competitive.
  • You must not believe that you are beaten and should sail enthusiastically and hard right to the finish. Because of the nature of our sport, there are always opportunities to improve your placing right up to crossing the line.
  • You can’t always make a comeback but you should work toward improving your sailing every day. If you separate your emotions and think about specifics you will always have a chance of improving your fleet position.