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Surfing through sport & life lessons: Margaret River workshop
15 March 2013
Surfing WA FOUNDATION CORE workshop Margaret River, March 15

story by Jesse Philips

The last time I went for a surf, it was…well…look, let's just say I wouldn't last very long out the back at Margaret Rivermain break - especially in the conditions that the brave young surfers had to face the day after the workshop at the Margaret River Karate Club.

Surfing is a very technical sport and requires dedication and practice to master. It offers an incredibly enjoyable and spiritual experience for people with strong cultural symbolism all around the world.

How though, do young athletes set "elite" sport processes in to their practice, without losing the love of 'going for a surf'?

Like with anything that people want to be successful with in life - planning and practice are so important, especially when the competition 'to be the best', or to win a sponsorship, or to get into the next round is so high. Being able to lay all your time commitments in life is one way to start managing a successful surfing career. Things to think about can be endless: competitions, travel, training, eating, sleeping, school or university (in many cases) and add to that the demands of work when the time comes along as well as social time for friends and family. So planning your life is one area to be mastered, and there are many ways to start practicing better planning as an athlete, see the DC website for resources - (the tab on the left).

 The surfers listening keenly and getting involved

Over the last 3 months, since a double surgery (hip and shoulder) in October, I have been back into kayak and weight training. The feelings after paddling again after a long break are incredibly humbling - I thought I would never get back to Olympic form, but now with a few hundred kilometres under the belt I feel much more on top of my progress back to my best. It was the processes that I have developed in my training environment over years, which has most helped me assimilate back to that place of progress. I rely on good planning and deliberate practice to ensure that I am getting the most out of the beautiful mornings on the river.

I may never be a world champ surfer, but if I intend to surf one day (a little more seriously than I have to date), then using these skills of process will surely help me pick up a few good rides.

Until next time, aim for gold in every day.

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