Developing A Performance – 5 Essential Concepts

Developing a performance to its full potential or just to improve a single manoeuvre… requires a surfer to adhere to 5 fundamental concepts.

1.  Understand that all surfers can become better at surfing. In surfing there is still an undercurrent in thinking that surfers just have to surf more to better their surfing. This is true up to a point, but for most, performance barriers appear than most surfers can’t break through. But with specific training, targeting the faulty components of performance, surfing can be improved and performance barriers broken. This is equally true for the new surfer, grommet, surfing mum, recreational surfer, and competition surfer.

2. Learn that all skills are made up of recognisable components that can be targeted and trained. Understanding this reality allows a surfer to believe that improving a performance is achievable by working on a skill’s components rather than the whole. This “component” approach, makes learning a new skill or fixing a faulty one much more manageable, both physically and mentally.

3. Figure out what part of a skill is faulty. When a surfer has a faulty skill, it is usually one part of the skill rather than the whole that is incorrect. Figure out what component is faulty and focus on that part, and the whole skill can be improved in both performance and consistency terms.

4. Focus on improving the faulty component when surfing. Once the faulty component has been identified, surfers should focus on this part of the skill when surfing. This can start on the beach by performing skate and on-beach simulations, to create a focused mindset as a surfer paddles-out to begin their training session. Then a surfer can maintain their focus after each wave ridden by reminding themselves of the task and what they have to do to achieve it.

5. Continue focusing & training the skill until automatic. Surfers should train the faulty skill until it becomes automatic. This can take time [weeks, months], but for the highly motivated, better surfing performances are achievable through the hard work of training and staying focused on task.

The reality of the training process is that it can be a hard with lots of frustrations, but for those surfers that persist, when success becomes more common, those frustrations turn into joy and a sense of achievement. Working on your surfing can be FUN for those who really want to be the best they can be.