Developing Strategic Thinking


Strategic thinking involves envisioning what might happen in the future, with the available information at-hand, and then applying that to future performances. It involves:

    • Evaluating the current situation: Surfers need to study the beach & ocean before competing to understand what the ocean is doing in regard to access to the break, location of breaking waves, rhythm of the quality waves, and other information that may affect a surfer’s performance in an upcoming heat.
    • Generating ideas: From the beach information obtained, surfers are then able to generate possible strategies that may help them achieve in the upcoming heat. This could include the following: access to the break pre-heat, their starting positioning, and the type of waves they want to catch during their heat.
    • Creating plans: Once a surfer has assessed the possible strategies that could work on a given day, they should determine a concrete “starting strategy” to begin their heat, with a flexible backup plan [plan B] to change to if the dynamics of the heat change.
    • Make better decisions competing: With a concrete plan created, surfers are able to monitor their in-heat performances through using the “live” in-heat information coupled with their stated plan. ”What do I do now?” is a critical question all surfers should be asking after each wave ridden, and the answers that a surfer comes up with are often guided by the previously developed strategic plan.

“Developing Strategic Thinking” teachers surfers how to plan and think with flexibility when in the ocean. Covering observing the ocean, planning, executing plans, and learning from a surfer’s competition performances – “Developing Strategic Thinking” is an essential resource for all motivated surfers and coaches.

Adrian “Ace” Buchan





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