Although a tournament might last all day, you’re actually only on the water for a short time during most events. How you spend the rest of the day is up to you. We spoke with five leading pros to find out what they do on the day of a big event and discovered a wide variety of different habits. Some have specific physical warm-up routines. Some simply relax and try to enjoy themselves. Others use meditative visualization to put their minds into a Zen-like state of clarity. It turns out, it doesn’t really matter how you spend your time as long as what you do – or perhaps don’t do – allows you to win.
A major part of my warm-up routine is visualization. I set aside two to three minutes before I walk onto the dock to close my eyes and go through each individual pass, anticipating what will happen throughout my set. I visualize myself on the slalom course making the right movements and feeling the right things. I find this really helps me turn into the first gate with confidence and limit the number of surprises that can occur. — Aaron Larkin, 2010 Moomba Masters slalom champ