Went fishing yesterday. Up at 5:30, grabbed my 9 year old and headed for Edmonds, on the water with fresh bait by 6:10 am. Now my son is a natural fisherman, but lacks focus at times. To catch the morning bite and avoid burning Matthew out, our goal was to fish low tide at 8am, then back in the marina by 10 am. We want him to like fishing.
We had three poles working from the gun and changed locations to "the honey hole" off Bainbridge by 7:15am. By 9:30-10 am my son was losing steam, we both had fallen asleep at times, and he was starting to ask when we were going home. I went to the front of the boat with Matthew and distracted him with a school of porpoises in the distance, while Clem worked his magic with the poles. I decided to tell Matthew my fishing secret. This secret has worked for me countless times, but what blows me away is that it works in fishing, a sport you have very little control over.
After our little talk on the bow we head back to the poles and we decide we are going to fish till 10:30. Still no luck, so we pull in 2 of the 3 poles and it is now 10:29. One pole left in the water and we decide we need to head back. Clem pulls the pole out of the holder and pops the line off the weight and guess what. He looks at the tip as it dives down "I think there is something on there."
Now to be honest, when I gave Matthew the talk about how to think about fishing for success, I questioned whether to share my technique with him. Visualization techniques are kinda "weird" and you don't want your kid to think you are a whack job for thinking about how something that isn't true in the moment affects the future like magic. But since it has worked so well for me, and he has a big swim meet coming up, I figured even if we got skunked it was a teachable moment.
But my visualization was that we had a "boatful of fish", not just one. When Clem brought in the first one we celebrated and couldn't believe that we were down to the last 30 seconds of our fishing time, and caught one just when we thought we had lost. Clem and I talked for a moment about how often this pattern plays out, you work hard toward something, you have a clear goal, yet you aren't getting any better/closer/faster. You plateau and sometimes you go backwards. It is never a straight line. It gets you wondering why you started in the first place. Fears of losing, doubt about your ability, negative ideas on your wasted time/money/energy/sanity can creep in.
"When you try sometimes...you just might find...you get what you need." My favorite Rolling Stones lyric. I could go on here about how you need to push it to the limit, beyond the limit, give it everything you've got, fail 1000 times, get back up and do it again. And when you are ready to give up, have had enough, are pulling your final pull before you throw your bike off a cliff, you might be surprised to find yourself among select company, reaching exactly the goal you had set for yourself, or pulling in your third fish when you had reached no reasonable hope. (We didn't see another net pulling fish into boats our entire time on the water).
The visualization technique? Think about what success is for you, ie. "we have a bunch of fish in the boat and are happy" and feel how good it feels. Imagine it like it has already happened and think on that feeling for a moment. Go to the finish line and enjoy the moment, practice how good it will feel. Hey, what is the worst thing that can happen?
Cycle University is an endurance sports coaching company with 2 retail bicycle shops founded by former pro cyclist Craig Undem based in Seattle, WA . Cycle U is run by experienced professional coaches focused on providing athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and hobbyists with the proper education, training and equipment to empower self improvement and personal excellence. Whether the focus is recreational, advanced, or professional level, the education and processes crafted by Cycle University provides the knowledge, practice & expertise to improve your athletic performance.
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