Seth Stisher, Pro Slalom Skier & Coach:
When speaking of water skiing specifically, I always urge skiers to “Think on the dock” when working in a teaching/coaching/learning environment. But of course rehearse enough prior to game-day to be able to get on the water and execute by FEEL.
Mental rehearsal is one of the most flawless forms of practice because you have more control over your performance. Don’t overlook the value of perfect execution through mental rehearsal.
Observe other athletes whom you would like to emulate as much as possible. Visualize and imagine yourself doing the moves.
Get a lot of good coaching. Understanding your sport well will help you get out of a slump more quickly and enable you to self-correct during training.
Focus on the moment and learn coping skills to deal with distractions during your practice. Water ski world record holder Chris Parish’s dad would shoot paintballs at him during practice while Slalom Champion Jamie Beauchesne’s dad would drive the boat around to make the water rough for practice. Both Chris and Jamie learned to deal with distractions.
Finally, it always helps to be grateful for the chance to practice the sport, especially if no one’s shooting paintballs at you.
by Alison Poulsen, Phd, and
Seth Stisher, Pro Slalom Skier and Coach
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