(OPENSOARING, 03. september 2018)
I was asked by OpenSoaring to put something down on paper regarding my attitude to soaring sport & how I’ve managed to begin to succeed in becoming a strong & focused competitor. This has come at a good time for me, as it values to be a good debrief item for my WGC summer of 2018.
For those that know me, they would all say that I have a positive attitude & hunger to succeed, a real thirst for knowledge of the skies, it has run in my blood since a young boy. My father would never let me win at anything, I mean that in a good way. He would always say, “got to beat your kids while you can!” Meaning, they will grow up, become stronger & will eventually beat you … For as long as I can remember it’s been a dream & somewhat of an obsession to become & be a world champion, I gather my parents without knowing helped create this focus.
My mother implanted a key point in my life too from a young age, belief in myself. Later George Lee, while on his ‘Plain Soaring’ advanced XC racing course, re-instilled this belief skill within me, giving me a feeling of ‘knowing, I can’ too. With all the above, when ever I’m not in the soaring skies I have a feeling that someone, somewhere, is practicing or competing to beat me. This drives my hunger to always want to be strapping in for my next flight. When doing so, the feeling is always, I wonder what I’ll learn today, how will I achieve even the smallest of goals that I’ve set myself – subconsciously or not, how much fun am I going to have too today?
I like to share my experiences with others, ask more open questions, from first solo pilots to all my idols – everyone knows something that you don’t, it’s amazing what you can learn from others just by asking or sharing information yourself. So what makes me a strong competitor? I’m humbled to think that some may consider me as this. I think it’s because I was brought up in a gliding family, so even when I couldn’t fly myself as a 10 year old, I’d be listening to all the pilots at the bar talking about their flights & experiences, subconsciously I think this sunk in; then I think George Lee played apart in giving me the skill, feel of the sky, this takes care of all my micro decisions without any thought at all; my career has certainly helped lately, giving me all the time & money opportunities I need; I think it comes down to the fact that I just really enjoy our wonderful sport, all the unknowns, the rewards of doing well on a day & comp, the greater gliding family, always feeling like I’m at home where ever I am in the world, the support & encouragement to always better myself.
What is weakening me as a competitor? I’m slowly getting over it as my experiences grow, I think that I get a lot of my speed & semi-reliable day results now just because of my overall desire to achieve & my absolute currency always. So what is it? A fear of failure. I think I could achieve much much more when I can truly unlock this one with absolute belief that I’m not afraid to fail, but willing to truly win with appropriate sporting risks. So if there’s any sports psychologists reading this within the gliding world, I’d love to hear from you!
Finally. “Why aren’t I flying? I should be flying right now. Someone, somewhere is up there practicing to beat me!”