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Thought for the day - Be careful what you wish for

Since the Veterans Championship I have been playing a lot of golf and that teaches you to quieten your mind before each shot. Unfortunately there are days when the mind plays tricks on you and all sorts of negative thoughts come into play just before you strike the ball resulting in bad shots. 3 bad rounds and one good round

Golf is a little different to sailing. You are trying to strike a stationary object with a 2 by one inch blade on the end of a 2 metre stick. The psychologists will tell you there is a ball and target and that is all that matters, but the brain sees all the obstacles in between and if one is not careful they become the target. Before each shot there is just you and a stupid little ball that seems to say,

"You think you are going to fire me at that target but I have other plans."

You line up the ball and the target, take your stance, perform a couple of practice swings and then address the ball. The mind is quiet as you start the backswing. At the top of the backswing a voice in your head starts muttering

"Dont hit left into the trees",

"Don't hit right into the ditch"

"Don't top the ball into the heather in front of you".

As you start the downswing the damage is done, the subconscious picks up on the command and of course it does not recognise negative commands. Like a precision arrow the ball is driven into the trees or the heather or ditch or wherever you don't want it to go and the most amazing thing, you can find the tiniest obstacle if you think about it because the subconscious is so accurate.

The thought process can play tricks in sailing to. During the Vets comp we sailed in heats and I started to focus on keeping out of the bottom 4 so I did not drop down to the next level. Guess what happened? I was always fighting to stay out of that group of 4. It was only half way through Saturday that I started to rethink and focus on winning rather than protecting position. Results improved immediately and I eventually broke into the A Heat. 6 races in the A heat and 4 in the B fleet. As I said in a previous post my sailing was riddled with errors so could have been a lot better. Another thought that plagued me early on was that I could get inside boats around marks. It took a few races to learn that I could not without hitting someone but that may be down to lack of experience.

Here are the overall results. Heat A results are 1-15, B results are 16 - 30 its

Note the top production designs, Britpop, K2, Sedici Vision, V10, Cheinz, Venti, Pikanto. Quite a variety.

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