At that very moment that I step into the water and I have to perform a new trick, my heart is racing and there are many ideas going through my head.
I review the tutorials, I imagine the sequence, but I also visualize the falls and the problems that I may run into. The stress increases.

Have you ever had that feeling?

I used to, and not just in the kite. It is the same feeling when I am in an unusual situation in my work or in everyday life. The key is to understand how to deal with these situations, how to stay calm when you leave your comfort zone.

Performing a kite maneuver requires the ability to deal with many practical aspects that will teach you to act in everyday life as well. A playful way to approach life differently.

Are you curious? I’m sure you’ll find yourself in most of them.

1- The state of mind

Cela peut te paraître évident, mais c’est par là qu’il faut commencer. Parce que notre cerveau a un rôle déterminant dans tout, que cela soit pour le meilleur ou pour le pire.
Avoir le bon esprit nous aide à gérer le stress, à visualiser l’objectif, ainsi qu’à résister à un effort et à surmonter une difficulté.

Laisse-moi te donner un exemple.

The kiteloop/megaloop. This move is one of those that best describes the mental aspect of kitesurfing. Once you’ve learned the technique of making simple loops, and you know how to use it for turning or landing small jumps, it’s time to get serious.
So far the risks are limited and the progression controlled. But to make the leap, you need that little bit of irrationality, which is the product of experience and self-awareness.
It’s time to leave fear aside and trust the skills you’ve acquired. If fear prevails, the maneuver will be poorly executed and the fall painful. So it’s time to trust your potential: ride fast, focus on the take-off point and jump as if you don’t want to pull the loop (if you think about the loop you risk being held back by fear). Yes, because for a real kiteloop you have to jump high or the impact will be tough for your knees. But once you reach the peak, there’s no more time to think, you just have to trust your instincts and pull the bar as hard as you can, the rest (if you’ve properly learned the technique) will come by itself.

This is the moment where the mental becomes the main actor. It’s just a matter of standing up against fear and letting your adrenaline and instinct drive you.
You will be confronted with the biggest problem, managing anxiety and fighting “avoidance”, which is the behavior of the human being who tends to procrastinate an action while enjoying a short-term benefit, but which will have negative consequences in the long term.
If you can overcome yourself and push yourself towards the unknown, you increase your resilience, a term used in psychology to indicate the ability to cope with traumatic events in a positive way, to reorganize positively when facing challenges, to rebuild yourself by remaining sensitive to opportunities, without alienating your identity.

Therefore, you should always try to face your fears, no matter how small or insignificant they may be, as soon as possible to prevent them from becoming insurmountable obstacles.

By not pulling the bar you will stay in your comfort zone, you will perhaps enjoy your jump ( possibly greeted by a tourist’s gesture of approval on the beach), and you will continue your ride. But sooner or later you’ll be up against your goal again, and the more you postpone it, the bigger and more unrealizable it will seem to you.

In life, it’s not that different. Acquire knowledge, study and be prepared. But then you have to take the first step, just as at some point when you get up to 7-8 meters you have to pull your bar to make a perfect kiteloop!

Jojo-Heurto- kite trick

2- Be fit

The mental is closely related to being physically fit. In order to succeed in any activity, cultural or physical, you have to feel good with yourself and your body.
This doesn’t mean spending hours in the gym, running a marathon or being fooled by today’s influencers, who are promoting the cult of nothingness. Everyone has their own level and everyone must know their limits, which must be respected.

“Mens sana in corpore sano”.

Many times, I’ve been to the sport tired. And the session has been affected. A positive physical energy will unleash a proportional mental strength and give you the right charge to succeed.
On the contrary, if you feel weak, your fears will increase, reducing your confidence, and the goal will seem unapproachable.

Just like in sport, you can’t undertake a life change, or an action that is important to you, if you’re not in good shape.

Lilian-and-Clement- kite trick

3- Perseverance

You can’t expect to succeed everything on the first try, just like you can’t land a trick at first attempt. And I’ll tell you a secret, even if you do, you won’t be able to master it. It’s just beginner’s luck.

You learn by your mistake is not just a proverb, it’s the truth. Don’t be afraid to lose your face, no one’s going to judge you, and if they do, don’t pay attention to them. On the contrary, you have to make a mistake in order to improve and really understand what you have to focus on to progress and not make the same mistake again.

Perseverance is the key. You’re going to have to repeat that trick over and over again, falling down, getting up and starting over. Repeating the movement will help you to automatize it and finally master it, and then you’ll be able to perform it in any situation.

Isn’t it the same with your work?

Arthur-Samzun - kite trick

4- Relax and manage the effort

Be careful handling the effort. Your body needs pauses, which will allow your body and brain to assimilate the movements and any mistakes made. There are times when repeated action will lead you to consolidate your failure by establishing a negative habit. That is the time to take a break, relax, do something else. Focus on another trick or take the day off.

Years ago, I was in Venezuela and I was learning a basic figure like the frontroll and I had to face more problems than I expected. As an autodidact I got stubborn on the move, multiplying my mistakes and blocking the rotation always at the same time. The result was a broken kite (a big L) and some big bruises on my leg and back. However, a forced break, three days to repair the kite, allowed me to come back as fresh and carefree as possible. I asked a coach on site for some tips, and in 1 hour I was able to learn it!

A break and quality advice are key ingredients.

5- No to multitask

Don’t think you’re a robot. Multitasking is not a quality that makes you better. If you want to maximize your performance, focus on one thing, on one trick. Once you succeed, you move on.
Center your attention on one maneuver or one aspect of it. Only if you master it you should make it more complex or shift your attention to something else.
Doing two things at the same time is a waste of energy and will take you longer, as demonstrated by this article (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/creativity-without-borders/201405/the-myth-multitasking) I invite you to read.

Avoid multitasking, reduce energy loss and increase focus on the right target. Otherwise you will find yourself doing like the dog, which at the sight of two squirrels, chases a bit ‘one and a bit’ the other and then remain like a fool without prey.

Ben-la-Mouette - kite trick

6- No cheating

I love this point. Although more than advice, it is a lesson I hope you can apply in everyday life.

When you perform a trick, you can’t cheat. Even if you have the most expensive kite, the best coach, the best conditions, it’s you who has to do the move. No one else. You can’t fool anyone, you’re alone against yourself.

Be yourself, understand who you are and what your strengths are to find the best way to succeed. Each one of us has weaknesses, identifying them you will figure out how to fight them. And the same must happen in everyday life.

Didier-Botta-kite trick

7- It’s your fault

If you mess up, if you fail, if things don’t go the way you wish, remember that you’ re doing the trick, nobody else. As in kiteboarding we often blame the weather conditions or the equipment, in life we always find some buck-passing.

But you and I both know the truth. The pioneers used to perform maneuvers that were unthinkable at the time with an unsafe and less sophisticated equipment. How can you complain about even the worst kite in 2020?

The reality is that failure causes unpleasant feelings, and finding excuses helps us to cheer ourselves up or free ourselves of an “invisible burden”. But that’s not how we advance.
You should handle this burden and try to use your failure to come back stronger than before. You will see that no one will laugh at you, and you will achieve your goal.

AJ-Philipsen kite trick

Goals for your next session

As soon as you can go kiting, try to be rested, and in a positive attitude. Keep your goal in mind and try to focus on it for at least the first half hour of your session (when your body will be at its best). If you make a mistake, keep going. Don’t think about changing just because you are struggling. Try to understand where you are failing, ask someone. Don’t look for shortcuts. You’ll succeed.

And once you’ve done the exercise, apply it to everyday life as well!

Let me know how it went.

THANKS FOR READING