Often the 48 hours leading up to an event can be the toughest; the nerves have started to kick in, thanks to your taper you have plenty of energy and you’re out of your home environment so it can be difficult to feel comfortable.
DON’T CHANGE ANYTHING
Try to keep your routine as close as possible to what you do at home. If every day your routine is to wake up and have a coffee, keep doing that up on race day as well. Excellence is a habit, not an act. There will obviously be things that will be different but make sure you’re aware of them and plan to overcome them.
CONTROL WHAT YOU CAN
Wasting energy on things that you can’t control is a pitfall for all athletes. The weather / wind / swell is a huge one for the Gold. Check the forecast but don’t stress it, you can’t control it. What other competitors do. Any changes to times/course/events. Weather, swell and wind. You have no influence over any of these, acknowledge them and stay in your own lane.
DO IT ONCE AND DO IT RIGHT
Pre-race nerves can cause you to double or even triple check EVERYTHING even though you don’t need to. My advice is do everything right, THE FIRST TIME. Have a paddle the day before the race and then stop, more isn’t better. Eat what you’d planned to eat the day before the Gold, no-more, no-less. Use a list to pack your gear the night before. Have a look over the course, become familiar with it, then put it away. Decide on an arrival, warm-up time and then stick to it… Doing things 3 or 4 times rarely changes them in this situation.
BREATH AND FEEL GOOD
Often just before a big event/Coolangatta Gold, athletes can become obsessed with over analysing how they’re feeling… and then stressing if it’s not what they expected. Try not to focus on how you feel internally in the days leading up to the race, instead focus on being happy and excited about the opportunity to test yourself. Take a deep breath in and let your worries go.
ENJOY THE MOMENT.
Finally take the time to enjoy everything that goes with race day. Feel the energy on the beach and acknowledge you’re going to do something very special. If you’re feeling pressure, my favourite saying is “pressure is a privilege” and be grateful for the opportunity. Go out there and enjoy the challenge.