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September 3 , 2006

I couldn’t get to sleep last night. I was thinking about my rides yesterday and kept replaying my rides over and over that I want today. After I went to sleep it occurred to me that my RV window was leaking big time from the rains that came from the hurricane. I dealt with that and was back to trying to sleep again. It is not a good or bad thing when I get all wrapped up in the competition. The good thing is that I will determine the best approach for my next round and take it seriously. The bad thing is that I don’t get much mental rest.

So what will I do today? Yesterday I added “coast to coast Helixes” and that went really well. I did it all three rides where I steamed down the wave and threw my righty helix, and then went straight for the lefty on the next pass. My back Pan Am only went once and my Pan Ams where not going past vert enough for some judges. This dropped my score down big time. I also never got past my Air Screw to do my Blunt McNasty combo, which is my biggest scoring move.

Options: Stick with the plan, just have a better focus and a more relaxed set up to get through the routine before the buzzer or flushing, or adjust the plan? If I don’t sell the Blunt/McNasty combo well enough it is complete waste of time, where the airscrew is a much easier move that is easy to sell every-time….

OK, I’m back, it is now 7:42 and I have been looking over my “routine maker” sheet that just helps me determine what I can do to make a more impressive ride. I found a 6 second mistake in it, meaning I had left room to do whatever Pan Am that I didn’t sell well over again to get it on my second try. That is simply a mental crutch that will allow me to throw a poor move with the idea that I can always do it again. NOW, what I am going to do is plan on moving straight from my two front Pan Ams (left and right) to my Back Pan Am Right, and then straight to the Helix right, giving me six extra seconds, which will allow me to improve my score by as much as 36 points if I get to the buzzer on my Blunt/McNasty combo. The fact that I have done three rides already and haven’t gotten to my best move is disheartening. However, it is also part of my competition strategy. Richard Fox, 5 time world slalom champion, told me that the key to winning consistently is to be able to beat everyone with your 90%, not require the 100%. I am at a top 5 (the next cut is to 5) without my best move, or a 45 second ride yet. Also my competition has only seen what I have already done, not what I can do. At this level we feed off of each other and what I do can easily affect what the plan will be for my competition. Just like Anthony Yapp’s 154 point ride yesterday made me look over my ride to assure that it is greater than that, assuming I nail it. Of course, Anthony could go bigger too, but that is the exciting part. To win today will be a major feat by whatever athlete that does it. Stephen Wright and Patrick Camblin were also on fire yesterday, and 14th place is currently held by Jay Kincaid. Jay is on the water training right now and will come out of the gates swinging this morning! I can’t do anything about what my competitors do today, I can only do what I can do on my own, and based on what I think they are possible of doing, have a plan to do more than that.

Today we all get two rides and the best one counts to cut from 15 to 5 athletes. I am in the third heat of 5 men, which means I will know what the best score is of the first 10 to go. As long as I beat that score, I am in the top 5 finals. That is not how any athlete can afford to think of it though, in my opinion. It is amazing how when you try to beat the minimum score needed, you set that as a goal and the clock ticks by too fast, putting you close but not in. Instead, Semi-finals has to be done like you are going out to win, period. Oh yea- that gets my heart rate going just thinking about it!

I typed this for my own benefit, to remind myself what I am doing so I can’t get confused at the moment that I am about to drop off of Moby-Dick rock onto the wave.

My routine: Pan Am Left, Pan Am Right, Back Pan Am Right, Helix Right, Helix Left, Air Screw Left, Blunt/McNasty Combo Left, huge clean air-blunt left (that move is after the buzzer but it is in there in case I go extra fast and make it on time) score expected: 170 points. Highest score ever on the Garberator- Anthony Yapp at 154 yesterday. Will this routine win? We’ll see!

🙂 EJ