i got home from two games of hockey and collapsed on the floor. first of the two was as epic as it will ever get: an ultra short bench with six players and a goalie. one sub through forty five minutes of play and my legs were so done after jabba i didn’t think i had it in me to play a second game. luckily my mental state overpowered my physical and forced my legs to keep skating until the end of civil war. i ended up playing a pretty solid game and scoring another goal. now leading all rookies in both goals , points and shots on goal. after all the physical output, i deserve all the rest i can get tomorrow
day one at the competition was spent watching the junior division and doing some final preparations, both physically and mentally. after slapping on cream, endless rolling and massages, i am doing some partner stretching on the floor. i will do whatever i can to make my leg kick tomorrow because nationals is my biggest event of the year. the nerves are starting to build up as the day wears on, but i think i have a more stable mindset to better manage the bad wolf inside. of course, talking to mo calms my nerves and puts my thoughts back into place
i felt tremendous pressure going into this year’s us world open for so many reasons – definitely tenfolds more than last year’s. last year being the first go had its uncertainties, but because of my successes, it gave me extra stress and pressure this time around to live up to the unwritten expectations. nationals in the summer gave me one of the biggest blows in my competition career. it was one of my worst performances to say the least; it almost made me certain i was going to call it quits for taekwondo competitions. since then, i haven’t willed myself to step onto the mat again to do what i thought i loved. thankfully, my competitiveness fought through to cling onto my competition dreams and didn’t allow me give up on my passion. slowly i left canadian nationals 2015 behind and began training again. it’s almost a year since my last competition experience. the layoff has definitely triggered endless pre-competition jitters. i withdrew from a competition in february due to fear and at times i had the biggest urge to withdraw from this one as well. i knew this year’s division would be even tougher than last because i would be up against two teammates of mine. we’re a team that supports each other but there’s no secret that i’m a competitor at heart. i didn’t want to lose and really wanted to live up to expectations, expectations that i have for myself. for that reason, the pressure really got into my head and i was struggling to concentrate on my game. luckily, i have all the right people around me to give me all the support to guide me through these tough times and bring the best out of me. they gave me the strength to carry on even at my weakest times. days leading up to the competition and even minutes prior to going on deck, my mind replayed all the things that was said to me. i had a lot to prove and i did exactly that. just like last us world open, i was the last to go in my school and last to go in my division. everyone from my team including the grandmaster were crowding around my ring. the long wait for my teammates to finish built up so much tension. to make it worse, the opening ceremony coincidentally started as it was my turn to step on the mat. from the start of division, i was so focused i zoned out everyone and including the demo music; it was my time – nothing but myself. i didn’t dare watch any of my competitors’ poomsaes or scores. in fact, i didn’t even look at my own scores so i had no idea what to expect as the judges announced the medallists. all i knew was i stepped off the mat confidently feeling good about the performance i had put forth. getting silver for individual is the silver lining to this trip and a great way to cap off us world open 2016. i felt my mental game was the strongest it’s ever been heading into a competition and i owe that to a lot of people. i feel some confidence and self belief slowly coming back to me
over the past week or so, i have been receiving ample of coaching, advice and prep talk on what it means to have proper mindset. the idea that i must head into each event with the confidence that i will nail my every move as i imagined it to be. i have been told i have total control over what i can give and what i can do. i have been told countless times that i need to believe in myself and trust my skills enough to let it do the talking. my body has done each move more than enough times where thinking does no good; all moves should now be second nature. i can’t reiterate how important it has been to have these prep talk and guidance to ensure my mind is in its right place. it really puts me in a more comfortable spot heading in, knowing i am mentally stable and ready to take on what’s ahead. i can walk into the competition believing they are right there with me every step of the way. it’s true i can’t control the end results, but i will take all the things they’ve tried to hammer into my mind and put it to heart. all i ask of myself is to go out on the big stage, give it everything i got and let the rest take care of itself. that alone, will make me proud for i have conquered and accomplished what i was never capable of before. this has got to be the strongest mentality i ever had going into a competition. they have done so much for me and been so patient with me over the last little while. they stuck with me through my toughest moments and did all they could to instill calmness back into my mind. i owe it to them to put forth my best effort and bring it home
unlike all the previous times i travel out for competition, i am getting a head start on packing. packing light has never been an easy task for me cause i always end up bringing way more than i require. i am portland bound for the second straigt year. the feeling is far different this time. i feel like i am a whole new me because i have people by my side prepping and reassuring me. they make sure i am mentally sound and prepared to take on this battle, and always reminding me the mindset i carry onto the stage is what sets me apart. my mental game is definitely stronger than the last; i know i just got to go out there and perform at my best and everything will take care of itself
having some down time amidst my busy schedule is never a bad thing. spent my alone time being productive at timmys and doing my readings before i go off to training. i am only on the first chapter of this book, but everything that’s been said totally relates to me. this might help pull me out of the many competition ruts that i stumbled upon. why have i not read this book way back to my first competition days??
this book might be able to give me much needed insights to clear my mind, refocus and push through and do what needs to be done. training the mind is something that’s been lacking in my training regime, and because of that, it’s also my weakest link. i believe my mindset and mental strength is what needs to be addressed in order to take that next step. i want to find my zen so i can put my mind back into its place