Surf Psychology


Surf Psychology applies the knowledge and principles of sport psychology specifically to the sport of surfing.

Sport psychology is a specialist field based upon sound scientific knowledge, research and practical application. Sport psychology explores your thoughts, feelings, experiences and behaviour and how you respond to your social and physical sporting environment.

The field of surf psychology aims to develop and enhance psychological skills for
optimal performance and personal enrichment in surfing and in life

This is achieved through education and psychological skills training.

Areas of education in the field of surf psychology cover all the key mental factors that influence your personal and surfing performances. These include:

– Awareness
– Responsibility
– Personal openness
– Courage
– Desire and will to achieve
– Confidence and self belief
– Attitude
– Motivation
– Positive persistence
– Coping ability
– Concentration and focus
– Preparedness
– Physical and mental arousal
– Decision making
– Visual search and selection
– Technical adaptability
– Creativity and style
– Mood and emotion
– Boredom and burnout
– Stress management

Psychological skills training is utilised to facilitate and improve surfing performance as well as to establish and foster a solid personal foundation to spring from. Psychological skills training is provided on a needs basis and may include:

– Goal setting
– Mental imagery
Simulation and rehearsal
Mental practice
– Relaxation training
– Self communication
Self talk
Body talk
Mood talk
– Concentration and focus techniques
– Arousal modulation strategies
– Competitive planning and tactics
– Devising a mental preparation routine to consistently attain your ideal performance state
– Improving ocean rhythm and instinct
– Managing performance nerves and anxiety
– Managing fear and adrenalin in high intensity ocean conditions: big and dangerous waves
– Motivational strategies
– Technical skills and style development
– Equipment selection and suitability
– Team work
The athlete and their support network
Team games and competition
– Enhancing coping skills and resilience
– Managing performance slumps/losses
– Injury prevention and recovery
– Physical and mental burnout: early warning signs and proactive management
– Personal management/organisation
– Career planning/professional issues
– Public and media presentation skills
– Managing fame
– Personal issue counselling
– Crisis management
– Drug education and counselling
Effects on performance
Management strategies
– Psychological assessment
– Gaining and maintaining perspective
Surfing life
Personal life

Surf Psychology thus facilitates psychological well being and serves to optimise preparation, performance and recovery in all surfing and personal endeavours.

The Surfer’s Mind is the complete, practical guide to surf psychology, covering all the areas of education and psychological skills training above as well as presenting words of inspiration and advice from 70+ of the worlds best surfers…

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