This extraordinary man didn’t intend to offend anyone or persuade to special diet. He was talking about importance of our mindset. The need for continuous development, openness to new, leaving empty spaces in the brain to fill with new knowledge was more important to him than what people already know, own or achieved.
It would be easy to be a Champion if everything was always going according to plan. Unfortunately, sport and sailing in particular are not so easy. There are so many variables in our sport that it’s impossible to be prepared for everything.
When racing, athletes need to have a clear mind to be able to make the right decisions based on their observations. And if their minds are full, their observations might be short and incomplete. There are so many stimuli on the water that there is no room for pondering matters from the land. You can’t focus on uncomfortable apartment, lost equipment or where I will have meal tonight. When sailing all attention must be devoted to observing clouds, feeling the wind and waves and others important elements.
It’s easy to waste time on the water when you can’t give hundred percent. You need to be honest with yourself and develop a technique to clear your mind. At least half of it. This skill is something that defines a champion. Even if you are happy with your speed, tactics and overall performance; when racing with the best, all the small details counts. The clear mind and “staying hungry” may be the decisive element in tough fleet. To reach the highest level you need to see the whole racecourse, feel the wind and pay attention to competitors. There is no better way to achieve this than through ability to calm down internally and focus only on what is important.
Before achieving all the above, you need to be sure your program and logistics are well organized and small things will not bother you when sailing. That your technical skills level won’t keep your mind worried about every tack or mark rounding. Preparing yourself physically and mentally gives a necessary confidence and comfort. Going out on the water you want to use all your skills but most importantly stay open and ready for everything you will see and feel after leaving the dock.