Wipeouts, falls, crashes, unpredictable catapults, high waves, crazy tricks… All this and much more can bring us joy or fear. One of the scariest thing in windsurfing is the basic Speed loop, Forward loop. The trick in which you have to jump to the front and do the „catapult in the air“. For this trick, you need full commitment or another day goes by. As an example, we focused especially on this trick, but the interview can help you in many ways.The biggest problem in our Bushmans FREEWAVE COURSE was to find the trigger point in our students. So, they could commit and jump for the first time. Our teaching technique is 100 % professional and that is why we would like to add psychology to it. You know, that it is even on 101 %. We sat down on the high cliff where the water was splashing on the rocks and we talked to the most brilliant sports psychologist. Her name is Grit Moschke from Germany who is a big expert on the topic of sports psychology. So we asked her to help us HELP YOU. Specifically, help you to get rid of the fear of anything in windsurfing and surfing.
Next Project: 4.6.-22.6.2019 in Mauritius ( www.bushmans.si


  • How long are you in the sports psychology business and with what athletes you work with?

I work as a sports psychologist over 10 years. Over this time I worked with all kinds of Olympic sportspeople. For example, I prepared Hans Peter Durst for Paralympic games in London (2012) and Rio de Janeiro (2016). But I love all kinds of sports and I feel very connected to movement in the water. That is why I am also learning surfing and windsurfing. This helps me to understand the world of surfers.

  • So, you think water and natural surroundings are important in life?

YES. Surfing & windsurfing are actually one of the hardest sports I have ever learned. The toughest part is the ability to deal with unexpectable conditions of water and wind. To know this is the real masterpiece.

  • What is fear? What does it do to our body?

Fear or anxiety is sometimes good because it helps us to avoid those dangerous moments- at some point, it can also save our lives. Fear produces adrenaline to fight, to compete and to get tense in our bodies and muscles. Our heartbeat jumps up and this activates our body to do the next step.

  • Can we get rid of the fear?

Yes. First, we should be aware of our own fear level and where is it coming from. For some people, this is hard to figure it out and others have no problem at all. The range of anxiety level can be explained by being a little stoked to be in a real panic.

  • So, how would you suggest to be more stoked- relaxed?

Take a step back and observe the situation in which you are. In emergency cases breath deep. Take inhales and exhales in a normal rhythm. And one of the most important things is to know your skills and what you are capable of. You really need to know them so you can trust your body and mind.

  • Can you tell me more about breathing?

Breathing techniques are basic things to start within the water sports. Simply because the water goes away from the body as soon as we exhale from our mouth. Sounds easy? It is, but still many people have problems with it. Anyway, that is one of the basic techniques to start with. I say that breathing techniques you should learn them before the ship goes down. And they are very easy to learn. Just inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. To feel the breath relax your hand flat on your belly bottom.

  • Are there steps to overcome the fear while trying to do Speed loop for the first time?

Yes. Everyone, everybody can overcome fear.You have to know that falling is not a daily skill that is why is so scary. Try to learn to fall into the water, on the trampoline in the foam pit and most of all just let it happen. It is that easy. You are falling in the soft water and not on the concrete.Imagine your loop as often as possible and watch many videos. Self-talk about your upcoming loop in the water is a very good thing. Talk to yourself what do you want to do and finish your self talk with 3 keywords. If for example Bushmans windsurf instructor has told you to do it in steps like…CHOOSE THE WAVE, JUMP, ROTATE, LANDthen repeat those words, but make them even more simple and short: WAVE, JUMP, TURN, LAND.Add even rhythm to the words: ONE, HOP, PŠŠŠ, BUM.

  • This is a little bit of visualization already. Isn’t? Does the actual visualization help?

True. It is 100% helpful and recommended to become better or an expert. Design one picture of your loop with all the details in it. Details such as noise, smell, visual thing. Imagine the sound of the wave, wind, feel the temperature of the water. Use all the senses and then imagine you are doing the trick. If your picture is incomplete you have to imagine it again. Repeat it many times and again you reduce the picture in simple keywords.ONE, HOP, PŠŠŠ, BUM.That kind of visualization has a high impact on your performance.

  • Do you have a SPECIAL JOKER in your pocket to help someone be more mentally fit?

Everybody has their own mindset. If I do know the mindset of the athlete after a while I find this joker. Joker is always unique.

Thank you so much Grit, we really love your answers and see you on the next Bushmans trip on Mauritius where you will tell us even more about it. 

Živa Trajbarič + Grit Moschke


Blog 16 Real talk with sports psychologist about coping with fear in windsurfing & surfing