The Surf Athlete’s Training

The Surf Athlete’s Training

Twenty years ago there were 3 very important pillars of the athlete’s work: training, Rest, and Nutrition.

Today, when it comes toe an athlete to his best performance, this base of 3 supports is too fragile.

In this area too, science has brought a revolution. Nothing can stay the same. No other modality, neither Surf nor Skate, …

To work with high performance or maximum performance, it is imperative to consider new fundamentals.

Individualization is definitely failing in Surf, as we have top athletes in Portugal who compete against each other, being coached by the very same coach.

Worse, some coaches, still compete for side by side with their trainees.

Attention, it is not the coach who is in bad shape. This one will have sold so well, that both “buy” it. Well, athlete’s decision,… I disagree 100%, in a phase of specialization like these. As a professional, I would not be able to do it, because there is a huge conflict of interests associated!

Recently, with the reading of 3 books, I added more points to this list:

Peak: The New Science of Athletic Performance That is Revolutionizing Sports” by Dr. Marc Bubbs

2.“Virar o Jogo: Como Atletas Subvalorizados e Cientistas Pioneiros Descobriram o Que É Preciso Para Ganhar”, by João Medeiros

3. It is a classic in the bibliography of any academic in the field of training, the never outdated “Periodization: Theory and Methodology of Training, by Bompa and with a very recent edition of 2019.

Doing more training, reading, studying, brings me the humility of feeling that the more I study, the more subjects take me over and allow me to evolve as a professional. It is true that I steal many hours from surfing, from the social aspect, from the family – a thousand apologies for all the family events that I never arrive on time, or even do not attend, but this life has been full!

In my view, and in the performance protocol that we use at the Good Surf Good Love Academy, and which has a lot of use, even with clients, for example, weight control or increase in muscle mass, we always consider all these essential pillars, now enriched with the previous readings:

  1. Training of all general and specific components of each modality;
  2. Sleep and the impacts of quality and quantity of hours of sleep;
  3. Nutrition, supplementation, digestion, the relationship between sugar consumption and longevity, as an athlete and as a person, the microbiome and immunity;
  4. Breathing and how much it can impact physical and mental levels;
  5. Stretching and flexibility;
  6. The collection and control of data and its constant monitoring;
  7. The emotions and the mindset;
  8. and the most important that unites all the previous ones:
    The importance of leadership, wisdom, and training of the coach.

And this work is not done alone. A team is needed! No coach will be the only player in the job that aims to put an athlete on the TOP !! And the more a coach thinks he knows a lot or already knows everything, the more he will be limiting his athletes from reaching far.

This fact is very commonly observed in Surf Coaching, especially from the old guard, some even with very relevant roles, still without academic training, with a lot to give – truth, but with little room to learn more. They already know everything,… 😅

In my professional past, I have had some interesting opportunities, but I have already refused to work with athletes from the big waves, for example, for not meeting my requirements.

If I am ready to give everything and organize the dedicated magic team around this new athlete of the team, I will not accept a drop of sweat from him/her!

In Surf we still have poor results in Portugal.

There are excellent structures and excellent professionals already showing results of their work, but I think that we could already, we should be on another level. Especially considering the investment in High-Performance Centers, which are no longer used… 😅, and the fantastic coast we have – we are a country by the sea! Portugal is a beach!

Times have changed!! Surfing is today OLYMPIC. It’s a SPORT.

Firstly, it needs a laboratory, more studies, more athletes with the image of an exemplary athlete, less badly educated kids/athletes, and better examples of civics at sea. We need more coaches with notions of periodization and performance, and fewer Instructors and Monitors hidden behind a film camera. Oh and less swollen egos with very little to give, would also make us evolve.

By the way, clogged paths also do not help the sport to grow, if there are really Masters and Doctors and governors with a focus other than your navel. I will not forget the words of a Professor who continues to be one of the best references for me in Portugal, who I cannot reveal who he is:

😆 “I was doing a study with the best Surfers in the world, but I cannot reveal the result” 🤦‍♀️ .

Secondly, We also need parents who trust a method, and the process,

Parents who give the little one’s time and space to take their leap in their time, instead of jumping between different surfers who also train each half-season…

The duplication of teaching structures at each turn of the year does not represent an evolution. It is changing, improving slowly.

In conclusion, Is everyone playing the right role? What else can be changed, improved?

The question remains open for future developments.