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Smile: It Makes You Faster


all rights Matias Capizzano



Have you ever been out there, and heard your coach tell you things like
"Cheer up, it might never happen"
"It takes more muscles to frown than to smile". 
When your sailing day is just not going your way? Me too.

When I was first learning to sail, all my classmates would tell me these things when I was having a bad day, and I agree - these are not good ways to cheer someone up. That is until the seniors in the sailing club told me
"Smile: You'll sail faster"
The problem, though, is that you generally say something like that to someone who isn't smiling. And it is the last thing that someone who isn't smiling wants to hear. 

That said, they were right. You do sail better when you're relaxed and happy. And, possibly more importantly, you sail more often if you are happy and relaxed when you are out on the water. I know it's hard to realize this, but think back to a regatta or a training day where you had a bad time. Do you really remember exactly why you ended up having a bad time? Try thinking back to your first regatta. 

Was it scary? 
Do you remember why?

You see, a human brain is a funny thing where it tries to keep memories it likes at the front. It's just how we are wired. I bet that when you thought back to your earliest memories sailing your Opti you couldn't tell yourself what happened, just how you were feeling. 

This is why this advice is great. It keeps you positive, even when you don't want to be. 

I remember the first time I raced on the ocean. I was used to sailing on lakes, and any one who has sailed on both knows they are nothing alike in terms of sailing conditions (most of the time.) I was so nervous about sailing in waves that I struggled a lot, but remembered the advice I got and just tried it out. I doubt if any one of us remembers how we did at that event, but we all remember having a good time.

So you see, coach advice that sounds goofy sometimes ends up being what gets you over that hump, so next time you go sailing - listen up. 

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