The journey for a rookie on tour is never an easy one. They immediately find themselves battling more experienced competitors, new line ups, tougher judging, and ultimately themselves. High level competition, regardless of the sport, ultimately becomes a mind game… all top athletes have physical talent, but true champions emerge when mentally able to overcome the competition. Professional surfing, specifically, tests not only the athlete’s raw talent and competitive drive, but their innate ability to identify a winning wave. This became truly evident on my recent trip to France, where Stephanie Gilmore won her 5th ASP World Title. An extremely talented surfer in her own right, Stephanie’s real competitive edge comes from her expert wave selection.
In turn, watching an athlete develop their mental game, as I’ve been able to do following Lakey Peterson as she navigates her first year on the ASP Women’s World Tour, has been an amazing experience. While Lakey’s 2012 season was void of competition wins, her ability to take each loss in stride and channel it into motivation to work even harder has been captivating. It’s nothing short of inspiring any time one is able to witness an individual mentally overcome the obstacles of achieving a goal, in this case it’s a surfer named Lakey.
Below are a few photos from our latest journey in Biarritz, France. US Open is just around the corner so be sure to follow the final few heats that will decide Rookie of the Year and check back for behind the scene photos from the US Open.