Competition for Average people.
There are some giants in the world of competitive freediving doing mindblowing depths, crazy breath holds and exhausting distances. Being on top takes a sence of dedication, time, and courage. Some call this crazy but admirable. It is quite remarkable to watch these competion events, imagining what it would be like diving or holding your breath like these people. Waiting to see if they can hold it together while doing the surface protocol, waiting for the white card – the shout of relief and splashing of water!
Announcements of a new world record!
Where does it leave us average freedivers? Does this mean that we should not compete? Never try to get into the competitive world?
Let me tell you — the thrill of hearing your own countdown, getting your breathing ready to take that final breath on time, feeling the atmosphere filled with anticipation. No other place you train will leave you with this rush. There is a vibe that you feel – almost like you need to take recovering breaths with each competitor as they surface.
“Why try to compete if I won’t even place in the top 10?”
Freediving is a sport, just like any other. Do you think the “weakest” rugby team in the World Cup should just say – we are not participating because we are not going to place in the top ranks?
How many athletes still run against Usain Bolt?
Competing is not just about having the best skill and taking the medals home – Yes, winning is great, but it is not what the freediving world is about. There is personal growth within every competition. Maybe you do a few seconds more in your Static Apnea event than you planned or even get a new best time. Maybe you have a terrible day and don’t even get to your announced time.
Lessons are best learned when something does not work out as planned – in both over and under achieving.
A competition for freediving is individual but also takes teamwork.
There are safety teams, judge teams, medical teams and a lot of behind the scene teams to make the competition a safe and successful event.
What does this have to do with you as competitor?
You are the person that will be diving or holding your breath, but during your warm up and your final breathing, you have a dedicated coach guiding you.
Your coach is usually a friend, training buddy, mentor or just somone who volunteered to help guide new freedivers in the art of competition. You form a team. Not to mention all the supporters you have cheering you on before and after.
You have a whole team looking after you – there is enough dedication and encouragement to make anyone want to take to the water to try and do a clean surface protocol after doing a personal best performance.
When you walk around a static competition area and ask people why they compete, there is mostly the same answer that you will hear.
” I wanted to try a new personal best and this feels like the safest place to do it – all eyes will be on me so I know I am in good hands.”
” Oh, I don’t know. It is just for the fun of it.”
Then you get the more serious people, saying it is all about the mental challange to relax, do a 6min breath hold while and still be calm about it.
“What if I get a red card”
That is an easy one to answer.
If you get a red card – you found your current limit and should adjust your training to overcome that limit.
If you get a yellow card for some errors – focus on correcting those errors in upcoming training.
This is the easiest way to really see where you can improve in the discipline of freediving.
So are you ready to accept the competitive challenge? Feeling more inspired to come try it out for yourself?
Blue Immersion Koh Tao is having a Static Apnea event on 1 December 2019. For more information and to sign up. Click this link.