Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Focus and Concentration in Freediving and Spearfishing

Let me open this post with a quotation - these words say it better than mine.

No stream or gas drives anything until it is confined.
No Niagara is ever turned into light and power until it is tunneled.
No life ever grows great until it is focused, dedicated and disciplined.

Harry E. Fosdick


As with most endeavours, spearfishing also requires getting really excited and focused about the sport. If you don't the chances are that after a few failures you will throw in the towel and go cycling or jogging or DSTV ing.
I am often successful now in my underwater hunting, but what you do not see is how many times I failed to bring home a fine fish. As the years jogged by experience showed me the way. In any new field you are on a curve, at the start a small success can be a big one depending where you are at. For example I clearly remember taking my first parrotfish (knifejaw). It was about 2 kg. Wow was I impressed. Now going out and getting a 2 kg knifejaw on a dive is a waste of time to me. Getting a 16 kg white steenbras is not. In those days I did not even think much of steenbras and now I do not even think of knifejaws.
Similarly we change our gear - initially I went for long strong guns - 1.3, 1.4 and even a 1.5 barrel. Now 1.2 is my max. Seldom do I use it except in clear water for big fish - my 1 m gun or my 1.1 is most used and even the 800 mm barrel. As a result I do not often take long shots - I get the fish up close and take it close by - see my clips - its all up close mostly. The end result - I very seldom loose a fish.

All the personal development or evolution requires focus and concentration - especially on the deep dives. I teach a great concentration exercise to my mentorship students and in my freedive course that helps one get into the "aquatic mode" (dive reflex) rapidly and remain extroverted during dives. (see www.freedive.co.za for details of these courses - I added a webpage for the advanced spearfishing course too - see http://www.freedive.co.za/advanced%20%20spearfishing%20course.htm).

Anyway - this exercise alone makes a tremendous difference but it required some dedication. A positive side effect is that it also enhances the sixth sense and freshens the memory too (for the day your GPS bombs out).

So for significant success you will need to focus and invest attention, time, energy effort and some money too.

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