Jan 22, 2019

2017 European Championship LaserThere are many goals that I have set out in my life, they can be categorized into three: personal, sailing and career. Currently, majority of the goals that I am seeking are in the sailing category as I work towards the 2020 Olympics.

This past weekend, I am happy to have achieved a goal of qualifying for the 2019 Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru. The Pan Am Games is a once in a lifetime experience and I am so excited to be representing Canada this coming summer. Being a multi-sport event, it will serve as some of my preparation for the 2020 Olympic Games. The media surrounding it, the pressure, the Team Canada aspect and many more factors will all help me understand what the Olympic Games are like and to “normalize” the experience so that I can perform when it matters most.

Sarah DouglasIn order for me to qualify for the 2019 Pan Am Games, Sail Canada outlined what the selection process would be. I needed to compete at the US Nationals in Fort Lauderdale and be the top Canadian. That’s it, one event, one chance.

Although this may seem like an easy process, it became a lot more nerve wrecking than I expected. You might have heard the saying: “You can’t win a regatta in a day, but you can certainly loose it”. For some reason that was running through my head as I was in sequence for the first race. The fear of being over early at the start and collecting those dreaded letter scores. At that moment, my self-awareness kicked in and I did some circle breathing – a short breathing exercise that my sport psychologist had taught me. I refocused, thought about the process instead of the result and went on to win the first race of the day.

Sarah Sailing LaserLauderdale brought a variety of challenging conditions and every day called for a different strategy and technique. Although I did pick up one of those letter scores, it became my drop race which meant I had to fight for every point moving forward. My coach and I call this “Pac-Man mentality”, I fought hard to gain boats one by one until I crossed the finish line. I continued to be process orientated for the rest of the regatta and finished 2nd overall.

Now my program continues for a busy 2019. I have another single event trials for the 2019 Olympic Test Event which will be top Canadian at Miami World Cup at the end of January. This past weekend was my first trials event and I will apply the lessons I have learnt not only to Miami World Cup, but also for the 2020 Olympic Trials.

- Sarah

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