One of the challenges in spring is managing that head case.  With spring in the air and the rivers flowing…it is definitely time to brush all the cobwebs and leaves out of your boat and get on the river! Don’t be surprised if your first trip to the river you have some hibbie jibbies rattling around in your head—even if you are heading to your back yard run. You have been out of your boat for a while!

Here are a couple of suggestions for helping work through the head games:

• Remember is it a head game. You are a good boater and you are heading to a river that you know well.

• If you are not feeling 100%, think about backing off a bit and paddling a run that you are really comfortable on to build back up your confidence and remind yourself you are good! Even putting in a bit lower/taking out a bit higher than you normally do just to make it a good positive day.

• Make sure you are paddling with people you enjoy being with. Kayaking is a social sport and having good supportive friends along will keep you smiling/laughing, reminding you how much fun it is to be on the river!

• Focus on the positive. You know the run. You know you are a good paddler. Relax. Do not spend the entire drive to the put-in thinking about how nervous you are and/or how you might crash & burn. You might—but chances are good you are going to have a great day. Don’t ruin it by focusing on negative stuff.

• Sing a song! Sure it is a distraction. But sometimes the way to get negative thoughts out of your head is to crown them out with something positive. So find a song that will get you fired up/relaxed/feeling good about yourself and everytime the negative creeps in shut it out with your song.

• Have a smile on your face. This is fun!! And have a super good day.