Legendary professional golfer Tiger Woods is no stranger to optimum performance and winning. When it comes to the competition Woods is heads and shoulders above the rest. Woods stellar performances on the golf coarse have earned him a world -wide reputation as one of the best to ever play the game. As far as professional golfing goes, all the contenders can hit the ball well, what separates Woods from the rest of the pack is his ability to deal with and come through in high-pressure situations.

So how does Woods do it? How can he maintain composure and not crack when tens of thousands of people are watching his every move and a big money tournament is on the line? In fact how is it any well-trained professional athlete comes through in clutch situations when the stakes are high. How does Kobe Bryant manage to hit the basket with a winning shot just before the buzzer goes off in front of thousands? How does Trevor Hoffman manage to save tough baseball games over and over again? How do big wave surfers such as Jamie “Pipeline” O’Brian, Cheyne boy Willis and Makua Rothman take off on and make waves that defy all logic and imagination? No where on earth is there any more pressure for an athlete than taking off on a big wave in shallow water over a sharp reef. In other sports if an athlete chokes he stands a chance to lose the game. If a surfer chokes while surfing big waves he stands a chance of losing his life.

All said and done it all comes down to having the mental edge. Premiere surfers and athletes gain the mental edge by practicing the five C’s, curiosity, consciousness, confidence, calmness and consistency. The defining factor that separates the great athletes from the average ones is ability to handle and deal with high-pressure situations. Regardless of the size waves surfers choose to ride or sport of choice for athletes every athlete should increase his chances for success by practicing the five C’s.


Being curious is what keeps surfers always looking for a new or better way to evolve their performances, be it by improving their skill level or improving their equipment. Advancement in surfing or life in general does not happen by accident but rather through heartfelt desire, applied accurate knowledge and hard work. Most important for a surfer is the curiosity that keeps him always looking for new and better ways to ride waves. No matter how well someone does anything there is always room for improvement.


Being conscious is being alert, aware of everything going on externally and internally. Big wave surfing does not require surfers to be supernatural it does require surfers to pay attention. Surfers should know what’s going in order to have a feeling for what is going to go on. One lapse of attention can mean the difference between catching the best wave and getting caught by the worse wave. Surfers should always be looking ahead to see what’s coming well before it comes. Remain conscious and aware by keeping an open mind.


Being confident comes from being smart. If a surfer has trained and put in the practice he can be confident. When a surfer takes off on an exceptionally dangerous wave he cannot predict the future but he can make it by being confident. Once a surfer is on a wave there can be no second-guessing, no hesitation, no turning back, only supreme confidence he will make it. Have faith and always believe in yourself.


Being calm is having faith in your belief. When a surfer catches an eye -opening wave, no matter how exciting or scary he must maintain composure. Just as the eye of the hurricane is calm within the storm or the center of the tube is calm within the power of the wave, surfers must stay calm inside regardless of outside circumstances. A surfer cannot be fully conscious or confident if he were to panic. Even if the wave looks impossible to make he must remain cool, calm and collected. Relax the mind and the body will follow, relax the body and the mind will follow.


Being consistent is the hallmark of champions. Surfers cannot change surfboards in the middle of surfing a wave and expect to make the wave. Successful big wave surfers work with what they have and make the most of it by polishing their strong points and eliminating or improving their weak ones. Through constant effort to become a great big wave surfer surfer’s become great big wave surfers. Like an empty as long as you keep filling it up with water even just one drop at a time, sooner or later it will be filled. Try once you may succeed keep trying and you will succeed.

Everyone not just professional athletes can benefit by practicing the five C’s- curiosity consciousness, confidence, calmness and consistency. Do not wait for circumstances in life to be tough or filled with pressure to practice the five C’s. Practice the five C’s in average everyday life and soon, just like the greatest athletes, you will experience above average life everyday! Aloha.