Johnathan Martines: The Importance of Confidence

​When I was 14, I realized that I had a chance at making the US Junior Barefoot Waterski Team. Even though my scores were very low compared to the other people being considered for team selection, I knew it would be possible for me to bring up my scores. The following fall, spring, and beginning of summer were spent busting my butt trying to learn most of the basics and turns.

​By the time the first tournament of the season came around in the 2012 season, I knew all of the fundamentals, I was doing all 4 turns behind the boat consistently, my slalom was twice as good as the previous year, and I was on the cusp of landing my first inverted jump behind the boat. So when I ventured to the Southern Glass tournament with Team WBC, my skiing was in check but one thing wasn’t… my confidence. Because this was the biggest tournament of my life up to that point, I was stressed out beyond belief. I couldn’t sleep the night before because all that I could think about was all that could go wrong, rather than what could go right.

​When I skied the tournament, my skiing showed just how stressed out I was. I fell in tricks and fell on my first slalom crossing. The only positive of the tournament was that I landed my first jump in a tournament. These scores would not earn me a spot on the junior team. I was devastated.
​The next day, I had a serious inner talk with myself. I realized that I needed to start having 100% confidence in my skiing. Each day in training, I worked my butt off so I would be confident in my abilities when I arrived at the next tournament in two weeks. My skiing shot like a rocket in the following two weeks. I started working on multiple turns. My slalom was cleaner, faster, and more consistent. I also landed my first inverted jumps behind the boat.

​When I arrived at the next tournament, I was ready to ski. I was eager to be first on the water so I could show that I was good enough to earn a spot on the junior team. I started off the day by tricking 3650, nearly 2000 points more than my previous personal best. I slalomed over 12, 4 more crosses than my old PB. I also landed my first inverted jump in a tournament!

​My strategy of believing in myself worked. I smashed all of my old PBs and finally had a really good chance at making the junior team. Long story short…I made the team. So why did I tell you this long personal account? The reason is to demonstrate how far self confidence can go. Having a good mindset and believing you can do something will increase your chances of accomplishing what you want much more than if you have low confidence. Whether it be in barefoot waterskiing or in life, believe you are better than you are, but act like you are worse than you are. This positive way of thinking and humble way of acting will help you accomplish things you never thought possible.

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