Imagine standing at the front end of a balance beam. The beam represents your day. As you walk, run, or flip across the beam each day, you become immensely aware of the importance of balance. When thinking of your day, what things have the potential to knock you off your beam? What happens when you fall off? What happens when your expectations are not met and things don’t happen as you envisioned? Do you experience the following emotions?


Check out this example by clicking here. These emotions are temporary solutions. They are only a small Band-Aid to the problem. Not only that, but it takes something that’s supposed to be fun and makes it look silly. Reacting in this way can potentially hurt you others around you in the process. Competitive wakeboarders are familiar with the pressures and expectations to perform. Keeping our emotions under control is just as essential as training physically, because riding/contest circumstances are not always perfect. An untrained dog can easily run off after something dragging its owner after it. A trained dog, knows that its limit reaches only to the end of its leash. It’s the same way with our emotions. Are you letting your emotions run you ragged, constantly pulling you around, or are you taking the lead?


We must keep ourselves in balance so that we can live life smoothly and not ride an emotional roller coaster. As a born again Christian, God has equipped you with all of the tools necessary to respond and not react. You have all of the fruit of the spirit within you that Galatians 5:22 describes.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control…” – Galatians 5:22-23

Let’s draw out the fruit of the spirit in situations when things don’t go our way…where in a split second, we have a decision to make as we are teetering on the edge of our balance beam. Let’s see opportunity to reflect Jesus and maintain a teachable attitude; otherwise, you allow valuable time and energy to be stolen from you. When the conditions are right, and it’s our time to train/perform, we don’t have time to waste. Getting off-balance can allow you to miss learning something new, having joy, positively impacting someone, etc. Let’s get to a place where we don’t allow things to knock us off balance, and if something does, to jump back up and go again.


One way I have learned to stay in balance with training and competing is adopting the idea of categorizing my ride. God gave me this idea. He showed me how to mentally compartmentalize my riding to help me meet my own expectations and stay in balance emotionally. He gave me three categories which I later discovered are talked about in Jeremiah 1:10 (so crazy!)

See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out and pull down, to destroy and throw down, and to build and to plant.” – Jeremiah 1:10

It’s important to begin every set with a sound mindset and with expectations of exactly what you would like to accomplish. My progression and productivity in training and my emotional health has improved greatly by this God-inspired system. According to Jeremiah 1:1-19, God has called us in ministry to root out and pull down, to destroy and throw down, and to build and to plant. Sound riding techniques can be developing by using this concept. The three categories of sets are:

  1. The Build Up: “To Build and to Plant” – Do all the tricks you are almost 100% on with the intention of building confidence. These are tricks you know you will land almost every time.
  2. The Throw Down: “To Destroy and Throw Down” – Set out to throw all the tricks you know how to do no matter how consistent you are on them.
  3. The Tear Down: “To Root out and Pull Down” Go out to work on one trick specifically and anticipate falling a lot. These are tricks you have never done or tricks you are reconstructing.

Determining your expectations for your set, prior to riding, will prevent frustration and increase your productivity on the water. Consequently, it will allow you to know exactly what you are going out to accomplish. Water conditions, boat type, time, who’s on the boat, and the occasion are some of the variables to consider when categorizing your ride. I recommend always beginning your set with a build-up for confidence.


If you are planning to do a tear down, consider doing a small build-up for confidence boosting. It’s never good to work on a new trick when you’re tired though, so keep your build-up short.

When constructing a contest run, the goal is to take your best tricks from your throw down and get them so consistent that they become your build-up. This system will help you build confidence and achieve greater success on the water. This is a regular part of my training regiment. I challenge you to adapt, mix, and blend the categories to find what works best for you and I look forward to hearing your feedback.