In the book 'Bass Wars' Rick Clunn talks about the importance of having uninterrupted time to focus on fishing in advance of tournaments.
For the first 29 years of my life, I had this time, with school and job situations that allowed for a lot of mental free time and late night thinking. In the last couple years my life has changed. Serious hours in school, and now serious focus at work. Most importantly, I focus more on my son and the time we spend together.
The last few months I've been thinking about how my fishing has fallen off since these life changes came along. It's been pretty dramatic. Going from catching 10 to 20 fish over 10 a year to feeling lucky to get 1. Going from winning a bunch of team tournaments in '05 to feeling happy if we can win 1 a year.
I can attribute some of that to bad fishing in general, but I think at least half of it has to do with lack of focus. The few times I've blocked out time to really prepare mentally in advance of tournaments or trophy fishing trips I find that I do well. Maybe not as good as I used to, but solid. The rest of the time I'm lucky if my gear is half-way rigged on my way out the door or if I remembered my sunglasses.
For next year one of my goals is to try to block out more time to just focus. Maybe watch less TV or spend less time working on the house. Try to carve out that mental free space a little bit. I'm ready to feel like I know how to fish again