with Bill Lowen
The toughest thing for me competing as a Bassmaster professional bass fisherman is the emotional roller coaster ride that I’m on with every tournament. One day I will catch the bass really well, and the next day I may not catch the bass nearly as well as I have the previous day. That is when you jump on the train and take that emotional roller coaster ride of what should I or could I have done on the second day to catch as many bass as I did on the first day. I know that I have the ability to perform well in a bass tournament, and when I don’t perform well, I scratch my head and wonder why I haven’t done well, and what I could’ve done differently. I try to get a game plan together and also listen to my gut. I have to realize that sometimes you do well, and sometimes you don’t do so well.
I've been asked, “How do you get over a bad tournament?” I guess that is the magic question, and I'm not sure I have the answer. I tend to let those bad tournaments stay on my back and feel like when I hit that slump, getting out of it mentally is tough for me. I've learned, though, that if I keep beating myself up about a bad tournament, then I probably won't do well in the next tournament. So, I try to pretend that a bad tournament didn’t even happen.
I've learned that I can get as mad as I want to get about my bad performance in a tournament, but being that mad doesn’t change the outcome of the tournament. So, I try and get that bad tournament as far out of my mind as I can. Then when I reach the next tournament site, I'm starting with a clean slate with as little negativism as possible during the practice days and on the first day of the tournament. I've learned that for me bass fishing is an emotional experience as well as a technical profession. The better job I can do of controlling my emotions – then usually the better outcome I’ll have when I'm fishing a tournament.