Losing Tournaments Isn’t Always Losing

Monday, July 3, 2017

Losing Tournaments Isnt Always Losing

By Tylor Lahue

I recently fished the ABA Ram Open on Lake Champlain. The turnout was great, over 90 boats which makes for a nice check, should you finish at the top. I felt good going into the tournament. I caught a couple of nice fish in practice and felt like I had an area which should produce a good bag tournament day.

Unfortunately for me, my plan fell short and I finished in 37th with a hair under 15 pounds. It’s tough to swallow watching others do well, wanting to do well and feeling like you didn’t achieve your potential. I’m certainly not one for excuses, I keep it simple, I either got it done or I didn’t, period.

However, it’s important to reflect on your experiences if you’re trying to become a better tournament angler. For me, it’s the little things I find satisfaction in (i.e. I paid the entry fee to learn (blank) the hard way. This self-reflection is paramount. For example, I look at my decision making, where did I do well, where do I need to be better, what could I have done to improve on a practice and be better prepared? Build on that, find confidence in that, and repeat the process.

There’s a balance somewhere in having a plan and sticking to it but also being flexible enough to change some variable up should things not go well. No one can explain this, it’s not science, it’s a gut feeling, listen to it. Trust yourself and the tools you have which have gotten you this far. Confidence in your abilities will allow you to make decisions which ultimately deliver equitable circumstances in the long run.

In short, failing to meet your standard or expectation gives you a couple options. You can pick yourself up, learn from your mistakes, expand on what you did well and keep maturing as an angler, or you can feel sorry for yourself, make excuses and blame others for your shortcomings. I strongly encourage the first option. Shake the winners hand, bring a positive attitude wherever you go. Use it as fuel to drive you to become a better angler. When it’s your turn at the podium, it tastes much sweeter.