Blog post written by Burgeon Athlete Abishai Corey

Many people enjoy watching sports. Sunday night football is a big thing in my household. We sit down, pick a team to cheer for, and then experience a roller coaster of emotions as our team scores, fumbles, intercepts, or just completely chokes and loses the game. To us this is normal, and it’s normal for a lot of other people too whether they watch soccer, basketball, baseball, or in my case, ski racing. As you sit there cursing out the players' mistakes have you ever thought about the level they are playing at? Would you personally be able to go up there and perform better than them? This is one of the hardest things about being an athlete who keeps going on to the next level.

Abishai Corey stands at the podium after a race.

The minute you hit the top of that level there is always a harder level to compete at where you can get your butt absolutely handed to you. This year I have had to keep a clear mind while racing at the level I am in. Zero expectations is the only way I won’t destroy myself mentally. Sometimes I don’t even realize the amount of pressure I am putting myself under. 

I was at a race where my points were the lowest, meaning I was technically the best skier there. However, I told myself I couldn’t go into the race expecting to win or I would be very disappointed. Even after telling myself this multiple times a little piece of me still expected to win, or come close to it. After that day not only did I not podium overall, I didn’t even podium for my age group. That was one of those days where I just had to brush it off and try again tomorrow. If I sat there and dwelled on how horribly I skied, or how no D1 college would ever accept me, then I would just be spiraling into endless doubt. In these moments I find it best to think about others. Distracting your mind by caring for others is the best thing you can do for yourself. After my mind was cleared I went to my next race which I didn’t expect anything from. There were almost 10 girls that, points wise, were better skiers than me. After the race was over I had placed 2 for my age group and 3 overall. I scored for the first time since last year, and I was very happy with my performance. I find that when I don’t put expectations on myself I am able to perform without my mind. It’s all muscle memory and smiles. 

This year is already a third of the way through, and I am excited to see where it takes me. This year's performance will determine where I will be next year. It could be anywhere from a D1 college to doing another year here at the academy as a Post-Grad athlete. My goal is to make the UNH ski team as a true freshman, meaning I don’t take a gap year. However, I will try my darndest to not put the weight of making the team this year on my shoulders. If I find myself chasing points, expecting each race to be my breaking point, or counting down the seconds for my acceptance email, then I will only be setting myself up for failure, and well, that’s just unacceptable.

Abishai Corey wears her jacket with her sponsors logos.


Jake Cotton said:

Good luck Abishai! Hope you finish the season strong!

Mary Ann said:

Thank you for sharing. May you have much success going forward

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