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Dear Olympic Breakers Well Done For The Journey So Far

Dear Olympic Breakers F’ing well done for making it halfway through this cycle of qualification events! You are the first to go through this, to experience having to compete in back-to-back-to-back-to-back events. To have to work to get points, to do Round Robin after Round Robin (which I still think is too much). And yes, at this halfway mark things are getting hard. The grind of this Breaking For Gold Series is setting in fully. The events become tiring and it’s hard to dance with passion and love for the art when it all now feel so routine. Suddenly you might wish this train that everyone is on would stop for a moment and allow you all to get off and re-charge. But this is the Olympic pathway, one of the biggest sporting events on the planet, and this is our first time, so everyone is putting more and more fuel into the engine of this train. From Nike campaigns, to TV opportunities, Photo shoots, to magazine stories, to also the actual scene going on, with Undisputed, Red Bull, and more. The reality is the train is not going to slow down now, it’s just going to pick up more and more speed. Especially as those first direct Olympic spots start to get taken, with 1 bboy and 1 bgirl spot already gone, leaving only 15 each side, left. You have got to now decide, how you will navigate the rest of this, so that you can still dance with heart and not lose motivation. Here are a few suggestions and things to put out there, if you're not doing these already: 1) Check your points in the ranking, see who can and can’t catch you up, or pass you, and use this to plan if you actually need to attend all the rest of the events happening. 2) Only 6 b-boys and 6 b-girls can qualify direct for the Olympics. The majority of you will be doing the OQS (Olympic Qualification Series). So be realistic and look at if the OQS is going to be what you will be doing, and if so, do the events you need to do to maintain your ranking, but start to ease off if you can. The OQS is where you will need to be fully switched on, healthy and motivated. If you don’t know what the OQS is and how it works, hit me up and I’ll give you all the info I have. 3) Find the mind frame you truly want to be in for these events and find how to switch into that state. These Olympics events are not the same as scene events, as much as we wish they were. There is a reason you see athletes in sports sometimes with headphones on, in their own world, mentally preparing. There’s a reason athletes have rituals to get ready. Every athlete loves their sport but when you do it professionally at some point the love turns to work and that work becomes a grind. You must find a way to mentally adjust to that grind, and mentally switch into the mind state you need and want to be in. 4) Plan your day at each event, from when you’ll get to the venue, to warm up, to cypher time, to mental preparation, to battle time, to maintaining being warm until the next battle, to how you will cool down and recover for day 2, and at the end of the event. 5) Plan your recovery after. Could be as simple as a SPA day, to seeing someone you already see regularly for sports massage, or doing ice baths. Etc. 6) Ask athletes from other sports how they navigate this space and period. I know we like to say breaking is different, but in the arena of competition every athletes goes through this intense level of competitions. They all have to deal with physical, mental, emotional and spiritual fatigue. 7) Get yourself someone in your corner. I know having a “coach” is still something breakers haven’t fully embraced, but if you want to truly be able to perform and be comfortable at all these events, don’t do it all on your own. You should not be the one having to register yourself in the morning. You should not be the one having to sit in and hear the athlete’s briefing. You should not be the one having to check if you qualified, or who is in your round robin group, or who you are battling next. This is your coach’s job, so you can prepare fully to be in the right state to compete. It is also your coach’s job to plan the events you need to go to, and the ones you can afford to miss, to check where you are in the rankings, and who your competition is for your spot. Also to help you plan your Round Robin, to ask the head judges if repeats count, and to even check that all the facilities you need are available. Coach, Mum, Dad, Manager, BFF, whatever you want to call them, get someone in your corner to take those weighs off of your shoulders. And if things like money and schedule are an issue to do this, find others on the scene in the same boat as you and team up to at least support each other in these things, and do them together. 8) Have an outlet for all of this. We all need something that truly takes our mind off of things and resets us. Find that for yourself. Bingeing Netflix shows, meditating, seeing your family, hiking somewhere in a quiet place where you can scream at the top of your lungs as loud as you like. lol. Whatever it is, find something. that brings that oh so welcomed distraction and relief. Those are just a few suggestions. Ultimately, I know I am not in your shoes, I am not the one competing every weekend. I’ve been there but that was on the scene, which is completely different to this new sporting world of athlete contracts, sponsors, points, rankings, NMBs, Anti-doping, and more. So I’m not saying everything I’ve suggested is easily done, or even all possible. But I’m guessing everyone in this is in it at least until those official Olympic medals get put around the necks of the 3 b-girls and 3 b-boys who win them. So take a breath, breathe in the history you are making, and keep going. Also, reach out to people if you need, and remember, all the breakers you see at all these events are all going through the same journey, so talk to each other. Much Love -Emmanuel Adelekun -The Vivid Scribe

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