Ali Le Vine, a mental conditioning consultant for IMG Performance Institute, had just spent 30 minutes sparring with Tak's admission that certain lakes defeat him before his first cast. Suddenly, she landed a straight right jab that clearly got the former Bassmaster Classic champ's attention. "Sometimes, we just have to step back and give ourselves some credit for what we do well," Le Vine said.
Simple statement, big meaning — that's what Tak has been seeking during the past seven years at IMG. Le Vine shoots straight with Tak — same as with any of the other athletes training body and mind at the Bradenton, Fla., facility. And, as with those stars of tennis, football, soccer, etc., she tells the Elite Series pro that sharpening his game means conquering self-doubt. In shallow water, Tak's a beast; but when the bite's deep, his confidence plummets.
Moreover, he simply hates fishing lakes like Clarks Hill that have historically stumped him. He realizes negative assumptions impede his performance, but when it's just you and the trolling motor, the mind whispers. What are other guys doing? Should I relocate? Will I finish in the money? "After two hours with few bites, it's tough not to get distracted," he said. "That's why I need a mental edge — to stay focused on my game."
Such lessons have given Takahiro Omori a new and more confident outlook on his performance. "My goal is to bring the best of me — not just to win the tournament." In any outcome, he'll give himself credit for a job well done.