Aug 20th, 2008 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Aug 20th, 2008 at 12:00 AM
Pre-Season PrepJoe Thomas has been swinging his flipping stick on tour for over 20 years. This veteran of the bass tournament wars has been through many highs and lows in the sport, but one thing that remains the same for him, pre-season preparation.Pre-season prep involves many things for Thomas. He uses the fall months to line up business opportunities in the winter, investigate potential sponsors and get his body into the best condition possible for the upcoming season.All BusinessThomas suggests not wasting time in the off season. Make sure to spend time with your family and friends, but also make sure you have all your business ducks in a row.
“The fall is a great time to get things lined up for the upcoming show season,” he said. “I’ll spend a lot of time laying out my appearance schedule for the January through March show season. These events can be pretty lucrative, so fitting in as many as possible is usually a very wise move.”He also likes to find the weaknesses in his sponsorship package and fill in the blanks.”This is the prime time to look at my sponsorship package and see where the holes are,” he said. “Now is the time to send out new proposals to potential sponsors and also work with my current sponsors to make sure our agreements are the best they can be for both parties.”Hey, I love to hunt and be outside, but I really need to stay in the office and get things done,” he said. “I dedicate at least a couple of 8 hour days per week to do nothing but business.”Tourney PrepMany anglers will wait until the last minute to get their tournament arrangements made; not Thomas. He prefers to set everything up now to make life easier on the road.”I may not get all of the information about the water I’m going to fish until a little closer to the tournament,” he said. “But I make sure I line up my lodging for the season. I get that nailed down early. By doing that, I can shop around; get the best prices and make sure the location has the facilities I need to be successful in my business endeavors.”Bass BicepsPro fishing is a sport, a sometimes grueling sport. Pro anglers make long runs across the water often in rough conditions. Add to that hours of standing in the most extreme weather, constant casting and the body can break down. So, why not train like other athletes to help limit the effects of the physical abuse? Thomas does.”I know I’m no longer the young guy on the tour,” he said. “I’m in my late forties and I need to keep myself as fit as possible. You need to take care of yourself. As I get older, I’m really seeing the benefits of conditioning.”With the stress your body undergoes as a tournament angler, a solid off-season training regimen to build strength and endurance is vital to surviving the tour in shape. Along with the training, make sure you eat as healthy as possible.”While I’m on the road, I’m realistic about how much working out I can do,” he said. “So when I’m on tour, I try to eat as healthy as possible and do as much maintenance exercise as I can to remain in the best shape I can be.”