Kelly Slater: he learned mind games with Jose Mourinho

Kelly Slater is not sure if he is going to run a full-time surf job at the 2012 ASP World Tour. Or perhaps those are his well-known mind games. Isn't "12" a nice number?

"There have been years when this approach has been a little frustrating but it’s also sort of a wildcard way of deciding," Slater said. "I've had good success on the Goldy and this year should be fun again. I can't wait to be there. I'm undecided as to whether I'll apply full-time. That's probably no secret. I'll go by feel and whatever feels right internally, I'll stick with that."

At least, we know what he feels for the upcoming Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, to be surfed from February 25 through March 7, in Australia. Slater wants to win it, again, just like he did it in 2006, 2008 and 2011.

Kelly Slater is 40 years old, but opponents might expect the same old Floridian. "I have a few nagging injuries but overall I'm pretty good. I hurt my ribs pretty badly a couple weeks back but they should be okay by Snapper time. I do feel a little bit of issue there, but I'm planning on being healthier and stronger in the coming years".

"I'm much better all around now than when I was 20. Probably the hold back is the overall desire to improve day to day. I focus more on enjoying my surfing than expanding day to day, but I still get kicked into gear when I see what everyone is working on and doing. Being in the environment on tour with the guys gets you going pretty quickly."

Kelly Slater is getting ready for the Snapper Rocks event and he has his own rules. "I usually finish prepping for the start of the year by surfing Rincon," Slater said.

"It's easy to tune in boards quickly there to know what you're dealing with. I've been scoring a lot of surf last few weeks. Probably more water time than normal. I haven't been riding shortboards a lot though, focusing on mostly barrels and not necessarily performance so I'll have to tune in to what I'll have to do in Oz."

The 2012 ASP Top 34 will see a historic age disparity of 23 years between the oldest surfers at the elite level and the youngest. As a new generation of surfers readies to do battle on the ASP Dream Tour, Slater is excited to see how performance levels will continue to soar. Forget mind games. We know he will go for it.