Having a mental block is tough and it happens to every single one of us at some point! A mental block in snowboarding is when our brain and body have trouble overcoming the performance of a movement, causing us to freeze up or not try it at all. Knowing how to train your brain and being able to overcome these fears will be a huge step in the progression of your snowboarding.
In this tutorial we will teach you some techniques you can use in your snowboarding to help you over come these barriers to progression. Whether it's for rails, cliff drops, icy runs, jumps, a specific trick or even steep runs, these concepts will help.
(Narrating/Riding: Natalie Sagar. Film/Edit: Adison MacDonald. Filmed At: Whistler Blackcomb)
The Power Of Visualization
When feeling nervous or unsure about trying a new trick, practise visualizing every step and motion you will be going through before stomping the landing. You should be able to visualize yourself practicing from your own point of view, as if you were actually snowboarding. This involves picturing the approach to the feature, the initiation, the landing and riding away clean.
Natalie taking a moment before the feature to visualize the steps require to nail it!
While you are visualizing every motion of the trick, talk yourself through the mechanics that are required. This could be something like, “counter rotate to lock on, keep bent knees then pop off the rail with both feet.”
The C Word... Commitment
After you can visualize every motion of the trick, you need to be able to mentally commit to it. Committing means that even though you may get nervous, you continue to visualize the landing and follow through with the steps. This is why visualizing the trick properly before will become handy and make committing feel natural!
Natalie mid feature and fully committed.
Tell yourself positive things about yourself and your snowboarding! Telling yourself that you actually can do this trick, that you have the skills and talent to land it will help you get stoked about trying something new and will give you self-reassurance and confidence. This is a great way to turn the nerves into positive energy!
Using self-talk can allow you to take on some of the biggest features in the park. Like this step down feature Natalie is dropping.
When having a mental block it also helps to have a friend give you encouragement as it can act as a safety net to know you are not alone. A mental block can also be caused by nerves of people watching you. Do not be embarrassed or nervous that you are going to fall!
You are a badass just for trying any trick in the park in the first place, and everyone knows that.
Accepting The Inevitable: You Will Fall
Falling is going to happen, especially when learning something new. Know that falling is normal and happens to everyone. Every time you fall, you will learn something new and know what not to do next time. Repetition and practise is the only way to progress in snowboarding and falling is a part of that.
Natalie takes her fair share of slams. But she has accepted that and gets up a better snowboarder every time.
There it is, five concepts to help you overcome your mental block. Just remember to visualize, commit and be confident in your ability to stomp the trick!
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