The Mind Game


Most (extreme) sports require simple natural body movements that the body is already able to perform. They involve the basic movements like bendings, straightening, and turning that your body is designed for. There are no specific muscles that need to grow in strength before you can perform these sports. The only thing you have to learn is how to use your body’s natural abilities, balance, and your own judgment to be able to use your body in these sports.

The key to learning most sports is simply by actually doing it. You can learn the background and the how-to information but you need to actually do it before your body and mind develop the right feeling, instincts, and skills. As your skills develop you will notice how you first will concentrate on the individual steps in the sport’s techniques and slowly start to merge these steps into fluent motions. Once you reach a good skill level you will notice how sporting becomes a rhythmic, fluent, flowing motion almost like dancing.


When learning it is very important to be very self-aware. Not only in terms of: ‘what is my body doing now’ but also mentally: ‘am I judging my abilities well enough. Something you will want to avoid is fear. Fear and excitement are two very closely related states, especially in extreme sports, but once excitement turns into fear you will notice how the sports lose its fun and your performance decreases. Fear makes your muscles tense making your movements jerky. Fear is something you will want to avoid. To keep an optimal learning curve you need to stay focused and challenged but all within your own shifting boundaries. Be self-aware at all times.

If you feel that you are getting too anxious you will want to slow things down. Take a break and use deep, slow breaths to relax your body. There are many mental tricks to lessen fear and anxiety. A common successful method is to actually visualize yourself performing the sport successfully. See yourself snowboarding down the slope, see yourself reach the mountain’s summit, etc. Visualizing helps to relax and build up confidence.


Know yourself, know your boundaries, know your aspirations and challenge yourself in the sport of your interest!


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