Launching into the air to perform 360s, 540s and all sorts of other flips and tricks seem like something you would like to do?
Well, for me, the craziness of doing snowboarding tricks has added rich rewards, passion and drive to my life. It is just the feeling of stepping up to a scary athletically challenging moment, reining in the emotion and fear, to focus your mental alertness into full commitment to execute and land trick. The feeling as you ride away from the perfect landing of a new trick is fuel for the passion to do it again and again. Of course as you learn to do more and more tricks the riding just gets more and more fun. Doing tricks you have already landed is also incredibly enjoyable, but it is in those moments of fear that we learn what type of rider we are capable of becoming.
As a beginner, we are in a position to enjoy each success of thousands of progression steps on the road to become a better rider. Early on it is important to get into the habit of enjoying things that work and giving yourself credit for each progression step towards a better skills base. A slightly better turn, getting better at riding switch of even getting off the lift without falling. Developing confidence by enjoying the process of being scared of something that "feels weird", then stepping up and doing it and practicing it, getting better at it and finding the place where that action now feels good and natural.
Part of developing confidence is always being ready to "get back on the horse". As we try to learn new things, we will always make mistakes, have falls and experience setbacks. Nobody ever became a master overnight. It is crucial to get into the habit of "letting go" of negative energy that comes up through frustration and disappointment when things do not go right. Let go, and get back on that horse with the memory of all the things that have gone right to get you to this new challenge. Sometimes it is a good idea to take a step or 2 back and just execute some of the skills or trick you have successfully learned to have some fun and get that confidence level back up to the point where you are ready to believe that your are going to stick that new trick "soon". Maybe not the next try, but soon.
Here we land on the subject of patience. It is so important in so many ways. Being patient as a beginner and every step of the way to develop and maintain good basic skills before and during attempts at freestyle spinning and flipping tricks. I have seen so many riders that have great talent for air awareness, but they do not take the time to learn to carve a good turn. Being in good control in the air depends of being in good control on the snow.
Not only is patience important in terms of progression, it is also crucial in the execution of tricks. It is common in jumping and in the half pipe for riders to get anxious as they approach the take-off. This will cause the rider to start the take-off motion too early, leading to all sorts of problems, all of which fall into the arena of "less control". To maintain precise control a rider will be very patient and calm as they approach a feature. A term I use a lot on the hill is "wait and snap". This can apply to the take-off step of nearly all moves or tricks.
Now, what about the idea of using "The Force". It is about trusting your instincts and letting go of doubt and expectation. It is about harnessing the confidence that you have developed into an enlightened form that allows for the "I can do anything" mentality. Any great athlete accomplishes great things by believing they can first and fore-most.
Combine appreciation for success (no matter how small), letting go of negativity, practice, hard work, practice, patience and trust in your instincts and you will find yourself getting better all the time. It is an amazing way to live. Go out and do it.
To learn more about the steps of learning snowboarding tricks, come explore my free websites.
Lead Pro-Am Freestyle Snowboarding Coach
Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club