The Key To Overcoming Snowboard Learning Frustration

Snowboarder falling

Ever been working on learning a new snowboard trick and you find yourself getting frustrated because you’re practicing all day and trying hard to figure things out, but seeing no improvement?

I think most of you will agree that this is one of the annoying things about learning a new snowboard trick – it’s that whole period where you’re practicing your butt off, but you aren’t sure if what you’re doing is working.

As I’ve said in the past, this is normal and you will get past it if you keep analysing your technique and working on it until it clicks… but unfortunately, most people let the frustration get to them and it slows their learning and makes this painful process last even longer.

The horrible snowboard frustration cycle

I’ve said it a hundred times, snowboarding may be a physical sport, but it’s also mental. If you let your head start getting worked up and annoyed over your own riding, it starts to affect your technique and you’ll only find yourself getting worse.

It’s a horrible cycle:

You can’t get a trick to ‘click’ so you get frustrated >

which causes your riding to get worse because you aren’t concentrating >

which makes it even harder for you to get that trick to ‘click’ >

which makes you even more frustrated.

Every snowboarder has times when they get frustrated, but here’s how to break that frustrating cycle and how you can get past it to see results in your snowboarding.

1) Stop

The first thing you need to do if you get frustrated while snowboarding is to stop what you’re doing. Trying to think yourself through complicated freestyle techniques isn’t going to work while you’re frustrated, so just stop and take a breather.

It’s perfectly okay to take yourself to the side of the run and take a few minutes to chill and clear your head.

The worst thing you can do when you get frustrated and not thinking clearly is to keep repeating the exact same thing that’s getting you frustrated.

2) Change things up

If you’re hiking a park feature or just doing laps of the terrain park, go do something else for a lap. Mix things up and give yourself the time to reset and clear that frustration.

For me, if I’m having a bad couple of runs in the park where I’m crashing a lot and just getting annoyed, I’ll take a lap off and go do something else on the mountain.

Whatever else you enjoy on the mountain, go do that for a lap, then come back and try again when the frustration is gone.

For example, for me I might do a fast speed run down a groomer at mach 10 or just enjoy hitting some mini jibs on the sides of a run. Something where I can just cruise and chill for a lap.

The key is that whatever you decide to do to blow off that frustration, it should be something that you’ve already mastered and something that’s fun for you. You want to be able to shut down your brain and just cruise and have fun for a lap.

3) Re-tackle the trick

Once you’ve cleared your head, it’s time to try again.

Go back to that trick, go over your technique in your head and try again, but this time you’ll be doing it with a clearer head that isn’t constantly focusing on how much you suck or how annoyed you are from falling constantly.

The whole purpose of this is exercise is pretty straight forward.

You want to take yourself away from any situation where your frustration is starting to affect your riding and only attempt and practice a new trick and technique when you can do it with a clear head.

Even if you don’t need a whole lap to reset, just taking 5 minutes on the side of a run to calm yourself and clear your head does wonders for your execution technique.

Trust me, every snowboarder gets frustrated at times, but better snowboarders are able to deal with the frustration and not let it affect their riding. If you have to take a lap to clear your head, do it, because it’s better than getting more frustrated and letting that ruin your entire day of riding.

You want to be the better snowboarder.

- Jed

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