Competition riders come in all shapes and sizes, but I’ve always found it weird how some people group them all together as if they all only care about money and being number 1. That’s not fair to them and it’s outright wrong for most of them.
Their worst enemy is themselves
Now, I’m not saying that they don’t go too far sometimes. Having tantrums and acting like a poor sports isn’t good behaviour and that is going too far. However, getting annoyed and frustrated when they can’t land their run or their trick isn’t necessarily bad behaviour.
People confuse their annoyance and frustration with themselves as being poor sports, but most likely, it’s not that they aren’t winning, but rather that they expect more from themselves. They want to land the run they’ve been practicing so much for and they know in their head that they can do it. Their frustration is at themselves for not doing something they know they’re capable of.
It’s not about winning, it’s about enjoying competition
Obviously there are a few riders out there who are just in it for the glory of being the best, but the great majority of competition riders are in competition because they enjoy it. It’s fun.
Ever played a video game against a friend? It’s a similar feeling to snowboard competitions. Beating your friend at street fighter after you secretly practiced your special attack move was fun wasn’t it? It’s about the challenge and fun of having that goal put in front of you and advancing your skills until you beat it. The victory and competition is all part of enjoying it.
It’s more about the challenge and friendly competition than it is about just being the best.
Putting every competition rider in a group of ‘huge ego’ and ‘competitive a-hole’ is unfair to those of them that are there because they love competition and love snowboarding. Remember my interview with Benji Farrow, part of the US Team? He was friendly and chilled during my interview with him and that’s been my experience with most pros on the competition circuit.
Never judge a whole group just because you saw one guy being a bad sport or letting his ego get the best of himself.