I’m a big fan of psychology and how the mental game affects our snowboarding, so let’s look at some basic psychology that might surprise you and hopefully make you a better snowboarder.
How your thinking can actually make you a worse snowboarder
Let’s say you’re trying to learn a new trick/technique – ie a backside 360. You spend a whole day trying to land that backside 360, but you go home at the end of the day without landing it.
Next, your housemate, a pro snowboarder, tells you that he and all his friends had tons of trouble with that trick as well and that it’s normal and will take you 1 week to get it to start clicking.
Well, guess what? Your housemate just boosted your chances of landing that trick in about 1 week.
It’s weird, but in tests done by prominent social psychologist Sheena Iyengar, she found that simply being told information on how previous people performed or how you’re expected to perform affects how you end up performing.
So if your housemate had told you that you seem like the type that will struggle for ages and have difficulty learning any tricks, it’s more likely that you’ll struggle for ages and have difficulty learning tricks.
How to take advantage of this and improve your snowboarding
It’s no coincidence that every successful snowboarder you see is confident in their own abilities. They may not get something right away, but they always think they can get it and will get it eventually.
The way we think has a snowball effect. If you think you can’t learn a certain trick, you’ll put less effort into it and likely give up earlier. However, if you think you can learn a trick/technique, you’ll get less discouraged when you fail, which means you end up succeeding more often.
Control your thinking:
1) Don’t listen to people who say you can’t land that trick or who get negative about learning new techniques – they aren’t you and what they think shouldn’t affect what you think.
2) Surround yourself with people and things that support your snowboarding. Ride with positive people who get you pumped and excited to snowboard, not Eeyores who complain and get negative all the time.
Your rider buddies and friends should be people that make you think you can become an awesome snowboarder, not the reverse.
Be Tigger. Be excited and positive that you can land that new snowboard trick and you’ll find yourself figuring out that new technique you wanted to learn. Don’t be Eeyore, because the side effects of being an Eeyore suck.