FEAR

  Posted by sneakerfreaker on Tuesday 8th April, 2014 @ 10:06 GMT News Category: Camps/Courses | Visited 3837 times
Lesson number three:
Fear

Fear is something that affects us all. Whether we choose to ignore, resist, or accept it. It can pop up at the most inappropriate and critical moments while we ride.
First up try to become aware of fear; how it affects your body, and your riding. You don't have to let anyone know, simple notice it's affect.

You can put yourself in a relatively safe yet fearful situation to make it easier for you to observe the process. E.g while wearing appropriate protection on a soft snow day; make sure you have a good empty section of piste available with no obstacles in your way, and go for a huge 'j' shaped turn. Point it straight downhill until you feel the fear, then slowly point the board directly up hill while looking back up the mountain to help slow down and stop smoothly.

Depending on how you ride, and how much experience you have, you may feel the fear in this situation. You may feel fear simply strapping the board on, or you may need to step it up to find a fearful response. Wherever the level is for you, make sure you have safety in mind for yourself and other riders.

Most people when they feel fear on a board generally tense up (including myself). It can be very subtle, obvious, or even painful at times.

Do you ever hear a judder when completing a turn? The edge skidding and breaking like the ABS in a car? This is happening from too much pressure. When we initiate a turn, we give ourselves and our board to gravity, thus we increase speed. We don't need to apply any more pressure, we should absorb the energy for a smoother, less skiddy ride.

In extreme circumstances if there is too much rigidity in the body and we hit a bump or something, we get thrown in the air or loose control.

If we land a jump completely stiff there is a higher chance of breaking something.

So in all circumstances it's better to relax, accept, and go with the flow. The natural instinct is to resist, to lean back etc which causes a lot of problems, and injuries.

From a psychological perspective if we spend most of our time trying not to fall over, avoiding fearful situations etc; we don't know the thing we are afraid of. Not knowing a fearful situation begins a habit of negative imagination inside the mind. When we start approaching situations where we know the fear might switch on; our mind can run wild imagining all the ways to avoid danger, all the things that could wrong, and we start to tense up. We aren't even performing an activity, and already we are being affected by the thing we are about to do.

The mind is a super advanced computer system; If allowed to imagine things that aren't happening it distracts our attention and available processing power from inside the moment of reality. This process causes the body to stiffen up. The mind is trying to send a signal through to the body parts necessary to perform movement. When the mind imagines a load of stuff that it doesn't know and isn't yet real will take up a lot of processing power. The body/mind system goes in to a state of shock, as the information isn't getting through due to imaginations.

To help fix this issue, deal with the things you are afraid of. Fear of falling over? Create EAP's (emergency action plans) and act them out; fall over in every way imaginable, backwards, forwards, catching edges, in to each turn etc. practice safe ways of falling, Ninja rolling out of every accident. (See lesson number two on falling).

Once you have your EAP's sorted for every thing you feel fear for, then you can deal with the psychological aspect. Every time a fearful imagination comes up and distracts your attention from reality, you can self-talk; referencing the EAP, to help stop the loops of mind.

Focus as deep as you can while riding inside the moment, accept, and let snowboarding happen, however it happens. While your falling, dropping, or riding speedy.

In this state you will feel calm in moments you previously felt tension and fear. This is the start of advancing your riding to the next level. Whatever that level is.

snowboardguru.org
Facebook.com/snowboard lesson
Comments (178)  
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