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Old 02-14-2010, 08:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
Florac
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Default Mental Block for Beginners

I started snowboarding at the beginning of January. Really enjoyed it and bought all the gear by my 3rd day out. Got a total of 8 days in at a local hill and could do big linked turns(not sure of terminology) on all the runs. I'm still scared of speed because I just don't know if I have the skills yet to control myself if I get too fast. I'm also afraid of boarding with lots of people around me because I'm not 100% sure I can avoid hitting them. So basically I'm a beginner(but can do more than falling leafs!).

So I went up to Lake Louise today and holy shit did I crap out all over the place. I started on a green run from the top of the mountatin to the bottom and wiped out 4 times. At my local hill, there are runs with similar steepness that I've done before no problem but on the mountains, I just freaked out mentally and ate snow. I even ended up just sitting on my heals and pushing snow down parts of the mountain and I haven't done that since my first time snowboarding(WTF??). I was also freaking out over accidentally going over the deep edges/drops. Even on the greens, there were lots of narrow runs and since my turns are wide, I was once again scared that I would drop off the black diamonds on the other side of the run. Basically, I started hating snowboarding by mid-afternoon. I had probably fallen 10-12 times going down the mountain 4 times. I started to question my abilities and any self-confidence I had disappeared.

I don't want to give up on snowboarding or just limit myself to a local hill but shit I was scared shitless today. Should I invest in some hypnotherapy or something because I know I can do the turns but whenever I would look down the run, I just freaked. WTH is wrong with me?? I'm still so f*ckin pissed that I did so shitty. Really discouraging.
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Old 02-14-2010, 08:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You're afraid of taking lumps. My blunt advice is to stop being a pansy.

Are you 80? Are you in danger of breaking a hip? If a few bruises, supermans, scorpions, and starfish are too much, maybe snowboarding isn't for you. If it's important enough to you, take the pain. We all did, and continue to do so to progress. Just because you're a girl doesn't mean you break easier.... Oh wait, you're not menopausal are you?

You need speed for consistency and control. I can promise you 100% your fear of speed is holding your progression back. You're more prone to catches and crashes when you go slow. Speed makes edge control predictable and thus, safer.

Get reasonable protective gear, grit your teeth, and get right back up every time you fall. You're just falling from a standing position, not base jumping.

Remember, grasshopper: determination, bull-headed stupidity, and wanton disregard for your own safety are a powerful triumvirate that wins out over ineptitude when it comes to boarding.... every time. - Confucius
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Old 02-14-2010, 08:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Few things.

1. It seems like you're overthinking what could happen instead of what should/will happen. If you do happen to go over the edge on a black diamond, don't worry. Seeing the edge kinda drop away from the top of the run is worse than actually being on it. It's not a cliff just because you cant see the whole run from the top, it's still just a hill. You won't tumble to the bottom like homer simpson, all that you'd have to do is sit and edge your board down till you get to the bottom. Obviously you don't want to be in this situation though and...

2. The reason you are riding worse than before is probably due to being tense, being scared of certain areas or people is going to keep you from remembering the basics. Anytime I'm hitting a new kicker or rail, I'll take a long deep breath and think about what I need to do rather than what could happen. Before you take a run, visualize what you need to do and what you've done before. You know you can do it, you've done it before. The ability is still there, it's just not as comfortable place as your home mountain/hill.

Also being more comfortable with speed will come on its own, it isn't anything you're doing wrong. In fact, many of us here will have respect for you that you aren't just bombing the hill carelessly, or going on runs you shouldn't be on yet. Grab an mp3, listen to some tunes, work on tightening up the turns on a local hill and the next time you go back you won't even think about the bad. If you can, find someone who is also learning at your pace and talk to them, ride with them. Seeing someone else going down the same run with around the same ability level and making it safely will boost the self confidence too. Heck, even make each turn an accomplishment, see how many you can link in a row without falling, then the next run try to beat the previous number, or give yourself a little mental pep-talk when you ride past a black run without going down it

Positive thinking leads to positive results (and no, you don't need therapy)

Last edited by Deviant; 02-14-2010 at 08:36 PM.
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Old 02-14-2010, 09:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MunkySpunk View Post
You're afraid of taking lumps. My blunt advice is to stop being a pansy.

Are you 80? Are you in danger of breaking a hip? If a few bruises, supermans, scorpions, and starfish are too much, maybe snowboarding isn't for you. If it's important enough to you, take the pain. We all did, and continue to do so to progress. Just because you're a girl doesn't mean you break easier.... Oh wait, you're not menopausal are you?

You need speed for consistency and control. I can promise you 100% your fear of speed is holding your progression back. You're more prone to catches and crashes when you go slow. Speed makes edge control predictable and thus, safer.

Get reasonable protective gear, grit your teeth, and get right back up every time you fall. You're just falling from a standing position, not base jumping.

Remember, grasshopper: determination, bull-headed stupidity, and wanton disregard for your own safety are a powerful triumvirate that wins out over ineptitude when it comes to boarding.... every time. - Confucius
With you on this, i have been boarding for about 6 years and i still constantly eat shit. Something you just have to live with because the more you progress the falls are just going to hurt even more. (Trust me, kissing a rail is no fun, AT ALL)
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Old 02-14-2010, 09:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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if you're not having fun you're not snowboarding.

my friend who taught me is pretty good, and so had no patience for bunny hills. i learned on blues and blacks my first day. i fell a lot, and im still falling a lot trying to learn more new things, but im not doing this because someone is making me. remember that you're doing it because you want to.
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Old 02-15-2010, 02:10 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BurtonX8 View Post
Few things.

1. It seems like you're overthinking what could happen instead of what should/will happen. If you do happen to go over the edge on a black diamond, don't worry. Seeing the edge kinda drop away from the top of the run is worse than actually being on it. It's not a cliff just because you cant see the whole run from the top, it's still just a hill. You won't tumble to the bottom like homer simpson, all that you'd have to do is sit and edge your board down till you get to the bottom. Obviously you don't want to be in this situation though and...

2. The reason you are riding worse than before is probably due to being tense, being scared of certain areas or people is going to keep you from remembering the basics. Anytime I'm hitting a new kicker or rail, I'll take a long deep breath and think about what I need to do rather than what could happen. Before you take a run, visualize what you need to do and what you've done before. You know you can do it, you've done it before. The ability is still there, it's just not as comfortable place as your home mountain/hill.

Also being more comfortable with speed will come on its own, it isn't anything you're doing wrong. In fact, many of us here will have respect for you that you aren't just bombing the hill carelessly, or going on runs you shouldn't be on yet. Grab an mp3, listen to some tunes, work on tightening up the turns on a local hill and the next time you go back you won't even think about the bad. If you can, find someone who is also learning at your pace and talk to them, ride with them. Seeing someone else going down the same run with around the same ability level and making it safely will boost the self confidence too. Heck, even make each turn an accomplishment, see how many you can link in a row without falling, then the next run try to beat the previous number, or give yourself a little mental pep-talk when you ride past a black run without going down it

Positive thinking leads to positive results (and no, you don't need therapy)
Thanks for the tips and words of encouragement. Honestly I was ready to sell my gear a few times today because the more I fell, the more I didn't trust myself. It was like it wasn't even me out there at some points because I just froze. Since I've started, I've already slammed my wrist against an icy hill, hit my head falling backwards down the hill(my first time out and a helmet was my first piece of gear I bought afterwards), and bruised various parts of my body and I've always gotten back up and kept going. Even my brother(who's been snowboarding for 5+ years) told me today that I clearly had the ability to do it as I could on flatter, less steep runs so I guess it's just all mind over matter(which is still something to overcome). I think I'm going to try Marmot Basin at Jasper in a couple of weeks since it's supposedly an "easier" mountain, especially for beginners.

Thanks for being so positive!
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Old 02-15-2010, 02:21 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MunkySpunk View Post
You're afraid of taking lumps. My blunt advice is to stop being a pansy.

Are you 80? Are you in danger of breaking a hip? If a few bruises, supermans, scorpions, and starfish are too much, maybe snowboarding isn't for you. If it's important enough to you, take the pain. We all did, and continue to do so to progress. Just because you're a girl doesn't mean you break easier.... Oh wait, you're not menopausal are you?

You need speed for consistency and control. I can promise you 100% your fear of speed is holding your progression back. You're more prone to catches and crashes when you go slow. Speed makes edge control predictable and thus, safer.

Get reasonable protective gear, grit your teeth, and get right back up every time you fall. You're just falling from a standing position, not base jumping.

Remember, grasshopper: determination, bull-headed stupidity, and wanton disregard for your own safety are a powerful triumvirate that wins out over ineptitude when it comes to boarding.... every time. - Confucius
I don't mind a few bruises, I've already gotten quite a few from my other days out. I just don't think anyone HAS TO do something they aren't comfortable with(especially a beginner). For me, although I could probably go down the runs doing linked turns, I wasn't comfortable my first time out on a huge, steep mountain. I'm not sure if it's just me but most of my falls have been PAINFUL(like I start crying painful). I'm really thin so I don't have much body fat to cushion any falls. Today I fell so hard on my left ass check(right on the bone) that I couldn't put pressure on it when I was riding back in the car(and I was a starfish for this particular fall so I don't mind being one). I know I'm being a pansy but I'm not sure if forcing yourself to do something you've never done before and don't have any faith in will help that much either.
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Old 02-15-2010, 02:28 AM   #8 (permalink)
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if pain is a factor, but protective gear. Like pads,helmets, or wrist guards. These types of gears will help boost your confidence( and not to mention, save you from the pain =D).

Other than that, do what everyone has told you, have a plan, take a deep breathe, and have confidence in what you're doing. But most importantly, have fun.

Last edited by Nitrogen; 02-15-2010 at 12:22 PM.
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Old 02-15-2010, 02:50 AM   #9 (permalink)
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pain is weakness leaving the body....predose with ibuprofen

your are psychin youself out...anti-anxiety meds, e.g., beer, beta blockers and etc...but deep breathing is better...do a couple of breaths and go for it...don't think about it too long.

alot of it is just perspective and a mental game...come to our local hill to find out about steeps, narrow runs and dodging gapers

eating shite = having fun...as long as there is no permanet or long-term damage...love those eatin days
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Old 02-15-2010, 09:06 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Florac View Post
I don't mind a few bruises, I've already gotten quite a few from my other days out. I just don't think anyone HAS TO do something they aren't comfortable with(especially a beginner).
The heartless bastard answer would be to stop boarding if you aren't comfortable with it.

But since the real MunkySpunk is indisposed at the moment and this is his good twin, two main things:

1) Learn to fall. Keep your hands in loose fists, punch down with a slightly bent elbow to catch yourself instead of hitting the ground open palm. Absorb the impact by using the flex of your elbow and shoulder as a shock absorber. You'll have a much slimmer chance of breaking your wrists when you fall. Tuck and roll with the fall... don't resist it. Using a car analogy: It's much easier to swerve out of the way of an accident than to slam on your breaks and pray you stop in time. Landing on your ass cheek was good, a bruised glute is much better than a broken coccyx.

2) Don't bail. Have faith in yourself and your own abilities. Take a deep breath and tell yourself that instead of going 'Oh SHIT! I'm going faster than a walking pace, time to panic and fall!' you're going to say 'OK, this is the speed where I should find transitions much easier, hang in there for 20 more feet, swivel those hips, and find my edge control.'

Some people here will talk about board flexion, minding your center of balance, initiate a turn with a slight press of the toe, and a million other things to keep in mind while you're in a state of near panic about hurting yourself. Don't worry about remembering any of that right now - you'll overload yourself and just make things worse. Remember only two things right now: stay up instead of a panic and bail, and roll with the falls. Get your turns linked at something resembling speed, get comfortable with it, and then worry about the millions of details later.

You don't have to bomb a run, but you DO have to get some velocity. If you don't push your own envelope, it will never grow.

If it's important enough to you, stick with it and you'll get it.
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