I'm 35 and I ride park 1-2 times per week, at my age injuries come easy and last a long time. I'm just getting over a shoulder injury from a boardslide on a down box. The box was damaged and I caught an edge on it, not really my fault but that instilled the fear again.
These are some tactics I use to overcome it.
1. Work up to it slowly. Do tricks I'm solid at and build confidence, then start working on whatever it is I want to learn on a small feature, even if thats just flat ground and I imagine its a feature. Then to a ride on, then a jump on and then a rail for example.
2. Visualize. This has always been a key for me, if i can't see myself do it I can't do it. I picture myself doing the entire trick from my line, the trick and the landing/ride away. I do this several times before I go.
3. As I'm approaching I stay loose and I tell myself specific things. If I need to turn my head for example I will say "stay calm, turn your head, stay calm, turn your head" on my approach (I'm telling you this is a golden tactic). What you should never do is tell yourself what not to do because almost guaranteed you WILL do it. Do not say stuff like "Don't panic, don't fall, don't freak out" etc. Guess what your brain hears? --->>> Panic! FREAK OUT! FALL!!
Try it - Take a run and say "don't freak out" and see if that calms you down. Next run say "stay calm" and I bet you $1000 it will be more effective. I got this tactic from a psychologist- the word "don't" gets illiminated when your under stress and your brain only hears the following command... so don't freak out becomes freak out... the mind is a crazy thing.
4. Ok so last but not least my tactic to get over the thinking process of sitting above a feature staring it down. Once you have your visualization, and you know what your going to tell yourself on your approach. Just say to yourself "no think just go". lol. My best friend gave me this Jackie Chan quote and I've been using it for years.
Hope this helps... works for me.
Last edited by Casual; 02-12-2013 at 02:52 PM.