Just a few days ago, I talked with my former athlete who is recently coaching young Chinese female talents.
She is feeling bad because one of her athletes got injured while coaching.
They were trying to get used to hitting a big jump.
Her athlete was scared and couldn't commit to it.
She tried to encourage her athlete to help to commit.
Then her athlete committed and hit the jump, and crashed hard from her back.
Her athlete didn’t get serious injuries but get a trauma.
She has experienced the same situation many times while in training and in the contest.
And she was believing that encouragement helps athletes to get over the fear and to raise their performance.
But now, she can’t decide between pushing or stopping athletes in this difficult situation.
Judging from my experience until now, it is a fact that many athletes I have coached show improvement at the beginning of the season.
One reason is probably because motivation is high at the beginning of the season.
However, upon reflecting on the tendencies of former students, I have learned a lot and therefore, I think there are other reasons.
Thus, the hypothesis that I've come to accept is "visualization."
This is showing that if the arousal level is at about the middle, people can perform better or best.
The optimal arousal level increases a person’s concentration, so focus deeply on one thing at a time.
When the brain is in an optimal arousal level, it stops working on unnecessary tasks while continuing to work on limited tasks.
This is the state of concentration.
When you are having fun doing something, like when kids are playing and they forget about dinner time, you are in that state of deep concentration.
Therefore, your brain is working only for FUN stuff and doesn’t listen or see anything around you.
Of course, muscles are relaxed so unnecessary functions are turned off, but limited parts of muscles are working properly.
This is why FUN environments increase or bring out one's best performance.
Thinking About Visualization Part 2!
Last time, we thought about concrete visualization methods.
This time, we will be introducing a variety of visualization categories.
Just by knowing these, you can become more efficient with the visualization methods!
Well, “Visualization” is said to be able to be divided into the two categories below.
Visualizing yourself as you see yourself on the outside.
(Like watching TV or an out-of-body experience)
Concentrating and visualizing something via your internal senses
(Sight, Smell, Taste, Touch, etc.)
Visualizing is a very common skill to apply while doing any sports to learn proper movement.
From when I first began to snowboard (in 1990) until now, I’ve been using this visualization method.
Thanks to my continuous use of this method, I’ve gotten to the point where I can use this intuition when watching my students ride.
This is all thanks to the mirror neurons inside of the brain.
Well, I’ve been using this visualization method since I was a child as well, and I would think that there was nothing that was too hard.
However, when teaching students on site, many of my students don’t understand the visualization method and are unable to do it.
Fear is always there with any action sports.
I believe that everybody has faced their fears while snowboarding in the past.
Also not many tips around describing how to overcome a fear.
But this article will teach you a concrete idea to get over it.
Let’s find out what the fear is and how we can solve it.
What is Fear?
We first should understand what the fear is.
Then we can analyze and find out the way to face them.
Dictionary describes Fear as …
“It’s the unpleasant feeling you have when you think that you are in danger.”
What a perfect description!
So when we feel fear, we will feel being unpleasant and in dangerous situation.
It is because our brain remembers a close situation in the past.
While snowboarding for example, crashing on the jump or jibbing items, or on steeps and moguls.
We visualize bad scenarios when we are feeling fear, even if it hasn't happened yet.
So if the bad scenario doesn't happen or a good scenario comes up instead, we can destroy a fear.