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.
Even if you don’t have a coach with you, I believe that you are facing the same situation sometimes.
In this Do or Die situation, how do you commit or stop your self?
I used to be a wary coach as didn’t let my athletes hit big jumps.
Because I didn’t want to see them injured while I’m coaching.
Now I’m a not a wary coach anymore but I still don’t push them.
Instead, I ask them the following.
• Do you really want to challenge it?
• Do you have a picture in your head?
• Did you confirm with smaller jumps that your body (skill) is ready?
• Can you commit?
Then, if they are taking too long to commit, I will stop them and let them try next time.
If they are willing to challenge, their excitement will be around the appropriate level.
Thus, their concentration must be strong so that they are ready.
If they have a clear picture of their performance, they can focus more on performance rather than fear.
If they confirmed skill in advance, they know they are technically ready so that they can have stronger confidence before the challenge.
If they take too long to commit, they seem not to have a strong will, clear picture and confidence, so they are not ready yet.
This is just a few examples to judge whether you are ready to challenge or not.
But you should have some checklist before challenging something and try not to challenge without a strong will, clear picture and confidence.
Challenge is one of the reasons why snowboarding is fun.
Keep challenging but within your capacity.