Mind over Matter

by Marta

Still didn’t nail that one trick you want so bad? Are you comparing yourself to others? Feeling stuck? Flammers has some tips for you how to overcome this kind of obstacles.

I want to talk to you about positive thinking in the skate park. How we process our achievements is just as important as unlocking the trick! I believe you can achieve anything you set your mind and body to! So, let’s talk about the mind. If you have the right mind set, you can make the body cooperate easier.

Whether you are new to park skating or you have been doing it a while, you will have no doubt felt negative at some point. It sometimes becomes a place where a skater can feel bogged down and not feel great about their own abilities. If we can acknowledge the slumps, the urgh feelings, and change our mind set, we can achieve more!


Let me explain how I see progression in a skater’s ability

You may have heard the term “learning curve”, right? How do you imagine it? I imagine the learning curve to not be a curve at all, but as a series of steps flowing upwards. Because we all process information differently and we learn at a different speed…this is the first stage to understanding our own progress.

With time and effort we will achieve. The progression line rises differently for everyone, as we all take on different skills and tricks in the skate park.

After a rise in ability you might face plateaus. Some will see less plateaus, and some will see more, some will learn faster, and some slower. It’s all ok! There is not one way.

So, let’s put a positive light on a plateau. Instead of feeling low about your skills and park sessions, you can use this time to build on the previous tricks and skills already picked up. If we can acknowledge the plateau and embrace its potential for creating a confident skater, the progression will come faster and easier.


How to keep your mind positive

Keeping one’s mind positive is key! So how do we do this? Well, I suggest to start with verbal communication. Have you come away from a session and felt all funky about it, did you say to your partners, your skating buddies…I wasn’t feeling it? I didn’t like that park? I’m feeling stuck in a rut? I’m not progressing like I should be, so I feel down? 

These are all negative observations. Start with noting that you might not have had the session you planned. But also think about what went well, focus on those moments above all else. You want to progress, of course, so about the things that didn’t go according to plan: think about how they could have gone better. Maybe you need to practice the move a bit more before taking it to the transition or the coping? Maybe you can try the same trick, but on a lower object? Even in your garden or the street outside?
See the challenges rather than the failings. When a negative thought is on your lips, replace it with a positive one.


Try some of these out…. 

Instead of, “I wasn’t feeling it”, try: “I’m going to come back fresh to this, next time.”
Don’t say: “I didn’t like that park”, but how about, “Next time I come here, I will try other bits of the park.”

“I’m feeling stuck in a rut” vs., “I’m going to find some inspirational videos.
Go back over your old images and videos, and see the progression you have already made.

Less: “I’m not progressing like everyone else” First off: it does no good to compare yourself to others. So rather go for: “I will get there in time”,  “I’m going to break down this trick some more” or  “I’m going to focus on the fundamentals of skating for a bit”.

You get the idea!

A slow patch gives us time to lock in the tricks we have mastered and the opportunity to try them in various places, before the next levels of skating can be tackled. The best thing about this sport is that you have the freedom to express yourself and create. There is no right or wrong way to go about it. You will find your own path. You will find what works best for you and what will need more time and effort.


Make a list, set a target

Another tip to create a positive outlook on your progression is to have a list of things you want to achieve at the skate park. Take the list to the park, but keep in mind that this is for fun. Try not to get bogged down with outside influences. Work on your own things in your own time. I take my list, and it is constantly changing, I’m forever adding and crossing things off that I am happy with. It’s in my kit bag and sometimes, if I’m having a chill session or a social session, I don’t even look at it. It’s just there to remind me of my goals. Ticking boxes and seeing a physical representation of a goal achieved is a great feeling.

So, set yourself some targets. Give them a time frame like, “what do I want to do this week” or, “what do I want to work on this month” and then also… what is the ultimate trick you want to nail? Get these jotted down on your list.

Positive vibes only.

Flammers x

Words by Sam “Flammers” Kent @flammers10
This text originally appeared in DogDays Magazine issue #3

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