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Mental Preparation for Big Tricks

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FLandOBX
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Mental Preparation for Big Tricks

Postby FLandOBX » Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:27 pm

Platform divers use visualization and mentally perform "dry runs" before highly technical dives. Basketball players benefit from focused "positive thinking" before shooting a free throw. In all sports, mental techniques can mean the difference between success and failure.

What psychological techniques do kiteboarders use in advance of a challenging move? This question could apply to an advanced rider preparing for a highly technical trick, to a beginner learning transitions, or to any rider at any skill-level preparing for a move that he or she considers challenging. :?:

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Re: Mental Preparation for Big Tricks

Postby sarc » Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:40 pm

Feeling good, enjoying the sun and the music of wind and water around me, and making sure I have at least 2m water depth below me!

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Re: Mental Preparation for Big Tricks

Postby LetsFlyaKite » Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:11 pm

Picture in your mind the way a professional executes the move right before you do the trick and then try it. My tricks always turn out better when I visualize myself doing them beforehand instead of going out there and trying something without thinking about it first. And always keep it in mind, that crashing and bailing makes you stronger.

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Re: Mental Preparation for Big Tricks

Postby plummet » Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:41 pm

I an not a trickster. But I am a storm chaser, big wave rider and jumper of hard objects. In my other sport mountain biking I also ride downhill, hit big(ish) lines, gap jumps and drops that will send you to hospital if you stuff up.

So mental preparation is key to success without death or hospital visits!....

For me the key is a realistic risk assessment combined with realistic assessment of my skill level and the challenge faced. Try to comprehend the difference between precieved risk and actual risk.
Build you skill incrementally and take on new conditions (or tricks or stunts) that pushes you slightly further each time. Most of the time what causes failure is the fear in your mind causing you to second guess yourself.
This is particularly the case when you are doing something that will lead to injury if you fail. EG jumping a boulder wall or rock groin.

So learning to shut the fear down and perform with 100% confidence is the key to success. Fear is the hardest thing to overcome.
when you can control fear and also at the same time perform a rational risk assessment of your skill and challenge success will occur with limited failure.

Danger arises when you suppress the fear too much and over estimate your skill level. Then you will enter into a place where you a not skilled enough for the challenge at hand. That is where the injuries will occur.

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Re: Mental Preparation for Big Tricks

Postby Jelle_vw » Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:42 pm

I need to feel good. Feel the flow. And than I usually dare to do a new trick. The one's I know I do more or less on muscle memory. I never visualize but maybe I should try in once.

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Re: Mental Preparation for Big Tricks

Postby Toby » Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:48 pm

I just do them ;-)

I always have a list of new tricks I want to do with me...so I read and imagine it quickly...then I do it...sometimes land immediately sometimes need many repeats.

And when I land a new one I think of the next variation that I can do of it.

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Re: Mental Preparation for Big Tricks

Postby FLandOBX » Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:45 pm

Haha! Toby is like Dimitri. When Dimitri is asked how he does a mind-boggling trick, he says "I just do it". :o

It's hard for me to visualize in a step-by-step fashion while riding into a trick. Kiting is different from platform diving in that it's fast, and we don't have quiet moments to reflect before launching a big trick. I know some guys who stop in the water and think about a new trick before trying it. But for me, I may visualize in a step-by-step way the night before a session or on the beach before going out. But in the heat of the moment, while riding into the trick, my mental exercise is more general. If I think proactively about being capable, confident and strong ("I can do this" type stuff), then my tricks turn out better (like LetsFly). Maybe, like Plummet says, it's more about overcoming the fear factor. Once muscle memory is developed, mental preparation seems less important. But most riders can probably up their game by more actively focusing on the mental element.

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Re: Mental Preparation for Big Tricks

Postby knotwindy » Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:10 pm

Yea, I agree. Physical prep is get stronger and looser. Anyone willing to spend the time can do that. Mental prep is a whole different game. It's not for everyone. When I was doing gymnastics the coach used to tell us "hesitation kills". See yourself completing the trick first in your mind or don't try it in the real world. You will almost certainly fail. At this point if I visualize a new trick first it is a bit like watching a tape loop of myself and anyplace the tape 'skips' is where I am having the problem. If I can't see it, I can't do it. Just me, though.YMMV

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Re: Mental Preparation for Big Tricks

Postby jeromeL » Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:24 pm

Nice sum up from everyone.
When trying something new it's sometimes hard to visualize, after a few try you get a feel for it and you can start visualizing it. Sleeping on it and dreaming about it helps a lot! Many times I can't land a trick and next session I land all of them.
As far as prep prior to trick, I try to visualize it but I usually focus only on one important thing and let the other stuff flow in muscle memory mode, so I will focus on one of those: keep strong core, hard or slow send, hard pop, hand pressure during trick ...
It's hard to focus on every single step and breaking it down prior to doing it. So focusing on 1 element you need to improve helps me, slowly it goes to muscle memory.
Like plummet Risk factor is important, feels like I take a lot of risk when I ride but I pretty much always look at worst case scenarios and probabilities of those happening: conditions, water depth, obstacle, people around for back up/rescue, long session/endurance level...
Fear: once you start visualizing it and do it enough your expectations are set right and fear disappear until you crash hard enough or your expectations are becoming unaccurate...

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Re: Mental Preparation for Big Tricks

Postby DWX » Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:34 pm

Fun topic! For what it's worth: before I learn smth new I discuss it to death with my husband, basically until he starts rolling his eyes with boredom, then we go on the water and I repeat after him, you know like little ducks learn to walk following mamma duck. I nail it instantly! If I go it alone, it takes weeks and I end up inventing something new rather than what I was trying to do!
Fear is healthy and addictive! Don't even try to take it from me! I'll bite!
Also if I'm uptight nothing works! Hang loose 🤙


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