Before you challenge this trick, be sure to check the following points in advance.
- You can do straight air with stability.
- In the air with stability, you can do the following two movements at same time:
- In order to perform this grab trick, you already can do the correct movements on a level surface without your board attached.
If you have a solid grasp on these things, you can probably learn this trick fairly quick!
Let's jump right into it!
Sequence by sequence, I'm going to explain the “Rocket Grab.”
Since take off is the same as when doing straight air, it's not difficult.
However, before take off, if you shift into a grabbing motion, you will loose balance.
Therefore, first, be sure to take off from the lip the same as you would for straight air.
As soon as you take off, pull your foreleg up with some intensity (this is the first point).
While being careful not to have your chest completely facing forward, extend both hands.
Before grabbing, if your chest is facing forward, you will spin. Be careful!
With both hands, use some force and while pulling the board toward yourself, completely extend your hind leg (this is the second point).
Hold the grab until just before landing.
Even if your chest is facing forward, PAY ATTENTION to whether or not your hips are turning toward the side.
You can prevent spinning in the air by not allowing your hips to turn!
Even if you release the grab after the tail of your board has reached the landing, it is still safe.
Landing is the exact same as it is for straight air.
The key is to bend completely and stretch the legs.
Bending and stretching the legs half-heatedly makes doing the grab itself more difficult.
It's time for me to answer another question that I've been asked many times!
This time, it's about doing a grab while spinning!
Hello! I can do a 360, but when I do a grab, my spin stops.
How can I do a grab without stopping my rotation?
When doing an intermediate level spin, trying to throw in a grab is a big challenge.
By doing a grab, you lose speed and you can't complete the spin.
I hear this a lot from intermediate level snowboarders trying to do spins.
The reason is because the power of the spin is not fully followed through with the hips.
With spins, you begin the rotation with your upper body.
After that, the power should then be transferred downward through your abdominal muscles and into your hips.
If you can turn your hips, then naturally, your lower-body and snowboard will follow through in the rotation.
If you can do a 360 without a grab, what this means is that you are able to follow through with the power of the spin all the way down to your hips.
So, why does the spin stop? This is something we MUST know!
To start off with spins, the power to spin is transferred from the upper body downward.
However, even though the upper-body is supposed to pull the hips in the direction of the spin, how about when the upper body’s direction is reversed mid-spin?
The upper-body won't be able to pull the hips in the right direction and there will not be enough momentum to continue rotating at that speed.
As for the spin stopping, when a grab is performed during a spin, there is the possibility that the upper-body is twisting back in the opposite direction when you try to reach for your snowboard.
Please give the next 3 things a try:
With your upper-body pulling the spin and not twisting back in the opposite direction, no matter where you grab, you can still pull your hips through and continue your spins momentum.
Grabs for Front Side Spins,
Grabs for Back-Side Spins,
During your spin for any of these grabs, your upper-body won't go back in the opposite direction.
However, there are people who's spin stops even when they try these things. For these people, they are the kind of people that are trying to grab the board first and then trying to spin afterward.
In this situation, first, you have to be sure that there is plenty of force in the hips to spin, then grab.
The reason for this is that in a 360-spin, you spin all the way to the last 90 degrees without grabbing.
After you've reached the last 90 you extend your hand to the place you will perform the grab.
Once you get used to this, keep spinning and in the last 180, try to grab.
Furthermore, after you've spun with your upper-body and bent it over your leading knee, then you can use the muscles of your abdomen to pull your hips more aggressively.
If it's a front-side spin, you lead with your upper body bending over your foreleg. If it's a back-side spin, you lead with your upper body bending over your hind leg.
Actually, using the abdominal muscle’s stretch reflexes is key, but we'll talk about that in a different video. Let's watch it together and deepen our understanding of spins!
This is a fact that surprisingly hasn’t been recognized, but these are probably new words for Intermediate level people.
You might have thought “Well now that you mention it, that is true.”
However, I think that you haven’t compared these two on “edging”.
This isn’t a fact that intermediate level riders are very aware of.
For example, how do you make an edge angle quickly and strongly when initiating a turn?
This raises the quality of the turn, Advanced riders always focus on this.
If you do a spin in the park, can you generate a spin with a small edge angle that will allow you kicking straight down on the ground?
This raises the quality of the spin, Advanced riders are always careful with this.
Since the stances are completely different, then the muscles you use are also different.
There is a large difference on internal senses.
Intermediate level people are not aware of both of these differences, and they don’t notice the differences when they are doing both of them.
Therefore, their edging from when generating a spin is something closer to edging while turning.
They also can’t make an edging angle strong enough when turning, so the slopes that they can show their best performance on are also limited.
However, from now on you can practice each edging status of the two extremes depending on the situation.
Both of these are same difficult edging skills, but the destination of where you aim for both of them are completely opposite of one another.
I’ve answered a question that you’ve asked!
Today’s theme is “Where to look to keep spinning”
It’s about when rotation is slowed down in the middle of a spin.
My friend told me to make sure controlling point of view while spinning, but I still don’t really understand that.
Please teach me about it!
Cases where people stall in the middle of a spin happen often.
Even if the reasons for slowing down are the same, the parts of the body that people should focus on will be depend on the situation.
Try focusing on where you are looking here.
To start, there are two reasons why you would stop rotating.
Spin by transferring the force of the spin from the upper-part of the body downwards, and eventually it will reach the bottom half of the body.
And the force of the spin is decided at Takeoff and between 90 and 180 degrees while spinning.
So upper body creates the force of spin at Takeoff and transferring the force of spin should be fully completed by the time you have reached 180 degrees.
You can get enough force to spin whether you circulate or lock up your gaze if you can transfer the force of spin from the upper-part of the body downwards.
But it might be difficult to keep spinning if you lock up your view.
For example, if your eyes keep looking at your left while your body is spinning to the right, your body will be pulled back the other way.
It is because your head is locking up the gaze and pulling your upper body the opposite direction so transferring the force of spin downwards is difficult.
Now let’s think about it when at Takeoff and while spinning.
Because your feet are still on the snow during Takeoff, you can twist your body as much as you want without being influenced by the direction in which your head is facing.
Therefore, if you believe that you can create enough force to spin during Takeoff then it’s possible.
But if you can not create enough force off of the takeoff, this tutorial will teach you how to position yourself in a way that will allow your body to keep rotating.
The problem is in situations when you go into the air and your feet leave the snow.
If you create enough spin power during Takeoff, but you turn your upper body in the opposite direction when you transfer that power to the bottom half of your body,
Your upper body will stop turning in the direction and only the bottom half of your body will continue to spin quickly and will start to overtake your upper body.
Stopping your upper body and not circulating your view is deciding your body’s counter rotation in midair.
You’ll look around towards the right when spinning right, but the upper half of your body will stop rotating at the same time you stop rotating your point of view before spinning 90 degrees.
Then, the force of the spin won’t be transferred to the bottom half of your body and won’t spin.
So the bottom half of your body needs to rotate on its own to catch up with, and overtake the top half of your body to complete spin without force transferred from the top half.
The top half and bottom half of your body will then rotate in opposite directions when you’re in the air, and it will stall the spin.
Then, should you try very hard to keep looking in the direction you are spinning?
And your spin will keep its momentum?
If you look too far in the direction you are spinning, it’ll be difficult to use the abdominal muscles needed to transfer the force of the spin to the bottom half of your body.
Doing Ab Training (Sit-ups) in the gym will help to get the most out of your abdominal muscles, practice positioning your head, chest, knees and toes to face the same direction.
You will be able to pass on the force of the spin to the bottom half of your body very effectively if you are able to replicate the movement you practiced, in the first 90 to 180 degrees of your spin.
For example, in a situation where you are spinning 360, you will have an image of sit-ups toward the knee that leads the spin when you get to 90 degrees.
It’s the same regardless of which way you’re rotating.
Keep the image of the Sit-up until the last 90 degrees.
In other words, keep your head looking 45 degrees ahead of your snowboard from 90 degrees to 270 degrees.
Check the last tutorial talking about “Looking Around 2 Meters From You” along with this one, and control your spins better!
While I am a coach, this subject is about denying coaching, but it isn’t like that.
I’ve had many student riders from beginners to national level riders.
All of them differed with how fast they comprehended things and how fast they learned skills, and it wasn’t related to their skill level.
Since there were students who would ask me the same things over and over no matter how many times I’d taught it to them, there were also students who applied various things after being taught once and were able to practice on their own.
I taught my students how to acquire a strong ability to think.
Because of this, students who had the ability to think well were able to quickly choose what they should do instead of losing their way.
Furthermore, students with strong abilities to think can choose the most important things at any time even when there was no coach with them, and can choose the quickest way to improve.
Therefore, any uselessness in their improvement process is eliminated.
Students with strong abilities to think tend to learn so fast because of this way of understanding.
Well, now let’s try to think about this from a neuroscience standpoint!
The function of the Brain
To start, let’s understand the functions of the Right and Left brain.
Below is an excerpt from a website.
The Left Brain is the conscious part of the mind that thinks, remembers and calculates carefully through language and theory (Conscious Brain.).
Because it is a small capacity part of the brain that is steadily working very hard getting so much information and sorting it out, it needs to delete information to memorize the next information, so it is the “short-term” memory.
Also, this part of the brain is not very durable and tires easily from mental-straining, conscious thoughts and can become stressed out. It’s often said that only 3% of the entire brain is used, but that 3% is a job mostly for the Left brain.
The Right Brain recalls memory through images rather than with language, and can calculate a large quantity of memories at high speeds.
In short, the brain can instantly recall a memory through imagery, just like when taking a picture.
If the impression of something seen, heard etc. is vivid and strong, the Right Brain stores it in the subconscious for a length of time dependent among how strong its impression is.
And, it also has the job of quickly bringing back a memory when it’s needed, suddenly having an idea, and bringing out the power of intuition.
Furthermore, adding emotions to your studies will have the data stored in the subconscious (Right Brain).
What’s happening in student’s brain?
So students who apply what they were self-taught and practice on their own work their Right Brain extremely well.
And, inside the Left Brain information is sorted, then only the needed information is selected it and then simultaneously converted into images in the Right Brain.
Furthermore, the joy from studying is added as an emotion, and again is stored in the Right Brain.
Something like this can happen inside the brain.
On the other hand, student who hear the same things over and over again will obediently practice it without thinking about attaching other knowledge or experience.
Because of this, even if they were only able to do something, it can be stored in the Right Brain as a feeling of happiness from “The fact that I was able to do it”.
Therefore, they remember the feeling of being able to do it, but they won’t remember anything specific that was taught to them.
Most of the Left Brain isn’t being used.
In other words, on top of not being able to process and choose information on their own, they don’t pair an emotion with their studies and the likelihood that they will remember their studies is extremely low.
Actually, I had a lot of students like that.
Students who don’t have a very good ability to think will obediently practice what they were taught without thinking about it deeply.
However, since they don’t think about it deeply, they won’t have the joy of finding out something on their own when they were taught.
And since there’s no emotion accompanying it, it won’t be stored deeply within the Right Brain (Subconscious).
Therefore, when there’s no coach nearby, they won’t know what they should be doing, they won’t be able to find ways to solve problems, and they won’t be able to make their own decisions.
These kinds of things happen.
They won’t be engrossed and won’t think about it any deeper by only being taught.
By adding an emotion, the consciousness (Left Brain) puts the information into the subconscious (Right Brain).
Naturally, the feeling will be from wanting to study, what they discovered, what they noticed. and the fun.
Their Left Brain should first be activated, but I want my students to get to the point where they can study while having these feelings.
I also aim for lessons that will naturally bring out the feeling of wanting to learn for my students!
For those who have children or friends whom you want to teach something to, please refer to these!
This is Part 2 of my previous tutorial, “Do Freestyle Snowboarders Need Physical Training?”
This time, let's think about what kind of results we can derive from Running.
When I say, “derive,” I'm talking about the results you can get out of your heart and lung function.
When you strengthen your heart and lung function, what kind of benefits are there?
They can be found in the increased amount of blood that is pumped at one time from your heart. You could also say that it's the amount of oxygen that is pumped into your bloodstream.
It's probably easier to think of it as having trained your heart muscles.
Oxygen has a very important role in that it is converted to energy within the body.
Energy gained from oxygen is necessary for muscle strength, the brain's ability to concentrate, etc.
When your oxygen supply decreases, it's easier to get tired and your ability to sustain concentration decreases.
You can support all of this by merely doing aerobic exercise like running, etc.
Anaerobic exercise creates a situation in which the oxygen supply doesn't make it to the muscles in time. There are types of anaerobic exercise that involve running, but these fall under short-distance sprints, mid-distance sprints, and muscle training for example.
When it comes to snowboarding, long free-riding and powder-riding for example, fall under the category of a wall sit.
Explosive running, causes an anaerobic type of situation in which the oxygen supply doesn't make it to the muscles in time. Because of this, the body uses sugar and fat stored in the muscles and organs for energy. Since the oxygen can't make it in time, the body borrows these as an energy source.
"Anaerobic" or "Aerobic"?
I think that both aerobic and anaerobic exercise are both necessary components of snowboarding, but depending on the style of snowboarding, I would have to say that for the most part, it is aerobic exercise that is important.
However, being in love with turning and doing nothing but powder-riding and carving turns becomes mostly anaerobic exercise for the lower-body. For these types of snowboarders, explosive running and muscle training are probably effective.
If possible, anaerobic-type training is best done with a trainer around.
In free-style snowboarding, like park riding for example, there is not enough time for the body to go into an anaerobic state while riding. So, if these riders are going to exercise, it might be best for them to do a lot of aerobic exercise that will allow them to maintain the ability to concentrate. For example, it would be good if they could jog every day for 30 minutes to an hour at an intensity of 60 to 70 percent.
How can we train?
If you're able to, it's best to train in the off-season.
It is effective to train in the gym with a regular training regimen, but if you can, it would be preferable to have a regimen that is compatible with snowboarding exercises.
This is something that everyone who snowboards knows more-so than trainers.
When training in the gym with actual snowboarding moves, adding weight little-by-little and focusing on training a little faster and stronger than usual with good-balanced movement, you can be certain that you will see results out on the snow.
When training in the gym with actual snowboarding moves, you can try things like adding weight little by little and focus on training a little faster and harder than usual. While doing this, be sure to keep good-balanced movement in mind. If you do this, then you can be certain that you will see results out on the snow.
However, thought-out, snowboard-centered, physical training, is full of necessary components for improvement such as technique and balance, instinctive sense, and building a good mental game.
With specialized trainers, when you want to show off your best performance, they have a polished technique for building the optimal physical and mental state.
So, do we need Physical training?
In order to determine whether or not physical training is necessary, you won't know until you have tried and experienced it yourself.
It's for certain that even if you train recklessly, you won't see any results, so it's necessary to study hard on your own or try to consult with a specialist.
And more importantly, I must say that for people who aren't consistent with training, it's only a waste of time.
Actually, in order for us to verify whether or not top-athletes need physical training, the only thing we can do is to thoroughly analyze their movements. When we do this, we should analyze and understand: when and what kind of movement, how strong is it and what direction, and for that movement and intensity, is physical training necessary. Then, we can classify each aspect of their performance, apply the necessary training components, and categorize it. Lastly, we adjust the exercise load to match our own physical strength.
This is something that a sports trainer at the gym cannot do.
If you ask a trainer to make a training regimen for you, usually, you will end up with a training routine that is for your average athlete.
Because of this, there are many athletes who can't really utilize the muscle that they have built when it's time to perform.
So, what kind of training should you do specifically?
We'll talk about that in a different tutorial.
First up are keywords for this tutorial!
These two keywords will help to change your performance!
Between Beginner and Intermediate, or Intermediate and Advanced.
There are obvious differences when comparing each of their performances.
Their performances look cleaner the higher their skill levels rise.
It’ll be obvious that their skill levels are high!
I think so too, but for now let’s try thinking about ways to use your body.
When a human being does something, they can show better performance when their mind and body are relaxed.
With snowboarding, advanced riders are more relaxed than intermediate riders.
If your mind is not relaxed, then your body will receive those influences and won’t be relaxed either.
If your muscles aren’t relaxed, then they can’t move the way you want them to and your performance will naturally fall.
Well then, why aren’t intermediate riders as relaxed as advanced riders?
Intermediate riders can’t fine-tune their balance, and because of that they get nervous and their muscles stiffen up.
Because of that they’ll have fast speed and they’ll take a difficult approach etc. with their performance, and all at once their performance will drop.
For instance, if intermediate riders perform an elementary trick in an elementary environment, they will be able to move their bodies very skillfully and will perform very well.
This shows proof of them being relaxed.
Relaxing is the key to how Intermediate and Advanced riders to use their bodies.
But can they get closer to the way Advanced riders move just by relaxing?
You specifically want to know “What’s the best thing to do?”
If you understand the difference between being relaxed while training and not being relaxed while training, you’ll find the answer.
Human muscles are paired in “opposites”.
For instance, for our leg muscles we have muscles for our thighs and hamstrings, as opposed to chest muscles where we have muscles for our back.
When one side of a muscle contracts, the one on the opposite side will stretch.
This how we can bend and extend our joints.
When the hamstring muscles are relaxed and extend well, thigh muscles can contract strongly and their physical strength will be at its maximum, thus allowing you to jump very high.
However, if the hamstring muscles are even a little tense and won’t extend much, then even if you try to contract the thigh muscles they won’t contract as much as you’d like them to because of that little bit of tension in the hamstring muscles, and it becomes a hindrance to them.
In other words, you won’t be able to jump high without being able to use 100% of your physical strength.
When your body is relaxed, then all of the “opposite” muscles are influenced to work well, and your performance will be the best it can be.
If your body is not relaxed, the “opposite” muscles will be a hindrance to each other all at once and your performance will fall.
If the “opposite” muscles become a hindrance to each other, the range of your performance will be small.
It’s because the opposing muscles hinder each other before the joints can extend long enough as I’ve mentioned.
If you use physical strength with your joints only being able to move a little bit, then you have to move very quickly at the same time.
You can’t move your muscles very much, so your movements won’t be natural or smooth.
Therefore, Intermediate riders’ movements become…
With an Advanced student’s movement, the “opposite” muscles work well with each other.
If they try to contract their thigh muscles as much as they want, their hamstrings will relax and they can stretch them as much as they want.
In other words, they can move their joints more greatly the more they stretch their legs.
Their movements are big, so their movements appear slow.
They can use their muscles’ greatest potential, and at the same time their movements look very smooth.
Therefore, Advanced rider’s movements become…
With the “small, fast” movements of Intermediate riders, it’s difficult to time their movements in that moment.
Furthermore, the time that they are pressing down the ground is also short, so the time that they can strongly feel their footing is also short
As an advanced rider’s “big, relaxed” movements are building up, the pressure from the ground with stands up gradually, so the time that they can strongly feel their footing is long and they can take off at any time.
It is also easy to time.
It’s good for Intermediate riders to mimic the movements of Advanced riders.
Let’s check this lesson’s key words one more time!
A lot of my students improved just by saying these two words.
The first thing is to relax the body.
Skill is important, but if your body isn’t relaxed then it will be hard to learn any skill.
Conversely, if your body is relaxed, it probably won’t be necessary to learn skills.
But first, practice “Relaxed, Large Ranged” in an environment that is easy to practice in.
I’ve answered a common question!
This time the topic is “Where do I look while spinning”
So you will learn how to control your balance while spinning.
Where should I be looking during a spin?
Does it vary depending on the spin trick?
Please tell me Sensei!
I feel this is a very common question, but the answer can be different for every trick
For example If someone were to ask where they should look during takeoff, while in the air, and landing respectively, The way this would be answered depends on your goal.
This time try thinking about your line of sight controlling your balance from takeoff to landing.
Where you look during a spin also has a huge effect on your understanding of your surroundings, where you are throughout the spin, and how much time you have left to complete it.
First, I'll give an example of common failures some of my old students would make.
During takeoff, my student looked at his feet, and while in the air he looked at the sky or his surroundings diagonally, which is not a good situation.
If you look at your feet during a backside spin takeoff, then at the same time your body will lean greatly over the edge, and the spin will turn into a cork spin in the air.
Other common case while spinning is that they can spin but can not land.
When I asked him about this, he said "I can’t see any surroundings while spinning."
This is him turning his gaze too far upward thus not being able to see the surface of the snow.
Because of this, he won't know exactly when he is going to land; therefore, he won't be able to land.
There is one way to fix both of these situations.
- Keep your line of sight 2 meters in front of you at all times throughout the spin.
When doing a spin trick, imagine yourself at the centre of a large circle.
While spinning use your line of sight to draw the edge of that circle.
This should be about 2 meters away from you
By consciously thinking about that 2 meters from the start of your takeoff, your head and line of sight will be locked in a position that will keep the body's axis (the spin's axis) balanced and more flat, and easier to control and land.
After the takeoff, circulate your gaze around the area 2 meters away from you while simultaneously watching the surface of the snow and the surrounding landscape with your peripheral vision.
Do this and you will have a very good understanding of the situation and your position in the air.
It's the same whether it's the front side or the back side.
And you can practice this during the off season too even at home, while in the office?
There is also a method for where to be looking when wanting to continue a spin, but we'll discuss that in the next topic.
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog I hope this helps your spins!