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."
What I mean by "snowboard visualization" is that put your senses into the image of yourself being on the slopes and you replay that image of yourself on the slopes over and over in your mind.
Allow me to introduce to you a famous basketball study that was done.
A study conducted by Dr. Biasiotto (spelling corrected 8/4/14) at the University of Chicago was done where he split people into three groups and tested each group on how many free throws they could make.
After this, he had the first group practice free throws every day for about 20 minutes.
The second group just visualized themselves making free throws.
The third group did nothing.
After 30 days, he tested them again.
The first group improved by 24%.
The second group improved by 23% without touching a basketball!!!!
The third group did not improve which was expected.
There's a lot of research like this that still exists and I believe that I am a personification of it.
It is said that the right side of the brain handles intuitive and sensible things such as "image."
It is also said that the right side of the brain in humans deals with the subconscious and that it actually can't distinguish between what's reality and what is not.
Essentially what happens is the image that is replayed in the right side of the brain causes the brain to hallucinate and act as if you actually had the experience.
The clearer the picture and the more times it is imagined the deeper that image is put into memory.
In other words, even though you're not snowboarding, in your mind, it's as if you had already snowboarded.
In the brain, when this image is replayed and kinesthesia is built up, signals are sent from the brain to the muscles.
As a result of that, the brain recollects it as if the image and muscles are linked.
This is how advanced snowboarders effectively use their time when they are not snowboarding.
You could say that this "image time" is equal to that of actual snowboarding time.
In the off season when my students can't snowboard, I make them do a lot of visualization.
I spend as much time on visualization as students who really enjoy visualization.
Students who really enjoy visualization spend more time for it???
Thus, these are kinds of students who show improvement at the beginning of the season.
For those of you who love snowboarding and want to improve, even if you can only snowboard a few weeks or 10 days out of the year, please make extreme use of visualization!
Even if you can only jump 10 times in 10 minutes wherever you snowboard, at home, you can visualize yourself jumping 6 times in 1 minute!
This is very efficient!
You CAN use the time in which you can't snowboard to improve a lot!
I'll show you how to do this in detail in another tutorial, so please check it out!
Snowboarding is a sport, so naturally you use muscles when riding.
And it’s clear that muscle characteristics affect your performance.
Human muscles are actually divided into 2 types.
Here, I’ll simply explain the difference between the two types.
These kinds of muscles are used in powerful bursts of strength.
However, because they use so much energy they can’t be used for extended periods of time.
They’re powerful, but they won’t last long.
And that is why during your normal daily life these aren’t used too much.
The muscles that you grow through training are these “Fast Muscles.”
These are the opposite, they can last a long time but can’t give large bursts of strength.
These “slow muscles” are used primarily in cardio, but they don’t actually grow any bigger when you work them out.
The number one example that comes to mind when thinking of a sport that requires these muscles is a marathon.
Surprisingly, not many people know about these.
On top of that, the ratio of how much you have of each varies from person to person.
You can probably tell by observing different kinds of sports.
For example, participants in marathons and sprints may both “run”, but their bodies are completely different.
In boxing there’s more variation than just lightweight and heavyweight classes, competitor’s performance styles are also completely different.
I had a time back when I was teaching students and measuring the differences in their performance, where I asked myself why some of them can and can’t do certain things.
I remember how hard it was being able to see why “This student can’t copy and do what that student is doing”, but not being able to logically explain it to them with words.
Of course there were some mental reasons preventing me, but there were other reasons why I couldn’t form a coherent explanation.
And while I continued to study them, I learned about the existence of “Fast and Slow Muscles.”
Just like the runners or the boxers I wrote about earlier, I noticed that what if I chose the best ways to bring out my students best performance?
For example, a lot of my students wanted to compete and many of them were the very image of a top athlete.
It was obvious that a triple cork 1620 would use fast muscles.
It would be very difficult for people with slow muscles to Takeoff and spin the board so fiercely while keeping and fine tuning their balance mid air.
Fast muscles work well with exercise that’s strong and fast.
People that have a lot of these could get close to top snowboarding athlete performance.
On the other hand, if you don’t have many of these muscles that means your road to having top athlete performance will be a long one.
Still, even if you don’t have many fast muscles you can do some cool snowboarding.
Snowboarding, unlike gymnastics, is a sport where you’re also evaluated by how cool and artistic your performance is.
For example, pro riders show videos of themselves doing 180 and 360 spins.
It’s because this trick is so simple that you have more time to show how cool it is.
But with the 1620 they’re spinning so fast that you don’t have the time to see how cool it is.
That’s why nowadays there’s a lot of doubt surrounding those tricks.
I’m sure you’ve already noticed but, this is a hint that performances that are not only effected by the difference of “Fast and Slow Muscles” that you have.
In other words, even if you have a low amount of fast muscles you, it’s a good idea to aim for taking things slowly and making your performance as artistic and cool as possible.
A lot of my students didn’t have very many fast muscles, but they still aimed at being top athletes.
But I couldn’t just tell them “You need to change your performance style because you don’t have enough fast muscles.”
I couldn’t say it because the process for aiming to be a top athlete is something where you need to exceed your own limits.
However when they started to learn what they’re really good at, that’s when I was able to tell them this.
I think that many of you are in the same situation as a lot of my students were, you feel like you’re making slow progress once you’ve hit the intermediate level.
To continue having fun with snowboarding it’s really important to continue to challenge yourself.
Because that feeling you get when you overcome something difficult is very important.
At the same time, try to start injecting a little “cool” factor into what you’re doing.
Even if you don’t have a lot of fast muscles you can still do high level snowboarding.
The respect you earn from being cool hasn’t changed in the snowboarding world.
The style of what’s cool may change every now and then, but something that stays constantly cool is how well your balance is and how well your movements flow during your performance.
Even if you do simple tricks, if you do them relaxed and cleanly then they’ll surely become “cool” tricks.
Even if you can’t do high spins or difficult butter tricks, there’s a lot of fun to be had in simple and slow snowboarding!
What kind of people are you normally with every day?
Do you naturally think that there are lots of people all around you who think in the same ways you do and share your opinions?
I assume that you haven’t really met anyone who doesn’t agree with your opinions or who downright disagrees with your opinions.
People tend to be around others who understand them, who understand their feelings, who resemble them closely, and who match their levels.
The best phrase to represent this is “Birds of a feather flock together.”
According to quantum mechanics, in order for people to gather together with others of the same wavelength everything in this world exists while sending out wavelengths of micro-fine energy.
Everything that exists in this world has waves.
It’s said that these waves have four properties.
1. Attract things that are the same
2. Repel things that are different
3. The waves that you send out come back to you
4. Superior waves have control over inferior waves
Let’s try and replace this with snowboarding.
Attract things that are the same
People ride together a lot if their snowboarding styles are the same or if they are at the same skill levels.
Repel things that are different
For example, even if the skill levels are the same, it won’t be interesting if their riding rhythms are different, and if the skill levels are too different and one is far past the other then it won’t be very fun to ride together.
This is also applicable for skiers and snowboarders who have prejudices about each other.
The waves that you send out come back to you
If you’re doing something fun, then your partners will return a fun facial expression to show that they’re having fun too.
If you start to become irritated, then the facial expressions of the friends you’re riding with will also turn gloomy, returning their responses back to you.
Superior waves have control over inferior waves
When trying a new trick or item challenge you feel scared and nervous.
However, the friends that you’re riding with would be enjoying themselves.
At this time, your weak waves will be controlled by your friends’ strong waves, and you’ll end up feeling positive about the challenge.
Also, if you’re riding with people who are more skillful than you, you’ll feel like you can do the things you can’t do.
If you see a very skillful snowboarding group while waiting your turn to hit the items, you might give them your turn and it’s also the one of the cases when your waves are being controlled.
I think that there’re many more examples, but basically you should snowboard with people whose waves match yours.
It’s fun when waves come together, and those waves will also be magnified between you and friends, and it naturally returns with good meanings.
And thus, the amplified waves will sooner or later turn into the predominate waves.
By understanding waves and riding in a beneficial environment, you will have a great influence on your improvement.
In your private life, at work, and when snowboarding, you spend time with people whose waves don’t match with yours, and you receive opposing waves as a response, and then your stress is amplified.
You should spend more time with people whose waves match yours, and transfer it toward improving your snowboarding.
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!
I don't know how many snowboarders will trust this, but here are some words that might change your thoughts.
"We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with." - Jim Rohn
Those five people might be from your family, friends, or co-workers.
“The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”
This proverb obviously proves what Jim Rohn said, doesn’t it?
The same goes for friendships and in the office; what we think, how we behave, our decision and so on are influenced by the people closest to us whether we like it or not.
Dr. Maxwell Maltz, author of Psycho-Cybernetics, says in his book that people think, behave and act like the personal self-image that we have deep within our minds.
We can't be more than or less than that as well.
What Dr. Maltz is saying clarifies what Jim Rohn said.
We will be influenced by the people closest to us.
Because (for example) how our friends think, behave and act influence to our thoughts and actions.
Over and over again we see and hear what our friends are doing and saying.
Then our brain learns whether we like it or not by saying "ok, this is how I should be."
We interpret what our friends are doing and saying as what we are doing and saying because of the Mirror neurons in our brain.
This is one of the processes for how we build our self-image.
What do you think about these words now?
"We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with."
I know of many groups that have similar looking riding styles.
For example, instructors who need to focus more on one riding style that they are required to focus on for a license will train together and spend a lot of time riding with each other.
It's not difficult to spot those snowboarders on the hill.
Athletes who train together are also in this situation.
And good riders in the park will make a group out of riders with the same riding style as well.
So these groups show very similar riding styles.
Ok, now let's bring it into our snowboarding.
"We are the average of the five snowboarders we spend the most time snowboarding with."
Do you agree?
I know that most snowboarders all over the world don't have many friends they ride with.
And the reasons why you snowboard are all different.
However, if you are wishing for more improvement, you can keep in mind that choosing who you ride with will influence your improvement.
It doesn't mean you have to rely on others, but that is one of the ways you can improve.
I’m going to answer some of the question you guys asked on my blog!
This time, how effective off season training is.
I’ve heard that skateboarding and the trampoline are good as off season practice but, which one do you think is better? I’d really like to know!
It’s a good question.
These two activities are well known for improving your snowboarding skills during the off season.
But why do these 2 in particular help you improve?
Knowing the reason will surely help you further improve.
Common points between skateboarding and snowboarding are:
Skateboarding helps out with your balance and movement control, which can translate to free riding and approaching to the jump in snowboarding.
In short, it helps you strengthen your base of support while you’re riding thanks to no bindings on skateboard. I think this is the biggest pay off you can get from skateboarding.
Doing an ollie while skateboarding certainly isn’t simple, but if you’re even an intermediate snowboarder you’ve probably already done them on the snow.
Jumping with both feet while snowboarding (called a pop) is good, but if you can do an ollie it’s possible to further improve your control.
Also if you’re advanced enough, your movement when you spin while skateboarding can be of tremendous help to your spin tricks when you’re snowboarding.
That being said, you don’t have to focus too much on it if you want to train off season.
Now then, what about the trampoline?
It’s pretty simple really.
Jumping on the trampoline helps you with control mid air.
Unlike skateboarding, when you use the trampoline your feet aren’t touching the ground much and you spend most of your time floating mid air.
This won’t help you with improving your base of support but it’s the best possible way to get more control mid air.
At a ski resort you may jump into the air about 10 times every five minutes or so, but with a trampoline you’ll be jumping upwards of 30 time every minute.
There’s no better way to jump into the air repeatedly in such a short amount of time.
You should practice on the trampoline even during winter!
I wish you all happy practice with no broken bones or anything! Practice tons and show the fruit of your labor in the winter!
Here is summery.
If you don’t have a trampoline around you and skateboarding with you, don’t worry, we can help you with other way to train.
Look into our YouTube channel and find more off season training tutorials.
For this topic “Learning Snowboarding Effectively” we will be talking about knowing your “type.”
Every person has both strong and weak points when it comes to learning.
The key point is how you use your brain’s functions.
Your brain consists of both the Right Brain and the Left Brain, but it is generally divided into many parts similar to what’s mentioned below.
For example, if there are people whose strong points are exercise, those whose strong points are “picture painting”, and those whose strong points are writing, then there are also people whose strong points are through analyzing.
When you study something, the traits of the right and left brain show themselves.
Which one of the below-mentioned methods of learning are your strongpoints? Do you like it?
The human brain is divided into many parts, and there are three parts are responsible for processing external information.
Which of these three functions help you to learn the fastest?
Finding the function that works for you can improve your learning efficiency.
For example, I did well with "learning by seeing" when I was younger, but as I got older I also became good with learning through words.
And to this day, I do not do well with “learning through participation.”
Through my coaching experience, I’ve observed all of these types.
As a coach, finding out which learning method a student has takes time.
That is why instructors in general, not just myself, utilize lessons that cover all of these types.
The components that cover all of these teaching styles are included in these.
They’ve put a lot of thought into this.
This isn’t just for people who snowboard; when you were a child, when you were in school, and nowadays when you are studying something at work, what style helps make things much easier to learn for you? Try and think back.
If you can find out which style you use, you can then utilize it from then on, and you’ll be able to learn so much faster!