FORWARD FEAR, THE MENTAL PART (3)
Down to the last part and time to set up your attempt. Main subjects; Loading up and¬†Ignition. Still remember the last sentence of part 2? Behaviour (getting your forward on a pic) is visible through our decisions (I pulled the trigger and went for it), a result of the goal I set (I want to stick a forward), supported by belief (I can do this and I know how) energized by a positive emotion (joy, pride, power and fun) triggered (stimulus-respons) from the database (our subconscious).Still some work to do before Ignition!
Rider: Boujmaa Guiloul. Photo: John Carter
In preparation to the first upcoming windy day you visualized the move¬† watching slowmotion video multiple times to give your mirror-neurons in your subconscious an image of the move. When rehearsing it sitting on your couch, imagine you’re planing a little downwind waiting for a piece of chop to pop up, you remember that feeling as you’ve been doing that hundreds of times. Let me talk you through the visualization-phase.
Sit down on the couch, hold your boom in front and close your eyes if necessary.¬† Feel going downwind and look over the water, feel free and full of joy and energy to be out there. Feel the cool wind in your face, your hands holding the boom, your feet in the straps steering the board, your knees absorbing the chop…feel the speed and hear your board plane. See the litte ramp, go up, lift your front foot as if you’re going up and PULL, LOOK BACK…..thats it! Go through it again….and again. To start the motion of the forwardloop, right after you hit the ramp you will only have to remember one simultaneous action, look back as you pull your backhand hard! As you pull and look, your front leg will fall down leading your board nosefirst and downwind and you will roll over your front shoulder and land on your back/ass. That’s the autograph-part, start the motion, the rest will follow. Rehearse this visualziation a few times to be able to trigger the movement, two words PULL/LOOK BACK. Now you know that you know how to do it.
Creating positive and supporting belief-systems means that there shoudn’t be any doubt (negative thoughts) about trying the forwardloop. The belief that you know how to execute, that you will be protected by a helmet and an impact vest could be enough to reduce the fear of loss of control and pain and make you pull the trigger. Two more things can increase the succes-factor however;
First; it’s easier to commit yourself if you share your goal with friends who can support you. Sailing behind you,¬† feeding your level of arousal by cheering for example might help you do it and boost your commitment, driven by the principle of moving towards Joy. If you don’t pull the trigger however, the loss of self-esteem or feeling of failure, called being a pussy etc can create succes also but driven from the other principle (moving away from Pain). The last one needs a closer look because it is a choice between pain and less pain. This choice is called the secondary gain. It is the situation in which we create our own dilemma’s, for example I hate my job but being without work is worse, my relationship sucks but I don’t want to be alone etc. So, most of the time we stay put and keep complaining about the situation we created ourselves simply because change¬† is too scary. As Jem Hall says; if you want change, YOU F*CKING CHANGE! In the case of our forwardloop, your thought of being called a pussy by not pulling the trigger might be more painful than just try and fail and maybe hurt yourself but not your ego. Social pressure makes us do stupid and irresponsible things especially when we were younger but in this case, with a proper preparation and level suited to learn a forwardloop, it might be the push you need to cross the mental barierre.
Second; In an emotional state of positivity (arousal), being challenged and loving that we find the energizer to pull off new moves and overcome barrieres. Normally in things we truly see as a challenge the anxiety is already there, we are stoked! Before, during and after sessions that is the feeling we love when surfing in great conditions. In the first couple of reaches going out we gotta have that feeling with one goal in our mind…. a litte downwind, pop-up PULL/LOOK BACK and stick the f*cking move! As fear is a common negative and limiting emotion in daring to pull the trigger you can load this energy by using a trigger or an anchor. A physical signal to activate a memory, a cluster with information from your senses with a strong positive emotional code.
Creating an anchor; As we memorize things we usually speak in the past tense like a reporter telling a story. That is the conscious part of our brain digging in our subconscious and selecting the things we need to come up with the story. Our subconscious has no sense at all about time there only is now, if you want to load the emotions linked to a memory you don’t speak about the things you remember, you simply have to relive the memory. As in the tutorial above about visualization, you were hopefully doing the same thing, using first person view and experiencing, reliving¬† information once recorded by the senses, looking, listening and feeling. When making an anchor you use the same steps. Read out the following part first and then just make one. It only takes two minutes.
Step 1; on a scale from 1-10 how do you feel right now? Step 2; think of a surfing-moment when you felt so stoked about what you just did you could conquer anything, feeling strong and proud, a woohaaa-moment. Step 3; Close your eyes and go back just before that moment. When you visualized it squeeze your right fist firmly for 2 sec. Step 4: See the details (colours, forms etc)¬†When you visualized it squeeze your right fist firmly for 2 sec. Step 5; Add sounds to the picture you’re seeing When you hear the sounds and see what you see squeeze your right fist firmly for 2 sec. for 2 sec. Step 6; feel the temperature When ready squeeze your right fist firmly for 2 sec. Step 7; If there’s smell add that also If you can smell it squeeze your right fist firmly for 2 sec Step 8; feel the movement of your body When you completed the movement squeeze your right fist firmly for 2 sec. Step 9; Feel the pride and power in your body and how stoked you are in pulling that off¬†When you feel it squeeze your right fist firmly for 2 sec.¬†Step 10; Open your eyes. How do you feel on a scale from 1-10?
Now, try to make yourself an energizer and practice the steps above. The energizer is triggered by squeezing your right fist. The right fist makes it able to use when on the water and using your harness but you can use any trigger you like as long as it is a quite strong physical signal, clapping your upperleg, pinching with a nail, biting your teeth etc. The trigger is connected to the cluster during the 8 steps above¬† and you can use it whenever you want to create a positive and strong feeling. If on step 10 you didn’t have a higher grade on the scale you just didn’t relive the memory enough and it might take some practice or someone coaching you through the steps.
On the water; Ignition!
Go out! Get yoursef comfortabely good planing conditions. Share your goal with your friends, have a clear view when walking to the shore and say your affirmations. Today is the day, COME ON! Get on your board and once you plane, squeeze your right fist…feel it, COME ON. Go downwind, grip wider and push it a bit, look for the chop…pop up, PULL/LOOK BACK!
Huh….yep it’s that simple…..
Rider: Brawzinho. Photo: John Carter