When I'm jumping stairs the only thing
I'm thinking about is how to land the trick.
– Paul Rodriguez
feel like progression slowed? try these 3 ways to get better at skating without actually doing tricks.
Do you want to progress faster skateboarding? Do you want to learn tricks quickly? Do you want to overcome fear and commit to your tricks? Obviously you have to skate, but there are also some things you can do off your board to help!
In this video/article we drop 2 hacks that you need to think about, and 1 thing you want to avoid (that so many skaters do!) if you want to progress as much as possible.
developing your inner power.
So we’ve all heard skateboarding is mostly mental and we’ve all had those internal battles where we just couldn’t commit to a trick; those situations where we’re overwhelmed by emotions and thoughts, that just don’t let us put our slimy little paws on the board.
Now there’s a lot involved in overcoming fear and being able to commit to tricks, like having the trick you’re trying locked in, but one lesser spoken tool is developing your inner power - let’s call it your “inner schmeed”.
One aspect of your inner schmeed is that internal power that allows you to act and do what you want when fear or negative thinking are running through you. There are obviously many ways to develop our inner schmeed, but one big one is going out of our comfort zone & learning to be ok with discomfort in all areas of our lives. But how does that relate to skating?
Well in my experience your inner schmeed off your plank is the same as the one on it, the emotions and thoughts that cause us to kick out a trick at the last second are similar in nature to the ones that cause us to avoid discomfort or facing uncomfortable situations in our “non-skate life”. A situation arises; the feeling of aversion kicks in, overpowers us, and we choose the safe comfortable option of avoidance; which in skate terms could be not committing to your trick. This means that we can work on our inner schmeed off our boards and have it affect how we skate.
To develop your inner schmeed you need to have awareness of what's going on inside of you and this can be hard to do on your board as skating can be so chaotic and uncontrollable. Yes you can 100% develop it through skating alone, but working on it off your board can be useful, because it allows you to work on it in “safer, less dynamic environments”.
One example is taking a cold shower. Almost no human on the planet likes a cold shower, as soon as the cold water turns on, your mind starts bombarding you with thoughts about why it's a bad idea and why you shouldn't do it. But are you stronger than these thoughts and emotions? Of course you are! (If you want you can of course start not so cold and work your way up, or just turn to cold for 20 secs during!) These thoughts and emotions of avoidance are exactly what we're looking to trigger though, as it's these little bastards that usually hold us back from doing the things we want, like committing to our tricks...
So yes, the idea is still to get in the shower, and just before, during and after, pay attention to what's going on inside of you; what are you thinking and feeling. Also pay very close attention to the fact that you're actually able to let them be, not be pulled by them, and do the exact opposite of what they're telling you to do. You don't actually have to choose a cold shower to develop your inner schmeed, that's just one easy option that applies to most people. But you can use anything that challenges you, anything that's uncomfortable and pushes you out of your comfort zone. Every day is full of 100s of these opportunities for growth, so start paying attention, they'll appear...
Once you've got a solid understanding and experience of your ability and power to choose what you want to do regardless of what's going on inside of you, you can now take it to your board and go through the exact same process. Pay attention to how similar the thoughts and feelings of avoidance are off your board to the ones on your board.
The idea isn't to get rid of these kinds of thoughts and emotions entirely, because you never will. But with practice, your inner schmeed will grow and your ability to do what you want on and off your board, with them going on, will increase.
Do a Google search for "David Goggins" if you want to dive face first into developing your inner schmeed.
don't rag on your own skating.
This one I’m eventually going to do a whole separate video on because I think it’s such a huge problem in skating that so many skaters have, and it isss… speaking negatively about your skating. Many times I go skate all I hear is:
“Man I can’t skate today”
“Let’s see if I can skate today”
“Really not feeling it today”
“Probably won't get this trick, haven’t done it in years”
Look mate I’m going to be honest, although I might look like one I’m actually not an intergalactic goblin and I don’t know why or how the universe works, but I do know that you get what you focus on. And what are you doing with this kind of thinking? You’re focusing on what you don’t want, probably, unless maybe you just went through a break up and now you’re depressed and purposely self-sabotaging.
Although the answer is definitely partially more intergalactic than what I’m about to say, some potential reasons for why it affects your skating are:
Focusing on the negative will probably bring your energy down and create at least a low level of stress and anxiety, which has been shown to negatively impact skills - aka tricks - especially ones you don’t already have locked in.
You’re also going to start paying more attention to what’s going wrong in your session and look for evidence for why you’re not skating well, increasing the chances of you perceiving your session and skating as shit. You could have the exact same session but just because you chose to focus on negative aspects you perceived it to be worse.
So instead, flip that shit and do the opposite. Stop being such a pessimistic and put your energy into what you want instead.
What does P-Rod think about when he’s out skating?
"When I’m jumping stairs the only thing I’m thinking about is how to land the trick. I’m thinking about what it’s going to feel like to land the trick, how it’s going to flip, how I’m going to catch it. I’m only focusing on trying to make the trick happen. I’m not trying to focus on what if I don’t catch it right and I fall. I’m only focusing on how to do the trick so I have a better chance of landing it.”
I mean if P-Rod's doing that, that's enough for me to do the same, but it's not just him. Research was done on the mindset of elite athletes and pretty much all of them used some kind of positive self-talk and belief. Also pretty much anyone at the top of their game, regardless of what they do, talk about how important it is.
So if you want to skate better and just straight up enjoy skating more, doing some work on how you talk or think about your skating can be a game changer.
Although many skaters don't really like being called athletes - and a decent amount definitely shouldn't be called athletes - skating requires some of the most insane athletic abilities. But let’s not get hung up on imaginary labels here, there's one truth, and that's that skating is one of the most intense and physically demanding activities a human being (or any animal) can put themselves through.
Now when it comes to the specifics of learning a trick, really all you can do is just practice. However! If you’ve been following The Daily Push for a while, you hopefully already know that resistance training can have a massive effect on your skating.
This is because we can use resistance training to enhance certain athletic capacities that are essential for skateboarding, along with increasing your potential to learn tricks and increase consistency.
For example, with training you can increase your strength, endurance and your ability to handle the forces involved in skating, which can make you more fatigue resistant, recover faster, reduce aches and pains, and just feel better on your board for longer. As a result you'll be able to maintain a higher level of skating during your sessions and your sessions will last longer. It doesn't take a mathematician to see that a higher level of skating maintained for longer during your sessions will lead to learning more tricks and increasing consistency.
But on top of increasing our resilience, we can also enhance specific performance related characteristics with training as well - like pop, our ability to land from gaps, holding slides/grinds/mannys, etc.
Check the clip below of Tiago Lemos - the pop master wizard and ultimate example of explosivity in skateboarding. Did Tiago train to pop how he does now? It's unlikely, he's probably just skated for a really long time, and he's got those Brasilian genes we all crave. Could he pop higher if he trained? Who knows mate... it really depends on whether he's already at his "athletic ceiling", meaning can he fully express what his genes would allow him to on his board.
For most of us though, we're not at our athletic ceiling and training would definitely help us better express what our bodies are capable of. Which would ultimately lead to better skating.
Regarding increasing pop, there are many things we can train. For example, we can increase the percentage of our muscle we can activate (motor unit recruitment), along with the speed we can contract that muscle (rate of force development).
If we put two people next to each other and told them we'd slap with them with a salmon if they don't jump. If everything else is equal, the one who has more muscle contributing to their jump and contracting at higher speeds, will jump higher.
Another thing we can train is how elastic and reactive we are. In and around our muscles there are elastic components that stretch, hold energy, and then release, contributing to the power creating by the muscles, kind of like an elastic band (this process is known as the stretch shortening cycle). You can think of them as free energy boosters for your muscles.
The last thing I'm going to mention around training to increase pop in this article is the mobility of your hips and the strength and functionality of your "hip flexors" (the muscles that lift your knees to your chest.
If you watch people skate one of the main contributing factors to pop, is their ability to lift their knees up to their chest, as this allows the board to rise up underneath them. The height you lift your knees when you pop is directly related to how high you can pop.
Training the strength, endurance and power of our hip flexors is something we can hit with specific exercises, like the one in the clip below. Hip flexor pain is a common problem skateboarders have and a lot of the time they try and solve the problem with just stretching. However the truth is, a lot of these pains and problems occur due to weakness in the hip flexors, so a better idea might be to hit them with specific resistance exercises. This won't only potentially improve your pop, like I said, but also reduce any pain you might have, or the chance of pain forming in the future.
Now no matter how much we train, if we don't also go out and skate and actually try and pop higher, our training isn't going to have an effect. The key is combining the two. So get out there, skate hard and combine it with resistance training.
If you're looking for a full resistance training program designed for skateboarding that hits all these things and much, much more, then check out the new NBD Elite program.