top of page

Why you stopped learning tricks & how to progress again

When you were younger you learnt tricks quickly and progressed fast. But something changed. Now you’ve stopped progressing, you’re stuck with a bunch of half learned tricks and learning something new is a thing of the past.

Maybe this makes you think you're getting older or just can't learn as well as other skaters. Well, no matter your situation, there's one very simple solution I’m going to go over in this video/article to get you progressing again. And, this is something literally every one of us has done at some point in our skate lives.

Why the progression stops

When you’re completely new to skating and you’re learning your first tricks you don’t have many options of tricks to try or obstacles to skate; you can’t jump stairs, do tech ledge tricks, or skate rails.

If you're learning to ollie you’re essentially forced to just skate a bit of flat as you put all your energy into trying that trick thousands of times. You try and try and try until you get it, or, if you’re not worthy of the holy wooden plank, you quit and stop skating.

In the beginning if you want to learn tricks, the only way is battling.

This mindset of battling tricks continues for a while and you build a solid sack of radical manoeuvres. But it’s now, when you get better, that things start to change for many skaters.

Fast forward to the present day and your sack is the same as it was when you were 15, although a bit more hideous, due to the passage of time. But why? Why did you stop learning and progressing? How can you learn tricks again?

Well granted it’s complex, but there’s one big reason, that many of us coat with a sprinkling of delusion…

You lost that battle mindset.

These days, instead of doing what you did when you were younger, putting in time to battle tricks and figure them out, you try them for twenty minutes at random, once or twice a month. This is where the delusion kicks in, because when you look back at the last few months, the semi-regular attempts make you think you tried a lot, but in comparison to the 10,000 attempts you did when you were learning to ollie or kickflip, you didn’t do shit.

The worst part of all of this is that you then develop what’s called a fixed mindset around learning. Meaning that you develop a belief that you can’t get better, that you’re stuck with what you have, and as a result you try even less.

On the other hand, when you were first starting out you had the opposite - a growth mindset - a belief that you could get better with effort, and with enough practice you could land that first ollie. This drove you to put in the time, and it’s this mindset you have to get back.

We do the same with those half learned tricks that we can sometimes do but don’t have on lock. Maybe one session we try them a bit and feel like we’ve made progress, but then the next we lose them. As a result we end up thinking that we’re just not good at that trick, and we say things like “I just can’t seem to get better at this trick”, or “sometimes they work sometimes they don’t”. 

For me, this was front feebles. I’ve half been able to do the trick for like 15 years - kiss the rail style, if I’m lucky. But I always told myself I just can’t do this trick.

Truth is I just never really put in the time. I never battled it like I battled other tricks.

Until a few weeks ago…

How to learn tricks again

For the first time in my life, I put in the time to battle front feebles. Every time I went to skate at my local DIY I put some time in on them, and you won’t fucking believe it, but I’m finally starting to figure them out.

Turns out the formula for learning never changed - battling and trying over and over is still the only way to learn tricks. I just wasn’t applying it.

How was the process? Well, same as it always was and always will be. A rollercoaster of ups and downs - some days making progress, followed by days of bails. Then a bit more progress, followed by more shitty attempts. But little by little the lands started to become more regular.

So if you’re stuck thinking you don’t learn, I want to ask you when was the last time you truly battled a trick every session for weeks on end? Because if you can’t say you have, then you don't have a problem with learning, it’s just a lack of consistent effort that’s the problem.

Now look, I know better than anyone days of bailing the same trick can suck, but just know that every attempt will pay off.

Every single one of those bails and attempts are actually teaching you how to not do the trick, narrowing down the options of what’s the right way, until you finally figure it out. Every bail is an essential piece of the path and if you stay consistent you’ll get to where you want to go. So try and develop that growth mindset and believe in the effort you're making. That will take you a long way.

Now all that being said, there are many other techniques you can apply to get the most out of your attempts and increase the chance of your efforts actually paying off and you locking that trick in. So if you're looking for something more, I've got you.

I'll be taking a small group of skaters through a program designed to help you develop methods to progress and learn tricks faster, along with training and nutrition habits. This program is called the NBD Plus and it's built to get you feeling as good as possible on and off your board so you can get the most out of skateboarding for as long as possible.

Sign ups are open until May 29th 2024 so click here to sign up to the NBD Plus if you’ve seen this article in time, and if not, click here to check out my other programs.

So I want to finish this article with a challenge - for the next month I want you to spend at least 20 mins battling a trick you want to learn every single time you go skate. If you want to try for longer, fine, just hit that minimum amount.

I'd love to know how you progress so share a comment on the YouTube video at the end of the month!

bottom of page