The most valuable lesson that I've learned is that there is no price tag that you can put on feeling good. You've got one of these vehicles - your body - your whole life, and if the vehicle is busted, it's not a fun ride.
- Danny Way
how to hack mental power.
So the classic cliché is that skating is mostly mental, and in all fairness it's pretty accurate. If you don't have that mental power to try a new trick or commit to a hammer then you're progression is going to be slowed. But what if there was a hack that could make you more in control of your mental game when you’re skating, and instantly improve your session?
So when a pigeon’s out with the lads and he’s trying to pick up a female pigeon what does he do? He puffs himself up and makes himself look bigger whilst following her around with his best squawk. Animals all across the animal kingdom make themselves grow/appear bigger when they want to show power, and as humans are animals too, it’s not surprising they evolved to do the same. What’s interesting though is that not only does making themselves look bigger make them appear more powerful from the outside, it actually generates a feeling of power on the inside! Whilst on the other hand closed/submissive positions have the opposite effect – reducing the appearance of power and the feeling of power. Think of a dog interacting with another dog it’s intimidated by, or a time when you’ve felt insecure and you curl up, crossing your arms, or shrinking into your chair, right? You appear less powerful and you feel less confident and powerful.
the benefit of mental power.
So how is power beneficial? The feeling of powerfulness makes you more motivated, more willing to take risks, and even increases strength as I talked about in a video 2 weeks ago, whereas powerlessness reduces motivation, makes you more careful, and even decreases strength.
So generating power for skateboarding can be a game-changer as risk-taking, motivation, and confidence are all huge parts of skating. Every new trick or every hammer is a risk, and you need to be hyped and down to try it if you want any chance of landing it. We all know that the more confident you’re feeling, the better you’re going to skate. And well, all of these aspects increase when you feel more powerful, so if we hack that feeling of power, in theory we should skate better.
how to hack mental power.
Alright so how do we hack power? Well there are many different ways to do so but here we’re talking about how to take advantage of our animal side.
Alright so how do we hack power? Well there are many different ways to do so but in this video we’re talking about how to take advantage of our animal side. So first, just be aware that there’s a strong connection between how well you’re skating and your internal state. Second, be aware that your body language is one thing that can affect your power. Research has been done showing that holding a 2 minute pose in a powerful position can literally increase power compared to holding a powerless position. I know it sounds insane, and you’ll probably feel pretty insane doing it but one thing you could do is literally lock yourself in the bathroom and power pose it before you leave your house to go skate.
On top of this I think making an effort to also hype yourself up and focus on the feeling of power - whatever that is for you - can make it extra effective. You could do a power-pose and self-hype at the same time – if for you self-hype means slapping yourself on the forehead with a salmon, or maybe doing a Maori war dance, do it, just get hyped.
I’m pretty sure someone’s told Nyjah Huston this or he’s just figured it out on his own, because if you watch him at Street League he’s always hyping himself up. I’ve seen a lot of negative comments on his self-hype, and I think one cause for this might be because his display of power actually makes people feel weaker, making them defensive, just like what happens in the animal kingdom. If I was him I’d be getting 9x more negative comments because I’d be going way more crazy if I was landing the shit he does.
I always ride my bike to the local spot and a few weeks ago I started power posing it on the ride there, whilst also trying to generate that feeling of power and thinking positively about how I’m going to skate, and I swear it’s had a massive positive influence on my skating.
maintaining power in the session.
I think another thing that’s important is trying to maintain that feeling of power throughout the sesh, and maybe one easy way you could do that is by being aware of your body language. If you’re someone that curls up and stands cross armed or with their head down, it's possible that standing more openly and with your head up in between tricks could help.
Not getting beaten down when you don't land your tricks is also a huge influence of mental power and trying to maintain confidence and focus can be super difficult. It's possible your body language might make it easier to maintain confidence, but it's definitely something you'll have to make a forced effort at maintaining as well.
Finally, don’t think this knowledge just applies to skating. Try applying it when you’re going into any situation that you’re insecure about and see how it helps.