3 Methods How To Block Fear Of Wiping Out

jussi Uncategorized 2 Comments

Is the fear of falling and getting injured holding you back from becoming the best you can be?

Is the fear of making mistakes, messing up and failing preventing you from consistently performing at your full potential? Especially when you are training in front of people or performing in contests?

What if you knew the exact steps how to overcome fear, get rid of nervousness and anxiety and gain full confidence in your abilities?

Would you like to get access to your full potential, learn faster and win more?

THE PURPOSE OF FEAR

Fear is your internal fail safe system.

It’s a sort of automatic self protection mechanism safeguarding you from getting injured and from the ultimate game over.

So you definitely don’t want to take fear lightly. It is often the only thing standing between you and drowning.

One of the most common progression barriers in surfing that hold you back from improving and consistently surfing at your best is the fear of big waves and drowning.

Any surfer pushing themselves to the next level has to deal with fear. It is always there when you are at the edge of your abilities.

Fear comes up to make sure you check yourself so you don’t wreck yourself.

It is an integral part of progression and even the pro’s are afraid.

WHAT FEAR REALLY IS

Fear is an emotion that’s triggered by a potential danger to you.

It’s a specific chemical combination that surges into your brain and takes over the rational control of your body.

Fear is a mental progression block you need to learn how to overcome to keep progressing.

Fear causes:

  • Nervousness, anxiety and panic
  • Underperforming
  • Second guessing, self doubt and overthinking
  • Freezing & getting paralyzed
  • Crucial mistakes that can lead to serious injuries like hitting your head and getting a concussion

Luckily there are mental techniques you can use to overcome these mental blocks that slow down or prevent you from improving and progressing to the next level.

A surf/snowboard/freerunning coach can speed up your progression by giving you the right recipe how to do specific trick, move or maneuver.

Same goes to your headspace. You use “mental tricks” to overcome mental obstacles.

Makes sense, right?

*Tip: Knowing what’s holding you back is key to progress. If you don’t know what’s holding you back then it’s hard to figure out what to do about it.

You can ask yourself “What’s my biggest fear or mental obstacle holding me back from learning new tricks, moves and maneuvers and consistently performing at my best?”

Then learn a technique to solve that problem.

FEAR IS NOT REAL

What’s important for you to understand is that fear is not real. Yet it can feel very real.

Fear is only in your imagination.

Fear is your future projection of a possible scenario that could happen.

It’s when you start to imagine all those possibilities “What if I mess it up, get wiped out, hit my head and drown?”

DANGER & RISK INVOLVED

Danger on the other hand is very real.

Danger in in your sport means doing something that’s way beyond your current skill level where you have high risk of getting seriously hurt.

The things that are dangerous to you may be a walk in a park for a pro.

Why?

Because they have the technical skills, ability, confidence and way to successfully bail out if things don’t go as planned.

Pro’s don’t take big risks nor go for romantisized heroics. They are extremely good at what I call Risk Reversal, at minimizing risks.

Pro’s need to consistently keep improving to stay ahead of the others without pushing too far beyond their edge of abilities.

That’s where risks grow exponentially and injuries happen.

WHEN TO LISTEN TO YOUR FEAR AND WHEN NOT TO

In order for you to keep improving and consistently perform at your best you need to understand when you should listen to fear and when to disregard it.

Most athletes think fear as the red stop light of traffic lights but there’s more to it.

Fear in psychology is often referred as the “Fight, flight (,freeze) ” response.

It’s an internal survival mechanism that protects you from getting injured or killed.

1. Freeze = Yellow light

Stay still to avoid getting noticed by the source of your fear so you don’t end up as the main course for the wild beast.

You’ve probably experienced choking up and getting paralyzed, unable to make yourself do a trick, move or a maneuver.

At this stage you got an important choice to make. To back down or to push through your fear?

2. Flight = Red Light

Run away like hell and hope the thing that scared you doesn’t catch you.

Always be aware of your skill level when you are surfing at the edge of your abilities.

If the trick, move, maneuver or stunt you are attempting is way beyond your skill level, proudly turn it down. You just probably saved your life or avoided getting injured.

Come back when your skills are up to par.

3. Fight = Green light

Fight the cause of fear and hopefully survive another day.

This means facing your fear and committing to execute the trick or stunt that tried to scare you away.

Make sure though that you are wrestling in the same weight class with your opponent or you’re setting yourself up for hospital.

3 METHODS TO OVERCOME FEAR OF FALLING AND GETTING INJURED

I was fortunate enough to learn and develop these MG180X techniques in the past 15 years during my career as a pro snowboarder and as a mental game coach for US Open Champions, Olympic Medalists and X-Games winners.

Whether you surf, snowboard, freerun or do any other sport these techniques have been tried and tested to work but only when you use them consistently.

1. MG180X: Risk Reversal

Contrary to common belief pro’s don’t take big leaps of faith and try to learn how to fly on the way down.

Instead they take take minuscule progression steps consistently.

They don’t try to improve 50% in one day. Just 1%.

The compound effect of tiny daily improvement over time is staggering.

Don’t try to surf waves that are way out of your league. Instead slowly but consistently make your way to bigger waves.

If you skip steps fear comes up, slaps you in the face and paralyses you.

When you take small progression steps, you don’t give the fear a chance to freeze you.

Also you gradually and organically build your confidence. You are building evidence for your case. You’re getting the proof you need to show yourself that you can succeed.

When ever you feel fear, ask yourself:

“Have I done something similar to this before? Is this what I am capable of doing or should I go back a progression step?”

2. MG180X: PlanB

Always have a Plan B.

Accidents happen. If things don’t go as planned, how are you going to safely bail out?

“Plan for the best, prepare for the worst.”

What’s your “fire exit” strategy?

If you make a crucial mistake mid air how will you bail out safely?

3. MG180X: Reversed-Focus

There is a saying “Where attention goes, energy grows and results show.”

If you get nervous before doing your trick, second guess yourself or overthink it’s caused by your focus pointing to the wrong direction.

“WHAT IF I wipeout, hit my head and get a concussion, clip my shins or blow my knee?” is fuel for the fears fire.

Your imagination gives the instructions that your body blatantly executes.

If you focus on all the ways you might fail, you are giving that as a command for your body to follow.

Instead what you need to do is reverse your focus.

Prime your body to succeed by imagining all the ways HOW you will successfully pull of that heavy barrel or big wave.

Fill your mind with the perfect performance so there is no room in your your thoughts for of failure.

LEVEL UP

The methods you learned are very simple. No rocket science here. And they only work when you consistently use them like the pro’s do.

There is always the next level that brings new problems for you to solve.

New levels, new devils. New heights, new frights.

What’s your biggest fear or challenge that’s holding you back from improving and consistently surfing at your best?

Comments 2

  1. My biggest fear when it comes to surfing is injury I suppose. I have been known to bail on waves that I’m pretty much already on. I am more of a cautious surfer. I tend to stay away from people and I don’t ding my board very much.

    I live on Maui and learned to surf here, I have been surfing for about three years now but feel like I am not progressing at the rate I want to be because of fear. Then I see people who have surfed less then me just do things I’m afraid to. Not saying I don’t take risks and I have come a long way. I’m actually more comfortable in the summer down south at some of the reef breaks, but then winter comes along and I am up north. Mostly where I go is sand bottoms but you gotta catch the wave where it pitches up. Today I was out and would either let the bigger waves pass me or try and paddle for the ones that were too small. It was kind of a technical spot bc there was reef to the left and right so you had to go left but then turn right. The waves were mellow and overall friendly but I ended up coming in without catching a single wave and was just kind of disappointed in myself. I didn’t grow up around the ocean or anything so I started surfing at age 25.

    Another time I’m usually scared is when I’m body surfing or using my beater board at the shore break, but then I see all these tourists just riding their boogie boards in like its nothing, probably unaware of the fact you can snap your neck or seriously injure yourself.

    So I don’t know, I really want to overcome my fear this winter and I kind of just stumbled upon this website

    1. Post
      Author

      Stefania thanks for writing in and describing in detail what you’re going through.

      It’s good to be aware of that you are not the only one in the line up going through these thoughts and emotions. Most surfers are and often even the ones you don’t think are. Even pro’s go through this stuff.

      Caution isn’t necessarily bad. It keeps you safe and inside your skill level, but “too safe” also prevents you from progressing. Just having fun is an important goal in and of itself but if you want to make progress and your fears are holding you back too much then there are definitely things you can do about it.

      I think you make a few important points:
      1. You don’t have a background of being in the ocean from an early age and developing the comfort with it since a kid. It’s okay that it takes time to develop that comfort level. The more you get safely out of your comfort zone and do it with friends makes it easier and builds your confidence.

      I highly recommend finding an encouraging surf buddy you trust and is a little better than you. This will help your confidence and helps you push yourself a bit further.

      2. It’s easy to compare ourselves to others. What we don’t often realize is that A. it’s a terrific way to make yourself feel bad about yourself especially if the others are better than you and B. focusing on your past, how far you’ve come makes you gain back your confidence and have more fun. If you choose focus on others, do it to admire and get inspired by their skill for example. Not focus on how they are better.

      We often see what’s in front of the curtain but not what’d going on behind the curtain. The people you see on the shore break might be just ignorant of the dangers but also they might be better at wiping out as in they know how to take a beating without getting hurt. It’s pretty hard to see what people actually do underwater when they get wiped out. I for one cover my head with my arms and curl up to a ball. Worked in snowboarding, not sure how good of a strategy that is for surfing but at least my arms and legs aren’t fledging around and getting tweaked and my head is covered from impact.

      Couple things I’d suggest:

      1. Find someone to surf with who’s a bit better than you who’s encouraging and fun to surf with.
      2. Analyze your waves. What went well? What didn’t go well? What can you do differently on the next wave. This put’s your focus in the right place and helps you improve faster.
      3. Use visualization to prime your body to act how you want it to. Repeatedly in your imagination watch yourself surf perfectly a specific wave. You can do this before you paddle out or while you’re in the line up for example. Or you can make this part of your nightly meditation routine when you hit the bed.
      4. Be your own best friend. Be forgiving, compassionate and understanding. Encourage yourself in your mind like you would encourage your friend. This turns around bad waves and has a significant difference on your surfing.

      Get into habit of doing the above and you’ll start to see results in your surfing pretty quick. No need to do the all above at once. Start with one until you get used to it 🙂

      Let me know how it goes and what results you get. If you have any questions, hit me up, I’ll be more than happy to help out!

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