I want to recommend an idea to those who enjoy action sports and/or can’t seem to push themselves to huck that first backflip, hit that gap, or whatever it is that they just want to overcome. It’s called the “40-60 Rule”. The success in most (hardcore) sports seems to be only 40% physical training and 60% mental training. Of that 60% comes skill and experience and most important, the willingness to take on risks.
With skiing, boarding, skating, BMXing, you name it, that means taking the risk of trying harder tricks, hucking your meat of bigger cliffs, and putting yourself in situations that involves more risk – all of which increased the chance of falling. In my opinion, if you’re not falling at least a few times a day when you cruise up to the hill or hit up the skatepark, then you’re not trying hard enough. Without a doubt, to progress and advance at anything, we must consistently be pushing and challenging ourselves. Those gnarly body builders describe it as the “pain period.” Only by trying things that we haven’t done, struggling, learning, and then continuing to try it again and again do we improve our performance. Seems like common sense, cuz it is! It’s a frank issue of acclimating and touching that unchartered territory.
“To progress at anything, we must challenge ourselves and struggle outside of our comfort zones.”
When we push ourselves and most often fail, we find that we deal with failure better than we’d expect. Then we wonder why we were so timid to do whatever it was we did in the first place; whether it was hitting a jump switch for the first time, ollieing our first set of stairs, or whatever it was that we now looked back on and thought, “I can’t believe I was so scared to do that in the first place.”
We naturally seem to be inclined to focus exclusively on advancing our skill sets or expanding our knowledge, although the greatest advancement and education, in my opinion, most often comes from action, experience, and taking risk. And our regrets in life reflect this. In the amazing book “Stumbling on Happiness”, it states that “in the long run, people of every age and in every walk of life seem to regret not having done things much more than they regret things they did.”
Although playing it safe makes sense in some professions such as accountants and healthcare providers, but when it comes to action sports, we need to focus on the 60% that truly transforms you from good, to great. Our inhibitions have developed to shelter us and keep us save, but in many situations, they put a restraint on us and hold us back. Ultimately, it’s the ones who barrel through the discomfort, who are resilient in the face of fear and failure, and who hone down the art of taking risk who reach the highest levels of performance. Check out the epitome of this below; who does it time and time again.