Ever thought about what snowboarding, or even skiing, can teach us when back in Blighty? When you get home, do you dump your snowboard, throw your kit in the wash and slot seamlessly back into reality? Maybe you dream about the mountains sat behind your desk, or rushing around clearing up the house, thinking about the snow rather than that report which needs writing or contemplating what the kids are going to have for tea. Don’t feel guilty. Wintersports can teach us so much about ourselves and we can translate that learning into everyday life. I should know, I’ve written a book about it! Read on to find out more…….
- Moving out of your comfort zone: think back to your first days on the slopes with an unfamiliar board strapped to your feet. How weird did that feel? Maybe you’d never been in the mountains and everything felt strange and unreal – there was no frame of reference on which to hang this new experience. But you persevered and eventually strapping on your snowboard became routine and familiar. Think about how you transitioned between then and now. What did you do to help the process? You can apply the same principles to stepping out of your comfort zone when trying anything new.
- Gaining confidence: most people are nervous when they try something for the first time, and some remain nervous for much longer. How did you gain confidence when you started snowboarding? I bet you started on a nursery slope, possibly taking lessons. It is unlikely that you started by riding a black run! It’s the same in life, start small and make small steps, not huge leaps. Pushing too hard and too fast damages confidence.
- Learning to face fear: we’ve all been scared at some time, whether it was making our first turns, dropping in to a kicker or stood at the top of a steep off-piste run. How did you overcome that fear? What did you do? Ever felt frightened about to present and speak to a large group of people or talk to your child’s head teacher? Those same skills overcoming fear on the mountain can help us face fears at home.
- Knowing how we like to learn: we all have different styles of learning and knowing which style applies to you can help expedite the learning process. When you learned to snowboard did you watch others and give it a go yourself, or did you take lessons. Maybe you like to learn by getting stuck in or you like to see how everything fits together before trying something new. This can be applied to whatever you are learning, be it on the slopes or at work.
- Being careful with whom we hang out: who are your crew? Do you shred with happy, positive people or are they edgy, spoiling for an argument? Those around us affect our thoughts and behaviour. Think about the characteristics of those people you admire, those you want to emulate and hang out with similar folk.
- Finding the right teacher, instructor or mentor: most of us will have had snowboarding lessons at some point, learning from someone skilled and well qualified. It’s a great way to engender good habits. We all click with some people more than others and this goes for instructors too. Want to learn more about an area of work, develop a skill or elevate your career? Think about finding the right instructor or mentor for you.
All of the above are explored in much more detail in my book, Take It All On Board: 8 Steps To Mastering the Slope & Life With Confidence – www.takeitallonboard.com due out on 21st November 2017. At each stage of the eight chapters, readers are encouraged to chart their own potential for success as the reader defines and desires it. Sets of scored exercises have been devised to provide a meaningful understanding of self via quantifiable metrics and against which future progress can be measured. Each chapter a different location and throughout the book we meet a number of names in British snowboarding including Jenny Jones, Olympic Slopestyle medallist.
So for those of you who think snowboarding is just for holidays and fun times, think again. The mountains are nearer than you realise, and your experiences on the slopes can transform your whole life.
Here’s to the next season.
Ta ta for now,