This is what I class as Level 1 snowboarding. Think of a OAP with a zimmer frame. They’re slow, controlled and balanced. They get where they want to be in one piece, but their journey is pretty boring, takes ages and looks laboured.
What I aim to do is develop riders who look relaxed, strong and inspire others. This means developing a riders strength, agility and creativity. If they have a freedom of movement they can tackle any terrain with confidence and be able to develop a creative and safe approach to tackling the snow. They’ll begin to appreciate how much more snowboarding can offer as they benefit from an expanded skill set and a better understanding of how to manipulate and control a snowboard.
The only issue in developing this agility is that it takes time. Todays riders want results quickly. They want to turn up to a freestyle course and be busting out 360’s, but if they cannot hold a clean carved edge in a balanced and strong posture or pre-rotate their upper body without influencing the board they will struggle to achieve those goals. Yet if they took a step back and really worked on their riding or physical foundations those tricks would come so much more easily.
As a coach I re-build riders. I have to iron out bad habits and blocks so people can achieve their goals. For those riders in it for the long-term I break their riding down to its very foundations and rebuilt it bit by bit. I have to change the very way they turn and the way they move on a board.
Its tough as most riders do not want to commit to this degree of change. They’re happy with the A to B approach, which is cool. They’re in the dome or mountains living the dream. However, I want riders to look beyond the crowded piste and be able to shred confidently in the park or off-piste, so their true potential as a rider can be realised and no area of the mountain is off limits.
One element is my coaching be it in the UK or abroad, but I can only do so much. The next level of development is a rider looking at their own physical base. Snowboarding often requires some fast explosive and precise movements. Those skills can be developed on a board, but most riders do not get the time required to achieve positive results. What they really need is rethink their fitness goals to help boost skills that will directly transfer over to snowboarding.