It starts in the mind. A powerful organ evolved for planning and surviving. Being able to see a story in our heads and the different ways it might play out allowed ancient man to take risks in his mind without putting his life on the line. We haven’t lost the ability, but these days we can turn this power toward more pleasant activities.
Here we see Tiago Lemos hit a huge ledge in Barcelona, and what’s interesting is his prior thought process. His first step is belief, he knows that it is possible. There he stands on the shoulders of another (Alex Alekinho) who freakishly nollied onto the thing. Staring at the ledge, he sees himself doing it in his mind’s eye before he begins making attempts. With this, his confidence grows. With enough belief in your physical ability matched with the knowledge that something is actually possible, all that is left to finish the equation is practice. In the end Tiago stomps a trick by todays standards might be called “simple”, a long, buttery (switch) tailslide. But the size and stature of the ledge is what really makes this incredible.
Visualization is something we can do on flat days. We can do it as preparation when we’re on the beach about to get in the water, or waiting at traffic lights. Whatever it is you would like to improve, take some time to go through the whole thing in your mind. Go from start to finish, slowly, over and over, thinking about different ways it might go wrong. Picture and feel your different muscles engaging and working in unison. When the moment comes and you are actually there, in full speed, you will be better prepared and deep parts of your mind will kick in – you’ll get where you want to go quicker.