tricking: Fear Vs Motivation

ok I’m not sure of what I’m writing here, so I’ll just start and see where it goes.

I want to talk about fear and motivation, this isn’t inspired by flipping, but by something completely unrelated. However it can be relavant to flips, cause fear is so promiant in what we do.

If we want to try something that is scary, we need to be physically ready… there’s a problem tho, when we’re physically ready, yet mentally not. 2 things sit oddly in our heads. Fear and motivation (or desire). If fear is greater than motivation, fear wins. However if we can position motivation ahead of fear, then motivation wins. Switching the two around isn’t as tricky as it sounds. An easy way to switch the levels of fear and motivation is to offer an incentive. Incentives increase our motivation, giving the impression of lessoning fear. This leads to increased confidence and all of a sudden the difficult or impossible appears plausable and possible.

Once we’re aware of how easy it is to switch fear and motivation around, we can achieve all sorts of things previously deemed unreachable…. or perhaps we’re not ready for.

In the gym, one of the things I practice more than anything else, which I’ve done hundreds and hundreds of times, which nobody has ever noticed….. is not falling on my head. Occasionally I do it, but mostly if I’m doing anything involving going upside down, I try my hardest to land the right way up (roughly).

This means that nearly after a year of chucking myself about, I am developing (or have developed) a natural self protection mechanism in my training that gets me out of trouble ‘most’ of the time. This is assuming I’m trying something within my achievable ability. Step outside that range and I’m in the realm of the unknown and possibly dangerous again.

Anyways, understanding that we can suppress fear, and emphasise our desire to do things is very powerful… its another stepping stone to progression. Those that see possibility before impossibility and positivity before negativity, accellerate their progression more than others (combined with a number of other factors like spacial awareness, muscle mass, training, tutition etc).

whoa…. actually that’s a good thought. Is a persons fear/confidence levels decided by the factors of spacial awareness, muscle mass, training and tuition? sounds like it to me. Does that mean that failing and falling 10 times and landing once is a bad thing or a good thing?

Personally I tell people to land things (however weak and small) as often as they can, to reduce their fear. I’m of the thought that I’d rather land 10 things badly or weakly and progress slowly, than to land once badly and risk increasing my fear levels.

This is probably wrong… and I’m certain many people will disagree with me, and insist if the correct stages of learning, training and tuition are followed, then movements will piece together and naturally minimise the chances of injury or failing. I’m aware of that and agree too.

However, if you remove the ‘tuition’ element, and take into account the thousands of casual athletes, flippers, free-runners and others that may not train correctly before attempting things, then you’ll be aware that the chances of them hurting themselves are way way higher than following formal tuition routes through established facilities.

If you agree, then you’ll see why I promote and vocalise regularly, that people will progress further and faster by worrying about the perfection later. Sure bad habits die hard, and I’m not saying that the wrong techiques should be promoted, no not at all…. I’m just encouraging those without formal training or tuition from a noteable peer, to work on suppressing their fear in whatever ways possible in order to continue doing what they enjoy.

Hmm.. I think that all made sense.


1 Comment

Filed under Flips, free running, Gymnastics, injuries, Martial Arts, Pain, parkour, skateboarding, technique, training, Tricking

One response to “tricking: Fear Vs Motivation

  1. Johnny Angel

    Man that was a pretty kicking article. I would think that most peoples point of contention would be “muscle memory” and all that jazz.

    But the flip side is that tricksters are pretty good at recording them selves and then viewing the footage and disecting it. So were not relying completely on muscle memory to learn and perfect the moves that we’re attempting.

    But I would have to agree on the always trying to land moves, at the very least it’s a confidence builder.


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