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Conquering That Next Big Line: Q and A W/ Dr. Laurel Mines DPT, PT, OCS

We all get puckered standing at the top of something often new. We ask ourselves do we have what it takes to make it down this new line? Should we even be here? Here's a little secret, everyone gets scared. From pro's ( yea we asked a few), to heli ski guides, to ski instructors, to the most experienced skiers. What do we all have in common? The desire to push ourselves to new limits. Not only physically but mentally.

Most of you do not know this, but Dr. Laurel Mines OCS, PT, DPT also offers sports mental health coaching to help her athletes achieve their dreams. We asked Dr. Laurel how to help overcome those moments where you feel the nerves coming out. Find out what her 3 ( 4 ) C's are to help you get to the next level of your riding.

Dr. Laurel:   When we look at mental performance, it's not just about, how you're performing, it's also about the experience that you're having. And experiences can be just like so wide and diverse. I love this example. If you have two people, and they go to Disneyland, and like, the goal is to ride all the rides. You can have two people, and one Can be loving it, standing in a line, riding the ride.

It's having the time of their life. And the other person can be still committed to the goal of riding all the rides, and be in the lines, and riding the rides. Like they can still like ride all the rides, the same goal and have the same performance and they can have two completely different experiences. whenever I'm coaching and training my athletes, it's not just about their performance and their success, but it's like, are they having joy and fulfillment within the journey? And are they having fulfillment with the success of what they're doing as well? Right. A really big key point that I like to make.

She-Shredz: How do we do that?

Dr. Laurel: The physical and the mental realms can be so combined.

Confidence is a huge thing, to be confident in this sport is going to help your growth and your success, but confidence actually doesn't come on its own.

She-Shredz: How do you gain confidence?

Dr. Laurel: It doesn't come without courage, you have to have courage to end up having confidence. Courage is the first step. It does take courage and every step of learning this sport to ski like you have to have courage. For example: Go and do research online, to look at equipment, to go to the SheShreds website, to go and look at these videos and learn things, and like, try out equipment, get equipment, get a lesson, etc.

You know, it takes a lot of courage. It takes courage to ask the hard questions, to ask for support and guidance, right. And to train your body, to do something different, you know, all of that's going to take courage, but when you actually step out, you kind of let go of that fear of failure. You're okay with failing, but you take your courage and you take all these little steps.

She-Shredz: Is there anything else to confidence besides courage?

Dr. Laurel: Then if we back up one more step, like you have to be committed. If you don't have any commitment to learning, like for me, in winter sports, I did winter sports once or twice a year for 10 years and I never got much better.

She-Shredz: We are sensing a theme here… confidence and commitment is there anything else that we need to feel mentally prepped for those big lines?

Dr. Laurel: I call it like the three C's of mental performance. You have to be committed. You have to have courage. Which leads to confidence.

She-Shredz: What would you do if you're gaining your confidence and you have like an off day? Cause we all have off days, right? Sometimes you get out there. And you just can't do anything. Right? You get on the, you get on the hill and you're just like, I can’t believe that last time I was crushing it and today I can barely turn.

Dr. Laurel:  There are so many elements to outdoor sports, right? Surfing, mountain biking, kiteboarding, all of these have all these natural elements. Conditions are big. Just because you have a bad day, you have to realize that it's not just you, there's all these other factors, right?

She-Shredz: Totally, what would you suggest when you are just off. Sometimes we just get the yips and you’re so confused how yesterday you were shredding and today you’re barley making it down.

Dr. Laurel: The first step is realizing, it's not just all on you, don't get down on yourself. There's all these factors, right? The other C word is compassion. Let's just first have compassion for ourselves. Not every day is going to be perfect. And there's all these factors there's sleep, there's recovery, there's nutrition, there's hydration, there's mood swings, there’s Periods, Times of the month, etc. Let’s have compassion for ourselves first and foremost. You don't have to go out and crush it every day.

She-Shredz: For those of us who find pleasure in maybe getting a little bit more spicy and kind of pushing ourselves both mentally and physically, when you get to that new echelon and you get puckered sometimes, right?

We are talking about when you hike up to a line or you get on a line and you get there and you're like, Whoa, this looks so different than it did from the chair or from the skin track. How do you deal with that mentally? There's basically one way down. You gotta get down somehow. What are some tactics that you can employ in this situation?

Dr. Laurel: I just really like to go back to the basics. Don't be scared to Like do a pizza or side slip in. Ask yourself, is there like a way to like bring yourself back to being in it, no full confidence, but we're going to crush this. Owning that moment and going for it and really claiming it as your own is basically what I'm trying to say. Does that make more sense?

And if you're not crushing it, you can go back to the basics, which brings me to this other point. The, this sport of skiing is all about calibration. Okay. And these calibrations aren't like big jumps, right? They're actually like small, scalable, like smaller, scalable things. Like you're going to calibrate up a little bit, you're going to push it a little bit, and then you're going to bring it back and you push it a little bit more.


What’s the take away from all of this? In an activity like skiing or snowboarding you’re constantly pushing your limits both physically and mentally. Just getting on a chair lift for the first time can make most people nervous. The only way you over come these feelings is by placing yourself in these uncomfortable situations.

The kicker about sports like these is that if you are progressing you’re in a constant state of attempting to reach new limits. We all get puckered. Remember, take a deep breathe and just go for it. You got this girl!


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