To what length are you willing to go on the path to reaching your goals?
What are you willing to sacrifice to succeed?
Over the next 2 blog posts I’ll highlight a recent email conversation that got me thinking about these themes and share a large portion of the dialog. The comments are from a professional boardercross athlete and are directed to an aspiring amateur racer.
“…What are you doing in the off-season to prepare? Physically? Mentally? What do you want to get out of the sport? Sorry to barrage you with questions but it's all-important stuff when you look at where you are at and where you want to go.
I'm working on making the US Team, having a shot at the upcoming Olympics and ideally the 2018 games as well. I've had to sacrifice a ton and be very dedicated to myself, understanding that you have to work for what you want, on and off the slopes. Even as a pro snowboarder you don't live a cushy lifestyle and get everything you want for free. The guys on the US Team have summer/off-season jobs and it's a rarity to see one that doesn't have to work. Concrete laborer, plumber, home-site construction work are all summertime realities for many top athletes. The point I wanted to get in here is don't look for everything to come quick and easy, you are going to have to pay your dues and even at the top you might still be paying.
Right now I have my team of people who help me out. JB helped me when I was younger to develop a strong fundamental riding base which I was able to take to the next level with additional coaching and competition work, now he helps me on the physical side in the gym. I have multiple race/riding coaches who I can consult, a wax tech/team manager, and an agent. When I was younger I tried to do everything on my own but learned that the age-old saying works with snowboarding too, ‘It's not about what you (think you) know, but who you know.’ The more quality, experienced people you ally with the better. They may not be able to give you product or services but the knowledge they have and people they know will pay you back in the long run.
There is no true off-season for SBX, if you think there is then you are already behind. There is a season when you are on snow, and there is off-snow prep. Even in the middle of summer the opportunity can arise to get on a deck. Mt. Hood and the Southern Hemisphere are always options, don't say they aren't because of $$$, that’s just an excuse; if you want it bad enough you will find a way…”
Check back soon for Part II