“I love skateboarding, but I’m having trouble with my confidence. How can I fix that?”
We get told this a lot, whether it’s in Skate Supports, comments or skaters at the skatepark. Confidence is a tricky thing. It’s hard to progress in skateboarding when you’re not confident in your skills. Yet, it’s hard to be confident in what you’re doing when you’re first learning. So, how do we fix that?
Confidence is defined as “a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.” When you have confidence, you can roll up to the skatepark and not care about what anybody else says. Confidence is the ability to keep trying a trick again and again until you get it. You’ll stay up all night, because you know that you will keep going at it until you land it.
So, how do you get to that point? What’s the key to building confidence? While there isn’t a straight, clear cut way in building confidence because everyone is different, here are a few tips that we’ve found helps.
When you practice, you’re pushing yourself. You’re trying something new. As you start out, the best thing to do is practice and make sure you’re having fun while doing it. Just. Keep. Practicing.
When you’re practicing a lot, you’re going to run through a lot of emotions. You’ll probably go from being excited, to being angry, to wanting to give up, to getting more excited because you’re almost close, and then super excited because you finally landed it. Just know, this is completely normal. You have to stick with and persist. Once you land it and you can do it in your sleep, then you know you’re confident in landing it. That’s one step closer to building overall confidence.
Don’t listen to others, if they have only bad things to say
When people want to help you, they will give you constructive criticism or tips on how to land a trick. That’s what you should listen to. Don’t listen to those who want to put you down and persuade you to stop skating.
This becomes more apparent when you’re at the skatepark. Some skaters don’t want other skaters coming to the skatepark to get in their way, or don’t want them to overcrowd the skate park. Whatever the reason is, I’ve seen skaters tell younger kids not to skate at the park or just convince them to quit at all. Which the often end up doing.
Unfortunately, it’s more common than it should be. We want to build up the skateboarding community, not decrease it. If you come across anyone who does that, just don’t skate near them, don’t listen to them and keep skating. If anything, prove them wrong.
Another way is to keep learning. Not only does practicing help, but learning is also a key part in building confidence. Watching videos, reading books and anything that will help you with any part of skateboarding will increase your confidence.
This also goes hand in hand with keep practicing. You can study different skate support videos or slow-motion videos of kickflips and really be able to see what the feet are doing, and what you’re doing. This is helpful when learning the trick, or just trying to improve it. Always keep learning.
Another good way is to keep up with the industry. Watch skate contests, follow your favorite skaters on social media, read books, etc… The more you know about the industry, you more excited you tend to get about being apart of it, and thus making you want to get better. You will also get inspiration, which pushes you, again, to progress even more.
Get involved with your skating community
Getting involved with your local skating community allows you to meet new people, learn more about the industry and be able to do some awesome things in your local area. Once you’ve done a few, you can create a name for yourself and become better yourself at skating and helping others skate. It’s a great way to build confidence.
A good way to do this is reaching out to local skate shops, or after school skateboarding clubs. People are always looking for help. Especially local skateboarding groups that want to promote skateboarding as a fun, enlightening sport that can actually help a lot of people and make the community a better place.
Skate with others
While skateboarding is an individual sport, there’s nothing quite like spending a day with your friends skating around the streets. By skating with others, you’re learning from them and maybe even teaching them. The best thing is, they’re there to help you and push you forward. They cheer you on, give you tips and anything they can do to help you push you further.
More often than not, skating with others helps your confidence because you’re in a group. You generally feel happier and willing to push yourself more when your friends are with you. They will also stay with you until you land that trick. They pump you up and give you tips so you can go home happy!
Skate every single day
Skating and practicing every day gets you more comfortable on your board and also ensure you keep progressing, and you can progress faster.
If you’re just starting out, try this for a week. Take your board to school, work, the library, etc… Practice whatever trick you want to learn and actually do the steps every single day. And do it for 10, 15 or 20 minutes. However long it takes. You’re putting time in and will be able to land it when you’re done.
Go to the skatepark with your friends
Going to the skatepark for the first time can be very scary when you’re just starting out. It’s not as scary if you’re with your friends. Similar to the skating with friends section above, going to the skatepark with your friends makes it more fun because you always have someone there with you. So you can focus your attention on having fun and learning new tricks.
Once you land a trick, confidence won’t be a problem
As you’re starting out, it’s simple to look at what others can do, and why you’re not as good as them. Most of the time, it’s because you want to land a trick, or land a bunch of tricks. For many people, that trick is the ollie.
But once you land the Ollie, and spend all that time and you feel like giving up, and then persisting and finally landing it, you feel like you’re on top of the world. Once you land a trick that you’ve been having trouble on, you’ll instantly feel more confident about yourself and more confident going to skate with others.
Anything we miss? Leave a comment below! If you’re having trouble with your tricks and want to learn how to fix it, Skateboarding Made Simple is what you need! You can pick it up here!
Also, be sure to submit a Skate Support Request to Aaron, so he can personally help you out. He’s helped many skaters land tricks and fix their problems this way. You can submit one here!