Preparation for X Games is always a little bit intimidating because the expectations are typically so much higher than at any other contest. The jumps are bigger, the crowds are bigger, all the sponsors are there and to top it off it’s a world wide televised event. This year I am switching things up and am going to do my best to maintain a clear, confident, and determined mind, while also remembering that I snowboard because I love it and not because of what others think about me.
My preparation has begun with the 2nd stop of the Dew Tour, which is taking place as I write this at Snowbasin in Utah. I had a few hours of practice on the course yesterday and this morning and we competed in qualifiers this afternoon. Today proved to be a day of transition, in which my mind remembered how park felt in comparison to powder. Considering I was up in Canada for the last two weeks shredding bottomless powder I am feeling rather comfortable back on the slopestyle course. I qualified 3rd and will compete in the Finals on Sunday.
Bouncing from powder back to park can be a hard transition because each task takes different mental planning. Though I have to be really focused for both, the backcountry is really quiet and feels like a giant soft playground with endless options and limited high impact consequences. In contrast, contests are on hard pack snow and the jumps are fairly big and potentially intimidating. Contests also have a lot more distractions, i.e., friends, crowds, judges, event coordinators. These distractions can add to an athlete’s riding or possible take away from their riding. I am in the process of learning how to be in control of my mind during these transitions. With X Games only a couple weeks away I am trying to find a balance between a focused and controlled mind while still being able to push myself to learn new tricks. I want to be having fun while I’m competing and training but I also have to stay motivated to reach new limits.
My current focus is to be calm, collected, and patient with my riding. My goal for this weekend is to turn off my mind and let my body do the work it has been programmed to do.
(Ed. Note: The Winter X Games 14 will take place January 28-31, 2010 in Apsen Colorado. Join us as we cheer Kimmy on and be sure to catch the Snowboard Slopestyle Women’s Final on ESPN on Sunday, Jan. 31)