Popping jumps is an incredibly frustrating habit that many skaters struggle with. They open up in the air, not completing the required rotation on the jump. Almost every skater I work with has experienced this problem in their training. For years I have taught ways to overcome popping using positive affirmations, limiting attempts and visualization. Just recently I have added another tool: intentional jumping.

Playing pool

Have you ever played pool? I don’t have a lot of experience with this game, but I do know that in the professional game players must call the pocket in anticipation of where they will sink the ball. They can’t just shoot and hope for any pocket. Instead, players must consciously plan out their play before executing it.

Playing Pool and JUMPING

I consider this game play in pool to be an act of intention. Jumping can also be an intentional act. Consider how you warm up your jumps. For example, how many doubles you do before attempting the triple. Your body is probably ready to move on after one or two doubles but is your mind ready? That is the key! Aligning you body and mind will affect whether you attempt the jump or not.

Intentional Jumping

Warm up the double as many times as you need to feel mentally ready to move to the triple. Now, here is where the pool playing analogy comes in. Like the professional player, call out the double before you do it until you are ready to call the triple. Say it in your head or tell your coach. This sets the intention and creates conscious awareness around the attempt. When you are aware of the plan, you are in the driver’s seat. You hold the power and your body and mind are working together. You can use the same strategy if you pop double jumps. Call out the single until you are 100% ready to try the double.

Until next time,

Keep your Brain in the Game

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