Finding the learning pit and knowing you are in it. That was the name of the game on day 3.
Sean Thompson, Snow Sports NZ Snowboard Coach was on hand to chat about the action learning cycle. And all of the riders fully acknowledged they were currently in the pit on a trick or two, but once Sean verbalised this it all started making more sense.
“It’s something you almost know, but until someone else says it, it makes sense,” Robin Goomes explained. “You feel yourself going through those steps but to see a drawing about it and talking about it, you can really relate to it. And then you can think about what you can do to get out of the pit. Where am I? Who can help me? And I’m in that place right now with learning new tricks, I am in the pit for sure.”
Kathy Morris a Queenstown electrician has been loving the camp and her personal progression amongst the other women. “I am trying stuff I would have never tried if I wasn’t here and these girls weren’t pushing me and helping me. Things that I may have never tried I am actually doing after these past three days.
“There was one point I turned to the girls and said, I’m in the pit. And they said, right what did he say to get out of the pit. And we went through the steps and it worked actually. It was really good and I am excited to give it a go.”
Sean focused on how we learn and how good we are at it? Because knowing how you learn is the best tool in your toolbag as a professional athlete and as Kelsey Timpany suggested, maybe that should be broadened to encompass your whole life. “What Sean said, I was thinking about in terms of my riding as well as my work life,” Kelsey mentioned. “But I have been there before, so it is nice to have that knowledge, so you are not so hard on yourself. I think it resonates with a lot of other people as well.” So, does how quickly you move through the process of learning, directly influence success and positive outcomes? Certainly, Sean and his highly successful World Champion and Olympic athletes would make you believe it.
“You get those moments when you get frustrated and it gets annoying,” said Sean. “That’s great as it means your brain is firing and it’s trying to put it all together. So, you need to channel that into learning a trick or refining one to make it more stylish. We need to work on how to make the light switch flick. You go through the good learner’s phase and go into “The Pit”. It’s a low space but with help and work you can make it out the other side.”
For the riders working out that they were currently in a pit was a breakthrough. We saw through the day how they used that frustration and started to look back at the fundamentals and climb out of that pit.