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Sports Psychology and Shaun White – How Does He Get So Much Height?

Sports Psychology and Shaun White – How Does He Get So Much Height?

Over the years, I have watched a lot of sporting events and a lot of athletes in a wide range of sports. And I have counseled many top athletes from virtually every sport you can think of.

Periodically, in sports, one athlete performs at a different level than his or her peers

are performing at.

Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Wayne Gretzky, Tiger Woods, Muhammad Ali and Willie Mays are a few who come to mind when I think of sports figures who fall into this category. These athletes seem to do things that others can not do. They are artists-athletes who make their sport look easy and effortless.

They are also innovators who take their sport to a new level. These are the kinds of athlete who attract the attention of people who are not even sports fans because of their amazing abilities.

Now, I know very little about snowboarding. However, when I watch Shaun White perform on his board, I am truly amazed.

He has the capacity to generate so much more air between himself and the ground when you compare hit to his fellow competitors. Shaun White seems like he is ten or twelve feet higher than other snowboarders appear to be when they take off.

Obviously, this extra height gives him more time and space to do tricks and maneuvers that other snowboarders can not do simply because they are not in the air for a long enough period of time.

How does he do it?

I do not know very much about physics or kinesiology. I am sure that scientists will eventually figure out how Shaun While soars above the earth the way he does.

One former competitive figure skater noted, “He just must feel some things in the snow that other athletes do not feel.”

Behaviorists will want to study this young fellow to see what, if anything is so special about this young man’s mental approach to his sport.

Based on my experience counseling many world class athletes, I can tell you that he has resiliency and a fun loving spirit which allows him to enter the zone when he needs to. He also seems to have a fantastic desire to excel at his sport and the work ethic to go along with it.

In addition, he found his passion early in his life and has been able to focus on his craft. He has also shown great poise in managing his success and the media attention he has received.

However, I suspect he can generate more speed and more lift than other snowboarders are able to produce when they compete on the same site. His technique and timing must be just a little better than others who compete in his sport.

Perhaps he understands something about producing speed, height and flying that others have not yet figured out. Maybe it has something to do with his laid back demeanor or his long red hair. I, frankly, don’t know.

However he does it, his ability to fly, is truly amazing. He is one of a kind.

Other athletes, while the may not be him, can probably learn a lot about what it takes to enter the zone when you need to by studying Shaun White very carefully.