Whatever your situation, take a moment to reflect on what this winter of snowboarding has brought you; the good, the bad and everything in between. Be thankful for the awesome days on the slopes, new friends, time with old friends, opportunity to travel, new certifications, and new knowledge. On the flip side there might be injuries, missed opportunities or unfinished goals.

We typically think of setting our snowboard goals in the fall, but I would like to challenge you to set your goals for next season now, while the taste of the bitter-sweet end of winter is lingering. If you're chasing winter or enjoying summer, think about what you can change to help you reach you goals. For most of us, next season is a long way from now, but it will be here before you know it. With a little thought and some effort, you can use the "off season" to train and help reach your riding goals.

Snowboarding requires a mix of endurance and strength to pressure the board, steer and navigate a variety of terrain and snow conditions.

High intensity interval training (HIIT) is a method of improving both your endurance and strength during action packed workout. HIIT involves periods of high intensity work separated by brief rest periods. As described by the name this is an intense workout and should only be attempted by healthy individuals. Always check with your doctor if you are unsure of your condition or if you feel chest pain, light-headed or experience fainting from physical activity.

Dynamic Warm-up & Core Performance: Dynamic warm-up and “core” performance exercises are two elements that should be included in every exercise program, no matter what the goal may be.

Dynamic warm up includes a series of movements to engage muscles and joints through a full range of motion. This type of warm-up is essential to prepare the body for exercise; it boosts your heart rate and blood flow to the muscles, raises your core temperature and prepares the nervous system. If you are targeting a specific movement or muscle group in your workout then your warm-up should reflect that. Pay attention to your body and focus on your posture and technique; you want to gradually work the muscles/joints into the largest range of motion possible.

Developing the Training Mindset: Physical training is a lot like snowboarding; progression requires practice, discipline, focus and some playtime for experimentation. While what you do for your training is important, how you mentally approach your training is just as crucial.

Before beginning a training session it is essential to have a plan and some goals for your workout. Think about the movements, muscle groups and energy systems you want to develop and create a sequence to follow. Having a plan will help make the most of your time and help keep you on track. If you're working out in a gym, keep the plan flexible so you can work around other people.

Assessment & Preparation: Health and fitness play a key role in maximizing performance and preventing injury in snowboarding. To help you achieve your goals this winter you should start by assessing your own fitness and determining areas that need improvement. Before beginning any physical training you must ensure that you are not dealing with any injuries that may be made worse through exercise, if you are unsure about your condition you should check with a doctor or physiotherapist first.

We are hopefully all familiar with the basic ideas behind the use of questions in our lessons & training sessions, such as: checking for understanding, review purposes, highlighting breakthroughs, etc.

I really think sometimes we forget to ask ourselves a few important questions to help us understand what we are teaching and if it’s working or not? I’ve compiled a brief list of some of the questions I ask myself every time I teach a lesson, course, or session, that help me get success from my time in front of the group. 

As instructors and particularly instructors training for certification courses, we spend most of our time on a snowboard making turns, and trying to perfect those turns…left, right, left, right repeat…and we’re getting pretty good at it, but how much time have you spent thinking about HOW we get from one turn to the next? There’s been this idea floating around for a few years that we need EARLY edge, and LOTS of it but if you watch the good riders out there you’ll see that they focus more on re-centering in the transition between turns and then moving to the new edge in a controlled way.

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