You know, reflecting on the snowboard season, I realize I made some big improvements. Going from 42nd place at nationals to 15th? Not one, but three medals in a season having previously earning none? Breaking the highway speed limit almost every day standing on a plank of wood? Not all of that comes without proper training and instruction.
For the past few months, I’d been training for Nationals, and after the slopestyle regional competition season ended, I devoted most to all of my time to railing carve turns, going fast, and pumping to generate speed in order to improve my form for boardercross. Matt, the director of the Team Summit snowboarding program, devoted his time every weekend to helping me nail the proper boardercross technique before nationals came around. He’d always walk me through the different drills, explaining the technical parts of the various things we did, as well as give a demonstration of the form (even if it was most of the time…. backwards :P).
Not all my time spent with Matt this season was coaching and training, however. One day (definitely one of my favorite days of the season), I got to go out to Breck with Matt on a weekday, and just shred through some steeps, trees, and snow-covered river banks. It was a great time, and provided me some time away from training to relax (well, as relaxed as you can be while trying to not hit any trees through a steep forest). Matt always makes everything fun, whether it was leading me to explore some new areas of Breck I’d never ridden or racing me down the mountain.
I love Matt’s coaching style, as he always seems to push you just past what you think are your limits, and ultimately helps you to become a better rider, no matter the discipline. At competitions, he’s basically my ideal coach, whether it’s recording my races/practices, waxing my board before I compete, or giving me tips and critiquing my form before the next round of boardercross. Whatever the case, he always helps me to progress and achieve my goals, whether it’s landing a front 5 or landing a spot on the boardercross podium.
So, to conclude, I just want to say: Thanks, Matt, for all the skills you helped me develop, all the motivation to achieve more in snowboarding, and all the support throughout the season. Here’s to next season!