Getting Over the Bar

    Sometimes what you're doing in a tricking technique, what you're doing is very well influenced not only by what you're telling each part of your body to do, but also how you tell yourself to do it.
    First, let's extend this concept beyond just tricking for a second. Have you ever been trying to do something, basically anything, and then someone was like "When you do that, think of it like you're doing this when you're doing it," and then suddenly it becomes a little easier? Yes? Yes!
    Sometimes, when you're performing a physical technique for anything, the way you think about doing it in your mind, the way you tell yourself to do something, can be almost as important as knowing the actual technique to perform itself.
    Here's a more relateable example: you know how often times in relation to tricking you'll hear the advice "jump fast and not forced?" That's another example of a method of visualization having an impact on tricking. ("Kick through the target, not to the target", "Wrap like you're trying to hug yourself", etc) If you watch someone jump up forced, telling themselves to muscle their jump, and then you watch them jump again fast, telling themselves to jump fast, you probably won't notice in difference in technique, though you will notice difference in the results. See, there aren't any visible technical differences between the two methods of execution, the difference lies in the way the performer told themselves to do it in their mind. And even if it doesn't look different from the outside, you can bet it felt a lot different for the performer.
    So that's a little clarification of the concept I'm talking about, when I speak of visualization. It's not necessarily just visualizing the technique and doing it (though that is beneficial and you can find articles on it), but the discussion on visualization that I'm talking about this time is more of abstractly thinking about the method of execution while performing the technique, as well as how drawing comparisons between components of trick execution and related motions or techniques can benefit one's execution. What a mouthful, it's not that complicated really.
    What I'm basically going to be saying is: When you do this, think about doing it like this. Got it? Let's begin!
The Actual Concept
What I'm going to expound on upon in this article is this statement: When you do a trick, pretend that you're trying to jump up and over something, haha.
(Some people do this anyways without even thinking about it of course, but many don't, at least, when they're first starting. Even later on in tricks though, the concept can help make techniques more efficient on the mind and body.)
Exposition
    Note, this article doesn't have anything to do with the actual technique used by high jumpers to clear the bar. Have a gander at these high jumpers: One Two Three (Just a few random examples I searched on Youtube.)
    The thing about these jumpers is this: they're jumping up and trying to make it over the bar; they're trying to make it over a certain point in space.
    I'm sure you've done something like this in your life, not necessarily trying to curve your back over something you jump over haha. But have you ever had like, a relatively high bed or something, and you jumped onto it onto your back? Same principle really, you're consciously trying to reach onto or over something when you jump.
    So why can't you do that with tricking? It may seem pretty common sense...but I see this all the time, especially when people are looking for help in learning a trick, or trying to improve a trick. The most common examples about this are Aerials, Cheat 720 Twists, high Raizes, Front Flips; although this can probably be applied to any technique.
    So what I'm going to tell you to do is this: pretend that you're jumping over an object when you do some tricks. Like you're trying to reach up over an object at a particular height when you jump into a trick. Lots of people don't do this you see. For some reason people don't realize that you just need to jump. And even if they do, sometimes they don't realize that you just need to jump up. Pretend you're jumping over something, it works!
Practicality
    Do you keep trying Aerials, but you just can't stop putting your hands down? Among other technical possibilities, the most prominent reason why people can't stop going into cartwheels when they're trying to Aerial is because they're not jumping. Even if they tell themselves to, or know that they need to, they just don't. Why? Because they keep telling themselves to do a technique a certain way. A way that keep inevitably resulting in failure haha.
    If you're having this problem, why not do this? Pretend you're jumping over something when you do an Aerial. Yup, that's right. I mean an Aerial is just a simple tricking jump after all. Instead of just doing a bunch of steps you think are involved in Aerial technique, do your Aerial, but pretend that when you go into it, you're trying to jump over something when you Takeoff.
Better yet, put something in your path that you're going to jump over. Haha. Ever thought of that? Put like a cardboard box in your path, and when you do the Aerial, try to jump over. Even abandon the thought that you're doing an Aerial for a second, and just be like "hmmm, I'm going to kick up my leg, turn my body a little, and jump over this box." Very basic haha but you know what I mean.
    Think about it for any move that you plain fall on. This is most applicable to beginners, people learning their first B-Twists or Back Flips or whatever else, and they just keep falling. This is usually because they simply aren't going up, they have no force causing their body to move away from the ground, so they just go down. But if you have something you want to say jump over, you body now has a specific goal. So when you're doing a Cheat 720 Twist, and you're like "Hey, instead of just madly trying to takeoff and then twist, I'll try jumping way up and curving over something, then twist."
    Sometimes, it'd help just to put a big block or whatever in front of you haha. If you're at a gym, get something to practice doing the trick over! Not only will this help you visualize jumping up over something, but it will also provide you a little support to actually practice the motions of the technique without any pressure or worry. Use a friend! Do it on your bed! (Assuming your bed is up high enough aha). Get creative! And then just pretend that you're trying to get over something when you do a trick!. Let's look at some examples:


Hmm, who put this wooden box right here? I guess I should try getting my body to jump over it, instead of just rushing down into the trick...


Why is there a bar in the middle of the gym? I guess instead of just turning and swinging up and then trying to twist, I should make an effort to jump up and over the bar while I turn, and then twist once I've left the ground...


WHAT THE!?! WHO THE HECK PUT FRIGGIN SPIKES ON TOP OF MY MAT!? I should really try jumping up over these spikes as I do my Butterfly Twist takeoff...

What's the Point?
As you can probably tell already, as I tried to bring out before, this article has nothing really to do with physics, mechanics, or cut and dry technical principles. But, psychological aspects of tricking techniques can very much manifest themselves physically in the technique. So that's what I'm trying to do.
    This method of visualization isn't just good for trying to improve the quality of trick takeoffs, or reaching the potential height for a trick. Sometimes it will actually help land a trick in the first place. Obviously, many people don't need to think this way in order to land something haha. But it can help speed up the process. Why?
    Because the entire point of this mental exercise is just to get you to do one thing: jump. I can't stress this enough. This isn't some secret technical gimmick that will grant instant trick gratification. It's just telling you to do something you need to do in every technique: jump the heck up. Now, let's go back to my favorite example of this ever: the Cheat 720 Twist. Lots of people crash this move the same way: they setup, then swing into it, twist, and fall straight to the ground. Why? They aren't going up! And sometimes they just can't get a feel for jumping into the trick for the takeoff. So that's where this visualization comes into play: if they're thinking "Hey, I'll try to reach up to this point", well then they've just done something which makes the trick's technique possibly.
    This isn't very black and white as you can tell, and many people won't need this.
    But this is just one mental approach to get you to do something which, for beginners, will solve many problems when they're trying to learn basic tricks. Lots of beginners just forget to jump haha. So by using this method of visualization to establish practical goals for themselves when they're taking off into a trick, they actually can do the trick properly. Jumping into tricks is important! If you don't jump you fall!
And what a better way to jump into a trick than to accomplish a goal by doing so.


Oh dang, I think there's a high bar behind me, I should try to jump up and stretch myself over it. ;)