With bluebird weather and perfect snow conditions, Thredbo’s Torah Bright Mini Shred supported by Toyota went off with an absolute bang.
In a day that was all about inspiring the next generation, over 300 young snow-goers took to the slopes to be mentored by the best in the business including Olympic legends Torah Bright, Belle Brockoff, Jarryd Hughes, Jess Rich and six-time Paralympian Michael Milton.
And boy were these kids good!
Facing a course that had crafted jump lines, box ramps and jib rails, kids as young as three were truly showing me up for the amateur I am.
With their natural talent and eagerness to learn I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if these kids really did grow up to be our future winter Olympians.
Only with so much talent out there what is it that defines an Olympian from the rest?
Speaking with Be snowboarding legends Torah, Belle and Jarryd revealed that it takes a bit more than just training to achieve the status of an elite athlete.
In particular, all three credited these four personality traits as having an impact on their success:
They are perfectionists
All three snowboarders spoke of how they would often pinpoint areas they needed to improve and continue to work on it until they mastered it.
“It’s a little bit like having OCD,” says Jarryd. “Being able to never accept that good is good enough, whether it’s doing the dishes or whatever it is your doing, it’s like everything has to be done right.”
Torah admits she also has a ‘perfectionist trait’ saying, “I will keep going and going and going until I get it perfect.”
They are their own toughest critic
Gold and silver medalist Torah admits she is ‘by far’ her own toughest critic while saying, “I think the most successful people in life are too.”
Toyota ambassador and world champ Belle spoke of how after every event she would take the time to critically analyse each aspect of her performance.
“From every turn to every jump I would write down the parts of the track that went well and the parts that didn’t,” she says.
Silver medalist Jarryd also agreed that he was ‘definitely’ his toughest critic, however, he also credited much of that feedback to his coach who would you believe was also a former athlete.
“My coach is also an athlete and he’s just as critical on me too so we work really well together,” he says.
They strive for a positive mindset
Before she even reached her goal of going to the Olympics, Belle admitted that she would leave reminders for herself that read, ‘I am an Olympic athlete.’
“Telling yourself ‘I AM’ is one of the most powerful things you can do,” Belle says, explaining that this helped her stay motivated to train, eat and sleep as an Olympian would.
“You have to have inner belief because if you don’t have that in yourself not everybody’s willing to give it to you,” Torah agreed.
Similarly, for Torah and Jarryd, any pre-event routines were all about making the most fun out of the situation, to avoid letting their minds get caught up in doubts.
“I listen to a bit of T-Swift in the morning but honestly it’s just about being in a happy mindset for me, not being stressed and enjoying myself,” Jarryd talks of his pre-event antics.
They enjoy pushing their limits
While some of us may look for any excuse we can to avoid going to the gym or easily give up on something when we don’t seem to be improving, that’s not the case for these world champs.
Rather, they enjoy pushing their body to its limits. Just as a sprinter is always striving for a new personal best, these snowboarders are always willing to try new tricks many of us wouldn’t think were possible.
“It’s about listening to your body and knowing when it’s intelligence has grown in a way to progress with more trickery so it’s really quite intuitive,” says Torah.
“It has to be a relentless will to just keep going at any measure” she continued, “You see those traits in these kids, they’ll just keep working and working on something and no matter how many slams they’re taking they pick themselves up and go again.”
“It’s easy to say what a world champion takes, it just takes everything,” Jarryd concluded.