The strength of the mind

News 23 March, 2018
  • Kevin Dubé

    Friday, 23 march, 2018 19:47

    Friday, 23 march, 2018 19:47

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    The structure of the big air in Quebec amounted to 43 metres away and provides not only a breathtaking view over the Lower town of Quebec city and the Laurentians, but also what make them crazy the most disturbed by the dizziness.

    However, she did nothing exceptional to the competitors. In fact, it has become the routine of these skiers and snowboarders who travel the world to challenge themselves with manoeuvres just as crazy as inhumane. But how come young athletes to run at full speed to the ramp and perform flips to high degree of difficulty ? If there is a certain madness and a rigorous physical preparation, it is especially an important mental work which must submit these daredevils of the slides.

    Maxence Parrot knows what he’s talking about. The multiple medal winner in both slopestyle and large jump, has emerged as a figurehead of the sport over the years. Not only has he won the gold medal several times, but it was also the first to achieve certain figures in the competition. In 2013, he managed a backside triple cork in slopestyle, first at the X Games. In 2015, it was landing the first switch quad history in slopestyle before adding, last year, a switch quad underflip, big air to its table of hunting.


    The fear does not therefore seem to be a part of his vocabulary. He probably has skills above the average in his discipline, Parrot acknowledges that the work is mainly done between the two ears. This is why he has been working for three years with the sports psychologist Jean-François Ménard, who also helps Mikael Kingsbury, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir in their mental approach.

    “Our sport is mostly mental, concedes Parrot. It must also be physically ready, and for some time, I went to the gym four or five times per week to have a good muscular strength in the event of a fall. However, this is not a sport that is very physical, this is not like running a marathon. Your mind must be very strong, because you have to manage your emotions, your stress and your fear. “


    Parrot did not appeal to Menard because he had trouble managing his emotions, he said, however.

    “A lot of people think that when you see a shrink, it is because you have problems. From my side, I have no problem to manage my stress or the pressure. However, it is good to talk about to find ways to be better. I call it a mental coach, someone who helps me to become better and to control my brain as best as I can. “

    From his side, Laurie Blouin has not hidden any more at the press conference of the opening of the Jamboree. The pressure she feels to leap in front of his people, to Quebec, has made the contribution of his sports psychologist even more important.

    “To do this sport, it is necessary to be determined. It is not necessary to be afraid. When I’m at the top, this is not fear, it is adrenaline. I’m eager to start when I’m at the top, it is hard to explain. It is necessary that you have the guts to do it, ” says the skateboarder of 21 years.


    The fear comes from elsewhere, not simply with the height of the ramp. Their sport by being one extreme, the risk of injury is higher than in other disciplines. On this plane, let’s say that the skier Kim Lamarre has given in his career.

    “A package !” cries from the outset, the skier, when asked what injuries she has suffered.

    In addition to broken ribs, sore back or wrist injuries, the three most important surgical interventions. All to repair ligaments damaged in the knee.

    Each time, to return to health, his mental strength has been put to the test. Never, however, she has not thought to stop.

    “When it’s been six or nine months that you’re away tracks, that eats away from the inside and you’re looking forward to heading back on your skis,” says the one who believes that it is the passion for his sport spurs him to continue.