The Importance of Theory – Defining a Why
If you don’t know why, it’s harder to progress
Every week’s content will be accompanied by theory. As you progress through the course, you’ll want to understand and determine a “why” to every drill you practice.
Understanding the importance of a drill or element of theory will enhance how you learn it and improve your ability to derive feedback from your movement. If you simply copy a drill without understanding what you need to feel or how it impacts your board, surfing, and movement, it will limit what you get out of the drill.
Example – Neutral Stance
Finding your Neutral Stance; is the backbone of your entire surfing. It is the basis from which ALL movements, balance and style stem. When students want to improve, we first look at their stance and how do they move in it, before evening look at how they turn.
The Neutral Stance is a stance that will allow you freedom of movement in all directions: you can compress, lean, and twist freely. It is also what gives you balance in every direction. Whereas a side-on stance only has balance front on and has no balance side to side.
If you are in a side-on stance, how do you see the wave on your backside, can you twist easily, how do you compress and lean?
Questions to ask
As you practice the Neutral Stance, ask yourself, how am I moving in this? How does it feel? Can I move easily or is there a limitation? Is this limitation in my body, am I tense, or am I using poor technique? How does this connect with my board? If I move like this, how will that impact my board?
Asking yourself these questions will cause you to slow down and really engage with the learning and understanding. If you understand how you move into a compress and lean, along with how this affects your board, you will progress this movement and your surfing much faster.
These questions take time and may not have answers straight away for you. That’s where the theory comes in. It will take time for the understanding to line up and that’s fine. You are not expected to be able to answer all these questions on day one.
Revise the theory, redo the drills and always ask more questions of yourself and others, when training or surfing!