So I was listening to NPR, it was probably Terry Gross, and she was interviewing a former basketball player who said something about losing basketball games that I realized perfectly summed up what I’ve always thought about bailing tricks on a skateboard. He said he never learned anything from winning, only losing. He went on to say that losing taught him the same type of things he learned when he faced some serious life issues, like when people close to him died, and he had to work through it in the same way, and in doing so he became a better person. I’m claiming it’s the same exact thing when it comes to landing tricks and how they relate to our skateboarding. Bails are actually good for us. Sorry.
“So wait, lemme get this straight, this is actually better than landing it?”
Of course, yeah, we want to make all of our tricks, bolts, time after time. Because we want to get paid, land the cover, rack up followers, feel the rush of success, be awesome.. But the problem is that all these makes, in a weird way, don’t do anything for our skating. I know, it’s counterintuitive and doesn’t make any sense. But maybe it does?
One good head smash closer to the make. Next try!
You know how when you’re trying a trick while the filmer is still getting out his camera, and it makes more sense in your twisted mind to almost make it than it does to actually make it? You don’t want to “waste” your make. But you’re right in thinking that way, because there might only be one make, and every time we bail leading up to it, we’ve learned a little something and we’re one step closer to knowing what it’s going to take to set ourselves up for that glorious moment when we’re riding away into the sunset, getting chased down by the squad for hugs, high fives, or in the case of Jaws, poppin’ bottles.
When it comes to learning from our bails, this one is pretty much the equivalent of an Law Degree from an Ivy League school.
This is a weird one I know, but as soon as you make whatever it is you’re trying, the learning pretty much ends. You immediately start to forget what it is you learned, what you figured out the last time you bailed. You’re just doing it now, not learning.
Learning from other people’s bails? Even better!
Looking at the same phenomenon from a different angle, we’ve all had those days when you get out of the car and get some wild hair to try a trick you never do and BLAMMO! You make it first try. And then what happens? You don’t make it again for the rest of the day. How come? Because landing it that one time didn’t teach you a thing. You need to get down in the mud, bail, bail again, bail some more, go for one and slam, get hurt, then overcome your fear, bail more, give up, change your mind, decide you’re willing to give it one more go, and then another, and another, and maybe even give up again, and head home in despair before coming back tomorrow where the same thing starts back up but doesn’t last as long and before you know it you’re riding away, and this time you actually know how to do it. You learned it. Because bailing rules, to a point. Sad but true.