TJ Rogers poses for a portrait during the filming of the first episode of Steady Pushing.
© Dan Mathieu/Red Bull Content Pool

Long-term planning changed life for TJ Rogers – then skateboarding saved it

Skateboarder TJ Rogers outlines on Mind Set Win the mental tactics that enabled him to realise his long-term goals while overcoming obstacles both on and off the board.
Written by Thomas Peeters
4 min readPublished on
Canadian skateboarder TJ Rogers is a man with a plan. He’s also an athlete with an incredible story to tell, which he reveals in this powerful interview to Cédric Dumont and York-Peter Klöppel on the Mind Set Win podcast.
Taking inspiration from Rogers, in this episode the hosts uncover the value in setting long-term goals, alongside offering guidance and techniques on how to prepare in advance for setbacks that'll likely arise along the way.
Listen to the podcast above and read on for a recap of how to action the exercise at home...
For Rogers, making plans for his future and never giving up on them, despite the many curveballs life’s thrown at him, has been crucial to his inspiring journey from the foster care system in Canada all the way to skate icon in LA.
It’s a technique the 32-year-old has utilised for as far back as he can remember. Even while growing up back in Toronto the young TJ would scribble down on a piece of paper the tricks he wanted to land and the steps to make sure he achieved them.
You always want to have a five-year plan
“You always want to have a five-year plan,” Rogers explains. “I never want to be comfortable with my life, because if I am, that's not how I'm truly able to capitalise and live my best life.
“As a young kid I'd go to the skate park from 7am to 7pm trying to master my craft. I’d have a piece of paper with all the tricks I wanted to do written down, who I wanted to be sponsored by, and what my goals were.
“Sometimes it’s good to visualise on a bit of paper, what do you want to achieve in the next six months to a year? What can you do to get there?"
TJ Rogers perfoms a full cab heelflip at Red Bull Drop In Tour in Melbourne, Australia on 20 October, 2023.

TJ Rogers likes to always have a five-year plan in his head

© Anthony Acosta/Red Bull Content Pool

I'm just very glad that I never gave up and I continued to stay on that path and just kept pushing forwards

Episode takeaway

An important step in achieving our long-term goals, Klöppel says, is to understand that it won’t always be a straight line, and obstacles will likely come our way.
So when setting upcoming goals, like new year’s resolutions for example, don’t think of the perfect scenario, but instead start planning in advance for setbacks. If you plan for them now, you’ll be able to react positively when they happen.
So ask yourself questions like:
  • How will getting ill or injured and having to take time out effect your plan?
  • What will you do if you get called away for a work trip?
  • If you commute to work via car or bike, what will you do if it breaks?
TJ Rogers performs a kickflip backside tailslide at Red Bull Drop In Tour at Gold Coast, Australia on October 24, 2023.

TJ has had to overcome many challenges to achieve his goals and dreams

© Andrew Peters/Red Bull Content Pool

Rogers did keep pushing forwards and in 2013 he found himself in LA with the mindset of landing the tricks that would change his life and make his dreams come true.
Legends are made on the stairs at the famed Hollywood 16 skate spot and nothing was going to stand in the way of Rogers making a name for himself. It didn’t come easy though, as right after jumping off a flight, his first attempt at a world-first trick left him with a broken board and three staples in his head.
A new approach was needed, so Rogers deployed the note taking technique once more. “I wrote down, ‘what did I do wrong? How can it be done? How can I apply it the next time I go back to it?'”
He successfully executed the plan a few days later and landed a move that won the respect of the community and still has people coming up to talk to him about it to this day.
Fast forward a few years and the latest unforeseen setback that could have derailed his long-term plans came in January 2022. A freak injury while playing with his dog led to a cancer diagnosis that tested his mind and body to the limit.
In between five brutal rounds of chemotherapy Rogers kept skating as a way to stimulate his mind and feel like he was still challenging himself and looking forward.
Canadian skater TJ Rogers pictured whilst filming his latest Red Bull TV film Steady Pushing.

TJ Rogers takes a break from his coast-to-coast Steady Pushing filming

© Dan Mathieu

Honestly, skateboarding has saved my life in so many aspects
“Chemo was one of the most challenging things I’ve had to overcome. Honestly, skateboarding saved my life in so many aspects,” Rogers believes.
Now in recovery and pushing as hard as ever, what’s next on the plan in the life of TJ Rogers? Stay tuned to find out.
"I'm still here doing what I love doing and that's all that matters. I have goals and I have dreams and I really push to elevate myself to make sure there’s no excuses and that I can do anything that I want."
Find out more – including simple exercises to do at home – in Mind Set Win.

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TJ Rogers

Canadian ripper TJ Rogers chose to fly south and has gone on to become a fixture on the Californian skate scene and beyond.

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