Self confidence

Self confidence in skiing is the hardest part of skiing.  It’s much more difficult than all those issues of technique.  I’ll make this the first part of a multi-part post – which is my way of saying I’m not sure what it will stretch to!

In chapter 12 of my book Ski In Control:how to ski ANY piste anywhere in full control  I expand a little on this issue.  It is perfectly possible for you to keep all the stressor factors under your control.  You can build your self confidence.

Positive feedback loops.

First of all it’s to do with controlling positive feedback loops.  Here’s one describing cattle stampedes.  Once a critical number of cattle start running – no specific threat is required – it sets up a panic in some others.  That sets them running and the increased number raises the panic level, and it just keeps self-reinforcing.  It also applies to human ones – why everyone runs for the same exit door – no one stops to observe and think.

Self confidence while skiing

Each of these reinforces the other, over and over again

Above all, the good news is that regarding your own skiing you can work on this topic l-o-n-g before you head for the slopes.  In fact it works best when you are safe at home.

In my book I differentiate between ‘external’ and ‘internally generated’ stressors.   Continue reading

How sharp do you need your ski edges?

Ski instruction - get them on their edges

Is this the ultimate ski design?
No!

Skis’ edge sharpness is the only mention ski edges get on Bobski skiing courses!

Skiing courses with Bobski.com start right now, at home. And ski edges are only one of the happy things we can start thinking about now it’s September!

Like so much about skiing the subject is full of baloney.  There is a prevalent school of thought that you need them ultra sharp all the time.  You don’t.  Continue reading

Ski In Control – how to ski ANY piste anywhere in full control

Ski In Control is the name of my new book at last published through and available from Amazon, or directly from me.   Paperback £12.95 postage paid, or Kindle Edition £8.99

Tom Stiansen, World Slalom Champion says “This is a great book specially for recreational skiers.  It’s a good tool for them”.

Ski In Control

Front cover of Bob’s new booki

Ski In Control has helped the very large percentage of the hundreds of skiers I have coached to develop real confidence.  They had all given up on ski schools very early on in their skiing experience because it got them nowhere.

I wrote Ski In Control specifically for recreational skiers – folk who have largely got fed up with ski schools.  In it I explain why that happens.  I show you why once you can “sort of” do it ski schools generally inhibit your progress.  Folk then tend to blame themselves for not getting better, when in fact they are not the reason.  In truth virtually everybody has the capacity to become an expert skier.  That applies irrespective of your age, your gender, or your experience.

Don’t give up.  There’s no need to.  You genuinely have the potential.

Two folk recently wrote to me to say “If it hadn’t been for you Bob I would have given up”.  There’s no need to give up or despair, read on …

Continue reading

Skiing is like flying

Skiing is like flying

F22 Stealth Fighter

Skiing is like flying – bear with me, this really is about your skiing.  The F22 can only fly because laminar flow technology was developed sufficiently that it provided enough air resistance for the aircraft to push against.

Round about 350 BC, Aristotle thought that a flying object such as an arrow, was sustained in its flight by the air pushing it along, through the action of rushing in behind it to fill a vacuum.  His idea assumed that air sustained its flight, rather than acting to retard it.

If he had been correct, skiing would not have been possible.  Like the F22, you need resistance too.  Understanding this could help your skiing enormously.  Read on below the fold  Continue reading

Sports psychology: Skiing and Rugby

Sports psychology works !

Sports psychology at work

Johnny Sexton proving imagery works !  Picture courtesy of planetrugby.com

Sports psychology plays a big part in top level sports nowadays.  As anyone will know who has been on my skiing courses, visited the bobski.com blog, or read my book here

It is not an arcane science that is only available to elite performers, we can all use it.

The picture above is of Irish Rugby star Johnny Sexton making the drop-kick during overtime minutes in the Ireland-vs-France match yesterday.  The significance for out skiing, you ask ?

The pressure on him was enormous;  the time available almost non-existent;  his responsibility to the rest of his team who had worked incredibly hard to set-up this half-opportunity equally burdensome.

Using imagery, from sports psychology, to improve your chances.

Interviewed afterwards, Sexton said seconds before he took the kick – a 42 yarder ! – he remembered and evisioned a previous game, years before, with almost the same characterisitics, when he took a similar kick that had succeeded !

He implied that his imagery had helped him succeed with this one.  I believe him.

Whatever level of skiing ability you currently possess, you can use imagery and mental control techniques to help you.  Like everything to do with skill, whether skiing or not, you need practice at mental techniques.  But they are just as available to you as they are to elite performers.

Learn about skiing mental techniques and you will improve your skiing more than you may think.

Imagery works.  I cover a lot of it in other blog posts, some of my “white papers” – if you want some just write to me at bobski@bobski.com and of course I explain much more fully the things that you can do, in my book: the link above should take you to it or just Google Ski In Control: How to ski ANY piste, anywhere, in full control.

 

Use your ski tips. Stop “Doing Turns” !

“Skis are like restaurant waiters – the  ( ski ) tips are very important.”

Ski Tips

Is this the most important part of your ski ?

Ski tips – another extract from my now-published book “Ski In Control: How to ski ANY piste, anywhere in full control”.  Find it here on Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ski-Control-piste-anywhere-control-ebook/dp/B078JPQCHY/

STOP doing “TURNS” ! But don’t stop changing direction.

The vast majority of skiers first learned such skiing as they now have, by going to ski schools.

Ski schools – or certainly the vast majority of them – have strange beliefs. They believe you can learn by watching, and they believe that when skiing you “do turns”. Most also seem to believe that to “do” a “turn”, you need to “Turn your skis”. This, usually shouted in quite a loud voice.

At very low speeds, on extremely gentle pistes, this “kind of” works, in so far as some kind of directional change might occur. In some ways this is a pity because the basic idea is not a good one.   Read on …. Continue reading

Ski in Control: New Book

Ski in Cntrol

Ski in Control. It is your right !

Ski in Control is the title of my about-to-be-published new book.  At last!

I am just waiting for a rejection letter from the final publisher.  Once I have that I can go ahead with publishing it myself on Kindle and other platforms !  Provided I can summon up the relevant expertise – it’s a bit of a slog.

This extract just introduces how it goes about its job of helping skiers Ski In Control on any piste, anywhere, any conditions.  Which is what most skiers want, and few skiers fully achieve. But which it is my belief all could.

I recently came across a quotation by Mahatma Ghandi –

Your beliefs become your thoughts
Your thoughts become your words
Your words become your actions
Your actions become your habits
Your habits become your destiny
Ghandi

It took me years to realise that you will never develop skillful controlled skiing – or anything else physical – by watching an expert do it.  Or looking at pictures of experts doing it.

 

Ghandi’s observation may seem at first a little high-falutin’ for a book on skiing, but all my ski coaching experience shows it is fundamental to changing your skiing.  Let’s work our way back up it from the bottom. Continue reading

Skiing Lessons in ski school: why don’t they work better?

Skiing Lessons are mostly given by resort ski schools. Not many people find them satisfactory after the first few. You need a different teaching model for developing expert skiing skill.

Skiing lessons in small groups

Skiing lessons coached

Most recreational skiers either continue with them because they provide a bit of company to ski with, or give them up and hope that “getting the miles in” will make them better skiers.  There is more to it than that …. Continue reading

Have a goal

Goal setting in skiing

Goal setting is not simply setting “targets”.  Done skilfully it will help you get where you want to go. Very few people outside of professional sports folk understand “goal-setting”.

Decide where you're going

Standing at the Crossroads every highway looks the same.

We are programmed from childhood to think of goals as “targets”. Quantified amounts of something that we have to achieve, but which are usually set by someone else. Later in life it’s the school exams, or the University, and then the Boss at work. “Here’s your target, make sure you hit it”.

Most of my skiing pupils come to me initially with this general idea, although of course it’s tacit rather then precisely expressed. Almost none know about goal setting and what it can bring them when done well. But all is not lost, read on below the fold …. Continue reading

Skiing Technique – Three Big Mistakes

 

Skiing technique: mistake #2: Clumsy joint flexing.

Ski instruction - hands forward, knees bent.

Perhaps correct for her exercise but terrible for skiing!

Skiing technique can be practiced at home in your bedroom.   I want to return here to my admonition in “Mistakes #1” on posture, find it here .  If you have not already read it, I recommend reading that first.  Do the simple practices and then come back to this.

This Skiing technique issue of being able to both flex and extend your ankle, knee and hip joints – especially your ankle – is not a peripheral matter.  This is absolutely fundamental to your development of skilful skiing.  You need to develop skill in this area for your skiing to really give you satisfaction.

Here I show you some simple and safe ways to get started on this.

Continue reading