Goal-setting for Skiing happiness

Just like everything else in life skiing opens up endless opportunities for self-denigration, and disappointment with oneself. So we need to take positive action to counter that. And it is not that difficult when you know how.

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One of the best tools to use is effective goal-setting. Effective goal-setting is not as simple as you may think, but again, it is not especially difficult in principle. Getting it right will enhance your happiness, as well as furthering your progress. Continue reading

Ski schools, why don’t they work better?

SKI SCHOOLS. WHY DON’T THEY WORK BETTER?

Perhaps because they look like this.  OK for kids, just havin’ fun.  Not much more.

Kids-Ski-School-on-the-Wiedersbergerhorn-cAlpbachtal-Seenland-Tourismu...

“Change? Change? Who wants change, things are bad enough already !”  So said Lord Salisbury.

The biggest change that comes about, and by a country mile the one that matters most, when skiers first come on one my courses, is the change in belief about what may be possible. What may be possible for them! Continue reading

Ski Learning – how to change for the better

Getting to know the shape of a ski learning curve is a powerful way to learning how to ski better, and become the skier you always wanted to be.

The general shape of any learning curve looks like this:

Sigmoind learning curve

I was reminded recently of a ski learning danger that lurks amongst our strongest motivations.  Continue reading

Practice makes permanent

Practice

Who Larry Gelwix is or was I have no idea – but he was right.  Practice makes permanent – it habituates.  Here’s another one –

Aristotole

Aristotle said that, but as you’ll see below, John Shedden said it first!

I was reading an interesting article about a study that was done at the University of Texas on practicing habits.  Continue reading

Ski instruction, coaching, whatching & howtching

Ski Instruction, Ski Coaching, Whatching, Howtching …. and rock legends.

In my pursuit of Dr Johnson of dictionary fame, and through my attempts to emulate Bill Wyman of rock legend fame two new words came to me.

Whatching” and “Howtching.” Together they neatly illustrate the difference in approach between ski instruction and ski coaching – indeed between instruction and coaching whether ski related or not.

Mr  Wyman is shown below but there’s more important stuff below the fold.

bill_wyman Continue reading

Skilful skiing requires experiment

Every experiment is a good experiment. Except one. That is the one the outcome of which you do not ascertain. That experiment is useless.

An experiment cannot go “wrong”. You do an experiment and something will happen or become manifest. It doesn’t matter what happens. It could be in this direction, or that direction. It could be positive or negative. Black or white. Hotter or colder. Faster or slower. Every result is a worthwhile result.

Every experiment is a GOOD experiment.  Except one!

Every experiment is a GOOD experiment. Except one!

It’s exactly the same with us and our skiing. Learning controlled skiing requires experimentation. What it illustrates is “The Kneed to Knowtice”. New words, invented by me – I figure if Dr. Johnson could do it, so can I ! Good, effective experimenting is a skill, and can lead to skilful skiing. Continue reading

Skilful skiing – why watching an expert doesn’t work

 

Took me years to realise that you will never develop skilful controlled skiing  – or anything else physical – by watching an expert do it, or looking at pictures.  In fact the very worst thing you can do is watch an expert. It’s depressing, because you can’t see what they are really doing.  That’s why on our skiing courses we spend a lot of time on the understandings.

BEX_dispenser pic

Skilful skiing – not learnt by watching others.

If you could learn by watching I could play concert piano like Ashkenazy, and golf like Tiger Woods.  Whereas in fact, I can play concert piano like Tiger Woods, and golf like Validimir Ashkenazy !

Anybody can become a skilful controlled skier. Anybody. It is nonsense to suppose that only “born athletes” (there is no such thing ) can do it. The potential to become a first rate skier does not suddenly atrophy when you get to forty. Neither is it closed off to you if you are born female.  Anybody can do it and it is never too late.  What you need is a better style of teaching and learning than most people get access to. Usually something with a bit less “gung-ho”. Continue reading

Best Mental State for skiing

It is extremely difficult to do anything requiring skill if either you don’t believe that you are capable of it, or if your mental state at the time is not conducive.  This particularly applies to skiing. First you have to believe it’s possible for you.

gymnast

This is of particular interest to us skiers, because we are frequently challenged by the circumstances we have gone out looking for, in such a way that our mental equilibrium is disturbed by apprehension or even fear.

To be a controlled skier, or skiing in control in times of perceived extreme challenge, what we need first is control of our minds. We need the best mental state. Click here for pdf  Continue reading

Should you be skiing on one leg? Perhaps.

Skiing on one leg?

A further free extract from “Controlled Skiing”, my upcoming book taking a different slant on how to develop your ability to ski in control at all times on all pistes.

On one leg? Not literally perhaps, although it is perfectly possible, as you can see.

David Swedlow demonstrating.

David Swedlow demonstrating.

Elsewhere in the book we have considered what it is makes a ski perform the functions we want it to.  Mostly these functions are either changing direction, or skidding to resist accelerative onward motion.  In all cases this involves tilting the ski and bending the ski. Continue reading

Ski in Control using your mind

Ski in Control using your mind.
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This morning my long suffering wife made some smarty-pants comment about my memory being somewhat suspect.  Dammit she’s right.

The ensuing conversation (not a heated debate) raised an interesting issue related to skiing, and how to ski in control.  Why is it, we wondered, that memorising things has never been that easy even when we were young?  And yet once we know how to do something, there is no need to memorise it.  Once you know something, memory is not required.  This can lead to difficulties – if you have practiced “doing turns” sufficiently often for example you will have trapped yourself into a very limited kind of skiing from which escape and further development will be jolly difficult, because “doing turns” is not an appropriate concept. Continue reading