Monthly Archives: June 2019

Best ski course for older skiers

Best ski course for older skiers – how would they differ from other skiing courses?

Everything is possible for older skiers

This marvelous picture comes courtesy of Senior Skiing

I have been coaching over 50s skiers for over 25 years.  I have had a great deal of success with it and VERY few failures – maybe three in all that time.  Older, indeed old, skiers can achieve far more than many of them realise.

I’m not talking about suddenly becoming a top-rate back-country skier, but I’m certainly talking about becoming a flowing, low-effort, confident and skilful one.  That is perfectly do-able even for skiers who were given a bad start, and have spent years less good than they want to be.

It’s not true that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.  Furthermore it’s not true that you need to be a “one-trick pony” either – you can develop all kinds of different ways to ski.

Best ski course for older skiers ? What should it be like?

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Ski courses for skiers moving on to red runs

Ski courses for skiers moving on to red runs.  Here’s a surprise!

Shows the angle of a red ski run

Not as steep as you thought ?

This picture shows the approximate angle of inclination of red runs everywhere.   Ski resorts all of the world adhere to these protocols.  They have agreed angles – with small variations – for blue ski runs, reds, blacks, and of course green beginner slopes.

In my experience skiers find it surprising that, for example, a red run is no steeper than shown.  They always seem steeper when you are skiing on them, and even steeper than that when you are standing at the top.

What can we learn from this picture?

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Confidence building skiing courses

Confidence building skiing courses are pretty much what I do.

One legged skier demonstrating confidence

David Swedlow demonstrating confidence

Many of the ideas from which my approach developed came from The Mental Game Plan co-authored by  Chris Shambrook Ph.D.

One of the key limitations to making progress is impatience.  It is too easy to fall into the trap of not taking the longer view.  You can help yourself enormously if you take a step back and look at your progress from a wider perspective.

I wrote a self-coaching “white paper” in 2006 on the topic of skiing courses, and how to approach them to help build confidence- I think you will enjoy it; find it here

Many pupils say things like “I ought to be able to do this by now” or “I ought to be better”.  That is nonsense, there is no reason at all why any of us should be any better at anything than we currently are.  Our life history has led us to this point.

There is no such thing as failure – you just keep going.  And all that matters is first of all to enjoy the process – that’s much more important than the outcomes.  And then to do what you can to change what you’ve got.

The effect of impatience

My strong belief is that any confidence building skiing courses worth their salt should emphasise the process, and not the outcomes.  If you focus on outcomes you may well miss the enjoyment of the learning process.

Years ago I used to teach children skiing for a company that took parties of school kids to the Alps for a week.  At the end of the week the children got a badge.  Unfortunately they all knew this, so their prime concern on day 1 was “What badge will I get?  Will it be 1 star, 2 stars, ..4 stars?”

This ruined the week for a lot of them.  They scarcely noticed each day’s skiing, fixated as they were on badges and being compared to others.  So all week was spoiled, then at the end they either got the badge they hoped for – in which case spoiling the week was pointless;  or they didn’t – which doubled up on the grief!

Never mind the final outcome – enjoy the process, you’ll get more out of it.

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