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.
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!
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
For some the idea that a skiing performance review would have anything to do with recreational skiing might seem a bit odd, but I don’t believe that. Most of us would like to come home after our skiing a bit better skiers than we were when we set off.
Confidence! That’s what you need.
It’s terribly easy to succumb to negative thoughts about our skiing; it often only takes a small fall, or a getting a bit scared, or even just thinking the last 100 yards “should” have been better. We also know that our thoughts drive our subsequent behaviours into either virtuous or disastrous circular feed-back loops.
So any tool we could use to help us control our skiing minds would be a good thing. I know of one, that really works. Continue reading
Even ski poles have been made “sexy” and people pay vast sums for them.
But ski bindings seem to thrill no-one. This is a great shame, because ski bindings are the most important safety item in all of your skiing equipment. They are the magic piece of hardware that can save you from serious injury. Ski poles can just break your thumbs or poke you in the eye.
No one loves ski bindings, and very few understand them, know how important they are, or even have a clear idea of what settings they personally need, and how to check those settings.
This is a recipe for damaged ligaments at best. You would do well to read on if you have any doubt at all regarding your understanding of bindings.
It’s what makes the difference.
How would it be, for you, if you had more of it just when you needed it?
Your level of self confidence is not dictated by outside circumstances. You are not an “empty vessel” subject only to external influences. If you don’t have as much self confidence as you would like to have, you have it within your power to have more.
There are several powerful and simple techniques which top sportsmen and women use, as a matter of course, to help them maintain a high level of self confidence in the face of challenges, and set backs.
If, on occasion, your performance is less than you would have wished, (who’s isn’t?) then at least one of the possible contributory factors to that may have been a lack of a high level of self confidence. Is it really possible to help yourself to have more? Continue reading
Ski Boots and how to select them.
A brief post by Bob Valentine Trueman. Coach.
The selection of ski boots that are right for you can be a rather vexed problem. There is a menu of conflicting interests and misconceptions surrounding the topic that can easily lead to a purchase that either does your skiing no good, or does your feet no good; or both. If you are considering the purchase of a new pair then “buyer beware”.
Imagine you have decided to treat yourself to a new pair of ski boots. The catalogues are replete with pictures of all the latest designs, and all the latest colours. The advertising copy makes every pair sound like the one you must have. And all the time you are justifiably hoping to do the best you can for yourself. Continue reading