Category Archives: Free Skiing White Papers

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.

I’d welcome any feedback from you if you’ve signed up to the blog, so you can join in.

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

Ski Boots – dispelling some myths

Ski Boots – dispelling some myths.

Image result for ski boots

Ski boots can be the key to success, or the bane of your life. Every pupil I have ever had, was initially “over-booted”. In every case, the first change that made a really lasting difference to their skiing was changing either how their ski boots were fastened, or even changing their ski boots.

Like every other aspect of skiing, ski boots are part of the industry. Selling ski boots is a money earner. Nothing wrong with that, except that there will always be a strong temptation for the sellers to want to “up-sell” their customers to a more expensive ski boot.

But be wary, be very wary, because ski boots are surrounded in myths, and they are likely to entrap you. For the vast majority of skiers the belief is that ski boots needs-must be very tight and quite possibly painful. This is wrong. Continue reading

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.

Goal-Setting-350x474

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

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

Skiing performance review

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.

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

Ski bindings, your first defence.

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.

Continue reading