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!
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.
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 →
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”.
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 …
“Skis are like restaurant waiters – the ( ski ) tips are very important.”
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 →
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.
We all do it, even the experts. Better Skiing technique helps!
Skiing technique : mistake #1: Standing too upright.
Skiing is dynamical in nature. Constantly moving. It is not a series of individual, and separated events but a continual stream of them. More akin to a moving stream than a line of individually separated stones.
The oft-promoted, and oft-accepted idea of being “in balance” is completely wrong. There is never time to be “in” balance; we would have to come to a stop in order to be able to do that. As John Shedden pointed out to me once, if you stand a brick on its end, on a flat level surface, it will be in balance. We cannot ski like that.
Skiing technique requires instead, for our balanc-ing to be of a ‘fuzzy’ nature. So long as we are moving, we will not ever be “in” balance, we will instead be constantly moving towards that: constantly making (often unconscious) movements adjusting to changing circumstances. This is one of the reasons that skiing is difficult. There is much you can do to change this, even while you are at home. Continue reading →
Ski Training and how you can use your bedroom full-length mirror to enhance your skiing.
Do just three a week of my ten-minute sessions with your full length mirror and you’ll transform your skiing next season
Practice does not make perfect. Not automatically anyway: it might do but more than likely won’t. What practice does is to make permanent, no matter what you practice or how you practice it. So it can do more harm than good if you are not careful. As John Shedden observed, “Humans get good at what they do”. So be careful what you do.
Skiing-with-confidence makes all the difference between enjoying it, and not doing. But the kind of thing in the picture, just doesn’t work. There is no point in someone, or ourselves telling us to “Be Confident”. If it were that easy it would not even be a topic, never mind one as important as it is. You might just as well say “Be Taller!”
This kind of thing doesn’t work – just saying “Be Confident”. But there is much you CAN do to get there.
This “just be confident” admonition is a something-for-nothing policy. Like most attempted short cuts it saves time in getting you to somewhere that isn’t worth going in the first place.
To ski-with-confidence is a process, not an event. You generate it internally and it does not automatically happen. Like so much else, to be any good you have to work at it.
My ski coaching sometimes surprises when I pay so much heed to skiers’ hands regarding ski technique. Surely, skiing is about your feet? Well it is, but it’s about a lot more. Glen Plake one of the world’s greatest extreme skiers told one group that the instant he couldn’t see his hands – it was too late. But the instruction to “Carry your hands forward” is simply awful. It creates poor ski technique. Here’s why .. Continue reading →