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?

Continue reading

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?

Continue reading

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 coaching to combat nerves

Ski coaching to combat nerves is another service in short supply.  How often have you been told to “ski in the fall line“?

Ski coaching to combat nerves

This is not what your ski instructor meant – but it’s what she SAID!

Highly knowledgeable ski coaches refer to the “fall line”.  They do this because they make fine distinctions between the ‘fall line’ and the ‘flow line’.  By the ‘flow line’ they refer to the pathway taken by your centre of mass, or by your skis – “central and peripheral flows”.

However, ski instructors don’t teach many knowledgeable ski coaches;  they teach recreational skiers.  “Fall lines” don’t sound good to recreational skiers, so we need to provide ski coaching to help combat nerves.  Read on for more explanation Continue reading

Ski lessons for intermediate skiers – what to look for

Ski lessons for intermediate skiers are in plentiful supply, but very few seem to achieve much.

Skier demonstrating skilfull skiing on piste

Clean, economical, skilfull skiing

Many skiers don’t care how they ski, they just want to ski about and have fun that way.  But a significant number do care, and would like to be much more skilful.  Why is ski teaching that achieves this so hard to find?

My personal view is that the vast majority of skiing teachers come up through systems – in all countries – that claim to teach the instructors how to teach, but don’t.  They go through the motions, but the ski schools demand they do “demonstrations” and convey outdated and no longer applicable ideas of what to do.

So after giving up on ski school skiers try to develop their own skiing, but don’t have a sound basis of understanding to help them do it.  Continue reading

Ski training weather

Ski training weather comes in lots of different kinds.

Great ski training weather!

This morning the sun is out, and the temperature is rising.  A few days ago it was pouring down – my hydro electric system is simply whizzing!  Yippee!

So last week was a better opportunity for ski training than today.  No snow, no frost, and so much rain there was no temptation to step outside.  Perfect Ski training weather!

Ski training needn’t be hard work.

To improve your skiing you don’t need frost, you don’t need snow ( or plastic ) and you don’t need a ski resort.  All you need is your bedroom mirror.

Using a mirror to improve you skiing posture.

Do just three a week of my ten-minute sessions with your full length mirror and you’ll transform your skiing next season

Continue reading

Bobski – Ski Coaching for Anxious Skiers

Ski coaching for anxious skiers has much to do with enhancing  Confidence!

ski coaching for anxious skiers

Ski in Control. It is your right !

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.  What is more is that if you don’t have as much self confidence as you would like to have, you have it within your power to have more. If you are prepared to work at it.

Top sportsmen and women use several powerful and simple techniques, 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 was a lack of a high level of self confidence. Continue reading

Ski lessons to help combat nerves

Ski lessons to help combat nerves are in short supply. Most ski instruction is a bit too “gung-ho” for many folk particularly for women skiers, but for male ones too.

ski lessons to help combat nerves
Man with umbrella problem.

As a trained observer I frequently see folk skiing in ways which make it clear their performance is being affected by (possibly unrecognised) anxiety – men or women. The main causes of this are two fold – first of all they do not have an expressly clear idea of what movements to make, and furthermore they do not have an instantly recogniseable feedback system that tells them what is actually happening. Confusion reigns.

The picture above is a perfect example of clarity in feedback. It gives you an instant picture of what is about to happen – you’re going to come to some roadworks. You need to do something, like slow down.

Why do skiers get nervous?

Above all skiers get nervous because they don’t know what is happening so they don’t know what might happen.

This is the fault of a ski instruction system that has never done enough to help you understand skiing. Skiing is not a natural human behaviour, you need to learn it. Without understanding it that is virtually impossible to learn anything, never mind something with the potential to scare you.

So, before you do something you need to prepare for it, and before you prepare for it you need to understand it. I explain this a little more fully on page 4 of my book “Ski In Control” (link).

Continue reading

How to find skiing lessons for nervous skiers

How to find skiing lessons for nervous skiers –  That was the question that arose a month or so ago when we were filming a new Bobski.com DVD on how I teach.  See the first clip on my new Facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/bobskicontrolledskiing

Skiing lessons for nervous skiers

Confidence! That’s what you need.

According to my pupils the answer was – nowhere it would seem. Some of the skiers I had with me were clearly pretty apprehensive about the process. So I asked some of them who had been effective in helping them in their search for how to overcome their fear of skiing.  Nobody had.  No ski schools had helped. Skiing with their partners and friends had not helped. Trying to “get the miles in” had made it worse rather than better.

This made me very sad – for a considerable number of years being out on the ski slopes had been a trial rather than a pleasure for them. I had myself been in that very situation for 8 long years until I was lucky enough to chance upon a first rate skiing coach.

This apprehension seems to apply to both men and women, though the men find it harder to admit it. Not all men and women but a surprisingly large percentage. Skiing is such a marvelous experience that it makes people continue to go every year, but the skiing itself loads a very large number of people with considerable anxiety. How sad. How curable!  Not only anxiety but disappointment – returning home year after year having made no progress.

Nervous skiers can change this around

Continue reading

Skiing courses and Self Confidence. Part 2

Skiing courses often do not address self confidence issues.  Self confidence is built by you as I explained a week or so ago in part 1.

Falling skier

We all do it, even the experts. Better Skiing technique helps!

I identified some of the stressors that work against you when you are building your self confidence.  Here are some, again –

  • expectations of disaster
  • negative mental images
  • a belief that you may not be up to the job.
  • thoughts of failure or inadequacy
  • thoroughly misplaced perceptions of the next bit of slope – an endless list really.

All of these have a predictive quality about them; they are forecasts.  Forecasts are seldom right.  Read on  Continue reading