Ski lessons for nervous skiers are about to get a boost!
Picture from cover of “Ski In Control” by Bob Trueman
Clearly this skier isn’t a nervous skier, but she was once. You can see how skiing is a dynamic activity, and one in which one is never quite “in balance”. In the same way we’re not “in-balance” when we ride a bike, skip across some stepping stones, or negotiate a steep path.
If you are a skier looking for ski lessons for nervous skiers, this isn’t where we start. Rebecca above is doing things now by instinct – she hasn’t time to think about it. And that is because she started off concentrating on one tiny movement at a time, and slowly building her own skiing edifice.
I have a new book nearing completion that will help take a nervous skier – or any other skier – “From Greens To Blacks”
Skiing is dynamic.
Things get more complex as slopes steepen, and snow gets more varied. Life is made more difficult still by anxiety. It inhibits being more agile and responsive to all the changing forces that go with constant movement. And this is exactly when the most ancient part of your brain – your amygdala – is screaming at you not to move at all!
We spend almost all our year standing upright, vertically above our feet. We support our weight on our heels, on a dry high friction, level horizontal surface. What comes over us? – We then conclude that it would be a great idea to strap ourselves onto a pair of “extended feet” about six feet long. Then we head off onto a slope designed to be very slippy, and point ourselves down a friction-less slope.
Small wonder then that many feel a bit scared. Being scared inhibits learning. And yet skiing can manifestly be done, and done in safety and it’s fun. This is a further clue that friction has nothing to do with it – there must be a hidden secret. There is!
Dynamic but small and subtle
Skiing is dynamic, in fact it works best when it is more dynamic and less static. But here is a thing – you may have seen TV footage of car rally driving or some other seemingly wild event. The outside shots of the cars look terrifying – cars leaping off the ground, snow and gravel spraying in all directions. Cars never going in the direction they’re pointing. Loads of noise and mayhem. Ski racing looks similar.
But now look at the in-car shots of the drivers. Complete calm. Fixed unblinking stares. Almost no bodily movement. Very small turns of the steering wheel and tiny gear shifting movements. And therein lies a clue to skilfull skiing.
Like the rally drivers, you need to make VERY small precise movements of your arms / legs / feet etc. You establish some forward flow and then within that flow make those movements. Movements in motion. Like the rally cars, these movements recruit powerful forces from mother earth that steer your progress and give you access to the control you want.
My new book will shortly be telling you exactly what small movements to make and how to make them. You will be surprised by their power.
My coaching method takes account of this need for small movements. It takes account of ways in which we can learn how to become aware of both the movements and their outcomes. In other words it gives you access to the needed feed-backs. It puts you in the driving seat, and it does it in ways which would otherwise often seem childlike.
I make the movements very easy to memorise and associate with. They are commented upon by pupils from years back, as still being what they use to guide their skiing especially if they encounter difficulties.
Regrettably my experience has been that most ski instructors find them too childlike for their egos to accept: most of them are quite young after all. But I make them childlike and very simple on purpose. When we are faced with skiing down a slope there is more than enough going on already, without using opaque technical terms or trying to copy someone else.
What we need is a toolkit of simple physical metaphors that are not scary, are very easy to comprehend and are highly memorable.
Then we must take into account that learning anything is best done in small linked steps made in the least challenging circumstances we can find. We do best doing one small thing at a time, adding them together to build a solid structure. That is the process that this book will take you through in such a way that you can even coach yourself.
SIMPLE IS BEST. My favourite phrase.