Ski Training and how you can use your bedroom full-length mirror to enhance your skiing.
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.
Nowadays draughtsmen probably use a machine costing thousands, but once upon a time they drew things by hand. Early in their training they used to practice drawing straight lines. Not many things are simpler than drawing a non-wavering straight line; not many things are more difficult. It is a skill and skill takes a lot of acquiring. Without that skill accurate drawings were impossible.
Joiners use machines for most things nowadays, but once upon a time they made fine joints using hand tools. The best ones made joints you could scarcely detect. Few things are simpler than sawing through a piece of wood; doing it perfectly and at right angles is very difficult. It is a skill and skill takes a lot of acquiring. Without that skill you cannot make a decent cabinet.
Most folk can do a drawing that conveys some sort of idea, but only roughly and inaccurately. Most folk can make a box but it’s not pretty. Most folk who go on ski holidays can sort of ski, but it isn’t any prettier. A lot of them who do are quite happy with it. But some are not; some would love to be expert and not being makes them less happy.
Probably every skier wants to ski well, to exhibit mastery of it, but not many are prepared to put in the effort so it is just a dream, not a goal. And that is perfectly o.k., your skiing should be whatever you want it to be. Ski Training does not have to be only be done on the piste.
Ski Training without Ski Schools
The regretful aspect is that the ski school process which is the one most accessible to recreational skiers has proved to be a singularly poor model for achieving it. It does not educate its participants in understanding skiing, and it does not provide effective training practice. What good does this do …
The model suggests that you can become a good draughtsman by trying to do complete drawings, or a master joiner by making complete cabinets. Worse, it suggests that you can become skilful at doing these by watching the master craftsmen doing it. What you end up with is the equivalent of piles of firewood and the scrap paper to light it with.
For those who really want to, who are prepared to apply themselves, the good news is that like draughtsmanship and high quality joinery, skillfull mastery of skiing is possible. The key procedures are simple; they are not easy. You don’t have to be young and super fit.
What you do need is the effective ski training model, and the right help in the practice procedures to help guide your efforts through what is in effect your apprenticeship. Good ski sraining can be done, and you don’t have to be on a slope. It is perfectly possible, and you don’t have to start at age 16 or be an athlete, unless you want to be a top competitor of course. If you want to be a stylish ,controlled, effective skier, you can be.
Three key skiing errors we ALL make.
No matter how good we are at skiing we ALL have the same tendencies, all of which inhibit skillful skiing. All of which our brains tell us will make things safer: none of which do. In fact they make matters much, much worse.
- We tend to stand upright like we do on the other 50 weeks of the year. Good skiers don’t. This link gives a hint or two http://bobski.com/blog/ski-technique-hands-are-important/
- We tend to stand stiffly.
- We tend to rather sit or lean back, especially if we think the slope is a bit steep.
The good news is that a surprisingly large amount of the effective ski training practices to counter these can be done at home, away from the mountains and the pistes, in the warm, wearing nothing but your socks and pants, and using nothing other than a full length mirror, and just three of your own six senses.
In the mountains, on the snow, in blazing sunshine, with pleasant company and a bar nearby it is even better, but you don’t get to gaze admiringly at yourself in the mirror. I mentioned “dreaming” earlier – now you know what I mean; I need a lot of “dream” to gaze at me admiringly in my socks and pants!
If you would like to follow up on any of these ski training ideas, keep visiting my blog because I’m intending to add a series of posts with things you can do while away from the slopes and any danger and which I promise you can make a huge difference to your progress next season.