Tag Archives: Learning skiing

Skiing technique for safety and stability

Skiing technique is a matter of apparently small things that matter a great deal.  These two pictures show that very well.

Skiing technique giving stability

Look at the tilted platforms the skis are creating.

Now look at this picture.

Poor skiing technique being demonstrated

Instructor ably showing what NOT to do!

One of these is absolutely right, the other is absolutely wrong.  Guess which is which – no prizes! Continue reading

How to improve your skiing

How to improve your skiing can be enormously helped when you understand the three learning phases.  These apply to every kind of learning, no just skiing.

How to ski better with an open mind

We learn everything in three recognise-able phases

Sport psychology identifies three stages of learning anything. Learn them and you can put disappointment behind you.

The Cognitive phase – thinking about it, trying to understand it, making sense of it, even finding out how to know when you have grasped it.

The Associative phase (Practice phase) – in physical activities such as skiing, once you understand it, you need to start practising it, and that is the associative phase. You’ll know when you have entered this phase, because whatever it is you are trying to do, it will happen sometimes but not always.

Ski better by knowing these learning phases

That is the moment; that brilliant moment when you first know that this is something that truly is going to be within your compass because you just DID IT! What Franz Klammer used to call the “Aha!” moment. As soon as it happens once, you know you are capable of it. This is something you are going to be able to do. You have changed your belief! Few feelings are better. All you need now is to do the repeats, pay your dues, and not succumb to temporary setbacks. One glorious day, you will make it happen every time. Next will come a day when it happens without your thinking about it.

That’s the Autonomous phase and not only will you know “about” it, more importantly you will know it! Then you move on to the next task or development and the process re-iterates, again and again.

Apply this to your skiing and increase your enjoyment

Here’s how to improve your skiing by understanding this three-phase process and putting it to real practical use in helping you not only to ski better, but to stop beating yourself up every time some attempt at something does not go the way you expected or intended.

Next time you try something, and what you get is something different to what you were hoping for, you can put it in the context of Cognitive, Associative or Autonomic. (Thinking; Practicing; or Automatic). Which phase does it indicate you are currently in? This could equally apply to something as apparently mundane as repairing some device or other, or making out the perfect shopping list.

Don’t beat yourself up.

If you find yourself cursing yourself for being a “fool” or being “useless” – “Oh … will I ever get this”? – you can instead put it into a framework that will help you, instead of hindering you. You can say – “Hey, what do I expect; all this means is that I’m in the Associative or practice phase, I should expect that sometimes it will work and as yet oftentimes it won’t. That’s o.k. I’m making progress, and making progress is more fun than arriving.”

There’s more useful explanation that you can bring to bear on your own skiing Here

If you do this, you will be happier, and your learning will accelerate.

If you find you just cannot “get a handle on it”, or you can’t “see where this is coming from”, or it just doesn’t “ring any bells” for you, then all that is telling you, is that you are as yet in the cognitive phase; not yet reached the ‘practice’ stage. You are still thinking it through. Well, that’s fine. What is wrong with that? If that is the phase you are in, with respect to that bit of the activity, then that just is. It says nothing whatever about you, nothing about your potential, how you “ought” to be; what you “should” be doing; or any of that self-denigration. There is no value to be assigned to it. It just is.

Do your best simply to be aware of any outcome you get.  Then DO NOT assign it any value judgement – just compare it to where you are in development, and where you intend to be in the future.

You can find more on how to improve your skiing and associated ideas in past blogs, such as this one Ski learning and philosophy

Ski lessons for nervous skiers – see more!

Ski lessons for nervous skiers are about to get a boost!

Ski lessons for nervous skiers building up to high level performance

Ski in Control – it’s dynamic !

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” 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 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

Ski In Control – how to ski ANY piste anywhere in full control

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”.

Ski In Control

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 …

Continue reading

Skiing Technique – Three Big Mistakes

 

Skiing technique: mistake #2: Clumsy joint flexing.

Ski instruction - hands forward, knees bent.

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.

Continue reading

Skiing technique – three big mistakes.

Skiing technique 0

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 – do it in your bedroom

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.

Continue reading

Image shows ski racer looking a long way ahead and skiing by FEEL

SKIING LESSONS: Get more for less.

Not a time for gross movements!

Not a time for gross movements!

Skiing lessons are a good example of the need to get more out for less in.

Watch a skilful skier skiing fast – a downhiller in a race for example – and it all looks pretty wild. Arms flailing, legs pumping, skis jumping around like jumping beans.

But in reality it’s a game of subtleties, so you need fine control, and finesse.  And that is what your own skiing is about as well. Read below the fold for more detail. Continue reading