Tag Archives: ski coaching

Have a goal

Goal setting in skiing

Goal setting is not simply setting “targets”.  Done skilfully it will help you get where you want to go. Very few people outside of professional sports folk understand “goal-setting”.

Decide where you're going

Standing at the Crossroads every highway looks the same.

We are programmed from childhood to think of goals as “targets”. Quantified amounts of something that we have to achieve, but which are usually set by someone else. Later in life it’s the school exams, or the University, and then the Boss at work. “Here’s your target, make sure you hit it”.

Most of my skiing pupils come to me initially with this general idea, although of course it’s tacit rather then precisely expressed. Almost none know about goal setting and what it can bring them when done well. But all is not lost, read on below the fold …. 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

Skiing-with-Confidence: How to build yours.

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 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.

More, below the fold – read on  Continue reading

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

Ski instruction - hands forward, knees bent.

Ski technique: Your hands are more important than you think.

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

Ski learning and philosophy

Ski Learning and philosopy

Lucius Annaeus Seneca, philosopher and statesman. Born at Cordoba c. 4 BC.

Ski learning may not at first seem closely related to Roman philosophy.  The same is not true in reverse because philosophy is a part of everything in life.  Seneca had some very powerful and useful things to say about ski learning.  Take them to heart and you will be happier. Continue reading

Ski instruction needs better descriptors

Ski instruction - get them on their edges

Is this the ultimate ski design?
No!

Ski instruction is mostly delivered by ski schools and ski instructors.  Too many still use inappropriate words to convey the ideas that are most likely to help you to improve your skill.

The instructor knows what he/she means, but it’s no good if it puts the wrong idea into the pupil’s head.  Take the picture above, for example Continue reading

Improve your ski learning, keep to the essentials

Take them, or they won't work.

To improve your ski learning keep taking the tablets: they don’t work if you don’t take them.

To improve your ski learning– or indeed to improve skill with any technique or group of techniques, somewhat resembles looking after your health.

Your doctor diagnoses some ailment or other.  Next she prescribes a treatment that you need to keep applying.  She gives you the medication, and off you go.

You are keen to make things better, so you apply the medication regime, and sure enough things begin to improve.  They continue to improve right up to the point where you are no longer aware of the symptoms that drove you to her in the first place.  So it is with your skiing skill. Continue reading

Skilful skiing requires experiment

Every experiment is a good experiment. Except one. That is the one the outcome of which you do not ascertain. That experiment is useless.

An experiment cannot go “wrong”. You do an experiment and something will happen or become manifest. It doesn’t matter what happens. It could be in this direction, or that direction. It could be positive or negative. Black or white. Hotter or colder. Faster or slower. Every result is a worthwhile result.

Every experiment is a GOOD experiment.  Except one!

Every experiment is a GOOD experiment. Except one!

It’s exactly the same with us and our skiing. Learning controlled skiing requires experimentation. What it illustrates is “The Kneed to Knowtice”. New words, invented by me – I figure if Dr. Johnson could do it, so can I ! Good, effective experimenting is a skill, and can lead to skilful skiing. Continue reading