How to ski steep slopes

How to ski steep slopes part 2.

This is part two of some considerations of how to move on to steeper slopes.

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

High level of awareness of the pathway being followed by his core.

HERE IS THE KEY POINT: “All expertise is built upon fundamentals”. If you do not already have complete control of these on gentler slopes – never failing to execute them flawlessly – then you are strongly advised to keep away from steeps.

And as I mentioned in part one, you are unwise to head-off into steep terrain, whether pisted or off-piste, in the hope that doing so will teach you how to successfully ski it. It won’t, it is an entirely false notion. Practice does not and never has made perfect: it makes permanent. Continue reading

How to ski on steep slopes

How to ski on steep slopes

Image shows skier at speed about to change direction

Look at the tilted platforms the skis are creating.

You don’t need anyone to tell you that skiing gets more difficult as the angle of the slope increases. That’s obvious. You already know that ‘reds’ are harder than ‘greens’. The question is why?

There are many reasons, not the least of which is psychological. If, deep down you do not have confidence that you execute your skiing technique with sufficient skill, you will get scared on steep slopes. That will set up a technique downward spiral (no pun intended). As I say in my book “Ski In Control” you cannot generate self-confidence in great big leaps. You can only do it in small carefully designed steps. Continue reading

How to control your speed on the slopes – Ski Masterclass

Ski Masterclass – How to control your speed on the slopes

How to control your speed on the slopes

All going downhill – fast!

The question usually resolves into – How to control your speed on steep ski slopes

You have two speeds when you’re on the slopes.

First you have the speed at which your skis are travelling along their length – the number of metres per second, or miles per hour. But there is another possible meaning to “speed on the slopes”. That is the rate at which you are descending the mountain – or the piste, if you are on one. Continue reading

Skiing: from Greens to Reds and Beyond…

Skiing: from Greens to Reds and Beyond..

Shows Bobski skiing book cover

Bob’s latest skiing book, available now on Kindle, and very shortly in paperback

My first book, Ski In Control, goes into more considerations of psychological aspects of skiing.  It covers most technique-oriented issues as well. Covering how to learn (anything).  In addition it explains in detail how and why understanding skiing makes such a huge difference to your skiing progress.

Skiing: from Greens to Reds and Beyond… is shorter, and more to do with what to DO and how to do it. In other words, what movements to make with your body, arms, legs etc.  Currently in Kindle format and very shortly in paperback here

It accompanies a new YouTube channel Continue reading

How to handle skiing anxiety

How to handle skiing anxiety is simple, but requires discipline

Of liberty-bodices and learning

Ski intruction about anxiety handling skiing anxiety

Don’t bite-off more than you can chew!

A woman emailed me over the weekend, about skiing off-piste and such. It set me to thinking, as I chain-sawed my way through a recently fallen oak, preparing fuel wood for the year after next, and prior to sewing myself into my liberty-bodice for the winter.

The import of her missive – she will not be named for she may even yet not choose to risk a week with your writer – was that she has not been getting from her skiing that to which she feels entitled. She may well be right.

And what is it, you may ask, to which she is entitled? Enjoyment and a feeling of self-fulfilment, that’s what. And what is denying her that? A lack of progress at the kind of skiing she aspires to.

My enquirer reports that she is not making progress, and here’s the rub; this is despite the fact that she has been skiing with much better skiers than herself.  Some of them are instructors or aspirant instructors, and keep taking her off-piste, to places in which she feels uncomfortable.  The idea is that she will have plenty of opportunity to get good at it.

Those who know me, will be un-surprised that I sit here casting my hands into the air and being grumpy.
Continue reading

Control your skiing anxiety

Control your skiing anxiety – learn from a champion.

“All you can do, Kate, is to be your best and let the results take care of themselves. Be your best, not necessarily the world’s best. It’s just another race, another start hut – and me”:   Kate Pace. World downhill ski champion.

Skiing anxiety control

We all feel some – we don’t all control it

Anxiety inhibits skiing development for almost every skier in the world, not matter what their standard.

Continue reading

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 courses for nervous skiers

Ski courses for nervous skiers are probably the most needed because so many skiers are nervous about it.  Understandably.

Nervous skiers need to apply

Speed skier at Vars

The current speed skiing world record is around 160 mph !   BUT ….. I once asked an experienced recreational skier, one who had been skiing for years, why they still felt nervous about their skiing holiday.

Their – from my viewpoint extremely useful – answer was  – – ” I think its because I don’t feel in control, I’m scared of going too fast and not being able to stop without falling. I think I’ve probably always felt that. If, regardless of how steep the slope or how fast I was going I was sure that I could stop I’d be OK” Continue reading

Skiing for older people. How to change your beliefs

Skiing for older people assumes you don’t want to improve.  They offer you ‘guided tours’ rather than coaching.  I think that’s wrong.  I think older folk want to get better just like younger ones.  There’s more here

Skiing for older people

Still getting better !

Most skiers “plateau” – they stop getting better at it.  I don’t think this is because they want to plateau.  My experience as a coach is that at least a percentage of skiers would love to ski better, no matter what their age is.  But there are so few routes to its achievement.

Continue reading