Posted by Roddy Willis on 08 November 2011
Let’s face it, skiing can be scary! But there’s a time and place for nervousness. It’s useful, necessary even, to be aware of the dangers surrounding you out there in the mountains. They are real and are to be treated with a certain amount of caution and certainly a great deal of respect.
This RATIONAL FEAR serves to keep you safe.
But what many skiers suffer with is the IRRATIONAL FEAR that inhibits their every turn, even on runs that are technically well within their skiing ability.
Irrational fear is exactly what it says on the tin! IRRATIONAL!
To ‘cure’ this fear and nervousness, many skiers look for the answer in all the wrong places, thinking that by maybe taking more lessons or changing their equipment their anxiety will disappear.
But consider this for a moment – if great skiing is 20% skill and 80% attitude there’s surely got to be a more effective way?
There is indeed one simple fact that, when you fully understand it, has the power to transform your skiing. It is this…
Your Thoughts Create Your Reality!
What’s going on inside your mind is presented to the outside world through the way you use your body. If you don’t believe this, think back to your last ride up a chair lift, you could easily spot those scared skiers below you then couldn’t you?
Let’s take a closer look at this…
These are what I call ‘Three Cogs of Transformation’ so called because they are all interrelated. You cannot shift one without impacting the other two. They are your
We focus on what’s OUT THERE and also on what’s going on INTERNALLY and we get what we focus on! It’s true, the conscious mind cannot possibly take in and act upon the millions of gigabytes of input we receive every second so it has learned to delete; distort and generalise the information into something more manageable. Have you ever stood at the top of a mogul field and seen nothing but huge bumps? Are you currently saying ‘Well what else is there to see?’ If so you definitely need to shift your focus.
What happens if I suggest you take a look at the photo below and see the path through the moguls instead?
And what about your INTERNAL focus? Simply by shifting your focus from what you’re doing wrong to what you’re doing right will make a huge difference.
The language you use affects the way your feel, especially your inner dialogue. Do you regularly berate yourself out there on the hill? How’s that working out for you? Learning to be aware of your inner critic is a huge step to transformation. Also, beware using words like ALWAYS or NEVER or CAN’T – you are constantly and consistently programming your subconscious, which by the way, always wants to be proved right!
PHYSIOLOGY (aka how you use your body)
Question: Can you tell simply by looking at someone whether they are feeling confident or not? Of course you can – but how? From their physiology of course, from the way they hold their body to the depth and speed of their breathing to other subtleties our brains perceive without us being consciously aware.
Question: Can you change the way you feel simply by changing your physiology? Of course you can! Don’t believe me? Try this: Stand up, face up to the ceiling and put the biggest grin on your face. How do you feel? Yes, maybe a little stupid but I think ‘happy’ might cover it. OK, so WITHOUT MOVING A MUSCLE, feel depressed. It simply can’t happen. To feel depressed you have to do depressed, head down, breathing shallow, body slumped.
Now then, have you ever noticed what happens to your body when you’re having a bad day on the slopes? Maybe your head goes down, you drop your arms, your movements aren’t efficient or effective because you seem to have somehow lost the power and energy you need to ski well. What do you think would happen if you raised your head, stood strong and breathed deeply?
So can understand now how your skiing is affected by these three cogs? And that if you consciously change one the others will also change.
So next time you’re out on the slopes and your fear level rises, simply change just one of these cogs and notice what you notice.
Kay Gill is a highly skilled and qualified Life Coach, Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) Practitioner, creator of Red Shoes Coaching and rehabilitated fearful (actually scared s**tless) skier.
Kay’s two great passions in life are people and skiing.
Having learnt to ski against all odds at the age of 35, Kay eventually overcame her crippling fear and fell in love with the sport and the mountain environment leaving her with a burning passion to help others do the same.
"A brilliantly simple and effective book with tips that are applicable for anyone. As a ski instructor time and time again it is this 'irrational fear' you see in many people that blocks them from progressing in their skiing or even just simply enjoying their time on the slopes. Highly recommend it! " Philip Price - BASI Qualified Ski Instructor