How to improve your mindset when skiing in steeper terrain is a good place to start
If you are reading this there is a fair chance that you are interested in improving your steep skiing. You may be struggling to get to the next level. You might be feeling nervous when the gradient of the slope gets steeper. You might be worried and have a lack of confidence and focus or you might just be stuck in how to improve.
I know how this feels. I have been there myself. It was me when I first started skiing and doing winter seasons. I was terrible at it. I couldn’t link turns and be in control on steeper terrain on the piste and off the piste.
So I developed new skills and tactical strategies. I improved my fitness and my head game. With the right coaching and practise I got better and today I love it especially when I get the chance to ski in steep couloirs. It one of my passions and one of the many sides of skiing that I enjoy and coach in. .
Relating the ‘Here and Now’ of coaching from the book ‘Inner game of Tennis by W. Timothy: Galloway‘
What really improved my mindset on steep slopes was reading and the famous book the Inner Game to Tennis by W Timothy Galloway. Skiing on steep offpiste and in narrow unknown corridors which are often surrounded by rock is where focus, skill and belief is vital for a good and safe decent.
Learning to focus your attention is a master skill that has unlimited application. When skiing in a threatening environment where your skills are being pushed you need to learn to focus awareness in the NOW. It means tuning in to what is happening in the present and not in the past. It also means to be in the present and not in the future.
Tip 1: FOCUS
Don’t let your concentration and thoughts drift. Concentrate your focus on here and the NOW. Be in the present time and in the present space. Most accidents and falls happen when we lapse in concentration as we allow our mind to think about what is about to happen or to dwell whats has already happened in the past.
Tip 2: BELIEVE IN YOUR ABILITY
Especially for people who are lacking confidence don’t let your doubts in your mind take over and self 1 come into play. Don’t let your mind absorb itself in the world of “what if’s” “What if I fall over” “What if I can’t make that turn” and then let your mind wander away to “this happened to me last year and this is how I injured my knee” or something totally irrelevant “I can’t believe what that Facebook post said about me”. Since the mind has a will of its own and tends to wander, how can one learn to keep it in the present? The answer is by practice as there is no other way. Every time your mind starts to leak away, simply bring it gently back and be in the Here and the now.
Tip 3: TAKE ACTION
The next time you are in a couloir or on challenging terrain take this action plan. Focus your mind on the present, see and accept the environment that you are in and then ski it with one tactical or technical focus to block out any nervousness. Subconsciously believe in yourself and ability and you will be able to ski stronger and more effectively.
Have a look at the video below. When I was skiing this couloir I was blocking my thoughts out and my focus was on linking turns whilst being balanced. I was in the here and now. That’s where you should be when skiing steeper terrain.
For more skiing advice and tips please subscribe and like us on youtube.
I will look forward to skiing with you soon.