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Can skiing skills & emotion over power limbic system

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

Man has always had a herding tendency which is evidenced in the financial markets. (the more one understands the market the less likely the chances of following the herd over a cliff) The in ski style is not always the best style for every situation i.e., turn size, shape, terrain, snow etc. (the more one understands skiing skills the less likely to use the "in" style when not practical)

 

 If one is not confused but understands they are less likely to do what the majority is doing if the majority is wrong. In arenas where individuals are confused they are more likely to herd.

 

 Mans mind is so constituted he can not keep all his knowledge & values in his focal awareness. Yet in order to survive, he must have some means of triggering instantaneous appraisals from his subconsciuos in response to his perceptions of the situations he incounters. If, for example while crossing a street, a pedestrian precieves a truck careening @ breakneck speed around the corner in his direction , rather then carrying out a  consciuos  thought process, his subconscious instantaneously assesses the gravity of the situation & he responds automatically by lunging to safety. Providing the mind with lightening like appraisals, while bypassing any undue, lengthy thought processess, is the function of emotions.

 

 Emotions are automized value-responses issuing from the subconscious which, within the context of an individuals knowledge & values, indicate is "for him " or "against him"

 The motivational function of emotions is evidenced by the fact that every emotion has a kinesthetic element, or moter component, experienced as an impetus to engage in some action related to the particular emotion involved. Love, for example, is an emotioal response to that which one values most highly; it prompts one to act to achieve contact or gain possesion of that value. Fear, on the other hand, is an emtional response to that which threatens one s values, & it prompts one to avoid that which arouses the fear.

 

If one has strong skiing skills & understanding would the odds not be higher that mind & emotions will over ride the limbic system to ski based on the appropriate way for the given situation when the herd is skiing differntly.

 

Whos going to be a better skier ?

 

 A skier whos primary focus is to develope strong skiing skills  so they have the confience to come in contact with that which they value & avoid that which they fear.

 

 Or

 

A skier that primary focus is to not focus on skiing skills but to fit in with the herd & do what the herd is doing 

 

post #2 of 24

You really need a dose of reality

 

Skiing starts when thinking stops

 

and in this equation Skiing = life

 

not always,  but it makes a point

 

Cheers

post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 

Cgrandy

 

 Your right while skiing there is not enough time to carry out a lengthy thought process.

When riding the chairlift I will often think & judge & to my best & honest ability replace that which is not true in my thinking & replace it with that which is true.

 

post #4 of 24

Powder Jet-

 

Please share whatever you are self-medicating with.

post #5 of 24

If your skill set is strong you will do well no matter what the conditions.   If the herd leader is a strong skier you will do better than if you, with a weak skill set, were to go it alone.   However, it all will require active thought, constant assessment, which will and should be automatic.   If the leader accidentally makes a wrong turn and falls off a cliff, than obviously that would be deleterious to your progress should you not immediately assess that his way is not the way to go.   In the same context if you are a poor skier and do not seek to improve by practice or emulation, you will remain a poor skier....not that it matters, the goal is to have fun, or win medals.  

 

We practice and pontificate about known form because its what has been shown to be most efficient to increase our enjoyment or in the case of competition speed....less effort and fatigue = more time skiing + less chance for injury and greater speed.   But as we have seen over the last 30 years, that form has evolved with equipment and a better understanding of human physiology, so nothing is set in stone and we can always improve if we want to.  Bottom line is just have fun and if carving the perfect turn is your thing or not, its your right....dont over think it when on the slope...over here thats a different story biggrin.gif

post #6 of 24


LMAO ROTF.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post

Powder Jet-

 

Please share whatever you are self-medicating with.



 

post #7 of 24

Hi Powder jet,

 

If I understand correctly, I think you're saying that instinct overrides rationality in life threatening situations. 

 

We shouldn't (but we sometimes do) see skiers in survival mode. After all, for the vast majority of the public, this is recreation. When survival mode does strike, I think the way it's handled is different depending on the skill and experience of the individual. I have seen people have meltdowns on hills. Typically this happens to newer skiers, and I think this falls into your premise of instinct overriding rationality. In more experienced and skilled skiers, survival mode signifies a switch to more deliberate and secure movements. 

 

From what I've seen, skiers in survival mode revert to whatever they're most familiar with. In advanced skiers that may range from sideslips to a bit of a wedge. In less skilled skiers, I think you see more instinctive behavior surface, like leaning back into the hill, twisting from the upper body, and loads of muscle tension. The inherent problem in survival skiing is that if skiers could apply their technique strongly on the most difficult terrain, they'd do so much better. Yet when on the hardest terrain, that's when skiers tend to slide back to weak technique. 

 

Again, we shouldn't see a lot of true survival skiing on the mountain. That's not to say we don't see a lot of the same qualities of survival skiing in normal skiers, but we shouldn't see people in a blind panic very often. I personally don't ski much with people who only go to terrain that puts me in survival mode (cliff faces, super tight trees). They're either way better than me, or frightening to be in front of (think kamikaze skiers), or not interested in skill development. 

post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Powder Jet View Post

Man has always had a herding tendency which is evidenced in the financial markets. (the more one understands the market the less likely the chances of following the herd over a cliff) The in ski style is not always the best style for every situation i.e., turn size, shape, terrain, snow etc. (the more one understands skiing skills the less likely to use the "in" style when not practical)

 

 If one is not confused but understands they are less likely to do what the majority is doing if the majority is wrong. In arenas where individuals are confused they are more likely to herd.

 

 Mans mind is so constituted he can not keep all his knowledge & values in his focal awareness. Yet in order to survive, he must have some means of triggering instantaneous appraisals from his subconsciuos in response to his perceptions of the situations he incounters. If, for example while crossing a street, a pedestrian precieves a truck careening @ breakneck speed around the corner in his direction , rather then carrying out a  consciuos  thought process, his subconscious instantaneously assesses the gravity of the situation & he responds automatically by lunging to safety. Providing the mind with lightening like appraisals, while bypassing any undue, lengthy thought processess, is the function of emotions.

 

 Emotions are automized value-responses issuing from the subconscious which, within the context of an individuals knowledge & values, indicate is "for him " or "against him"

 The motivational function of emotions is evidenced by the fact that every emotion has a kinesthetic element, or moter component, experienced as an impetus to engage in some action related to the particular emotion involved. Love, for example, is an emotioal response to that which one values most highly; it prompts one to act to achieve contact or gain possesion of that value. Fear, on the other hand, is an emtional response to that which threatens one s values, & it prompts one to avoid that which arouses the fear.

 

If one has strong skiing skills & understanding would the odds not be higher that mind & emotions will over ride the limbic system to ski based on the appropriate way for the given situation when the herd is skiing differntly.

 

Whos going to be a better skier ?

 

 A skier whos primary focus is to develope strong skiing skills  so they have the confience to come in contact with that which they value & avoid that which they fear.

 

 Or

 

A skier that primary focus is to not focus on skiing skills but to fit in with the herd & do what the herd is doing 

 

If you're going to try to communicate something as far from the norm as the above, please do a better job of sticking with common grammar and spelling.  It would be a lot easier to figure out what the heck you're trying to say. 

 

Also, don't rely on your readership to understand technical terms you don't define that are not part of normal, everyday skier communication.  Assume we're idiots and spoon feed us.  

 

The whole thing reads like a bunch of hooey to me, but there might be something there if I could just figure out what you're trying to say.  As it is, I can't.
 

 

post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 

Hi Metaphore,

 

 Iam not good with words

 

 I think one will sow that which one values most highly i.e., if one values life they jump out of the way of a car about to hit them unless they think getting hit by a car wont hurt them.

 

 Even the most advanced of intellect can have their thinking bent by the masses i.e, Isac Newton even under rated the madness of the crowd.

 

 The stronger ones skiing skills the more they realize a certain style is not suited for a given situation & the more likely they will break from the herd when it is practical. Sometimes the herd is right & sometimes it is wrong

 

 If a skier wants to make a turn of a certain size, shape & speed in a controled manner if thier skiing skills are high they  are more likely to base how they make that turn on thier skiing skills rather then the in style. Of course if they value being part of the herd & being in style more then taking a more practical approach they will more likely ski the turn based on the in style. The more they understand that skiing based on their skiing skills will give them the most control for achieving a certain outcome the more likely they will base thier skiing on thier skiing skills rather then trying to do what everyone else is doing.

 

 

 

 It would NOT surprise me if someone could make a strong argument that social mood has an impact on skiing style not just what is most practical i.e., when skiers optimistic they might ski faster & take more risk 

post #10 of 24

I think it's actually a very good question, PowderJet. 

 

I suppose that the answer to "who is going to be a better skier?" will reveal more about the person replying than about any sort of "universal Truth." If your idea of good skiing is "whatever is in style," some "movement du jour," some technique for its own sake, then you are obviously going to think that the skier who demonstrates "that" technique is the better skier. If your idea of good skiing is more practical, with the "goodness" of technique measurable not in itself, but by how effective and adaptable technique is to serving the wide variety of purposes a skier may encounter, you are likely to approve more of the overall more skilled, more versatile, less technically biased skier. 

 

I'm solidly in the second camp. To me technique is only a means to an end. "Good" technique is good not because it's the current trend, or because you read it in some book, but because it enables a skier to enjoy the sport more--by whatever definition of "enjoy" that particular skier may use. I reject the commonly expressed opinion that instructors are technique snobs who only teach technique for its own sake, and who fall victim to some dogmatic beliefs about "good and bad" movements. It's a poor instructor who does that!

 

But I also challenge the notion that "any technique is good, as long as you're having fun," usually followed by something like "I can get down anything, and I don't want to learn some esoteric instructor-approved technique-of-the-moment, so I don't need any lessons...." A competent instructor will never teach you "a technique" without ensuring that that technique is relevant to your own personal goals and needs--and that you know it and approve. Yes, even technically poor skiing can be a lot of fun. But that fact should not be used to justify not improving. As much fun as poor skiing may be, there is another level, and a whole new world of fun, that few will appreciate until they've made the commitment to learn to ski better. Better technique is, ultimately, simply more fun. I have yet to meet a skier who, after having mastered a new skill and become a "better skier," regretted it!

 

Perhaps the most rewarding experience, both for an instructor and for a student, is not the "satisfied customer" who gets out of the lesson what he wanted. It is the student who gets something he did not even realize he wanted, because he didn't even know it existed. It's one thing to get the answer to your question. It's far more to develop a whole new question!

 

---

 

But this discussion may be only part of the questions you have raised, PowderJet. The "limbic system" is often thought of as, among other things, the part of our nervous system responsible for emotion and, particularly, the "fight or flight" response in the face of perceived danger. What is interesting is that "good ski technique," by most definitions, is primarily "offensive." That is to say, truly good skiers tend to glide a lot, using their technical skill primarily to control direction--to "go where you want to go"--and to control speed indirectly through tactics (when you can), rather than directly through defensive braking. Offensive technique tends to allow the skis to glide the direction they're pointed, most of the time, rather than skidding sideways to scrub off speed. Defensive technique is all about braking and slowing down. Offensive technique is about gliding and going where you want to go. Great skiers own the entire spectrum of techniques from offensive to defensive, and apply technique with clear purpose. But while you can "get down" the mountain, usually, either way, it is significant to realize that the faster you go, or the more challenging the conditions get, the riskier and less effective braking becomes. 

 

And that is the important point here. Our innate emotional response to perceived danger is to defend ourselves. But the more real danger arises in skiing--whether from excessive speed, or from very challenging conditions or terrain--the more important it usually becomes to ski offensively. (Braking at 15 mph on a corduroy groomer is one thing; braking at 85 mph, especially in challenging conditions, probably will not end well!) So we must learn to override our natural "fight or flight" defensive responses to danger on skis. Like hitting a big patch of ice when driving a car, we may suddenly wish we weren't going so fast, but we must learn NOT to slam on the brakes! Staring down a steep couloir from the cornice above, I must will myself NOT to panic and become defensive--even as my heart is pounding. We must learn when it's critical to keep the skis gliding the direction they're pointed, even when all we want to do is grip the planet and slow down with a big braking (dangerous) skid.

 

I'm not certain that this is what your thread title is about ("Can skiing skills & emotion overpower limbic system?"), PowderJet. But it's one of the things that makes skiing such a fascinating and challenging sport! 

 

Best regards,

Bob Barnes

post #11 of 24

PJ

 

 because Bob was so polite in his response,  and I was so.....emotional...  Allow me to dissipate my guilty feelings.

 

The "better" one skis, the less likely that skier will ever experience "going along with the crowd" gullibility.  Confidence and independence build upon one another.  There is no requirement to conform if one's own methods prove superior. 

The "better" skier will not feel the same way as the lesser skier when confronting "difficult" situations. Less  commotion of thought and concern that so often impedes the clarity and accuracy of spontaneous action.

Successes that built the "better" skier's abilities have also provided a greater range of experiences that can be compared and likened, even subliminally, to the events and circumstances that present themselves now and in the future. On a familiar path one seldom feels lost.

 

In regard to your final "question of your original post.

 

"A skier that primary focus is to not focus on skiing skills but to fit in with the herd & do what the herd is doing"

 

I have never developed any strong connections between myself and the character type of this description, so I can offer no valid comments. 

 

Perhaps my initial response was a product of my own social experience.  I have a strong aversion to "herd mentality"  (I do not shop at Walmart ;-)

 

With that,  I  appreciate  a guide pointing out suitable and safe routes down sketchy terrain with consequences.

 

post #12 of 24

There is, in my opinion, no better explanation of what skiing should be than this:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wu_wei

 

sure, it's not 'about' skiing per se, but it expresses what natural action is and that's what skiing can be. It can just flow without direction once you develop ingrained movement patterns and experience with snow surface types. I've found Taoist philosophy to be instrumental in forming my personal life-outlook, so it probably resonates a bit more for me than it may for others, but I honestly do think flowing with natural surrounding is what skiing, at it's best, is.

 

If you can get a pair of skis to do what you want them to do, with the minimum amount of effort, you are skiing well.

post #13 of 24

From the fringe element of skiing. Walk your own walk. If you make a mistake/fall it is on your terms. The other day on the hill I was skiing frozen off piste left overs from a wet storm. Ruts,bomb holes,ice boulders. It was brutal and prolly dangerous but I like the challenge. The only way I could ski it was to charge and rely on my skill that I've acquired over the years. It's more motor skills than thinking.

post #14 of 24


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post

There is, in my opinion, no better explanation of what skiing should be than this:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wu_wei

 

sure, it's not 'about' skiing per se, but it expresses what natural action is and that's what skiing can be. It can just flow without direction once you develop ingrained movement patterns and experience with snow surface types. I've found Taoist philosophy to be instrumental in forming my personal life-outlook, so it probably resonates a bit more for me than it may for others, but I honestly do think flowing with natural surrounding is what skiing, at it's best, is.

 

If you can get a pair of skis to do what you want them to do, with the minimum amount of effort, you are skiing well.



That really resonates, thanks.

 

I'll add something about the search for the "right" gear: you know you are there when you don't even think about your skis (or boots, or whatever) all day long. Obviously conditions come into play, but the less I notice my skis, the better.

post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Powder Jet View Post

 

Whos going to be a better skier ?

 

 A skier whos primary focus is to develope strong skiing skills  so they have the confience to come in contact with that which they value & avoid that which they fear.

 

 Or

 

A skier that primary focus is to not focus on skiing skills but to fit in with the herd & do what the herd is doing 

 



Why?  What have you herd?

 

post #16 of 24

Powder Jet, I love it, a thread relating skiing skills and technique to stock market behavior and the herd mentality.  I think it's a first here at Epic, and that's not an easy thing to do.  It's an excellent analogy, and discussion starter.  

 

I'm fully on board with your perspective.  On Wall Street, the herd is what makes the independent thinker rich.  Similarly, on the ski slopes the person who works to broaden their skill base will generally far surpass the mountain prowess of the herd who clamors to mimic the technique du jour.  The ironic part is that with their strong skill base they will actually be better able to execute the coveted pop tech theme than most of those who worship at its altar.    The skill laden skier has more ways to ski and have fun on the snow, and when push comes to shove, their broad skill base will provide them with better options for spontaneously dealing with sudden challenge.

 

For what it's worth, the best skiers in the world work extensively, and over many years, at developing a broad and refined stable of foundation skills.  With those skills, they can easily do any new "best"way to ski that comes along, and also leave it behind when they get bored with it.  

 

 

Gives me a thought for a new thread.  Think I'll call it A Christmas Snow Carol

 

post #17 of 24

Where is this herd of which thou speaks? The closest thing I've seen to herd on the slopes is when Christie Brinkley hit Ajax. No wait, I have been known to "moo" in excessively long and pushy lift lines.

 

I tried skiing with the limbic system once. The music messed up my timing and I just couldn't ski under the bar. Somehow I have this innate desire to ski into a bar instead.

 

If a skier hangs with the right herd, their skills can grow quite nicely. If the skier hangs with a herd that never heard any outside coaching, it is likely their skills would not grow as fast as skiers who focus on skill growth and conquer their fears.

post #18 of 24

I can recall herds of Ultra carvers,  masquerading as racers, all.

They are harmless enough, though their arms often sweep a broad path through the air

 

None ski soft powder in that fashion.  can it be done?  I doubt.

 

Who would follow them over cliffs??  ...

post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 

Sorry if I never wrote in picture perfect words. This site is very well run & Iam happy to be a part of it. Bob & Rick I really appriciate your understanding of the sport & I think you are making it more enjoyable for a lot of skiers.

 

 

 

 My goal was to get skiers thinking if they are skiing to thier best ability or if the herding tendency was stopping them from reaching thier full potential. Higher esteam & confidence is a wonderfull reward that is given to those that improve thier skills.

 

The few investors that make the most money in the market do not herd but are independent thinkers. That does not mean to be successfull you cant look to see what the successfull are doing or not doing but most of the time you will have to adjust the method so it fits your personality.

 

 

 I think the same can be applied to skiing by focusing on learning the skills to the best of ones ability i.e balance,edging, carving, flexing extension, rotation & transition instead of trying to ski like everyone else will give a skier an edge. If the in style does not fit your personality just like the investor you wont be successfull. Before one masters algebra they must first master addition, subtraction, multiplication & division.

 

 In my experience I have found I ski my best when I do not try to ski like everyone else but rely on my skiing skills to guide me & if I never had strong skiing skills I would not feel confident & the sea of selfdoubt & confusion would most likely cause me to try to ski like everyone else. I love the weightless feeling of transitions so emotions & mind work in harmony to do more short turns then the average skier is doing.

 

 

 Bob I really enjoy your posts, I goog your name seeking more of you insight of skiing & I think your Tuesday night insight is a wonderfull thing your doing for the ski industry. I can count on one hand the number of skiers I have sean ski extreamly dynamic & gives the wow facter that sticks in ones mind. Back in the 80s when on vacation I remember seeing a ski instructor or coach @ Keystone who was one of the best skiers I have ever sean.

post #20 of 24
Thread Starter 

Man is not an instinctual creature whose knowledge is automatic, or "hard wired" into his nervous system, but a conceptual being who must require & use knowledge to achieve his goals.

 

If a skier does drills for balance they will gain knowledge & understanding of how being forward, centered, backward  etc effects thier skiing. By doing drills for differnt skiing skills the skier will gain a greater understang of how to create differnt sizes, shapes, speed of turns in various type of snow & terrain.

 

In the past I failed to understand how much of a difference doing drills could make in my skiing. I failed to understand that the knowledge gained from drills would improve my skiing skills. Every bit of your mental content is derived from some theory, & your success & happiness will hing on weather it is true or false.

 

By improving my skiing skills my mental content had a better understanding i.e., how my skis would react differntly by differnt edge angles or what ever. Which resulted in mind & emotions working in harmony. 

 

Man soon learns to duck when a rock is thrown @ his head if he values not getting hurt. Apperently a baby will fail to duck because they do not understand a rock will hurt them.

 

The more one understands the more emotions are ones friend, the less one understands the more emotions are ones enemy.

 

 Contrary to popular believe emotions can be your friend when investing if you understand that which you are thinking. The same is true for skiing the greater the understanding the more emotions are your friend & the more precise the action, regardless what the herd is doing. 

post #21 of 24

PJ

 

There are different "kinds" of man.

 

Some are more "instinctual" than others.

 

My young son is a "natural", in all endeavors physical. He excels in sports ( and is not too shabby with his studies at university)  He needs only "to do" to surpass  efforts I make with long practice and "drills".

 

"God's gift's'? innate ability?, genetics?

 

Inspiring, actually.

 

kr

 

Cal


Edited by Cgrandy - 4/23/11 at 8:16am
post #22 of 24

Are we talking only about flight of fight reactions? It's been years so I looked it up on Wiki and was surprised how much of what we do while skiing involves that system. At least according to Wiki, the limbic system does so much more than control fight or flight reactions. If anything we're actively using that system a lot while skiing so overcoming it seems a bit of a curious idea.

post #23 of 24

This thread may enter "The Zone" zone.......;-)

 

A place I would enjoy spending a lot of my days..

 

Cheers

post #24 of 24


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes

 

But I also challenge the notion that "any technique is good, as long as you're having fun," usually followed by something like "I can get down anything, and I don't want to learn some esoteric instructor-approved technique-of-the-moment, so I don't need any lessons...." A competent instructor will never teach you "a technique" without ensuring that that technique is relevant to your own personal goals and needs--and that you know it and approve. Yes, even technically poor skiing can be a lot of fun. But that fact should not be used to justify not improving. As much fun as poor skiing may be, there is another level, and a whole new world of fun, that few will appreciate until they've made the commitment to learn to ski better. Better technique is, ultimately, simply more fun. I have yet to meet a skier who, after having mastered a new skill and become a "better skier," regretted it.



I like to teach  people how to be efficient skiers.  That is done by showing them the proper stance and skills.  I know a lot of people who think that they are really good because they get down the hill first. Problem is, they're normally slightly out of control and not skiing efficiently.  They usually tire out before the skiers that have the correct skills because their overusing most of their muscles to muscle their way down the hill. 

 

I became a Master swimmer a few years ago.  A lot of people told me that I swam beautifully, but when I joined the masters, it took me 30+ strokes to complete a lap.  It got me there, but I was inneficient.  I was using way more energy and muscle than I needed to.  I learned how to glide and ride the water and am now down to about 17 strokes to complete a lap.  Teaching skiing is very similar.  If we teach people how to use their equipment correctly and to dance with the snow, their much more graceful and can save a lot of wasted energy accomplishing their goal of getting down the mountain.  They can also stay out on the hill much longer because they've learned to let their equipment do the work instead of their bodies.

 

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