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Swing thoughts & Skiing

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

Oftentimes golfers have what they call a "swing thought" to get themselves psyched to swing at the ball properly. It's a way to quiet all the distractions in your brain and get it to focus on the One Thing that you believe will be most helpful at that moment before executing the complicated action of the golf swing, which has too many moving parts that have to come together in this critical action to think about and do the swing. 

 

Skiing is like that, except the action is repeated with greater frequency, and many of us have something like a "swing thought" to get prepared for the run. The topic has been discussed on EpicSki -- "Clear and Focused Thoughts Make for Better Turns" is a good starting point if you want to delve deeper. (If you do a search put quotations around "swing thought" for better results. That applies to anything you search for here.) 

 

For myself, it's so important to have something useful to replace the noise in my head. In her book A Conversation with Fear, Mermer Blakeslee calls the voice of negative self talk the Nag, and the voice of supportive self talk the Coach. 

 

Everybody needs a good internal Coach. By that I mean a knowledgeable coach who gives you the right swing thought for the task ahead. Attaboys are nice, but sound advice is priceless. 

 

Certainly you can get coaching from others, and I recommend it heartily. Virtually all professional golfers have coaches -- swing coaches, sport psychologists, physical trainers, nutritionists -- but when they step up to the ball, they are all alone, just like you and me. Despite all the outside coaching you may have, when it comes down to doing, the most important coach you have is you. 

 

Yet how many of us have stepped up to the challenge of consciously coaching ourselves, and how many of us are still on the receiving end of reactive, inconsistent and hypercritical coaching from an ignorant and inexperienced loudmouth? Let's be honest. The Nag is an inconsiderate bitch. How can her denigrating commentary ever foster excellence? 

 

I believe "How to Be Your Own Best Coach" is the most important thing a teacher can impart. I've said it before but it bears repeating: the only ethical goal of instruction is student independence. You don't need a sycophant. You need a collaborative coach whose main concern is graduating you to independence, which means building up your self-coaching skills as part of the overall package.  

 

Teachers, are you listening? Are you allowing time for the student to learn how to self-coach what was learned in the lesson, or are you leaving him or her half-taught? (You can see the half-taught going back to their habits within hours of a lesson.) Also, people ski the way they think they should ski. Make sure you check your student's understanding before you close to correct any misconceptions.

 

How would you teach someone to self-coach? 

 

How can you tell that you're progressing in your self-coaching skills?

 

What do you think is the most important aspect of self-coaching? 

 

Do you agree that this is a vast untapped reserve of strength in most skiers? 

 

 

 

 


Edited by nolo - 7/11/11 at 8:14am
post #2 of 27

 

How would you teach someone to self-coach? 

First, I always end my lessons with "where you should go next from here". One way I do this is to give the student a drill that they have trouble doing and need to practice/develop. Similarly, a drill that the student can do in the class, but will become hard when they revert back to old habits is useful as a check/redevelop/reinforce the skill task. If I can determine a student's preferred learning style, I sometimes incorporate a "what's next" in that learning style (e.g. show a visual learner what tasks/turns are next, tell a feeler what they want to feel, describe the next level to a thinker, etc).

 

 

How can you tell that you're progressing in your self-coaching skills?

By feel. When things are "working". Also I have self check items for things I am working on.

 

What do you think is the most important aspect of self-coaching? 

Accurate performance assessment.

 

Do you agree that this is a vast untapped reserve of strength in most skiers? 

No. To be an untapped reserve, skiers have to have an ability to self coach that they are not using. Considering the # of lessons taught, most experienced skiers are already self coaching a lot. Considering the feedback I'm getting from students (e.g. Wow - I wish I'd done this a long time ago) I'd say that paid for coaching is the vast untapped reserve. However, I will concede that there is a great argument to the contrary.

post #3 of 27

When I'm golfing well my thoughts are: keep your head down and make a good shoulder turn.

 

When I'm skiing well (for me) my thoughts are: this is awesome.  I guess on some level I'm thinking, but it doesn't really feel like I am in the same sense as golf.  Other than being in the trees and occasionally reminding myself to look where I want to go.

post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 

 

 

Quote:
To be an untapped reserve, skiers have to have an ability to self coach that they are not using. Considering the # of lessons taught, most experienced skiers are already self coaching a lot. 

Touche. But I think we differ in our definitions of self-coaching. I differentiate it from self-nagging, which I think a lot of us do instead of self-coaching -- maybe because we don't know how to effectively self-coach.

 

I base my hypothesis on the number of people who take lessons to find out what they're doing wrong, to the point that if you don't tell them everything they're doing wrong they'll consider the lesson a bust. It's hard to convince people that focusing on the doing of it right vs. the doing of it wrong is a faster route to improvement, regardless of what "it" is. All focusing on doing the wrong this does is increase the probability that you'll do it wrong the same way the next time. (How many mulligans in golf turn out to be the same bad shot over again?) 

 

Skiing movements are ingrained over time and become habits. There are good habits that promote good skiing and there are bad habits that impede good skiing. We need to recognize that the bad habits serve a function in the skier's movement pool -- or they wouldn't exist. The work of coaching is to build on the good habits to where they can take over the functions the bad habits had served. 

 

Because so much depends on it, the foundation of being a good self-coach is to consult a knowledgeable professional to verify strengths/weaknesses and to get input on a plan to reinforce the right moves. 

post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 

Jay, you are unconsciously competent, which is the end game of good skiing. But think back to the process that got you here. Very few athletes start out unconsciously competent so you have to go through some kind of process to attain that exalted state of being. 

 

The progression usually goes:

unconsciously incompetent -- has no concept of skiing or of herself doing it

consciously incompetent -- has a concept of skiing and knows what she's doing ain't it

consciously competent -- has a concept of skiing and is aware of doing it properly

unconsciously competent -- the automatic response to sensory cues is right-on


Edited by nolo - 7/11/11 at 2:19pm
post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

I base my hypothesis on the number of people who take lessons to find out what they're doing wrong, to the point that if you don't tell them everything they're doing wrong they'll consider the lesson a bust.

 

I guess those folks are real disappointed with my lessons, because I jump all over the "what am I doing wrong"s with "there is no right or wrong way to ski". Before I started teaching, I used to take a lesson maybe once every 4 years and did not get much from them. I knew that I'd get better just as well simply by skiing more often. I was doing my own self coaching. For the capabilities I had to self coach, there was no untapped potential. It might just be semantics, I agree that the general public could be a lot more effective at self coaching if they were motivated and if they were given a few tools/self coaching training. Those are big IFS.

post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 

Begging the question, What are the few tools/self coaching training that you would give to the general public?

post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

 

</snip>

How can you tell that you're progressing in your self-coaching skills?

 

What do you think is the most important aspect of self-coaching? 

</snip>

 

Most important aspect of self-coaching:  access to on-snow video to establish an accurate, rapid feedback loop.  Few human bodies are born properly "calibrated" to accurately sense DIRT when executing skiing movements without extensive training with video or other external cues (such as an instructor.) 

 

Measuring progress of self-coaching:  video.  You supply the sense of ski aesthetic, the video camera provides the evidence to judge.

post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 

Yes, indeed. Video is probably the most powerful learning aid there is, and one that few people actually use. Recently I played golf with my brother, who plays close to scratch, and afterwards he pointed out a habitual movement that was weakening my swing and suggested a prescription for change. It started with, "Get some video."

post #10 of 27

Well, lets take these great questions one at a time.

 

1.  How would you teach someone to self-coach? 

 

Use a simple yet powerful tool. ...  I introduce most of my students to Weems' Sports Diamond.  I love the way that pulls things together.  Power - Touch - Purpose - Wil  I'll take the time during the lift ride to introduce the concept to them and how it works.  l  As I teach, I touch on the points of the Diamond with my students so they get a feel for it.  Most of them start getting a good feel for it quickly.  A lot of students will start giving me feedback of, "Oh, this is touch, or this is purpose."  Once they start doing that, it is very easy to coach them into using it for their own self coaching.

 

2.  How can you tell that you're progressing in your self-coaching skills?

 

Well for me its when I see progress in my own skiing.  However, to really be sure you need some feedback from others who know you, have seen you ski before, and have an eye to determine if they see a difference.  Last year I got that feedback from an examiner at a clinic who hadn't seen me ski in a long time.  He was pleased with the progress that he saw in my skiing.

 

So, I think you need both an intrinsic ability to critique your own skiing and an extrinsic evaluation to confirm it.

 

3.  What do you think is the most important aspect of self-coaching? 

 

Simple, just doing it.  Most people don't have the WILL to do something like this.  It takes discipline and the POWER of knowledge to pull this sort of thing together.  You need to ski with a PURPOSE in order to improve.  Once you do that the skills of better skiing will be incorporated in your TOUCH and feel of the skis and snow.

 

4.  Do you agree that this is a vast untapped reserve of strength in most skiers?

Definitely!!  Most people just go out and do things.  They don't even consider that they can self coach and it will help them improve.  We live in a day and age where people want quick fixes.  Buy a 1 hour lesson and that's it.  Magic fix.  Those of us that are serious about our avocation/profession understand that to improve we must take positive action on our own.

 

I'll lay you odds that all the best teachers and coaches self coach.  They are probably harder on themselves than they are on their students.

post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

 

How would you teach someone to self-coach? 

 

How can you tell that you're progressing in your self-coaching skills?

 

What do you think is the most important aspect of self-coaching? 

 

Do you agree that this is a vast untapped reserve of strength in most skiers? 

 

 

 

 

I'll give this a  shot.  The lessons I give usually last only 1 to 1-1/2 hours, so everything is very compressed.

 

1.  How I teach them to self-coach -- I ask them sensory questions throughout the lesson.  I have them tell me how they are perceiving their balance, how secure they feel on their skis, how much control they feel they have over the direction the skis are taking, whatever is appropriate for what we're working on.  We stop and talk about these sensory issues after each segment of the lesson.  Then when the lesson is over, I ask them to reiterate what we've done, why we did it, and what they think they need to do to continue strengthening the skill(s) we focused on.  I sign off by giving them "homework" ...  to continue doing something in order to feel such-and-such until it becomes intuitive.   

 

2.  How do I know I'm improving in my skills teaching this -- I can see it in my student's performance and their verbal explanations of what they are doing.  When they "own" the issue, I've done a good job.

 

3.  The most important aspect in self-coaching -- It's the student's desire to get better, and to work for it.    
 

4.  Untapped reserve of strength -- Yes!  People who take lessons need to know why they are being instructed to do the things coaches ask them to do ... and how to recognize when these things are succeeding in strengthening their personal skills.   Plus, they need to know that working on these skills after the lesson is over is a big part of the FUN of skiing.   

post #12 of 27
Thread Starter 

LiquidFeet, how do you coach a student to stop the internal nagging and start supporting herself? You'll know this person because she puts herself down, comments disparagingly on her own performance while she's doing it, maybe referring to herself in the 3rd person. Is it even possible to change this negative attitude toward oneself in a ski lesson?

post #13 of 27

Quote:

Originally Posted by nolo View Post

LiquidFeet, how do you coach a student to stop the internal nagging and start supporting herself? You'll know this person because she puts herself down, comments disparagingly on her own performance while she's doing it, maybe referring to herself in the 3rd person. Is it even possible to change this negative attitude toward oneself in a ski lesson?

 

I have never felt this way about my skiing. When I am skiing a run at my home ski area or biking a trial I know pretty well my mind mostly just shuts off and goes quiet. I am not thinking about anything not even what I am doing. If I am some pleace unfamiliar maybe I will be looking around trying to route find, but not really thinking about what I am doing.

 

 

But I know my wife and her sister are both very self critical at times and seem to over think things. Madeline has gotten alot better in this respect of the last couple of years. I think part of it is that she is not taking her skiing as seriously as she used to. Not worrying about falling, not worryign about doing things wrong. Being ok with some mistakes and being ok with being not perfect. Its not a job, its a hobby, you do it for fun. No one is going to get mad at you if you screw up.

 

 

My daughter is crawling and she can stand up on her own for about a month now. She has awesome gross motor skills and balance. She also falls down 50 times a day and the schedule of baby development shows that she probably wont walk for 3 more months. I don't know anyone (any adult) who would even try learn to do anything knowing that you can expect to fall down 50 times a day for 3 months before you get it. I think the difference is that Genevieve doesn't know that. She isn't conciously tying to do anything, she doesn't know how long 3 months is, she doesn't even have a clear goal or concept of what falling is, she just likes moving around.

 

post #14 of 27

Self-coaching means "self" can recognize and correct what is wrong, right?  People usually can't see themselves ski, so how do they recognize what is wrong or can be improved? The answer has to come from having enough knowledge to know what is and isn't optimal skiing.  Then they have to be able to recognize what is or is not optimal with their own skiing by either results or "feel."   That is tough to do.

post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 

When I swing the golf club, I "make" myself think of one thing -- say, feel my right arm against my side as I draw back the club -- which I know is a "good" movement and feeling that will set me up for better consequences.

 

When I ski, sometimes I'm just feeling it and I have the tunes a blasting, but most times I ski I'm working on something, like trying to keep my hands up and forward exactly the same amount, or keeping my pole baskets moving, or looking ahead three turns, or using three turns to come to a stop, or seeing how far I can get my feet from my body on a groomed run. These are all Swing Thoughts -- reminders of the good movements in your repertoire that happen to have beneficial side-effects. As my own coach, I decide what I need. Sometimes I need to blow out the cobwebs, sometimes I need to review something that I'm forgetting to do, etc., etc. 

 

I see quite a bit of video of my skiing -- about as much as I can stand. I've learned that "going for it" looks a ton better than trying to make the perfect turn. My hands are much better, my pole action has more continuity, and I have never had more fun skiing. That's how I know my self-coaching is working, with due credit to Weems, Phil, Squatty, Bob Barnes, Mermer, Robin, Dan Egan, etc. etc. Seeing a professional coach for periodic tune-ups and progress checks is standard procedure among the highest performers in the sport, so why not us? One session with a pro can fuel weeks of practice. 

post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

... One session with a pro can fuel weeks of practice. 


Exactly! If you are want to continuously improve you will seek out those opportunities that provide for that.

Last year I asked my SSD to critique my skiing. He picked up on one thing for me to work on in order to add some zap to my skiing. Using the feel I had while doing it with him I started self coaching for that move. A little while later I was out with another high level coach. He had me working on the same higher level move from a bit different focus. It's nice to get similar feedback from two respected sources. I used that input from them as my focus when skiing on my own. However, that feedback is useless if you don't have the tools or self discipline to put it to use on your own. Next season I'm going to use that as my starting point then try to improve from there.
post #17 of 27

Skiing "swing thought"- Forward, seems to help me ski better in challenging conditions

 

Golf-  Way too many things racing through my head , If I could do it, Trust the Swing! But I am always changing something up during a round of golf. My goal in golf is to go out and play rather than play golf swing. Despite most very good golfers having very good swing mechanics, the ones I have played with will all tell me, they aren't thinking mechanics at all when they are playing.

post #18 of 27


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

LiquidFeet, how do you coach a student to stop the internal nagging and start supporting herself? You'll know this person because she puts herself down, comments disparagingly on her own performance while she's doing it, maybe referring to herself in the 3rd person. Is it even possible to change this negative attitude toward oneself in a ski lesson?

 

...several thoughts on this.

 

1.  I teach studio art in real life.  A class in studio art is all about becoming familiar with a process - setting a plan, following it, looking at the results, finding what succeeds and what needs improvement, setting a plan for improvement, following it, looking at the results, finding what succeeds and what needs improvement .... repeat until done.   When the work is finally finished the students are sometimes stuck in self-criticism mode - their "make-it-better" button is stuck in the on position.  But there's another button I like to talk about - the "feels good" button - that needs to be turned on throughout the work process as well.  Students need to stop and detect what feels good in the work and in their working process, and verbalize it.  We have to do some conscious work in the studio class to make the switch from searching for what needs improvement to seeing and celebrating the "wow" factor as it develops.

 

2.  Since the lessons are so short when I teach skiing, I do a much better job of helping my students make that switch.  I start by verbalizing their strengths.  Then I sandwich my focus on improvement between comments about what's going well.  I ask the students to raise their arms in victory, pat themselves on the back, shout "Got it!,"  give themselves a point or gold star, etc when they make a breakthrough.  I try to get the novice skier to recognize success and relish its pleasures, then get back to self-improvement, then recognize that switching back and forth between these two modes of consciousness is a skill that can be strengthened too.

 

3.  There's a difference between learning something brand new that you didn't know anything about (moving from unconscious incompetence to conscious competence)  and embedding that new skill into an intuitive way of functioning (conscious competence to unconscious competence.)  Voices, mantras, visions in your head are good for both these shifts -- but they need to be positive (mantras on what to do, rhythms to follow), not negative (mantras on what not to do, self denigrations). 

 

4.  Mermer's book "A Conversation with Fear" is an incredible resource for dealing with voices/images in the head.  If anyone reading this thread hasn't read it yet, do it!  This book is great summer reading for skiers and for instructors. 

post #19 of 27

What a pleasure it is to read a pure, constructive tread.

 

I sometimes ski with a former national team coach and FIS-skier, he always gives me just one thing to focus on after a few runs, then that is all that's on my mind the rest of that day,maybe weeks, much like T-Square and Nolo writes about. This has improved my skiing immensely, and I hope I will continue to benefit from his advice.

 

When teaching kids and beginners, I normally ski backwards after demonstrating what I want them to do, and then give a running commentary. I find this very effective. This depends, of course, on how many other skiers are in the slope. After each class I give the students praise regarding their progress and what I would like them to focus on when they ski on their own. I never give negative commentary, but tell them that confidence comes with experience.

 

Video is a fantastic tool both for improving my own skills and also for teaching purposes.

 

Inner thoughts: The Nag is seldom in attendance in my head, the Coach more often, and he is very good at patting my back after a good run. In general I always try to focus on the positive in life, whether skiing or not.

 

Most of all, I try to instill in my students the same love and enjoyment for skiing as I have, by being friendly, competent, patienced and openminded.

 

The best boost I got this season wasn't from my inner Coach, but when the mother of one of my students shared a lift with me

( skiing on my own time ) and said : Watching you ski is like fluid poetry. That made my whole season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #20 of 27

Not mechanics exactly, but "keep your head down" is a common thought even for PGA tour pros.  Particularly when putting.  The other one is just about having a nice smooth tempo.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by roundturns View Post

Golf-  Way too many things racing through my head , If I could do it, Trust the Swing! But I am always changing something up during a round of golf. My goal in golf is to go out and play rather than play golf swing. Despite most very good golfers having very good swing mechanics, the ones I have played with will all tell me, they aren't thinking mechanics at all when they are playing.



 

post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

Begging the question, What are the few tools/self coaching training that you would give to the general public?



I answered the biggest part of this question in my first post (i.e. I end all of my lessons with instructions for self coaching after the lesson - what to practice), but the answer to this specific question is that are no "few tools that I would give to the general public" because I would approach self coaching advice the same way I approach any skiing advice -> tailor the advice to the needs of the individual.  

 

Video is great, but too many people see themselves and go "Yuck" instead of knowing what to look for. Most of the general public needs to be trained on what to look for. I teach people to break down what they are seeing into pieces. There are too many pieces to coach (e.g. the shape of the turns, the timing of the movements, the relationship between the upper and lower body). But there is always a short list that is useful. I also coach people to focus on the good things as well as the things that need improvement. Finally, I try to introduce the concept that "bad things" (i.e. inefficient movements) have causes earlier in the turn.

 

Choosing the best goals and objectives for self coaching is probably the most important thing the public does not do and needs the most help with.  "Moving up to the next level" is a great goal, but then needs some specific objectives to be really useful. "Going faster" or "skiing the next level run without killing myself" are examples of goals that tend to start introducing suboptimal self training. How many people want to become expert skiers skiing < 10 days/season? If you want to self coach, you need to define where you are vs where you want to be, commit the time, effort and money, acquire the necessary knowledge , develop a plan and execute the plan. How many times have you started a lesson asking a student what they want to achieve in the lesson and gotten the answer "I don't know"? The next student that gives me that answer will get the response "Well then, lets have some fun today and our goal will be for you to know what you want out of the next lesson!". If they choose to self coach after that instead, at least they'll know what they want to work on.

post #22 of 27

I've been thinking about the recreational skiers who belong to ski clubs in New Hampshire.  I've belonged to two of these clubs over the past several years, and gotten to know lots of folks in those clubs as well as others in the area.  Most of the club members are middle-aged; some older.  Some of them learned to ski as children; others later in life.  A few would be classified as expert skiers on most terrain, but the majority are happy to cruise along on blue groomers every weekend.  They ski most every weekend all season long, racking up probably 25-55 days per season (New England seasons are short).  Many take a trip out west now and then.  In the club, après ski talk is usually not about skiing, and people tire easily when the topic comes up in my club.

 

Although these ski club members mostly do not take private lessons, some join seasonal groups. Whenever I ask them about their lessons and what they are learning, they are very enthusiastic but their replies are fuzzy.  I can't figure out what they are working on in class from their descriptions.  

 

A separate bunch of members races in a recreational league.  There are race lessons offered, and some have been taking these.  Times have improved for these folks in the gates;  something is working for them.  When I've had a chance to ask some of these folks what they learned, again I get enthusiastic but vague answers.     

 

Most of this crew quits early on spring days when the snow gets soft.  They stay away from the mountain on powder days, choosing to wait until the groomers have starched and pressed everything flat.  They avoid bumps, and never go off trail.  They complain when they find the snow difficult to ski and have to quit.  They love skiing, and relish fast runs on hard snow.  Many ski all day long.  These people are a hardy and enthusiastic bunch.  

 

How might these committed skiers be able to benefit from self-coaching -- anyone got good ideas?

 

 

 

 

post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post

How might these committed skiers be able to benefit from self-coaching -- anyone got good ideas?


Drills, drills, drills.  The best drills have built-in self-calibration.  The L2 and L3 tasks are a great starting point, yet somehow we are reluctant to use them with our students.  Seems like the tasks are the Rodney Dangerfield of skiing.  There are even some exam candidates that try to "cram" the tasks in the last few days before the exam, viewing them as contrived drills.  I found that focusing on these tasks greatly improved my skiing, by making it more precise, and helping me isolate the BERP elements.

 

Leapers is one of the dreaded tasks at L2, and for a good reason - it's not an easy drill.  I like to break it down into simpler components - first, just popping off the snow in a straight run, and keeping the ski parallel to the snow.  This in itself will take a while to master, but will pay off greatly in fore-aft balance, and overall stance, skeletal stacking.  At the next level, I introduce doing the same thing but in a traverse.  Here, the goal is to land back on the same edges with minimum skid.  With practice, progress to steeper terrain.  Finally, introduce the edge change.

After an explanation and a demo, this progression is fairly easy to practice on your own, 

 

Another cool drill is playing with the COM location during a side slip, and trying to identify the centered position, as well as the minimum fore/aft shift that will cause the tips or tails to start leading.  Combine that with sensing the weight distribution between toes and heels, and you'll learn to "feel" your balance in your everyday skiing.

 

These drills alone, could challenge and intermediate to an advanced skier for a season, if practiced for a run or two every day.

 

Video, as has been mentioned, is a great tool.  Even though most skiers do not have the experience for proper movement analysis, the advantage in self-analysis is that we "know" the inputs that produce the outcomes.  So the video lets us calibrate ourselves.  Most people have a fairly good idea what good skiing looks like - at least they can see who the good skiers on the slope are.  Seeing the video lets us adjust the inputs.  Well, at least in some cases.

 

Hopefully this gives you some fresh ideas.

post #24 of 27

I was just thinking this same thing when I was playing golf the other day.  I have to say that a lot of it comes down to feel.  In golf, and in skiing, I know exactly what I did wrong because I know what it feels like to be right, and that wasn't it.  There's the result, and the reason I got to that result.

 

In golf, an inside out swing with my driver could lead to a slice, a pull of my head on a chip could lead to a skull, or too much left hand could lead to a yanked putt.

 

In skiing, too much inclination could lead to the loss of an outside edge, insufficient shock absorption in the legs could lead to a hard impact on a bump, or an imbalance during takeoff could lead to a brutal crash in the terrain park.

 

I can feel these things as they are happening.  And because I can't just stop my golf swing during my backswing like Tiger Woods, the result is a bunch of bad shots.

 

I always tell people during a lesson (especially an upper level lesson), that I'm giving them the tools to get better.  If they do something good, I tell them it's good.  Then I try to see f they felt the sensation that I was trying to get them to feel.  If they can get the feeling down, they'll know what's right, and they can repeat it.  Then when something doesn't feel right, they can identify the problem, (hopefully) remember the drills I gave them to fix said problem, and get back to feeling the right feelings.

 

I admit, it is a very kinesthetic way of self coaching, but is there a better way?  I can't imagine that an audio learner or visual learner could self coach on the fly like a kinesthetic learner could, right?  (Unless they always had a coach or a video camera present).

 

 

post #25 of 27
Thread Starter 

Actually, I've heard/read that as a skier progresses he or she will become more dependent on kinesthetic awareness. This could be true of all sports. 

post #26 of 27

How long do you sustain a thought while skiing in different terrain? 

 

Personally, will only consciously sustain a thought for a couple of turns on demanding terrain, then autopilot kicks in.  It is normally something like, 'get aggressive on turn initiation', dropping into a bumped up chute (airplane into the first turn).  Perhaps it is, 'drive the inside knee'. going on to something steep and smoother.  On the run outs or something flatter, doing a drill or exercise, a thought is more sustained through the entire intended area (or until I get bored). 

 

Am I old and forgetful now, or is this normal?  I can sustain A swing thought pretty much all the way through a golf swing though.

post #27 of 27
Thread Starter 

I think swing thoughts in difficult terrain are critical for those who do not have autopilot in these conditions. My favorite is to focus on continuous movement of the poles so I don't throw in a late plant and get in the back seat. 

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