Originally Posted by davluri
I'll take it a step farther. What you see is colored by how you feel. You can look down a pitch and feel: I don't know about this....I could fall there where the choke gets tight just before the rock and tumble over the rock band, seeing dangerous hazards all the way down because your mindset is negative... Or you could be feeling great and, looking down the very same pitch with a 100% positive attitude, think: I can arc off the wall and send the rock (but only after beating the entry to death with my poles for five minutes to make sure the bros are paying attention). Same pair of eyes seeing two very different runs in the same chute.
OMG YES!!! Dave, you and I agree completely in this case. (I know, it's scary ;) ) This is where the balls aspect of skiing comes in. If you stand at the top of a gnarly run and think to yourself "I'm going to die" you're going to pussyfoot down it and look like a gaper because your self-preservation reflex is taking over through your self-doubt, but if you stand at the top and scream "I'm gonna rip the shit out of this run!" with the utmost confidence then most likely you will. If you concentrate on having fun and enjoying the rush you'll do far better than if you are carefully weighing all the dangers and imagining yourself bouncing off the rocks, trees, etc.
Skiing is a very physical sport, but it is a VERY intense mental learning precess as well. Normally your brain doesn't think "awesome" when it's loking down a rocky, exposed mountain face, it's not wired that way. It takes time, experience and skill to be able to build up your confidence to the point where you can say "This is bigger thananything I've ever hit, and I can't wait to drop in"
So yeah, you and BW both have good points and training your brain is a huge part of being a better skier imo.