Originally Posted by Mom
Looking ahead to slow things down is crucial. It is almost magical... Especially in bump skiing. You are not always scrambling to catch up. (One tendency to beware of is that when the instruction is to "look down the hill", or "two bumps or gates ahead" and especially if you tell someone to pick out a landmark to ski towards, is to lock in on that point and then when they get there, they are right back to looking where they are.) But it takes discipline to force the eyes to keep moving as you do. I practice this when hiking in the summer to get used to it so there's less "thinking" about it in winter. You have to trust your body to know where to go without looking at the snow under your skis.
Look where you are going, not where you are.
Mom, I like what you do here. My version from the last few summers running on the trail is similar.
#1: Imagine you have a paint roller attached to a very long dowel. It's full of white paint which never runs out. You are pushing the roller along the trail in front of you 10-20 feet ahead of your feet, painting a white line on the ground. You focus your eyes where the paint roller contacts the ground as you guide it where you want your feet to go.
#2: Imagine that you have in your head a pilot and a co-pilot. The pilot is pushing the paint roller and choosing how it navigates itself around the rocks and roots (I'm running on singletracks in New England, which are filled with obstacles). The co-pilot is placing the feet on the white line. There is lag time between these. The challenge is for the pilot to trust the co-pilot to plant the feet on the white line.
#3. Build proficiency by lengthening the dowel, and thus the time between the paint roller and the feet. Trust is the key.
#4. If trails with obstacles are not readily available, sidewalks with breaks between the slabs will do. Push the paint roller ahead, lifting it to avoid painting the cracks. Trust the copilot to place the feet on the white line, avoiding the cracks. In sneakers, you can feel if your co-pilot misses and you step on a crack. This is rare.