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How weird are you willing to be? - Page 2

post #31 of 54

Anyone who has played college or highschool football is aware of the benefits and absolute requirements of building and running a specialized state of mind that will be conducive to both success and survival within such an environment. It could be considered psychological calisthenics to acquire and reacquire a blazingly aggressive and laser focussed state of mind for each play. Interestingly enough, that rhythm and flow is keenly advantageous in regards to the rhythm of ski runs. Yes, a longer play and longer break between plays but a similar physiological and psychologically anaerobically inclined state of rhythm. I played defensive corner for 8 seasons which taught me to be mentally prepared for nothing but physical aggression and a laser mental focus at each and every snap of the ball. I use it for skiing but mostly when skiing alone and with Rage Against the Machine (and the like) on the Ipod. By the time I am sliding off the lift, I am usually ready to chase down and hit someone hard enough to make their head spin. However, that is not what I do. A good way to kick start each run with this attitude is to skate to speed as quickly as possible, stake a line and stick to it no matter what. If a cute little bunny rabbit happens to get in your way, the devil may not care … at all. If you can get to the point of harnessing the raw and seething hatred of pure evil in your skiing, nothing will get in your way. I promise. You should try it. It feels good. You'll feel great. As a skier, you will have everything you will have ever wanted and more. I will just need a quick jot of your signature on a few docs and we’ll have you out there and on your way before you know what happened. .

post #32 of 54
Thread Starter 
mental calisthenics is a good way to describe the habit of getting your mindset right. I hope all the nonsense about the devil and hate is a joke but it really has no place here anymore than any other religious evangelism does. Please start a new thread if that is what you want to discuss.
post #33 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post

mental calisthenics is a good way to describe the habit of getting your mindset right. I hope all the nonsense about the devil and hate is a joke but it really has no place here anymore than any other religious evangelism does. Please start a new thread if that is what you want to discuss.

 

While the evil part is a joke, it is a legitimate reference to skiing with aggression and attitude, somethong rarely discussed here yet just as important to good skiing as anything else. For those having difficulty teasing the two apart, they are having confessions at your local church today.

post #34 of 54

Rich, it depends on what folks needs to motivate themselves for good turns. When I raced, if I got into the super aggro football mindset, I'd invariably over edge, over work, and be slow. Usually I'm trying to empty things out and find the 'zone'... skiing 'through' things. Tackling 'through' people instead of running them over. Same result, just a different mind set. My best skiing comes when I feel absolutely calm. Needless to say, If I put a sound track to it, there'd be more funk and groove than metal. YM obviously V'ies, as will others. There's Darrel Dawkins, and there's Dr. J... Larry Czonka, and Barry Sanders...plenty of room for both on the court/field.*

 

 

* excuse me to all the younger folks out there for the old fart hoops and football references.

post #35 of 54
^^^^Who are those guys?? :-)

zenny
post #36 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by zentune View Post

^^^^Who are those guys?? :-)

zenny

 

Yer about a decade short. :)

post #37 of 54
Yes I definitely agree about being "over-amped" being a potential issue that often leads to overdoing it. There's some psychological thing on that I read once where it said something like "a little anxiety is good as it gets the body and mind alert and ready but too much does the opposite" something like that...

So I suppose there's another bit of weirdness, and that is the "start ritual" that anyone who has raced has seen and done. Some guys meditate, some will listen to opera on the head phones, etc...

zenny
post #38 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post
 

Rich, it depends on what folks needs to motivate themselves for good turns. When I raced, if I got into the super aggro football mindset, I'd invariably over edge, over work, and be slow. Usually I'm trying to empty things out and find the 'zone'... skiing 'through' things. Tackling 'through' people instead of running them over. Same result, just a different mind set. My best skiing comes when I feel absolutely calm. Needless to say, If I put a sound track to it, there'd be more funk and groove than metal. YM obviously V'ies, as will others. There's Darrel Dawkins, and there's Dr. J... Larry Czonka, and Barry Sanders...plenty of room for both on the court/field.*

 

 

* excuse me to all the younger folks out there for the old fart hoops and football references.

 

You definately know what I am talking about and keenly mentioned the opposing side of the rhythm which is relaxation. A football player needs to let themselves come down a bit in between plays or they will burn the days energy in the first quarter. With skiing, it is a bit more complex because relaxation has to coinside with aggression throughout the run. While my mental aggression continues throughout, the physical aggression relaxes at transition between turns.

 

I do listen to some less-aggressive music to ski with also. A good one that comes to mind is "It's a G thing" by Dr, Drey and Snoop Dog. Music has a big influence on my skiing and have many different ski mixes for different types of skiing while I ussually gravitate towards aggression.

post #39 of 54
Thread Starter 
I wonder if getting too jacked up would explain all the stupid cheap shot penalties we see in football? Jim Taylor spoke about this and suggested a zone approach where the athlete needs to be in the moment but not overly aroused. Consistency comes from 95 to 97% effort. Considering his clients include Super Bowl winners, as well as the US ski team, he might be onto something.
post #40 of 54

I played basketball in high school and college. I learned that too much interaction with people before the game resulted in decreased performances.  I started listening to music on the bus and focusing on what I wanted to do and that worked much better.  Hardly scientific but it made a difference. 

 

At my recent Level 2 exam, there were a couple of guys who talked the entire day in the skiing exam while we were waiting for others to take their turn or for the examiners to do their scoring. I found that I had to walk away to where I could not hear them because it really affected my concentration. I felt over-stimulated and for me, that leads to decreased performance.

post #41 of 54

jasp, every football player gets fully jacked for each and every play. Part of being fully jacked includes a lasor like focus regarding where and when to release that energy. The primary reason for cheap shots in football is where a player gets lazy and does not take full responsability of that inevitable release of energy. Today, with new and higher fines and heavy camera exposure on all plays, these shots are very rarley intended. That said, the defensive backfield is a place where you are either the predator or the pray and are forced to act accordingly.

post #42 of 54
Thread Starter 

The ability to focus takes practice and in that sense I suppose the amped up focus you described makes some sense. Beyond that my focus is more on accuracy in my movements with no need to violently interact with others, who are trying to violently interact with me. Different sport, different tasks...

post #43 of 54

I wear a helmet for some threads... I suppose that's weird. :) 


Edited by markojp - 5/12/15 at 11:30am
post #44 of 54
Something an assistant coach said to me one was "when you go for points you change (physical in posture and mentally)". This took about a year to fully understand the implication of the statement. Once I understood, I was able to improve greatly.

What was it?

Shut off the competitive edge and focus on the skill. Focus on the point (win, fastest time or whatever) the skill seems to go out the window as the object is the win! Focus on being perfect and the outcome the skills performs, and the chances of winning improve greatly.

In any sport that I do, this is always to most difficult to understand, learn and implement. Since I'm aware of it I watch for falling into the trap of focusing to win vs performing at the best skill possible.



edited: some typo's from iPhone
Edited by oldschoolskier - 5/13/15 at 5:50am
post #45 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

I wear a helmet in for some threads... I suppose that's weird. smile.gif

Strange I do that too. Something with banging the head on the table in dispair in some threads. wink.gif
post #46 of 54

It's been a while, but I used to visualize myself wading in with one of these on.  

I suppose that's weird too.  

 

post #47 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post
 

The ability to focus takes practice and in that sense I suppose the amped up focus you described makes some sense. Beyond that my focus is more on accuracy in my movements with no need to violently interact with others, who are trying to violently interact with me. Different sport, different tasks...

 

I highly recommend skiing violently whenever possible seeing how the main definition is swift and intense force. It is very rare for someone to make it to the NFL who's main intent is to hurt others. I just thought football presents an ideal example of state of mind creation for success in physically competitive environments. The team state of mind dynamic for football is also very unique and intense. Skiing may not be a team sport but fostering a similar team dynamic as a coach has proved to be very beneficial in terms of fostering an individual's competitive mind set. It is OK for a twelve year old to feel a tad blood thirsty at the start gate and to want to see your advisary eat a little dirt. 

post #48 of 54
So Rich, did you ever ski race?
post #49 of 54
Rich, the sport I was in was fencing and it had nothing to do about hurting someone but the doing what ever it takes to win. The point was doing whatever it takes to win can be your biggest fault as you forget the skills that you have and should use to win.

Focus on the task using the perfect skills that you have .... Don't count on Hail Marie's to win the day.... grasshopper.

In skiing I find that this simple yet complex idea applies just the same. Even knowing that, it is an understanding that is difficult to control and implement. Control it you ski at levels beyond your dreams, forget it and you struggle and fail to understand why.
post #50 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

So Rich, did you ever ski race?

 

Only up to my senior year at an academy in ME. I raced in the prep league and some ussa easterns, but was definately never a stand out. After that, I have spent quite a few years getting part time jobs at the mountains (both west and east) to support the ski bum lifestyle. Mostly instructor and race coach jobs but also a couple ski shop jobs too. What about you?

post #51 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldschoolskier View Post

Rich, the sport I was in was fencing and it had nothing to do about hurting someone but the doing what ever it takes to win. The point was doing whatever it takes to win can be your biggest fault as you forget the skills that you have and should use to win.

Focus on the task using the perfect skills that you have .... Don't count on Hail Marie's to win the day.... grasshopper.

In skiing I find that this simple yet complex idea applies just the same. Even knowing that, it is an understanding that is difficult to control and implement. Control it you ski at levels beyond your dreams, forget it and you struggle and fail to understand why.

 

From what I can see, fencing would be a very relevant crosstraining sport in many situations. Also, compared to parkour, much more accessible. It is also a great example regarding the duplicity in getting "jacked up" (jamt in another thread) where you are balancing what could be the opposing forces of thinking clearly yet while being very physically aggressive. OSS - your point is valid and fully agreed upon. I think that for all athletes, getting jacked up and in "beast mode" means a balance of hyper-awareness both mentally and physically. If a boxer goes into the ring with a good plan of strategies, technique and tactics but no attitude, he is going down just as he would the other way around. 

post #52 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich666 View Post

Only up to my senior year at an academy in ME. I raced in the prep league and some ussa easterns, but was definately never a stand out. After that, I have spent quite a few years getting part time jobs at the mountains (both west and east) to support the ski bum lifestyle. Mostly instructor and race coach jobs but also a couple ski shop jobs too. What about you?

Yes. A lot. Not any more. I know myself and can't do it half way, and am more interested in paying it forward these days. Still love following WC stuff though.
post #53 of 54
Thread Starter 

There are two ways to think about skiing, in a competitive way and a just for fun way, although even in a competitive situation like racing it is about individual performances and no one else is out on that stage as you perform. In many ways that can be harder to express to young racers who may be in a development stage where peer pressure is much more important. At an adult stage those competitive opportunities are less and having fun becomes a stronger motivation for most skiers. Warren Miller films often feature racers like Ligety and mogul skiers like Mosley who go powder skiing in Alaska and most comment on how limited their experience in the competitive world becomes. Mosley talks openly about skiing one run at every resort around the world but not experiencing the rest of that mountain, or the flavor of the rest of those resorts until he retired.  Ligety talks about his love of the sport and how racing is only one part of that love. I believe racing helps accelerate the learning process but even then the technical focus needs to become second nature and the tactical aspects of the performance become the stronger focus. What racers experience is the need to be that focused and immersed in the moment, if they expect to perform well on race day.

 

Contrasting that with the recreational skiing world where the skier's line is a pretty wide open choice and that connection to having to make a particular turn exactly at a specific place is lost. At least until you start getting into terrain where a bad turn, or poor line choice can be deadly. Not many folks actually get to that level though, so coaching all the folks not reaching that level and getting them to adopt a daily mental training regimen is difficult. Mostly because the need for that strong focus simply isn't there.

 

This thread was intended to bring to light how a mental training regimen can enhance our everyday performance. Thanks to everyone for sharing ideas about how that works in other sports.

post #54 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post


Yes. A lot. Not any more. I know myself and can't do it half way, and am more interested in paying it forward these days. Still love following WC stuff though.

It can be pretty tough to get up every Sat and Sun morning at 5:00am to travel and coach all day when you work all week. Tried it for 3 or 4 seasons and it was not easy. It was much better doing it as a ski bum and wait tables or bartend at night.

 

Have always been a fan of WC technique, especially GS. Back in the 80's, my dorm room was wall papered with racing posters of Stenmark, Girardelli, Zurbriggen, the Mahre Brothers, Muller, etc. Now, with youtube, I have been a glutton. These days, I only like the way some of the WC racers free ski. For many, the race course seems to be so hammered into their head that their free skiing is far from "free" and too antiseptic.

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