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Getting more nervous with each passing season- help! - Page 2

post #31 of 85

Loud powder...  often called ice ;-)

 

Lots of that around this morning in S VT. 

 

What to do? 

Think about what you might do to stop sliding down the hill with your skis side-ways to the direction of travel,  and making all that racket! 

What will allow you to follow the ski tips across the fall line.

The edges need to engage. roll the ankles, bend the knees, counter the upper body to face down hill, and keep those hands pointing to the end of your next turn! It takes a soft feel for just how much "position" effort is right.  There is a lot of "pressure" sensation on slick surfaces.

Then with the same soft feel, make a smooth turn trying to keep following your turn, tips to tails.

The "loud sound" will diminish by many decibels.  Your sense of control will amplify ten fold,  and you will be in command of your direction and velocity. (keep turning and following the tips,  and you will end up going up hill! Even on ice!  (if you get your edges working)

 

A wider trail helps with this effort,  ..... worth seeking out.  the methods apply to short turns too,  just a bit more critical of timing.

 

I skied a connector trail today that was blue ice from entrance to exit.  Not more than a couple of snow patches at the very edges.  The rope was pulled after that.  No place for "intermediates", and I certainly would not have wanted to pull a loaded sled down THAT!  Gravity being so persistent and all..;-) 

post #32 of 85

I get freaked out by people below me.  It's about the only thing I am overly cautious of while skiing.  I frequently will just stop and wait till it's clear below.  Frequently I am bringing up the rear of my group because I stopped to let someone slower clear out before I bomb down.  I've also got an irrational fear of heights, which can make for interesting chair/tram rides.  I just accept it, try not to look down, and try to think of something else.

 

Ice sucks, no way around that.  You get used to the noise though, even appreciate it for its ability to tell you where everyone is.

post #33 of 85
Actually if skied correctly ice is quiet. Your sharp steel edges etch into the ice.
post #34 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by slider View Post

Actually if skied correctly ice is quiet. Your sharp steel edges etch into the ice.

Hmmm...  Correctly..???    now there is an ambiguous description....;-)

post #35 of 85
Not really. Years ago when skiing ice with a group of friends one remarked that he couldn't hear my skis. But eveyone elses made lots of noise. So don't be so quick to judge because you can't.
post #36 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by slider View Post

Not really. Years ago when skiing ice with a group of friends one remarked that he couldn't hear my skis. But eveyone elses made lots of noise. So don't be so quick to judge because you can't.

Please .. Help the OP out!  What is your method ?  "correctly" seems a bit open.

The sound reduction alone will be worth "hearing" about.

 

Gosh,  you must have something  special to offer,  everyone's skis but yours making "lots of noise" .

post #37 of 85

It is certainly not all mental.  It is the combination of correct technique and one's confidence in their technique.

 

First, consider the Skier's Paradox.  You need to be very aggressive in your movements to have the control to go as slowly as you want.  If you ski defensively, you'll take off like a shot.

 

Get Blakeslee's In The Yikes! Zone.  Read it and understand it.  Get instruction on pitches that do not scare you about the correct technique you need to remain in control.  Gradually work this technique up to steeper & steeper pitches.  One great point Blakeslee makes--challenge yourself on either technique or terrain but never both as you're learning.

 

It'll come.  Take it step by step.  Do not frighten yourself.  That just sets you back.

post #38 of 85
There's nothing special about it. Carve the skis on the ice.
post #39 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy View Post
 

It is certainly not all mental.  It is the combination of correct technique and one's confidence in their technique.

 

First, consider the Skier's Paradox.  You need to be very aggressive in your movements to have the control to go as slowly as you want.  If you ski defensively, you'll take off like a shot.

 

Get Blakeslee's In The Yikes! Zone.  Read it and understand it.  Get instruction on pitches that do not scare you about the correct technique you need to remain in control.  Gradually work this technique up to steeper & steeper pitches.  One great point Blakeslee makes--challenge yourself on either technique or terrain but never both as you're learning.

 

It'll come.  Take it step by step.  Do not frighten yourself.  That just sets you back.


Great post,

 

I'm trying to think of something to say that might be of more help, but that post say's what most of us at the expert level have learned over the years.

post #40 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by gobbly View Post
 

I get freaked out by people below me.  It's about the only thing I am overly cautious of while skiing.  I frequently will just stop and wait till it's clear below.  Frequently I am bringing up the rear of my group because I stopped to let someone slower clear out before I bomb down.  I've also got an irrational fear of heights, which can make for interesting chair/tram rides.  I just accept it, try not to look down, and try to think of something else.

 

Ice sucks, no way around that.  You get used to the noise though, even appreciate it for its ability to tell you where everyone is.


I can totally relate to your fear of heights.  I had the same issue.  When I first started skiing I was more terrified of the lift than skiing out of control down a steep slope.  As my skiing improved so did my enjoyment of the downhill part of skiing.  I just kept telling myself about the fun I would soon be having once I reached the top.  That got me through the lift ride.  Now I ride most chair lifts, with or without the bar, somewhat comfortably.  I still have issues with high places but for some reason the chair lift no longer bothers me.  Being on a ladder 10' of the ground still turns me into a terrified mess.

post #41 of 85
You've had a serious fall and your hinter mind is telling you to be careful (maybe a little to much) but it can be over come.

First get a good tune.
Second get hill time, ski and have fun, don't get pushed into skiing the runs that scare you. As the more fun you have the more likely you get into more did hot runs as confidence builds.
Thirdly side slip drills each and every run (10 ft per side). You are learning balance, edge feel and building confidence. I still do these for reFresher of my confidence with 47+ years of experience. Slowly take this into the scarier runs.
Don't rush it. Don't let it control you.

Remember the fear is trying to protect you, confidence lowers the fear level required to protect you. Otherwise go out and enjoy.
post #42 of 85
Thread Starter 

A POSITIVE update from last season- I am now completely over my fears!

 

I'm not sure really what happened.  I began to realize that the "sounds" of skiing- aggressive snow makers, skis scraping the ice, high winds- were a part of my fear, and decided that that was ridiculous and got over it pretty quickly.

 

Last weekend at Loon my boyfriend calmly suggested a few blacks, instead of just leading me to the edge and forcing me to, lol.  They were nice and wide, with not a lot of people on them, and I felt really in control.  Even though I am sure the blacks at Loon are not anywhere near as challenging as a lot of the terrain in the world, it really was a confidence boost.

 

This past weekend at Sunapee, it just all clicked.  I was confident, the people around me were falling left and right and I just kept saying to myself "18 combined seasons of skiing YOU CAN DO THIS!".  And I did! I was going faster, had stronger turns, and was just having the best time- even though the snow was not that great! The first run we did was also sort of tricky, but we did it, and it just made me feel great.  We watched MANY people struggle and fall down it and it really just helped me realize that I am in control and have the skills.

 

My boyfriend also always says "Look at all these boarders! If they can do it, you can do it! You have twice as much balance as them!" Even if that is not 100% accurate, we like to laugh at the boarders (playfully!), and having the image in mind that I can do anything they can do really helped me. 

 

 

Before, I would panic and have to scope out any run he brought me on.  Now I'm just like....we can do it! Let's go!
 

 

So, thank you for all the feedback here, I always remembered your words, I am having an INCREDIBLE year so far, and it is just going to keep getting better! So excited for my life as a safe, confident, powerful skier! 

 

Thank you!!!!!

post #43 of 85

80% of skiing is in your head. 

 

The worst thing you can do at the top of a steep is sit there and look down it. You'll get psyched out and ski a lot crappier than if you'd gone right off the bat. 

 

I enjoy the fear though.:Ott 

post #44 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnarmonger View Post
 

80% of skiing is in your head. 

 

The worst thing you can do at the top of a steep is sit there and look down it. You'll get psyched out and ski a lot crappier than if you'd gone right off the bat. 

 

I enjoy the fear though.:Ott 

I have to disagree. To quote Lido Tejada-Flores, "Most mental/emotional hangups on skis are a direct result of not being able to cope physically--and that means technically--with conditions on the mountain." The way to learn to ski steeper slopes is not to to the top of a run and tell yourself you can do it when you lack the skills, but to master the required movements on gentler slopes--for example learn how to check speed with each turn on slopes that don't actually require you to check speed--and then use the same techniqures on progressively steeper runs. Also, standing at the top of a slope and visualizing where you will make the first turn or to and choosing one technical skill to concentrate on is helpful. I have the opposite problem--at the top of a steep run I tend to dive in without thinking about what I'm going to do. I do agree that standing up there any longer than it takes to develop a plan isn't helpful. I also find that viewing a run from the side can be intimidating, but once I get to the top and look down I can see that I can do it. 

post #45 of 85
I think those who have come back from injury would disagree with YOU. A very clear case this season. A lady who managed to rack up injuries several times in consecutive seasons was having problems last year coping with snow flake level runs, even though the prior year she'd been fine on blue runs. Skied a handful of days last year, but came away unscathed for a change. Was back this year in a different head space. Just took her down a steep black groomer here Sunday, speckled with little stumps that turned out to be more numerous than expected on our first look (sorry!). She did freeze for a bit, but then got herself moving again and skied the whole thing, even the even steeper bit at the bottom which she'd just watched a dude hurtle down unable to stop his fall after snagging one of these stumps. Her head was just in better shape this year. THERE IS NO WAY LAST YEAR SHE'D HAVE LOOKED OVER THE EDGE. She didn't change her skiing. (How could she with only 7 days last year?).
post #46 of 85

@sibhusky there is really not a disagreement between you and @oldgoat  The woman you speak of had the skills and developed fear.  In a case like that, yes the fear needs to be overcome.

 

However the skills need to exist first.

post #47 of 85
But her hangups were not a result of lack of ability. They were fear based on actual injury. The quote, no matter who said it, is just wrong: "Most mental/emotional hangups on skis are a direct result of not being able to cope physically--and that means technically--with conditions on the mountain."

Now, the way to overcome the fear may be ability, but the fear is not created necessarily through the lack of it.
post #48 of 85

Understood.

post #49 of 85

For me, personally, the wrong kind of fear causes me to ski a lot worse. 

 

Channel the fear into exhilaration. They're related emotions. 

 

Of course, though, have the underlying skills. I'm not saying go from the bunny hill to the chutes and just hope you can handle it.

 

I've improved the most though while skiing slopes that are slightly out of my comfort zone. You've got to build your confidence by forcing down the fear. 

post #50 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

I think those who have come back from injury would disagree with YOU. A very clear case this season. A lady who managed to rack up injuries several times in consecutive seasons was having problems last year coping with snow flake level runs, even though the prior year she'd been fine on blue runs. Skied a handful of days last year, but came away unscathed for a change. Was back this year in a different head space. Just took her down a steep black groomer here Sunday, speckled with little stumps that turned out to be more numerous than expected on our first look (sorry!). She did freeze for a bit, but then got herself moving again and skied the whole thing, even the even steeper bit at the bottom which she'd just watched a dude hurtle down unable to stop his fall after snagging one of these stumps. Her head was just in better shape this year. THERE IS NO WAY LAST YEAR SHE'D HAVE LOOKED OVER THE EDGE. She didn't change her skiing. (How could she with only 7 days last year?).

You make my point. Coming back from injury is the same as progressing in ability--gradual progression from easy to hard. Confidence is gained from success, not from talking onesself into overcoming fear. The OP skied seven times last year and then took a lesson, after which she felt much more confident; not sure how many times this year before her breakthrough--and that seems to have been enough to give her confidence in the skills she already had. 

In any case my remarks were directed at the blanket statement that "80% of skiing is in your head." In some cases there may be more psychological issues than in others--the OP might be such a case--, but that attitude has probably damaged countless numbers of skiers who were dragged by a "friend" or (soon to be in-) significant other, or dragged themselves, to something that was over their heads in the hopes that somehow manufacturing a confident attitude would give them the ability to ski it and who found instead that their lack of success caused them to lose ground, not gain it. 

I'd buy 20%.


Edited by oldgoat - 1/30/17 at 5:33pm
post #51 of 85
I'll totally grant you that having confidence with no skills is not the way to do it.

But developing the confidence is an individual journey, not all of which is based on skills. A lot is just based on what's going on in your life, or on that day. Are you tired? Is it sunny? Is it crowded? Can you cover your mortgage if they bring you down in a sled? Basing it all on technical abilities is wrong.
post #52 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbinder View Post
 

Also check out Mermer Blakelee's book A Conversation With Fear


Here.  Buy it.  This is the first edition:

 

 

Here are some current edition covers:

 

It's a worthy read.

post #53 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

I'll totally grant you that having confidence with no skills is not the way to do it.

But developing the confidence is an individual journey, not all of which is based on skills. A lot is just based on what's going on in your life, or on that day. Are you tired? Is it sunny? Is it crowded? Can you cover your mortgage if they bring you down in a sled? Basing it all on technical abilities is wrong.

A lot of that isn't a lack of confidence but a rational weighing of risks and benefits. I could easily ski faster than I do, but I'm at an age where I know that a high speed fall will probably lead to injury and that if I have an injury at my age I will probably never recover fully. I see the same thing happening to my son--an ex Squaw patroller who has skied a lot of the lines in Squallywood. He's dialing it back (to a level I never came close to) because he has a mortgage (thank god he's dialing it back because we hold the note) and a career to protect. 

Sunny is huge--very few people ski as well in flat light--but that's a rational lack of confidence. If you can't make out the contours of the snow you're reacting rather than being aggressive and as a result you wind up in the backseat. No amount of artificial confidence will make the contrast any better. 

And then there are the days that we are just on, or just off. That's the 20%.

post #54 of 85

I'll stand by my "blanket statement" with the 80% and whatnot. :D The remaining 20% is divided between underlying ability, experience, and the snow conditions. 

 

My wife is an intermediate skier on a good day. And by good day, I mean a day when she feels more confidant, she relaxes, and she has fun. Mental. In a matter of minutes, she can go from tense and rigid wedge turns to relaxed and easy parallel turns. All it takes is a good run and some encouragement, getting in the groove. She's even started hitting powder on the sides of runs with me. She literally gets twice as good at skiing when she relaxes and has fun. 

 

She's grown up skiing. Has the experience, the skill. She just has to relax and enjoy the run instead of tensing up and letting the fear control her. As long as she stays in control and has the ability to stop when she needs to, she's good. And I stress that last point to her over and over again. Control is your best way to avoid injury. 

 

Have fun, relax, but ski in control. Amen. 

post #55 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnarmonger View Post
 

I'll stand by my "blanket statement" with the 80% and whatnot. :D The remaining 20% is divided between underlying ability, experience, and the snow conditions. 

 

My wife is an intermediate skier on a good day. And by good day, I mean a day when she feels more confidant, she relaxes, and she has fun. Mental. In a matter of minutes, she can go from tense and rigid wedge turns to relaxed and easy parallel turns. All it takes is a good run and some encouragement, getting in the groove. She's even started hitting powder on the sides of runs with me. She literally gets twice as good at skiing when she relaxes and has fun. 

 

She's grown up skiing. Has the experience, the skill. She just has to relax and enjoy the run instead of tensing up and letting the fear control her. As long as she stays in control and has the ability to stop when she needs to, she's good. And I stress that last point to her over and over again. Control is your best way to avoid injury. 

 

Have fun, relax, but ski in control. Amen. 

Exactly. She would have no chance of skiing well if she lacked those, no matter how confident she feels. You've made my case for me. Thank you.

post #56 of 85
From a fear point, be it caused by injury or confidence. It is a slow a steady approach that can be overcome given the right encouragement for most people.

Once you recognize it and accept it you are half way there in dealing with it (by expressing it in a public forum is one way). The second half of overcoming is the harder part. There is no ideal solution other than having fun in little stages and letting the fun build while keeping the fear in check, slowly progressing to the point where fear is no longer an issue.

I have been there and done that on several occasions not only in skiing, but other sports and life activities.

Overly cautious by all means dive in or how I prefer to phrase it...If in doubt, attack!!!! If it kills you it was the wrong decision. (So far I haven't died).

Fear on the other hand, back up a bit figure out the cause of the fear and overcome it slowly with fun and persistence. A lot better chance of success.
post #57 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by adriennemaria View Post

 

I am terrified of steep terrain....especially here in NE where it is often icy....I don't know, I am afraid that while on a steep run there will be a dad with his kids just waiting somewhere in the middle or that I will somehow lose control and just fall forward and seriously hurt myself.  I have no idea where this blind panic came from, it never used to bother me.....I was skiing on Risky Business at Sunday River the other day and started to CRY because I didn't think I could do it.

 

 

That's one of the challenging parts about the East: the narrow, windy, icy trails that are many times crowded with people who are difficult to pass. I can't stand a crowded trail, but I doubt anyone will disagree. Just relax and know it's all in your head. Try to stay in control and know that if you need to, you can make a turn in a split second to avoid a collision (if there's ice, the people in front of you won't be stopping any faster than you if your edges are sharp). A lesson may help to regain your confidence.

 

It's not wrong to expect the worst, but don't let it consume you. Harness it and use it to be prepared and expect the unexpected. Good luck and have fun!

post #58 of 85
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WingingIt View Post
 

 

That's one of the challenging parts about the East: the narrow, windy, icy trails that are many times crowded with people who are difficult to pass. I can't stand a crowded trail, but I doubt anyone will disagree. Just relax and know it's all in your head. Try to stay in control and know that if you need to, you can make a turn in a split second to avoid a collision (if there's ice, the people in front of you won't be stopping any faster than you if your edges are sharp). A lesson may help to regain your confidence.

 

It's not wrong to expect the worst, but don't let it consume you. Harness it and use it to be prepared and expect the unexpected. Good luck and have fun!

Yes, the East Coast crowdedness/narrow icy trails really do freak me out....but I am hoping when confronted with that now, I will realize it is really not anything to be afraid of and you are right- I have the strength and skill to stop/avoid anything dangerous! Thank you so much for the encouragement!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnarmonger View Post
 

I'll stand by my "blanket statement" with the 80% and whatnot. :D The remaining 20% is divided between underlying ability, experience, and the snow conditions. 

 

My wife is an intermediate skier on a good day. And by good day, I mean a day when she feels more confidant, she relaxes, and she has fun. Mental. In a matter of minutes, she can go from tense and rigid wedge turns to relaxed and easy parallel turns. All it takes is a good run and some encouragement, getting in the groove. She's even started hitting powder on the sides of runs with me. She literally gets twice as good at skiing when she relaxes and has fun. 

 

She's grown up skiing. Has the experience, the skill. She just has to relax and enjoy the run instead of tensing up and letting the fear control her. As long as she stays in control and has the ability to stop when she needs to, she's good. And I stress that last point to her over and over again. Control is your best way to avoid injury. 

 

Have fun, relax, but ski in control. Amen. 

She sounds just like me.  I imagine this is something many women experience, I am not sure why, skiing should not be any harder for us females! Something as simple as a nice wide ride with no people on it, or going over some small jumps and feeling the exhilaration, can just set me up for the best day.  On the other hand, seeing people fall around me, sensing the ice, etc, can just frighten me so much, that my day is basically ruined and I look like I have never skied before. 

 

I am going to remember that fear is unfounded, it is in my head, and I am skilled enough to overcome! Thank you for the encouragement and sharing your wife's experiences....it makes me feel better knowing other people have that same issue with confidence and fear! 

post #59 of 85
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for the continued feedback! I consider you to be very wise and take your words seriously.  It is nice to have someone besides my boyfriend giving me this advice, ha! Always good to have a few opinions!

 

I really hope I can continue this pattern of fearlessness and increased skill! 

 

Greetings from a somewhat snowy MA....not snowy enough for a snow day turned ski day, though :( 

post #60 of 85
Quote:

Originally Posted by adriennemaria View Post

 

 I imagine this is something many women experience, I am not sure why, skiing should not be any harder for us females!

 

 

Believe me, men experience this too.  Maybe the percentage of women vs the percentage of men is skewed, but as an Intermediate skier I felt very similar to you.  Particularly starting as an adult.  Young people are less afraid of getting hurt.

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