Originally Posted by nolo
I played one brilliant round of golf this summer, after which my game fell apart and has stayed as a monument to mediocrity. It has really tested my love for the game. Nothing like this ever happened to me in skiing. Oh sure, there are days when I can't seem to buy a turn, but that's a day, not an entire month. The phenomenon in golf of being able to hit the ball long and straight one day and then every which way the next doesn't really happen in skiing, does it? Are skiing skills stickier than golf skills--like riding a bike?
Comparing apples and oranges. You're comparing gross motor movements (skiing) against fine muscular control (golf). The margin for error is HUGE in skiing and very very small in golf.
I suspect that you're unable to repeat your golf success because your mental model differs from what you are actually doing. I'd look at the success as an indication that you do indeed have the ability in you. Getting it out is the problem. Especially if you've got the wrong map!
If you've ever heard a skier say, "But I AM forward!" then you know the difference between the map and the territory. Unfortunately, with golf, the map is very detailed, and differences in your swing can be hard to feel/discern, and so are even easier to mislabel.
Here's a notion that at least I find interesting. When you are learning something, you will go down several false paths, until you realize how to make the corrections to arrive at the destination. Then suppose you stop doing it (lack of snow for eg.).
When you pick it up again, I suggest that you may still go down those wrong paths, but will be quicker to make the corrections. You not only remember the 'fix', but remember and repeat the entire journey.
I suggest that this is why kids learn way faster -- they've made fewer false starts that they need to work through again.
There is a school of thought that kids need to "just ski" and they will "get it". usually, folks that think that way refuse to teach children technique, because for one reason or another, they think that the kids can't handle it mentally or physically. I call bull.
IMO, kids NEED to be told what is right/wrong and drills need to be used to teach them to ski properly. Not just told to "go skiing". Why? So that they don't have to find a fix for what they are doing, and so that their map agrees with the territory. Then, when they pick it up next season, they don't have so many mistakes to work through....
how does this relate to "Do you get better every season"? It depends: can you fix the errors you made on your last journey faster this year than you did last year? eg. suppose it took you 25 days to get this good. Will you need 25 days next year to recover being this good?
If you do, you've really learned nothing -- you've repeated the year. If you take 15 days, to recover last years skills then you've actually learned something. Proof is you have learned correct movement patterns are able to fix your problems faster.
OTOH, a slump means you've deadended, and still think you're doing it right -- your map is wrong, and the movements you think are right won't get you to your goal.
Sorry for the long ramble. learning new stuff is hard.