EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Help requested: head down/problem looking at ski tips
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Help requested: head down/problem looking at ski tips

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
First off sorry if this has been covered before - i tried searching but the search terms are a little vague.

I've currently got a major problem with keeping my head down and watching my ski tips. As you can imagine this leads to a whole load of problems such as my body following my skis, arms crossing over etc.

The thing is, this head down position is now my default and i'm having real trouble snapping out of it. On groomed/easy terrain i can pull my head up a little, however when the terrain gets more challenging i start looking at my tips again, and directly in front of me. It's making my skiing more reactionary and not at all smooth.

Is this a common problem? Does anyone have any tips/techniques to help me start looking ahead and down the mountain?

Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 18
There's no reason to look at your skis... They are going to do what your body tells them to.. When I was a beginner I had this problem...

I don't know how fast you ski, but find someone that skis at a comparable speed/level and keep an eye on them.

Keeping yourself from looking down will be difficult if it has become habit, and the only cure I can think of is starting on gentle terrain and putting all focus on keeping your head up... Slowly progress to more difficult conditions and keep your main focus on keeping your head up....

If you wanna force yourself to do it, try to find a neck brace and ski with it on.. People will think you are nuts, but you'll be forced to keep your head up.. Maybe that would make you realize that you can ski just fine without watching your skis...

With beginners, I ski backwards in front of them and tell them to maintain eye contact with me at all times, but it's unlikely that you'll find someone that can ski harder terrain at the same speed as you backwards.
post #3 of 18
skiing is like dancing. if you dance, you don;t want to be looking at your feet.

try straightening your upper torso and keep you chest pointing downhill. look about 15-20 feet ahead of you and try to prepare for the upcoming terrain, not what is directly in front of you. allow your skis to drift out side to side with your chest facing down hill, even on the flats. it;s easy to get lazy and just let the skis run.

goodluck
post #4 of 18
Well, I think it's going to be a mental game to get out of the habit. You already know the problem and realize why it's bad, now just work on a forward looking stance -- it will probably help several aspects of your skiing to project your upper body and view downhill.

You may be skiing defensively right now, looking for things to avoid. Did you ever have a bad experience crossing tips or getting skis tangled up in soft snow? Any other reason you are watching the skis? Try skiing confidently and offensively -- look for routes where you want to go. When you start focusing on where you want to go farther downhill, the little short range stuff is no longer a problem and you can stop worrying about it.
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks, all good tips. I think i actually picked up this habit from trying to work on technique; i was monitoring the distance between my skis, checking for tip lead etc. I think i'm just going to have to make a concerted effort to make this my only skiing thought for the rest of the season. Hopefully i can break the habit...
post #6 of 18
i usually tell others to pick a landmark downhill, maybe a slow sign or a trail sign and tell them to try to ski toward it. try to keep your chest pointing in that direction down hill. that way they are doing less side to side traversing.
post #7 of 18
Spend more time on snow. There are some things that will come with time and that is one of them.

Your brain will eventually "know and trust" the information coming from the feet and ankles.
post #8 of 18
Mr. O I can only imagine the responses had you posted this on TGR.

What do your skis say on the front of them? Read it, memorize it and every time you see it say aloud what you read. Then say to yourself "that will say "***" and hour from now or tomorrow so damnit, LOOK WHERE YOU ARE GOING IDIOT!" If that happens every time you look down you will soon not look down
post #9 of 18
Or put a toothpick in the collar of your jacket positioned so that every time you look down, you get picked in the neck.
post #10 of 18
Go ski a tree/glade run , make it an easy one but you will start to look ahead and where you are going to within the first couple of turns.Stop thinking about your skis and just ski. Have confidence that the skis will do what they were made for -turning.
post #11 of 18
As a previous poster said - find a landmark down the hill from you and watch it. Kep looking at it the entire time you ski. You can also do with this with people in front of you (if there are any).

I had this habbit when I was younger. I broke it by skiing slalom courses. If you don't look ahead you can't ski them.

Later

GREG
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier219 View Post
Well, I think it's going to be a mental game to get out of the habit. You already know the problem and realize why it's bad, now just work on a forward looking stance -- it will probably help several aspects of your skiing to project your upper body and view downhill.

You may be skiing defensively right now, looking for things to avoid. Did you ever have a bad experience crossing tips or getting skis tangled up in soft snow? Any other reason you are watching the skis? Try skiing confidently and offensively -- look for routes where you want to go. When you start focusing on where you want to go farther downhill, the little short range stuff is no longer a problem and you can stop worrying about it.
It is very mental, I am breaking out of this very problem this season. I find that when I'm agressive, I tend to look up and everything works fine and dandy but the moment I start getting passive or defensive, like on challenging, big, icy bumps, my point of focus gets closer to me, which is bad because it should be further out in that type of terrain. Skiing behind a better skier and forcing yourself to be an active rather than a passive skier would be my $0.02
post #13 of 18
I'll just throw my $.02 in here, when I teach people with "Pretty Ski Syndrome", as I call it, I simply remind them that personally, I don't care if I hurt myself, but I will not allow myself to hurt someone else, and especially not a little kid (kids can pop up out of absoluately no where). Believe it or not, just keeping this thought in mind helps keep the eyes up. From that, also keep in mind that looking down tends to be a fear/hesitation movement and if we focus on one turn at a time (don't look at the end of a trail, but just focus on the turns since skiing is just a matter of turning, no matter how many or how little we choose to make) we'll eventually get to the end of the trail.
post #14 of 18
Stop on a nice blue run well within your comfort zone. Look down the trail for some "features on the snow such as "death cookies" from the groomers or blown leaves; if there is nothing there, snap a few fir or pine twigs that will stand out and place them at a nice distance .... almost like a GS course. Don't view it as a "race" around these, just make sure you turn around each point. Drop something like a dozen of these twigs for your practice.

Force yourself to make each turn point and as you repeat this exercise and gain confidence in it you will find yourself looking to the next one well ahead and gradually you will start to focus down the trail ..... good skiers are planning and scanning well ahead and avoiding the trouble spots and picking the best line.
post #15 of 18
Keep your chin up. Works for me.

cdnguy
post #16 of 18
I have never tried this myself, but I've heard that skiing with a ball cap pulled way down low over the forehead will cure looking down. It forces a person to raise their head to look ahead because they cannot see anything otherwise. There is no glancing up. Worth a try if it's not to cold out.
post #17 of 18
I have developed same problem this yr after spending first 2 months skiing alot of ice.Now having trouble breaking it.I constantly remind myself to look up but i keep my head down 5o% of the time and its really causing a problem.When i do lift my head all is fine.Tried 3 turns ahead but after a while i drop it to look at tips.
post #18 of 18
Mr O,

Next time you're out sliding around focus on feeling what your feet and skis are doing without looking down at them. As you develop an awareness of how it feels when you ski the looking down will go away. Ski with all your senses.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Help requested: head down/problem looking at ski tips