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Psychological effects of skiing under pressure, and overcoming them

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
So I had my first race of the season today. I fell 3/4 down the course, I already made it down the steepest part, and was at the last gate before the flats, the one my coach told me to watch out for. A mere 10 seconds from the finish. I was coming into a left turn, I had a high line, and I saw this giant rut coming at me, it was so close to the gate that I couldn't ride it out, so I hesitated, wound up with one ski in the rut, one ski out, and it just threw me in the air.

I think it was 70% psychological, 30% conditions.

The conditions sucked because first of all it was -5 out, with heavy winds, and the snow was completley and utterly bombproof when I was training just two days before. The mountain came up with the great idea to blow a shit load of snow on all the trails, so by the time 7th seed came around, most of the snow had gotten pushed off the course and into giant piles on the sides, creating huge ruts with patches of ice in front of them. Most of the kids after 5th seed had dissapointing results because of this. This is what caused me to fall, but I knew well before that I was going to fall tonight.

One thing that really jinxed me was that I spent a lot of the last 3 months studying how to perfectly wax and tune a ski. I spent a whole ton of money on supplies, and spent 2 1/2 hours waxing my skis last night. Also, everyday this week I was checking to see what the weather was going to be tonight, how cold it was going to be, what the snow was going to be like etc.
Lastly, I had an awesome day of training on wednesday, which was the last day I skied before the race. My coach was totally impressed with how far I came from last season, and my buddies were commenting on how good I looked in the gates. So sure I had a great day in training, sure I had the support of the maggots, and sure I probably had the fastest skis out there, but I think all of this stuff just threw me off completley. I was expecting too much, or something, which is why I think I fell. I totally jinxed myself by all of these, and I knew it too. I kept thinking to myself last night at 11pm, that "what if I fall, then this whole waxing thing will have been a waste" I actually thought about that a ton today too, so I jinxed myself mentally, even though I wasn't really nervous at the start.

I know a lot of skiers, even world class ones, get psyched out when skiing under pressure. I remember that one female skier in the olympics a few years ago that everyone thought would win gold wound up falling in every single race, 'cause she was psyched out.

I know a lot of you guys have been in competetions and have raced, so I was just wondering if anyone could give me some tips to not jinx myself next friday night when I race. I'm already thinking of just not waxing my skis or anything like that, and going at the race with a care-free attitude.

Any advice at all?
post #2 of 3
Quote:
Originally posted by dipstik:

I know a lot of you guys have been in competetions and have raced, so I was just wondering if anyone could give me some tips to not j_ myself next friday night when I race. I'm already thinking of just not waxing my skis or anything like that, and going at the race with a care-free attitude.

Any advice at all?
- If you can go in with a carefree attitude, I envy you that! It's not easy for me: no matter the sport or event I generally have to fight insomnia the night before. I'd say do it carefree just to develop the skill of doing so.

- Wax anyway. That's a skill too.

- Don't use the j_ word. Naming calls.
post #3 of 3
don't blame it on a jinx. don't blame a fall on anything. just accept it, and go on to the next race. racing is only psychological if you let it be. it IS mental. mis-judging a gate, or a rate, or a gate you knew was going to be an issue is a mental let down or a something you didn't see correctly or make the proper decision on how to take the gate.

i have "psyched" myself up/out before, but again, only when i let myself. i noticed something about racing... everyone seemed to have a pre-race ritual. i developed one, and i never varied from it. that helped calm me down and mentally prepared me. with your waxing and any pre-race issues, just develop a pattern or ritual that calms you down. well, worked for me. best of luck in the rest of your season.
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