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IT'S ALL MENTAL NOW (what does it mean to you?)

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Now seems to refer to a level of technical competence and mountain experience.

Mental seems to mean.......

For me, it means that it's all about concentration. Ever lose concentration in the middle of a critical line?  It happens, and fear is usually the culprit.
post #2 of 19
Being in complete focus is key. This is what puts someone in the "zone". The zone is when things just happen your body knows what to do and does it. Figuring out how to get yourself into the zone is one of the hardest things for an athlete.

For me concentration can be a bad thing. Over thinking is what can throw you off. When I am at the top of a run/in a start gate it is all about clearing my head, and focusing on what I need to do. At this point I do not think about how I am going to do anything. It is time to clear the mind and just let my body do what I have trained it to do.

Mental preparation is one of the most important things you can do to improve your skiing.

There are a couple good books I have read recommended by a few coach friends I have. It changes your entire thinking about how you approach a sport and it a huge help. I can't remember the books now but I will see if I can dig them up.
post #3 of 19
welcome to enlightenment, the awakening of ones self. 
post #4 of 19
Kristen Ulmer does a ski clinic to overcome fear called Ski to Live.  Ever watch a pro before a run, eyes closed and mentally running the course before the skis ever point downhill. 
post #5 of 19
Mental seems to mean....... Confidence
post #6 of 19
Not all people ski better when they concentrate. Sometimes leaving all the jargon, lessons, drills, tips, ski thoughts behind - and just Doing it  lets a person enter and stay in the Zone until the bottom is reached.   For some clearing the mind does wonders for their motor skills to perform without the interference from the brain etc.

There is a time and place to drill, learn, absorb and practice and then there is a time to TRUST what you have learned and let yourself GO FREE  and just Do It.
post #7 of 19
 Awareness, awareness, awareness.
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by bob4snow View Post

Kristen Ulmer does a ski clinic to overcome fear called Ski to Live.  Ever watch a pro before a run, eyes closed and mentally running the course before the skis ever point downhill. 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinstant View Post

 Awareness, awareness, awareness.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete No. Idaho View Post

Not all people ski better when they concentrate. Sometimes leaving all the jargon, lessons, drills, tips, ski thoughts behind - and just Doing it  lets a person enter and stay in the Zone until the bottom is reached.   For some clearing the mind does wonders for their motor skills to perform without the interference from the brain etc.

There is a time and place to drill, learn, absorb and practice and then there is a time to TRUST what you have learned and let yourself GO FREE  and just Do It.

This is enlightenment, being aware of yourself, being aware of and actively shutting down: influences like running thoughts, unrealistic fears, past experiences, outside interferences. These things all will interfere with your perfromance and focus on the momemt at hand. Simply being in the moment.  You are aware of the moment and the race. This is pretty much like skiing with Dan Egan.
Edited by Finndog - 11/19/09 at 11:29am
post #9 of 19
If you have to think very hard about the doing of an activity, you are still learning it.  If your subconscious can accomplish the act, you are free to see ahead, and give a route for to your skills to act upon. 

Having an action be MENTAL to me is; thinking where and what, not how.

(Today really sucks!  38" of fresh on my mountain, and I have the crud.  Eat healthy stay fit get sick.  Oh well, it is only November.)
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
This is already a cool discussion. thanks for your focus.

I never wanted to insist that mental meant thinking. I'm glad we've acknowleged that mental is a broad term.

Exactly right! focus may be a clearer term than concentration, though I used them interchangably.

I might drop into a tough line and just remind myself: compact    or   look down the fall line   and that's it, that's all.

Once I was not certain of my tactics for a difficult situation. Finally I just thought: drop in, your instincts will take over and they did.

Part of what had occurred to me here is that now it's about attitude, that is: confidence, joy, flowing, the zone.

Now that we know how to ski, our experience is determined by how we feel and focus, and find the zone. I guess that's close, anyhow.
post #11 of 19
My best runs happen when I feel like I'm on autopilot. I just flow down the hill, making terrain adjustments automatically, without thinking. If I encounter something that makes me do a conscious calculation of how to proceed, things start falling apart; I'm suddenly back in practice/learning/drill mode. The smoothness is gone and everything feels glitchy and forced. Only when the math gets shoved into the background does everything smooth out again.
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morrison Claystone View Post

My best runs happen when I feel like I'm on autopilot. I just flow down the hill, making terrain adjustments automatically, without thinking. If I encounter something that makes me do a conscious calculation of how to proceed, things start falling apart; I'm suddenly back in practice/learning/drill mode. The smoothness is gone and everything feels glitchy and forced. Only when the math gets shoved into the background does everything smooth out again.
 


EXACTLY !!!  I only wish I could do it more often.  Maybe it will come with more experience - but hey I may be running out of time.
post #13 of 19
If you have to think to ski, you're destined for failure.

It's ok to plot out your line but execution should come from the snow up, not from the brain down.
post #14 of 19
Some good books to read if you really want to understand the mental side of sports.

The New Toughness Training for Sports: Mental, Emotional, and Physical Conditioning from One of the World's Premier Sports
Psychologists
by James E. Leohr,

The Mental Edge: Maximize Your Sports Potential with the Mind/Body Connection
by Ken Baum, Richard Trubo,

Body Mind Mastery: Creating Success in Sport and Life
by Dan Millman,
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morrison Claystone View Post

My best runs happen when I feel like I'm on autopilot. I just flow down the hill, making terrain adjustments automatically, without thinking. If I encounter something that makes me do a conscious calculation of how to proceed, things start falling apart; I'm suddenly back in practice/learning/drill mode. The smoothness is gone and everything feels glitchy and forced. Only when the math gets shoved into the background does everything smooth out again.
 

Like an out of body experience? The runs that stand out in my mind when I'm making the turn to finish them feel like I've been there already and the line, balance and execution are accomplished without thought. Deja vu.
post #16 of 19
One of my other passion is music. I am a professional jazz musician. Good music happens when I am reading the sheets. Good skiing happens when I am connecting those dots.
But real music happens when the time to improvise is mine. And I close my eyes and the music comes from that magic place beyond my "control.". And that is when great skiing happens too. Except I must remember to keep my eyes open.... 
post #17 of 19
I would say its a separation from your body-your mind per say. There's a differenc between "you" and your consious mind. As said ^ you don't think about it, it's autopilot, you can shut the mind down from overthinking each aspect of the turn, body position, speed etc. This is exactly what I am working on in everything, not just skiing.   Good example, skiing in LaParva with Dan Egan clinic, we were on a 40 plus ridge line. I had never skied a line that steep, the snow was chalky and firm, I made the drop in turn and set my edges but it wasn't pretty, I looked up at Dan and said, what did I do wrong, he just said, you told yourself you couldn't do it and you got what you expected. Now just ski it.  I skied the rest of the line just fine.....  instead of just trusting myself, i created fears and went into the protection mode.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MastersRacer View Post




Like an out of body experience? The runs that stand out in my mind when I'm making the turn to finish them feel like I've been there already and the line, balance and execution are accomplished without thought. Deja vu.
 
post #18 of 19
 I try to ski without thinking.  I refer to it as using my "Insect Brain".  I respond to stimuli and make adjustments.  My brain doesn't run fast enough to maintain a dialog when skiing in steep trees.  If I realize that I made a mistake, I don't put value on it.  I correct it and keep going.  I will be more focused and think about making changes in technique at other times. 
post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 

great stuff. poetic. awesome.

The Mental part is controling your conciousness, your state of mind.

I was looking into my line and just thought:  trust your instincts.

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