Fear is a natural reaction that needs to be addressed correctly. Most fear comes from not feeling in control. "I can't turn or stop, therefore the only thing I can do is fall over. If I fall over I'll break my leg."
Now you didn't say if your friend is a beginner or has been skiing for awhile. So I'll address it from both points of view.First for a beginner:
What you need to do is address the process of being in control. That's where a good lesson/instructor/coach helps. We've all seen the "boyfriend" teaching his "girlfriend" how to ski. Of course they are standing at the top of a black diamond. He's saying, "Just point em down like this and turn." And she's frozen with fear.
This is what is in the back of most beginner's minds when they hear the words, "I'm going to teach you to ski."
A good instructor starts out from the beginning helping a student gain control and stay in control. This is done step by step. First get them use to the boots and walking around. Then do a bunch of one ski drills. Then switch feet and do the drills again. Then both skis on very very flat
terrain. Introduce sliding to a stop. Then deviations from straight sliding. Using the hill to go in a direction that will lead to a stop. The progression continues in a similar safe manner.
All these steps helps a cautious student realize that they can pick where they want to go for their abilities and stay in control. When this happens the student stops worrying about falling and starts concentrating on skiing. When a fall happens, its not a big deal, get up, get moving, have fun.Next for a Skier:
What you need to do is address the process of being in control. (Sound familiar?
) But this is very true. Just because someone skis doesn't mean that they think they are in control. So for this type of student I lower the terrain so they are comfortable. This will up their confidence level which makes learning easier. (In General, High fear = low learning, Low fear = high learning)
Work on those skills that they need to have more comfort skiing and be in better control. Stay on the "lower" terrain until the new moves are ingrained. Up the tasks enough to make it a challenge and learning will progress. Once they have the new skills ingrained, then slowly crank up the gravity so they see that the skills are there.Note:
In neither of these scenarios do I directly address falling. I don't want my student even thinking about it. It's the old don't think about pink elephants doing pirouettes in green tutus. (Now, have I really got your mind spinning?
) But that's the concept. I only want my student, especially fearful ones, thinking about successful skiing, not falling. So I focus on the fun of skiing.
Read Mermer Blakeslee's "In the Yikes Zone." It deals with fear very well. I highly recommend it.