or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › The most common problem that holds skiers back?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

The most common problem that holds skiers back? - Page 2

post #31 of 51
I'm terrified of heights, and so I have a lot of sympathy with learners who have the same fear. And fear of careering down a hill, out of control, yuk!

I know that telling someone in that frame of mind to change their way of thinking isn't going to do it, it didn't for me.
What did it for me was increasing my skill level, making the necessary movements easy and inate, and gradually working on steeper terrain...coaching is helpful, but skills acquisition is key.

And key to that was, for me, balance. Once I had the ability to step from ski to ski when things went wrong or my weight was just a shade "off" meant I stopped having those annoying crashes. I had more options and confidence. Confidence saw me tackling steeper terrain.

I still get that clutch at my throat and desire to lean back on some very steep hills, making the first turn can still be impossible some days.
I use this experience to devise ways of conquering the same fear in my students.

If anyone has any special tricks for this, please share them!
post #32 of 51
Interesting, Ant. One of the many reasons I got into skiing was to get over a fear of heights. I did'nt mention it, because I thought it was a fairly unique situation. Most people with fear of heights do not try to cure it by learning to ski!
It is encouraging to know that an instructor once had the same problem.
I would say that this fear is a crucial factor that holds me back. If the trail looks too steep, or if I am up in higher altitude, a sense of vertigo takes over, and I essentially forget everything I've learned.

WIth all these variables, i'm starting to wonder if thre really is one most common problem.
post #33 of 51
Time to throw in my 2 cents. Actually it's just a different take on the overall all theme. In my view there are two main things that hold back most intemediate skiers.
1) Working against gravity, instead of with it.
2.) Not enough time spent skiing.
post #34 of 51
1) Not enough time on snow -
Requires: (a) snow and (b) time
2) Not enough money -
Requires (a) more money or (b) something else that does the same thing
3) Fear of being hurt -
Requires: ??? you tell me ???
4) Not having the vaguest notion just what you should be doing -
Requires: knowledge, through (a) reading, (b) really patient, understanding, compassionate instruction, (c) this web site, and (d) experience
5) Equipment which doesn't work -
Requires: (a) boots that fit right, (b) boots that are not too stiff, (c) skis that are not too long, (d) skis that are not too stiff, (e) skis that are approriate for the conditions - shorty slaloms are harder for skiing powder, fats are harder for quicker easier turns on eastern concrete.

That's my list, and that comes from me, a truly mediocre skier. The best [most successful] advice I've had from people on this site have me skiing shorter and more flexible skis, skis approriate for the conditions, and applying some specific advice [VERY specific when posted by Pierre, eh!] about "things to do". The boot problem was solved REALLY WELL by my friends at the Alpine Shop in South Burlington, Vermont.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ December 10, 2001 05:52 AM: Message edited 1 time, by oboe ]</font>
post #35 of 51
Bob B: Can you explain what you mean? I love to go fast and change direction, but I have to control speed given that there are people and other obstacles on the hill. If I don't control my speed by the size and shape of my turns I will soon hit a speed that is probably dangerous to me and others on the hill.
post #36 of 51

I am also afraid of heights, to some extent. When I started skiing I had a terrible time going on the chairlift. Any swing or dip would make me clutch the bar like my life depended on it. This is hard to admit, but several times I had to wait for somebody to join me on a chair because I was so uncomfortable going alone. : But I persisted and today I am much more comfortable and relaxed.

Steeps also make me feel a little aprehensive, but at least I am touching the ground. In general when skiing steep terrain, I concentrate on the area around me, which is a way to avoid thinking about the height factor.
post #37 of 51
When I was learning to ski as a little kid, my dad was my main instructor, as he skiied at UC Boulder waaaaaaay back in the day, and figured he could teach us. My brother started at the same time as me, and was old enough to fear a faceplant, so we both learned to get out of the backseat at the same time, I was just 4 years younger. what dad did was very interesting. he laid down in the snow, on our skis(I realised years later this was to keep the ski from going out from under us)right in front of us, and said "lean forward as far as you can, I'll catch you". He being our dad and all, we trusted him, and we were both shocked to learn that we were held in. So we learned young to go into a hill without being in the backseat, and many years later, I thought back to that day when I was learning an 'australian rappel' where you rappel down a mountain with a rear line, facing straight down....wow, am I rambling? Yup. In any case, once we were out of the back seat, we proceeded to tackle every slope we could find

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ December 10, 2001 04:40 PM: Message edited 1 time, by grue ]</font>
post #38 of 51
running straight down a cliff is regarded as Australian? that's interesting! I see it here quite a bit, although I learned the backwards way.
the thrill seekers seem to use that method mainly...
post #39 of 51
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ant:
running straight down a cliff is regarded as Australian? that's interesting! I see it here quite a bit, although I learned the backwards way.
the thrill seekers seem to use that method mainly...

Yeah, I got a kick out of that, too, I spent a few years in Sydney, didn't see it too often ;P
post #40 of 51
>>>1) We know traversing is dead end,<<<???

SCSA, I have stopped on the right side of the two hundred foot wide slope and you have stopped opposite me.

I'm in possesion of THE GOOD STUFF which you want. Since you don't know how to traverse across to me you will have to ski down the slope, take the lift up and hope to catch up to me.

Surprise! All the GOOD STUFF is gone

post #41 of 51

Oops. Traversing is good!
post #42 of 51
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Rick H:
"Yes it is steep. You have refined your movements to a very high degree. I will go down two turns first and coach you down, one turn at a time. With my help, I know you can master this slope" What have I done here? First, I have displayed confidence in the student. I am not going to run off and leave the student. Let's solve this problem one step at a time. I am here to help. With my help, the student will master the run.

What does this dialog display? I care about the student's safety. I have confidence in the students ability. I am in this with the student and we will see through together. And lastly, I care for the student. I have built a relationship with the student to gain the student's trust. It is my contention that instrucors must build trust with students in order to have success. The days of "Do it my way" are over, if we want to be successful.

Outstanding, Rick. I really like that approach. You can fine tune it depending on what type of learner the person is, but it makes this student feel very confident that he's going to learn what to do.
post #43 of 51
traversing is a dead end

Hogwash! Every movement on the snow is a traverse -- the question simply is how does the skier weight and pressure his/her edges in that traverse.

One of my best drills for carving and edge control is the exaggerated traverse with a release-fall downhill-change edge movement pattern at each side of the trail. Yep, it's one that Jim Weiss taught me.

edited for typos

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ December 11, 2001 10:52 AM: Message edited 1 time, by gonzostrike ]</font>
post #44 of 51
I was thinking about this thread yesterday at the Beav.

All I know is that balance is the most important thing.

I see so many skiers, if they would just take the time to learn how to balance on their skis...

3 years later, what I really learned is balance. Yes, I learned what the primary movements of skiing are, but thru working on my balance.

I saw instructors teaching wedge turns at the Beav. Really pissed me off...
post #45 of 51
...SCSA/RICK H/Zeek/Bob...throw me into the bonfire too. The fore/aft balance thing is my question too Zeek! Seems like I'm doin' the same as you...having to flex too much!..??and I can really sense it on the steeps. The knowledge is in the brain now(mucho thanks Bob..your description(s) of edge_control against one's MOMENTUM was dynamite!), but with a previous uncomfortable pair of boots & demo skis (setup by Greg @Stratton)..seems like the toe end was slightly higher!..??) did I remember Ydnar talking about this somewhere..? It struck a bell...but it was on one of those *busy* workdays. Fear of the fall-line and that
static *in-between*/un-extended stance...killers of the near-past.. [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #46 of 51
Hi Steve,

This is not shameless promotion - just answering your question.

How I learned balance was practicing those drills in "2". Particularly, whenever possible (cat walks, gentle blue runs), I ski on one ski, making turns with my downhill leg -- the von Grunigen move or weighted release. This exercise, more than anything has improved my skiing.

My technique may not be perfect, but my balance is great. My balance saves me least a few times a day. Note here: I couldn't stand on one foot 2 years ago. So yes, balance can be learned.

If I was to start a ski program, I'd focus on teaching skiers balance. But somebody has already done that, why reinvent the wheel!
post #47 of 51
The comfort of everyday life holds most people back from mastering skiing. No raw courage and little raw energy. Most western recreational skiers people have lost touch with the ground and live in thier heads.

Oz [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #48 of 51
thanks SCSA,
With some *feet on snow*_time...sounds like the balance (single foot) drills are the ones to concentrate on. Everything else feels! fine...except for the fact (that I failed to clearly establish..that a previous footbed was (I feel) much better(aggressive design) for my arch..in handling my pronation. The beds I now have are basically ok...but I could use the more aggressive *under_the_arch* shape of the previous (Gordon Hay's...for we NewEnglanders)..I think the more aggressive arch stabilized my feet in the fore/aft_mode better... [img]smile.gif[/img] [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #49 of 51
Hi SCSA & gang
Well after a few weeks off the mountains...was terrific to get back...to TrY to straighten out the short_radius turns. There's nothin' like having everything you've analyzed work..hands-shoulders...etc..work in the first run...and then by observing great skiers (racing kids' coaches...2 older guys & one rippin' woman)...see the OtHeR 50%?!! that's been missing...(like doing the twist occasionally with the hips!!..<-- THE thing that's been flowing in & out of my turns..without my paying attention to it.
There's nothing like watching great short_radius turns...energetic, crisp, flowing...etc. Looks like a lesson_time will be coming up rrrreal soon.
post #50 of 51
Observation. Two items.

1) I'm back to skiing after 33 years off. The two problems I had were trusting my balance and projecting my self down the fall line. Both of these items are counter to the natural "Don't Fall" desires we have. Overcome those and you can use all the technique in all the books to find what works for you in all conditions.

2) Took my youngest (15) sking two weeks ago. He was bored in his FTE class. He has rollerbladed and water skied for years (Kid can balance). Tried to teach him some keep- yourself-alive stuff like side slip & hockey stop. NO good. Finally took him on an easy blue. BOOOMMMMmmm total fall line, bent over at the hips, coat flapping in the wind, snowplow type turns and stoping only to get back into the ski lift line. Did he have Fun? YESSSSSSS!!!!! (Dam I felt old and slow trying to do good carving turns).

We all learn at different rates, by different ways at different times in our lives. We all have a different set of fears to overcome in any new situation until we can learn a new response pattern that fits the new feelings (Pushing the envelope). Each of us have lines we do not like to cross or must learn to cross. And Buggs Bunny was right. There is always another line we need to be dared to cross. This is what make life so much fun.
post #51 of 51
Something that now occurs to me is that one of the most common problems that hold skiers back is tunnel vision. What they have been taught is the only way to ski. Instead of looking at everything being taught, trying it for themself and finding out what works for them.

This narrow minded way of thinking will hold back even the best of skiers.

The best coaches and mentors use all the skills they have and experience they have to to inspire their students to excel and have fun at the same time.
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 › The most common problem that holds skiers back?