or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Fear and Trembling - Page 3

post #61 of 109
SCSA--please--read more carefully! First, no, there is absolutely NOTHING proprietary about anything I say! Not only do I not claim to have originated any particular idea, but PSIA doesn't have any "proprietary" movements or progressions anyway. Sure, they have a few trademarks--like the Center Line (TM) skiing model, and the Skills Concept (TM), but with none of these does PSIA claim to "own" any particular move--or require one. You are mistaken, too, about my allegiance to PSIA. My allegiance is to good skiing and good teaching. My support of PSIA is based solely on the fact that I believe in many of the things it does. But I have not been shy about criticizing its shortcomings either, where I see them. And I have worked within other non-PSIA "systems" too, most notably the Mahre Training Center at Keystone, which has nothing to do with PSIA whatsoever. Very little of what I write here at EpicSki comes from any PSIA manual either--I defy you to find "slow line fast" in PSIA's official materials. The beauty of PSIA's philosophy is that it embraces the flexibility to explore ALL options and ideas in skiing. Including PMTS, for that matter.

Second, where did you get the idea that I suggested that skiing on the inside foot is "wrong"? It is one of my favorite exercises. We did it when I skied with you, if you recall, and it is a staple of the Mahre Training Center's balancing drills at Keystone, where I coached for many years. Indeed, when we skied together, it was keeping that downhill ski ON the snow and lifting the UPHILL ski that finally got you releasing the edge of the downhill ski and moving into the turn! But it is an EXERCISE--not "the right way to ski." And I stand on my statement that it is not the "normal" way to ski. It certainly conflicts with your "lift the downhill ski" move!

I have no idea what a "banana turn" is--it is not a "PSIA term" although I have no doubt that many instructors have used "banana" to describe a variety of things. Likewise this "Von Grunigen Move"--what is that? The great Von G. makes MANY moves, and many DIFFERENT moves in different situations. Exactly which one are you referring to as "THE" Von Grunigen move? Some things he certainly does NOT do are ski with a narrow stance, habitually lift his inside ski to start a turn, or fail to steer his feet actively! (And I guarantee that he was quite familiar with the wedge when he learned to ski as a child!)

Anyway, I have NOT said anything even resembling "this is right" or "that is wrong," except as a movement relates to a specific outcome. You know me much better than to accuse me of that! I have stated OFTEN that there is NO categorically "wrong" or "right" way to ski, and no categorically "good" or "bad" exercise either. But there are bad HABITS--riding the brake, for example. And there are exercises that are easily misused, and inappropriate for teaching some students, or some things.

Once we clarify our intent--ie. to hold a line, or to brake, or to "carve"--then movements CLEARLY either help or hinder that particular outcome. Once tied to an INTENT, movements certainly DO fall into the categories of "good" or "bad"--but your intent is entirely up to you. I like gliding, personally, so movements of braking for me are bad habits. What's right for turning IS wrong for braking, and vice-versa. But if you prefer braking--hey, it's a free country!

As for "The Lift"--this IS a big issue, SCSA. I understand it VERY WELL, as a matter of fact, and you know it. I'm quite aware that Harb intends for it to help skiers move downhill (into the turn). I just contend that it is likely to have the exact opposite effect! If you want someone to move downhill, why on earth would you tell him to shift his balance from the downhill ski to the uphill ski?

Of COURSE you have not been told to "move uphill" with this exercise. But remember, SCSA--when Rusty and I skied with you, "moving uphill" to start a turn was exactly what you were doing. I'll bet you have been working on that since, and I'm looking forward to skiing with you again to see how you're doing now. I hope you've had success. But when we skied, you habitually shifted your weight to the uphill ski, slightly twisting your upper body into the turn, resulting in a tiny, quick, but very telling "stem"--the classic skidded stem christie with sequential "rotary pushoff." You were incapable--remember?--of starting a turn without pushing your tails out. (Yes, I know you blame your father's early childhood ski lessons with the wedge, rather than believing that PMTS had anything to do with the problem. You're entitled to believe that, too, if it suits your purposes.)

The problem with "The Lift," of which you were living proof, is that skiers are LIKELY to move uphill, even if they are told to move the other way. If you're balancing on the downhill ski in a traverse, and you transfer your weight to balance on the uphill ski, the movement involved is EXTREMELY likely to be uphill.

I described this pitfall of "the lift"--this propensity of the exercise to produce the opposite of the intended effect--long before I met you. I really expected that you, of all people, with your athleticism, enthusiasm, and dedication, under the tutelage of Harald himself, probably would NOT demonstrate the problem. BUT YOU DID! So I rest my case on this one.

It is only if you transfer your weight to the uphill ski WITHOUT shifting your "balance" to it that this exercise works. It is the very "imbalance"--the "fall" downhill into the new turn--that is the key to success! As such, it can be a good exercise for HIGH LEVEL skiers to play with.

How many beginning skiers, flirting with their first little direction changes, still uneasy in this unfamiliar environment of slippery feet on a mountain, do you think are going to relish the idea, or the sensation, of "falling"? That falling move requires a lot of faith that the skis are going to come around and "catch" us. Few beginners have that kind of faith! Few beginners are comfortable with their feet anywhere but right underneath them, unless they have some sort of support (ie.--the other leg in a gliding wedge).

That is my biggest objection--but not my ONLY objection--to telling beginners to "lift" their downhill ski to make a turn. The other main objection to it, as I've also described in detail several times, is the loss that it entails of the steering mechanism known as "independent leg rotation" (aka the "fulcrum mechanism," if you read the older texts of Georges Joubert and others). With both feet on the snow, you can precisely steer either one--or both--each using the other as the resistance against which it turns. Once you lift a foot, the only way you can turn the one you are still standing on is to jerk it around with your upper body. (This is not opinion, by the way--it is a biomechanical fact.)

Yes, PMTS addresses both of my concerns--but only by introducing other potential problems. The concern about moving uphill when transferring the weight to the uphill ski is addressed by requiring a very narrow stance. The narrower the stance, obviously, the less you have to move laterally to shift your balance to the other foot. But a very narrow stance, aside from the fact that no racer has skied this way for 50 years (if then), precludes leg-steering just as skiing on one foot does. And pulling the skis TOGETHER is the antithesis of the requirement (of carved turns) to pull the inside tip into the turn--away from the outside ski.

And the concern about steering is addressed by simply saying "Don't"! "Be patient," they say. "Just wait--let gravity pull you downhill into the turn. Don't steer." Yup--that's one way to eliminate the problem of twisting a ski with the upper body--just yank the steering wheel right out of the car and say "steering is bad." Just make sure you have people gullible enough to believe that this is a good idea!

Yes, "lifting" may be "learning"--but what it causes most skiers to learn is movements that are counter-productive to the goal of contemporary, high-performance TURNS. In such turns, the body must move INTO the turn. "The Lift" causes a movement the other way--usually. Such turns involve active steering/guidance of both skis with the feet and legs. "The Lift" makes this impossible.

Again, while it IS theoretically possible for a progression based on "The Lift" to work, the reality is that one of two problems is much more likely. Some skiers--the more athletic ones--will succeed in actually balancing on that uphill ski. But being balanced OVER it, they must now twist it out from underneath their body, which they invariably do with a twist of the upper body that jerks their tail out into a skid.

OR--for the less athletic ones--they are likely to NOT balance on the outside ski at all. THEY may move downhill, but they are so out of balance, and carrying so little speed, and possessing so little faith that their skis would come around and catch them even if they DID have the speed, that they must quickly twist the uphill ski back underneath them to avoid falling down.

This is my contention. I have always said that it is POSSIBLE to use "The Lift" effectively with beginners--but it's unlikely. And SCSA, once again, you were living proof--but you are not alone.

What is a better alternative to "The Lift" for beginning skiers? Why not just do the "lighten" thing that you describe as "expert skiing"? Keep the foot ON the snow, while relaxing that downhill leg a little--the movement of the body this time WILL be downhill. Or focus simply on TIPPING the downhill ski toward its downhill "little-toe" edge--let the downhill ski remain weighted. This too starts the "kinetic chain" of movement into the turn. Or how about TURNING the downhill tip down the hill--a similar move to changing direction when walking, and another appropriate focus HIGHLY likely to cause the skier to move in the right direction.

If "lightening" or "releasing" is expert skiing, why not introduce THIS move to beginners? This is a principle of both PSIA and PMTS--that the movements introduced to beginners will transfer directly to expert skiing. But if PMTS teaches, as you say, that "lifting is learning, lightening is expert skiing," then they are not exactly practicing what they preach, are they?

"Once a skier is taught to lift, the next step is not to lift..." Like I said....

Let beginners stand on two feet. They are secure there, and they can practice the appropriate movements for good turns, and the right tactics. Develop balance with stepping movements, or even with lifting one ski and gliding on the other--it IS a good exercise! But do NOT require beginners to make a weight transfer to the uphill ski before initiating a turn. Lose "The Lift" as an integral move for turning. It is not necessary. It is not appropriate. It is not what experts do. It prevents appropriate steering movements. It causes problems that--as you have discovered--are difficult and frustrating to "unlearn."

I know it offends you deeply when I point out problems with the PMTS progression, SCSA. But it has real problems! It is far from perfect. This is not just opinion--I've explained repeatedly the biomechanical basis for my concerns, and experience--including skiing with you--bears out these concerns. I am concerned about the habits it develops in beginning skiers. Indeed, the MORE I learn about PMTS, the more my concerns appear justified!

I don't harbor ill will toward Harald. As you know, Rich Messer is a good friend of mine, and Mel Brown and I see very much eye-to-eye on many things. For their sake, and their students, I truly wish PMTS would address these concerns--they are valid! My concern is ONLY for students, for good skiing, and for the advancement of instruction. If I saw evidence that it was truly sound, I would support PMTS whole-heartedly--I'd join them in a minute. But I do not.

The PMTS progression is fundamentally flawed. It involves teaching a movement, then "unteaching" it. It "fixes" its fundamental problems now with bandaid patches that introduce more problems--the rivet-rubbing narrow stance and the blanket admonition that "steering is bad." Top PMTS instructors--and we have at least a couple here at EpicSki--are easily able to work within the system, and work around its limitations. But a little ground-up revamping could pay real dividends. That, of course, would involve Harald's admission that he is neither perfect nor infallible--that he is, in fact, human. So it isn't very likely, unfortunately.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #62 of 109
Yes, what Bob said, Big Toe, Little Toe and quiet upper body down the fall line!

It's that simple! [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #63 of 109
Uh, no offense but bringing this back on topic. First, every time Im not around for a bit and then come back, LM is in some kind of fight with someone. Its usually about some dumbass remark that somebody makes, but have'nt you figured out that she is going to hit you back 3 times harder? Is it really worth it?
Hey, I had to learn this the hard way. She did the same thing to me on another forum. But since then I realized that she has some good things to say, and hearing that is much more important to me than being a wiseassed kid.

Anyways, LM, you need to check out what is a valid fear, and what is not. Some of these folks wear their ACL injuries like some sort of freakin Red Badge of Courage. Since Im a PT student, that's cool. More money for me in the future. But you dont get to sit at a desk all day long, so I dont think thats a good idea.
BTW, you spent most of your summer giving people all this great advice about how to prevent that from happening. If they didnt listen, well, thats their own stupid fault, but you already know this stuff, so you a probably going to be okay.
How many threads do we have now about out of control skiers and borders? Now that IS something to be worried about. From other posts you've made, you can probably get down stuff thats evenharder than The PLunge, if you werent so worried about form.
But there is not much you can do about an out of control skier or boarder. If the trails get crazy, give it up for awhile and sit inside. Also, make sure you make really predictable turns, so that someone behind knows which way you will probably go. I've heard you say this before, but lose the traverse when tha trail is crowded. What do you think you are, a duck in a shooting gallery? You did the right thing when you decided not to do bumps the same day you skied your first diamond. It would have meant you'd spend the rest of the day thinking too much, instead of being happy.

One more thing. If you keep letting every mean thing someone says get to you, your never going to enjoy this sport. What were those bumper stickers you hippies you to have: Mean People Suck.
Don't make it your problem!
post #64 of 109
[quote]Originally posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado:

<deleted> ... resulting in a tiny, quick, but very telling "stem"--the classic skidded stem christie with sequential "rotary pushoff."

Thanks for this post Bob - I too was stemming and I think you just explained why. rick p [img]smile.gif[/img] [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #65 of 109
SCSA you're last statement:
>>You parade around all damn day on blue runs with your superman suit, sunglasses, and short skis. You think you're King Friggin Kong. I watched you and your crew today. I watched you on Chair 11 and I watched you on 4. The only good skier I saw today was what's her name from Winter Park.

How come I never see you skiing on anything but blue runs?

From my goggles, you need to take a few days off from your superman persona and go sharpen up your skills.<<

I am beginning to wonder if you know what good skiing really looks like and whether you would think my skiing sucked. This would explain why you see never see any good skiers.
post #66 of 109
Yes, SCSA, we worked pretty hard yesterday on the front side of Vail. Mine was a prep clinic for understanding the biomechanics and techniques of skiing for candidates training for Level 2 Certification--understanding that you could obviously use. The only things we worked on off Chair 4 were low-level demos--wedge turns, railroad track turns, and so on--and that IS the right terrain for that. As you have so often proclaimed, you wouldn't recognize a good wedge turn anyway! But why didn't you say hello?

The woman you referred to is Jen Metz, from Winter Park. She was skiing with a Level 3 training group. Yes, she is a very good bump skier, and an excellent clinician. She is the subject, coincidentally, of one of the photo sequences I posted on this site. You should ask her sometime what she thinks about PMTS!

Today's clinic topic for my group was the ski-improvement portion of the Level 2 exam preparation. That would explain why you didn't see us much on the front side of Vail today.... (Or were you there at all?)

SCSA--you're losing it again, man! Getting frustrated? If you REALLY want to learn to be a better skier, you're going to have to try to be a little more coachable. It is becoming clearer now why Harald, Rich, and the rest of your PMTS crew have not been able to "fix" your skiing either!

There's a lot of information out there, SCSA, a lot of good skiers and good teachers, and a lot of people who'd love to help you--myself included. But you continue to hurl unfounded and confused insults at people who have only good intentions for you--not a good sign!

If you didn't see any good skiers in PSIA uniforms at Vail (besides Jen), you need to clean your goggles--or get a clue. In those uniforms were former World Cup racers, long-time top instructors, and some of the best skiers in the Rocky Mountains--whether you could "see" that or not! No, NONE of them skis like Stein as a habit.

None of us clamps our boots together on a regular basis (although my group did play with that for fun and understanding at one point--sorry you weren't watching then--you'd have probably thought we were skiing well!). None of us consciously lifts the downhill ski off the snow as a rule to start a turn. All of us know how to steer our skis. No, come-to-think-of-it, I can see why you wouldn't think much of our skiing!

And every single one of those people in the (admittedly Captain America-esque) red, white, and blue uniforms could help you become a much better skier--and would love to do it. But you'd have to do your part, lose the chip on your shoulder, and especially, you'd have to learn to accept constructive critique.

Or you can just continue on and ski the way you do forever, cling to your beliefs, and miss out. Act the way you've been acting here, and even the most patient and good-natured of those uniforms will drop you like an unwelcome habit!

It is your choice.

I'll be leading a Level 3 clinic at Winter Park next week. Why don't you come see if you can catch us? Clean your goggles....

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #67 of 109

I saw your groups on the hill whilst working and wondered what was going down??

Are you at Vail tomorrow. Next time you drop in please send me a P.M. so I can at least say hello.

post #68 of 109
Hi Oz--sorry I missed you! It was a big clinic, with several groups each of Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, and Level 4 (trainer-accredited) instructors, as well as a couple free-skiing groups and a teaching skills-focused group too.

No, I'm back to Copper Mountain tomorrow and Sunday. Vail was fun--but now back to "work"! Not sure when I'll get back to Vail next. Sure was nice to see some fresh snow, eh?

More clinics next week--Breckenridge and Winter Park for me. Do you plan to go to any clinics or exams this season?

I'll try to look you up next time I'm over there. Which base area do you work out of?

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #69 of 109
Nobody mentioned how closely breathing and state of mind are connected. Most of us realize how accurate breathing is as an indicator of comfort level or state of mind. When we are panicked we almost invariably are breathing in short, little, shallow gasping type breaths, or worse yet,literally holding our breath. If you're utterly calm, you are generally taking deep breaths with relaxed exhalations. Having said that, I think most of us pay very little attention to how breathing works in the opposite manner as well.

You can literally determine and control your mental state by how you allow yourself to breath. If you allow yourself to take deep, relaxed breaths when ever you think of it you will give yourself a headstart on keeping stress from taking control of and determining how you feel and what you are capable of. If you are quick enough to realize that fear is creeping into your mindset, many times you can derail it by letting yourself immediatly begin deep, full, calm breaths. There have been skiing situations I've been in(intentionally and not) that had I allowed myself to think or worry, I believe would have had disasterous consequences for me. In these situations my attention to breathing becomes paramount, sometimes I probably sound like a large steam engine in my attempt to stay loose and calm. But it works for me! It has also worked for many others in a myriad of situations outside of skiing.

There is not space here to delve into this deeply, it's a vast subject. But even a little effort in this direction could reap big dividends for you if it turns out to be a large part of your problem. An added bonus to breathing deeply and relaxedly is that it tends to calm the 'verbal rational mind' that when left unchecked can be your own worst enemy.

Breathing deeply also prevents your shoulders from raising into that nonfunctional locked position that shallow breathing promotes. Having done as much as you have on balance you should readily know how detrimental tense raised shoulders are to your ability to easily control your center and equilibrium.

You also get two to three times the amount of oxygen flowing into your system when you breath correctly. Hold your breath and tell me that you don't start to feel panicked the longer you go even though all you're doing is sitting there with nothing frightening going on at all. Even if your fear stays with you while you breath, at least you're body is set up to be active and functional. That just might be half the battle.

As far as an overall strategy, I think Harry O hits the mark as far as how improving has and still does work best for me. Many other excellent points here, both on and off the topic of your initial post. Good luck and kick some booty(maybe your own!!) out there.

"Fear is a powerful tool, you must embrace it and use it or risk being consumed by it."
post #70 of 109
Hey You Guys (and girls),Happy Belated New Year to All!!

Bob and SCSA,

I think you guys are breaking up the flow of movement a little much. To focus on the lifting move as a single self contained movement is too simplistic in actual skiing. This move actually begins a more complex flowing movement of the body from one turn to the next. Also remember that G-forces (even in a slow turn) are at play to pull the body outside the turn. The lifting or lightening or relaxing movement of the downhill leg, IMHO, begins or triggers the body to move into the new and the feet and ski to flow onto edge in the new turn. So when you release the turn by lightening or relaxing or retractiong the outside when you still have the G-forces in the turn (before you traverse) then the body is pulled naturally down the hill into the new turn when the continuation of the lifitng movement is to roll that foot onto lightly onto edge in the new turn. The other key component is having the upper body already countered facing the flow-line down the hill. This helps the skis to seek the falline.

I'd add a bit more but my brain is slowing down...so just a nickel for the kitty!

post #71 of 109
Buy the book Inner Skiing by W. Timothy Gallwey and Robert Kriegel - a great sports psychology book that addresses all sorts of hurdles such as overcoming fear. Click on the Amazon link below to help support EpicSki.
post #72 of 109
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Arcmeister:
I think of skiing as a "gravitational dance" where when we try to cause what we should allow, we only muck up the flow.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I thought this Arcmeister brilliance would fit right in here.

Oz :
post #73 of 109
Even better book along the same lines Marta -"The Centered Skier" by Denise McCullage. Bit less pop-psych'ish than "Inner Skiing" and more adaptable to modern times/equipment.
post #74 of 109
My response to Mr. Barnes' latest post.

1) He skied with me one day, for really only a few runs, one of which he watched me. He had 163 skis, yet the guy is as tall as I am, 6'2". Then, he roped me into demonstrating “my technique” on an icy, blue run. Were my turns as good as his? No. But the test wasn't fair and I had no time to prepare.

Then, how about giving me credit for having a bad day? Michael Jordan scored just 6 points in a game recently. Everyone was quick to say that he was over the hill, to old to compete at the highest level. The next night he came out and scored 45 -- the night after, 51. Today, he’s eighth in the league in scoring.

Mr. Barnes, you give me your short skis, some advance notice, and I'll make turns that meet your standard.

2) He shows up here and makes derogatory/blanket statements about a teaching system. But are his opinions really valid? He's watched 1 student for 1 run. He’s never been certified in this system. In fact, the closest he’s ever come to it was skiing with me or discussing it with his so called friends (more on that coming). If Mr. Barnes had watched 100 students for 100 runs and has been certified, I'd say his words were valid.

I don't have the numbers, but I'm willing to bet there are now thousands of students who practice this system. Mr. Barnes has seen one student, for one day, and then comes up with the conclusion that the whole system is flawed. Is this a logical conclusion? No, of course it's not.

Mr. Barnes will say that he's heard comments from other instructors to support his claims. Is it a coincidence that these same instructors boycott this teaching system? Surely Mr. Barnes understands that with any product or service, there are bound to be some unhappy customers.

3) I find it interesting that Mr. Barnes chooses me as the "PMTS poster child" and that he chooses to challenge me to some sort of a skiing match or welcomes me in company with ski instructors. I skied as a teenager and then quit for 25 years. I have not even 200 days in my entire ski life. Mr. Barnes has been skiing for 30 years -- thousands of days. I’m sure these ski instructors have about that much experience as well. However, it’s a compliment that he sees me as being on this level and a testimonial to the teaching system I’ve practiced. Sorry Mr. Barnes. I’m not going to show up to your challenge but I appreciate the compliment. One thing I’ve learned here is to ski for yourself.

4) Mr. Barnes has friends that are in high level positions at HSS. But, then he publicly ridicules the organization they're a part of.

I have many friends who own businesses. These are entrepreneurs who've risked it all and risk it all every day. They don't get a paycheck, they make their own. Literally their livelihood depends on their business.

He calls these people his friends and then posts comments here basically saying his friends business is a lousy one. That people should avoid the services these businesses provide. My response here is that with a friend like Mr. Barnes, who needs enemies? If I was one of these friends he mentions, I'd show up at his door and punch him in the nose. Because, in affect, he's trying to take food off of their table.

5) Mr. Barnes, leave my family out of your posts. You have no right to mention or discuss them here, or anywhere else.

6) I posted a derogatory statement about his book. When I did so, I felt terrible about it and I apologized here. I believe, I've never said a derogatory thing since.

I've posted comments here saying "The worst thing you can buy at a ski area is a ski lesson". But who am I? I'm just some jerk with an attitude and a keyboard. Surely, no one can take what I say seriously and my comments have zero affect on an areas operation.

Yet, Mr. Barnes takes every possible opportunity to ridicule Harb Ski Systems.
A person has the right to disagree with a product or service -- fine. No one is forcing you to buy it.

Harald Harb could easily show up here and criticize Mr. Barnes's and his books. After all, look at all the derogatory statements Barnes has made. I think it shows integrity and class that Mr. Harb chooses to not to take the same road Barnes does. Sure, Mr. Harb has been critical of what I call the gang. But there's a long line of people who are just as critical or even more so.

Mr. Barnes is a noted ski industry professional. His comments really do influence people. He operates with impunity.

7) As a consumer, I look for the best product, at the best price. What I’ve found is that alternative ski instruction is the best ski instruction product. Lito’s camps are booked months in advance, both his and Harbs books have consistently been the best selling ski instruction books for 3 years now. I know I’m going to sign up for one of Eric DesLauriers camps (Eski).

It’s clear to me that this group of professional skiers, not what I call the gang, is pushing the envelope of skiing. They’re enthusiastic and committed to helping skiers like I reach our goals in this lifetime and without taking out a second mortgage to do so. It seems to me that Mr. Barnes and the culture he represents should be borrowing a page from their book. Instead, they’re trying to tear it apart. In the end though, it really won’t matter – because the customers have already spoken. And they’re all that really matters.
post #75 of 109
Getting back to Lisamarie's original question - teacher's should show a student the 'proper' way to fall. Sometimes if I get into trouble even I take a little spill, but I haven't realeased out of my skis or even needed to the whole year (no injuries, not even minor ones). When a student has the confidence to attack and not worry about falls (due to not hurting themselves when they do) they will be able to be much better skiers.
post #76 of 109
In all due respect, I think some of us may be missing the point. In LM's post, she states:

Much to my surprise, I found that keeping my mind on specific tasks was an effective way to not focus on being frightened. Its almost what I'd imagine military strategy to be like.

Although I've read Inner Skiing, and listened to all sorts of "fear management" type of talks, the psycho babble is not as effective as just knowing exactly what I need to do.

Perhaps I am misinterpreting her, but I believe she is saying that she has found a fear management method that works for her, and it seems to be more effective than what she calls psycho babbles, or any sort of coddling.

As a teacher, myself, I am often interested in other people's methodology of any sort of instruction. Although I am more of a lurker than a participant in this forum, much of what I read of Lisamarie's posts involve questions regarding comparative approaches to teaching. What comes to mind immediately is the thread comparing the different Direct to Parallel teaching styles.

Although I can not read her mind, I am certain that she was not asking to have personal insults thrown at her, even in jest. And yes, she reacted, inappropriately, and out of proportion to what was said. But it has been my experience that when people are on the high that she was experiencing, its unfortunately pretty easy to knock them down.

Besides, its Lisamarie. Don't you folks know better by now? It looks like even SCSA has learned to respect her! Or like they used to say to me when I was growing up in Southie and being too big for my britches "Don't dish it out if you can't take it!"

That being said, this whole topic leads to some interesting questions. The first thing that comes to mind, is why she, or any other student feels she needs to be making progress any faster than she already has. In reading many of her posts, she is highly self critical. Although she is obviously quite fit, does she really expect to make the same sort of progress as someone in their 20s or 30s? Are students really more afraid of some concept that they arbitrarily define as "failure", than they are of injurying themselves?

On the other side of the coin, she made some comments about people who have been skiing for 10-20 years who consider themselves level 3-5 skiers. Is it fear that holds them back, or are they content with their progress? One things for sure, instructor arrogance does not help the problem. Telling someone who is already unsure of themself that they are "not part of the 97%", is not going to build their confidence.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 12, 2002 10:41 PM: Message edited 2 times, by Patricks8 ]</font>
post #77 of 109
Lisamarie gave us some great advice:

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>I found that keeping my mind on specific tasks was an effective way to not focus on being frightened.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

This is a cornerstone technique of NLP. Since Werner Erhard and his group scammed NLP, it has fallen out of favor but its principles are still sound.
post #78 of 109
You know, my dad got really pissed off when he read this thread. the hates internet forums, so he doesnt participate. But he said that sometimes the students are more afraid of the instructor saying something mean than they are of hurting themselves.

BTW, when he was SSD, he once fired an instructor for telling the student that they should take up bowling instead. Dad made a good point, when eh said the AVERAGE, ski student is not as obsessed with skiing as many instructors and ski forum participants. They are not willing to get severe injuries, such as ACL tears, simply for the love of the sport. They also have not figured out that in some sick way, the "inner circle" of ski participants thinks that tearing an ACL is a cool thing to do.

The instructor who sees a student glued to the edge of a trail who just says "its all in your head" is basically a lazy instructor. Maybe it is in their head, but if theyre scared, they are probably not thinking very logically. Like LM said, a good teacher would just remind the student of what skills they have that will help them make that turn.
post #79 of 109
I had a bowling accident back in high school - I slipped on the approach and tore my pants crotch. Not such a safe alternative

Blew my social life for months - it was a co-ed bowling group with a girl I had been trying to interest in me in it.
post #80 of 109
Take the advice I got from a bowling instructor: Give up bowling, try skiing.
(This was the same guy who told me I had a good face for the radio)

Anyway, tell us more about this bowling girl, or do you need to keep quiet in case LM reads this?!!

post #81 of 109

I think LM checked out of here, actually :, after all the body-checks got a bit over-the-top (people criticzing her skiing based on an outside-the-lodge, in the loading-area profile picture??)

So I probably won't get slammed [img]smile.gif[/img]

Just a church "youth fellowship" club where in my klutzy shy youth I was doing all the wrong things to meet girls - basically everything except "Hi, would you like to go out sometime?"

Hey, I just brought this thread back to "Fear and Trembling"

Mark (also a former radio DJ - I know what you mean!)
post #82 of 109
Is this the same LM who once said:


<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> in my klutzy shy youth I was doing all the wrong things to meet girls - basically everything except "Hi, would you like to go out sometime?" <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

So, that's where I've been going wrong all my life!
Just had an idea. Must go now and ssend a PM

post #83 of 109
I may be to late getting in on this but I would like to throw in my 2 cents. It has been established that most people's greatest fear ( when learning in a group environment) is looking like an idiot in front of others. If a student is really afraid of skiing down the hill, the instructor has taken the group into terrain that is intimidating and that is a big screw-up. When in doubt, ALWAYS take the easy way down. It is the job of the ski teacher to provide a comfortable environment (safe!) and it is only there that people can focus on learning. A good sense of humor can get people through the 'embarrasing moments' so smile and make light of it, aren't we supposed to be having fun? Another thing I would like to say is that the majority of "the gang" are excellent teachers and are well aware of the 'fear factors' that people experience. From what I know of the PMTS, it is a whole lot more intimidating for beginners than starting in a wedge. If you haven't ever taught a beginner lesson, you might think the wedge is a stupid thing, but after teaching thousands of them I can tell you that having lateral balance is something that most people really want! Those instructors that teach lateral 'pushing' are on the wrong track and should be educated. PMTS may not teach 'pushing' but it does encourage lateral movements that cause the upper body to end up too far to the inside. If you don't understand what I'm talking about here, then you don't have any business trashing PSIA or any certified instructors. I like what Paul McCartney said about music critics: " If they don't like my song, then why don't they just write a better one?"
post #84 of 109
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Much to my surprise, I found that keeping my mind on specific tasks was an effective way to not focus on being frightened. Its almost what I'd imagine military strategy to be like.

Although I've read Inner Skiing, and listened to all sorts of "fear management" type of talks, the psycho babble is not as effective as just knowing exactly what I need to do. Probably the least effective method for me is someone saying just make the damn turn already!

Getting back to Lisamarie's excellent original thread-starting statement....

Barring the meandering of the topics here, which really have branched to at least two reasonable discussions--this thread has brought up some great ideas. The psychology of fear is a fascinating topic, and certainly relevant to skiing.

Your original point, Lisamarie, that having something specific to focus on can often be the key to performing in the face of fear, is excellent. I agree that just being told to "just turn" isn't particularly useful. But having a specific thought or focus that can TRIGGER the turn can do the trick. Something simple, like "left tip left to go left," or even just a pole plant may do it.

An old Austrian racer once told me "Eef you plant zee pole, YOU VILL TURN!" In many ways, he was right. A pole plant can bring your focus back down the hill. The swing of the pole initiates your movement down the hill. And the act of planting it can trigger the sequence of movements that we've practiced over and over, that results in a turn.

But it must be a pole plant with CONVICTION! Next time you find fear interfering with your performance, try this: Look down the hill (look it in the eye!). Plant your pole, while yelling "POLE!"--as loudly as you can, from deep down in your gut. Yell it the way a martial arts expert yells when breaking things in an exhibition. "POLE!" And as you're yelling "POLE!" look to where you're going to plant the NEXT pole. "POLE!--POLE!--POLE!...."

I guarantee that this will work! Of course, if the word comes from high up in your throat, and sounds like a question--"pole?"--your skis will just laugh at you, and the turn will again reflect all the doubts you had. A pole plant will not create skills that you don't have, of course, but it will bring out the skills that you KNOW you already have, that may have been locked in by fear.

Dealing with fear is really a question of believing in your movements and skills. It is NOT a question of ignoring the dangers--that's just foolishness! Diving downhill into a turn requires ABSOLUTELY no doubt that you will be able to finish the turn and lose your speed. You know you can make a mistake, but that thought cannot enter your mind, or it will rule your movements. Doubts make us defensive, and good turns are anything but!

Interestingly, while it is popular to diss Gallwey and Kriegle's INNER SKIING, developing this focus is what that book is all about. It does not pretend to be a technical manual. It is full of practical advice on how to deal with the mental side of sports, how to focus, how to develop trust in our movements and abilities, and how to let our bodies do what they do best. I strongly recommend it.

Other good books include the aforementioned THE CENTERED SKIER by Denise McCluggage (sp?), and SKIING FROM THE HEAD DOWN (or its update, SKIING OUT OF YOUR MIND), by Ken Singer and others.

As for the wandering of this thread, I'd like to express my sincere apologies to all for where it went. My intent was simply to address a factual error, and hopefully to try to keep the thread ON track.

SCSA--your last post is not ENTIRELY unworthy of a reply, but I will not waste others' time to do it here. If you'd like to repost it to another section (Random Humor?), I will reply to you. But my reply here will be so brief...I'm already finished!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #85 of 109
I do not like the personal attacks that we have been seeing here. What makes this thread so hard to moderate is that there is a mix of quality advice as well as garbage (personal insults that serve no constructive purpose other than one-upping the person who insulted you). Think about how awesome this thread would have been if it contained ONLY the quality insights and sincere advise, and none of the bickering (this includes both the LM conflict and the seperate SCSA conflict).

In order to prevent this kind of thing in the future, all posters should do the following:

Anytime you are going to address another member specifically, ask yourself "Am I offering sincere advise that he/she is interested in hearing, or not." If "not", then do not post it. It is that simple.
post #86 of 109
Intresting topic here. You can apply this subject to every part of your life. Climbing, skiing,lovelife,getting your job done...Just name it.
In skiing the result of your handling-of-fear is of course quite plain to see.. You make a large crater after a jump, or collect all your gear from the hillside. Ive self noticed (roughy) three kinds of fears in myself.

3. "Hunch" or "Spookies"
Well,( half of my ancestors had the gifts of secondsight,clairvoyance,futuretelling but i dont think this is about that...but...)
too many times ive hade a spook about a person/place/thing-going -to-happen that i treat my "spook" feelings seriously. I guess its combination of intuition, wathing people closely, using senses and growing experience(?) I guess its not fear that i feel, but serious warnigs that keeps me off doing something with an consequense or prevent friends doing it. I been many times beeing labeled as coward,but who the hell cares!
In short words,often, I get the feeling Before i get into an situation where bailing out is needed.

2. "Shakies" "Pukemouth"
Is tired,hangoverish in bad shape, injured, not having composure etc...
Have prevented me manytimes from getting into scetchy situations. When
havent listened to my self (or my body)
and been pushing my limits ive found myself in positions where i dont feel my self comfortable, i have to focus a lot to keep fear at bay and mumble to myself that "...whattah*ll amIdoinghere?" Not lifethreatenig situations but those that you hate at the time but afterwards you find that you have learned a lot. (how to do, where not to go, im not fit enough...)

1. Dunnowhatocallthis.
These small moments of clarity where the horror begins to seep in and you have to focus...a lot. Concentrate on breathing, breaking the pipevision caused by stress,
relaxing your overstressed muscles, trying to lower your adrenaline so that you wont get shakies...etc...
Rarely in theese situations,luckily. But mostly by choice and if not , then hopefully prepared (practiced,all the equipement etc..) to deal with the situation.

I guess its possible to build tolerance to fear (dunno how wise that is...) by preparing yourself mentally and physically. By knowing what you do and how and when and why.
I have a history of martial arts and climbing behind me (despite of my youth) and those sports have thaught me a lot. And I mean A LOT! Not just to know myself, but giving me some tools to deal with my emotions and feelings in everyday life.
Having a date with yourself and your fears aint funny at all, but after couple of times you begin to know yourself and start to realize that only thing to fear is not fear itself, but the lack of it.

Sorry if my text is hard to read...
Im tired and i cant english that well...
but... :
post #87 of 109
Thread Starter 
Bob B. Pole plants are a saving grace! I don't think there's anything that quite teaches you to get your weight going DOWN the hill. This was Sharon's main strategy. Anytime she saw someone getting tentative, she would say POLE PLANT!

I think its possible that some instructors will leave out the plant if they think their students are getting info overloaded, but just the act of the plant alone can teach a multitude of concepts that often take too many words to explain.

Snowdancer spoke of the fear of looking like an idiot, and I guess I can relate to that. I mentioned in a different thread that I got a chance to ski with Tog on Sunday. I kept making comments on practically each turn I made. Finally, after one self criticism too many he said "so what? you don't have to give yourself a grade on every turn".

Thinking back at this in retrospect, I had the insight that a skier who is afraid of looking like an idiot, may be very self critical AS they are skiing. In some cases, this can lead to a very tentative skiing style, which will in fact make a steeper slope seem scarier.

This may sound like I'm contradicting myself, but not really. What works best for me is to : Concentrate on specific tasks, as opposed to evaluate my perfomance of them!

Burt Pakarat {Do you guys really know about Burt Bacharrat in Scandinavia?? { After I finished laughing at what you said, I realized how much truth there is to your humor. I too am highly intuitive. Notice, i did not say psychic. But I think you are correct in saying that often, the body and mind send us strong messages about what we are ready to do. It heeds us well to listen to those messages.
post #88 of 109
Hey, LisaMarie, wear one of those jester hats so you will ALWAYS look like an idiot! Then you won't have anything to worry about!
post #89 of 109
Thread Starter 
Oh man, I HATE those hats!!!! No offense to anyone that wears them, though!
post #90 of 109
LM, another option is to ski with someone who not only looks an idiot, but is one.

I believe this is my calling in life. If you consider that the likelihood of someone else on the slopes:
1. Knowing you.
2. Seeing you make a mistake.
3. Having such a bad day skiing that your mistake is the highlight of the day.
4. Remembering the mistake for more than a day.
5. Knowing any of your friends back home.

The likelihood of that lot is kinda small. My attitude is forget what others think, if you have a stupid fall, make sure you're the one who laughs first, and laughs the loudest. Make sure you're the first to recount it in the bar that night. And you'll find that by the next night, you can either embellish the story into cartwheeling 500ft down a cliff face in 215 straight skis with your feet clamped together, and spotting the landing, OR, there'll be a better story from someone else, and your little fall will be forgotten.

There are two rules in my book of skiing:
1. Remember you're there to have fun
2. Forget the rules. Have fun

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching