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Fear and Trembling - Page 4

post #91 of 109
Or even better, LEG WARMERS!

post #92 of 109
Thread Starter 
Respectfully, Nord. From what I've read in your posts you are not only an excellent coach, but an excellent teacher as well. The reason your students are able to make that leap of faith, is because you have given them an excellent skill set that enables them to do so.
post #93 of 109
Lisamarie--you'll like this one....

A number of years ago I was conducting a ski school hiring clinic at Keystone. One of the candidates was a retired military parachute/skydiving instructor. I thought that might be a good background, especially dealing with people in potentially frightening situations. I asked him if he could relate some of his insights and techniques for coaching people to jump out of an airplane.

"Oh yes--I have a lot of experience with that sort of thing," he said. (This should be good, I thought!)

Then he went on, "Usually I would just try to SHAME them into jumping. If one of the recruits seemed a little scared to jump, I'd go over to him and point to all the other men in the plane and say 'what do you think all these guys are going to think of you if you don't jump, you puny little mama's boy....'"

(We didn't hire him.)


Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #94 of 109
Thread Starter 
I LOVE IT!!!!!!!! [img]smile.gif[/img] [img]smile.gif[/img] [img]smile.gif[/img] [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #95 of 109
Did Patrol hire him?

post #96 of 109
Probably Customer Service did.
post #97 of 109
And he's probably a stock optioned resort big wig now!!!
post #98 of 109
I think he became the resort's HR director.
post #99 of 109
Along that line:
My wife was having problems dealing with moderate speed- it scared her to death and I couldn't figure out why. A perceptive instructor pointed out that as a habit she would do two or three turns and then stop. She couldn't develop the kind of speed and the comfort at speed because it wasn't possible in that short distance given her turn shape (round- which I encouraged) and the hills she was on. Possibly I was her model when I would ski a few turns and then stop so I could watch her ski to me. Whatever the reason, once she opened up slightly and did a few non-stop runs, her fear of speed and slightly steeper terrain diminished. Instead of skiing the "fast line slow" and using defensive techniques, she began exploring and expanding the boundaries of what she was comfortable with on non-threatening terrain. Of course, when in doubt on scary terrain, you can't go wrong with the fundamentals.

Her technique for handling fear a couple years back when she just started? Talking to the chickens. When we would get off the chairlift she would always say "come on, chickens" to the Rossignol roosters on her skis. Worked for her...
post #100 of 109
Last year when I started to snowboard, I found myself on my first black. Turned out to be a little slick (ice). Wasn't afraid of the black, but the slickness.

So there I was, stuck side slipping, thinking, I'm not going to waste this hill and slide all the way down.... but I was frozen in fear.... fear of falling riding ice. (I don't have that fear o skiis. As my coach has said many times..."Ice is our friend")

So, while I'm slowly sliding, I thought.. Hm if I were on skiis, why would I just ski it?

Movement!!! Lisamarie uses her POLE (cute joke earlier). She has a valid method. Skiing is movement, so if you can keep moving, do it! My movement on my board was to wave my hands, then arms... then I was able to move my legs, and keep my arms still. Smaller movements without negative consequences brought about bigger movements.

Ended up having a great run.

One thought/no thought skiing. Great way to just enjoy the experience!
post #101 of 109
Thread Starter 
Actually, Nord, you asked the crucial question. There's a difference between ability and comfort zone. All the things you mentioned are beyond my ability, because I am a relatively new skier, and have not learned any of it. But if I had at least a minimum level of proficiency in them, my comfort level will be higher.
Interestingly, though, my comfort level is MUCH higher in a tuck, but for some reason I'm always being told not to use it. Given a choice between bumps, and a steep and narrow, and take the bumps HANDS DOWN! Even though I've never had a class in bumps, I can "fake it" {although Tog said he saw me turn on some bumps at Okemo} Must have been intuition. But probably, I was "muscling" it.
post #102 of 109
Some of the things I have my kids/athletes do:
1) Tuck Runs.
2) Mogul Schussing.
3) Big air in terrain park.
4) Steep narrow slopes.
So what's too fast for you? Too bumpy? Too much air? Too steep? Too narrow?
Is it beyond your ability to do or is it beyond your comfort zone?
post #103 of 109
Thread Starter 
post #104 of 109
I used to have a lot of fear of speed. A good patrol buddy of mine, former teacher, would have me play "follow the leader". He's make me ski right behind him, following his tracks; setting a pace just faster than my comfort zone. He'd say, "don't think about it just follow me" worked great. Now speed is the least of my issues...

post #105 of 109
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Irulan, and welcome!
post #106 of 109
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Lisamarie:
By virtue of being instructors, I would assume that most of you who teach skiing adapted to the sport quite naturally, and may have a hard time feeling empathy for students with fear issues.

I have noticed that different instructors have different tactics for managing a student's fear. In no way do I believe that one method is better than another, but it would be interesting to hear how different instructors work with this.

I also discovered that what I REALLY respond to is quite different from what I thought I needed. I mentioned in my YIPEE thread, that at the workshop last year, our instructor was a very nurturing type of teacher. This years instructor was all about strategy. Take this line, pole plant first, use your edges, practice "patience turns", etc.

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!

But one interesting thing an instructor said, was to never say to yourself "Don't Fall!" The brain does not have an image for "don't" but it sure has one for "fall". So instead, say "Stand Up".
I guess its about being proactive.

So as instructors, what tactics do you use?

You know, I may just be a fresh mouthed kid, but even though some of you ofeered some good advice, I think some of you completely missed LM's point. I'm not reading any of the "I'm so scaredy, scared stuff that some of you are implying. This thread is real different than some of the other things I've read of LM in the past. It sounds to me that she's found a way to work around all the fear stuff, and is telling some of you, as instructors, what works for her.
Nord, I dont think moguls, steeps and catching air represent any sort of "real world" balance skills. The fact that LM is learning in her 40s, when most people are begining to lose their sense of balance and proprioception is a clear sign that her conditioning program does work for her, otherwise she never would have come this far. I also seem to remember that LM hardly ever falls. Maybe she just needs confidence in her balance skills. Its the people who are tearing their ACLs, huting their backs and SI joints who need more balance training, even if they have prettyy decent ski skills.
Damn! 3 days of being sick and sleeping onand off for half the day, now i cant sleep at all!

post #107 of 109
I don't know if they did miss the point, Bethany. That point of acceleration at the middle third of a turn when you face down the fall line is where you're most likely to lose composure and make mistakes (braking movements, banking...). By feeling more comfortable with not only speed but the feeling of carving complete, round turns at speed on a run within your comfort zone helps a great deal with turning on steeper runs. If nothing else, it reminds you that the skis are really, really anxious to complete that turn for you if you'll only let them. I know we've all realized that and internalized it, but reinforcement helps your body remember it when you're uncomfortable.

As for the other exercises, it's more about exploring different terrain and adapting. Nothing tells me I'm in the back seat better than air time- instant feedback. Although I do less of it than I used to because I'm saving my knees, it does apply in the real world. Solid technique translates everywhere on the mountain.
post #108 of 109

You said
"Nord, I dont think moguls, steeps and catching air represent any sort of "real world" balance skills."

US ski team BASE (Basic Skills Evaluation)test Stage I Test 3
Straight run over rolls (or small bumps)

US ski team BASE test Stage II Test 9
gelandesprung (jump for distance)

So go argue with the US ski team about whether those are legitimate balance skills to work on.
I was just trying to give Lisamarie some push the envelope type exercises to build her confidence up. You increase your confidence by increasing you skill level. Attack your weaknesses, don't concentrate on practicing your strengths.

Bethany makes a good point about balance conditioning and injuries. The older we get the more we need to work on balance and flexibility. However, if you're scared your balance muscles do not respond properly.

That said 40 years old is not that old. There are NFL players in Their early forties. The fastest PNSA male masters racer is in his 50s. One of the fastest PNSA female racers is in her 40s.
post #109 of 109
Okay, but I'm 19 so 40s seem old! [img]tongue.gif[/img] Seriously, my dad is in his late 40s and he rips. He's also a great instructor. But he practically came out of the womb skiing! I really think its different for someone who STARTS in their 40s. Probably the only reason she can ski at all is because she's in shape, but I doubt she, or anyone who starts in their 40s will be able to keep up at US ski team standards. If someone that age sets a goal that they need to huck big air, well there bound to be disapointed. I do agree that people need to push the envelope, but they need to be realistic about how far.
BTW, just so that you don't think I'm dissin you or anything, I think there was some confusion in the semantics.
I'm a PT student, so when someone says "real world balance skills" I think of being able to stand up on the subway without falling, or walking on an icy sidewalk without slipping. I don't think about hucking air since the average person isnt in to that.
You know, this may sound weird, but my aunt is a midwife, and she always talks about how fitness freaks are her worst patients. They get so used to training for results that they have control over. Lift this much weight you will get stronger. Do these speed drills and you get faster. But then when they give birth , its all unpredictable, and they cant just give in to the situation.
Although being fit for skiing helps, I think the same thing happens. You can weight train like crazy, increase your endurance, get better balance skills, but nothing that happens on the mountain is predictable. Sometimes its better to react to the situation, rather than try to control it.
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