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Thinking while skiing

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Look, I'm a Neanderthal, I know it. Moved from MN to CO this year and getting back into skiing. The previous 15 years in MN I have probably been skiing 8 times. Things have changed over the years and on this board we have people who have made a "science" of skiing.

It's great to know people can think of where the little toe of their uphill ski is pointing. If I was thinking that much now while skiing, I'd probably hit a tree.

Up to this point my thoughts while skiing have included:

Rock - bad
Untracked powder - good
Physically fit honey in tight stretch pants at 2 o'clock. Jimmy Carter, I know what you mean.

Ah, but after this weekend I will be "enlightened." I will have arrived at CO Mountain Skiing Utopian Knowledge.

post #2 of 27
When we took a private at Whistler, our instructor gave us tons of stuff to work on all at once. then about half way through the lesson she stop and told us to think of only one of the tips she gave. It didn't matter which tip. Any one of the tips she gave. Then to follow her down repeating the tip over and over like a mantra. We did this on a fairly easy slope. When we got to the bottom she asked each person what their mantra was and explained exactly what you mentioned. It's hard to think of so many things. KISS... Keep It Simple St....d so after all the info, we were to take what seems to work best for us and work on that one thing..
post #3 of 27
JimBubba - I know what you mean. My brain seems to be always a second or two behind - and that's a long time in skiing!

And you simply have to look at the skiers ahead - especially if they're hot - in order to give them due preference as specified in the Skier's Code of Behaviour!

Maybe you could try to mentally focus on just one thing at a time (e.g. "stay centred") and then upgrade to two things (e.g. "look ahead" and "hands forward").

Unfortunately, my body is so unfit that it runs out of steam before my brain does. Disaster area!


post #4 of 27
Yeah, it's difficult to think and do at the same time. I guess it's a bit like golf (at least when I play). If you spend so long thinking through everything, I find it difficult to hit a good shot if I'm thinking too much about what I'm doing, so I just relax, and make the shot, and hope that some of the tips I've worked on when practising make it into normal play.
Actually, maybe it's just like my posts, switch off brain, and let the garbage flow out through my keyboard!

post #5 of 27
Random thought stream while skiing:

Face DOWN the hill, face down the hill, hands in front, hands, in front, face down the hill, ..

..wow, I carved that turn really well..

.. face down the hill, hands in front,

where's my husband gone?

..face down the hill, hands in front,

sometimes I can just turn off & enjoy it but my brain wants a running commentary & I can't turn it off (a bit like Terry Wogan on the Eurovision song contest)
post #6 of 27
typical thoughts mid-run -

snow cover seems thinner this year, average temps warmer this year... fargin' global warming!

post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Charlie:

Maybe you could try to mentally focus on just one thing at a time (e.g. "stay centred") and then upgrade to two things (e.g. "look ahead" and "hands forward").


I was being slightly facetious. I've been skiing since grade school (started with laced up rubber boots and cable bindings - yowser) and it's been pretty much autopilot since 9th grade.

Some other thoughts while skiing:
When I pass him, he should be turning right, pass him on the left, her on the left, him on the right, ...

But I'll soon find out what my "rating" should be and where I can improve. Anyone curious how?
post #8 of 27
Since you mentioned Terry Wogan who is not too well known in the States, I believe, I had a look at your profile and saw you ski at Milton Keynes and live in London (like me)!

Would you like to hook up some time? Do you work there and get free skiing time, or do you have to pay the crazy amounts of money like the rest of us?

Chalie :
post #9 of 27
post #10 of 27
JimBobBubba - I get your drift!

Some of my random thoughts: "should have gotten fit before this ski trip...", "I wonder, should I take an early lunch (it's 10:30am)?", "I promise myself, next year, I'll get fit first..."

Constant self-bashing and self-criticising going on in my head, too. Must enjoy myself more...

As far as the level of skier you are is concerned, there have been previous threads about that. There is this scale of 1-9 with "1" being complete beginner to "9" being expert - you know the kind, they jump out of helicopters to ski! Bob Barnes & Co

Charlie [img]tongue.gif[/img]
post #11 of 27
Methinks I think way too much!!!! [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #12 of 27
Thinking bad, snow good, skiing good, turning good, falling down bad...(repeat ://)

post #13 of 27
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by JimBobBubba:

Rock - bad
Untracked powder - good

So what do you think of "rock in untracked powder"?

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by JimBobBubba:
But I'll soon find out what my "rating" should be and where I can improve. Anyone curious how?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Okay, I'll bite. How?
post #14 of 27
I tend to only have one thought as I'm skiing:

"Damn Gonzo, I can't believe he flamed me like that! I'm gonna have to go to Montana and kick his butt all over the place!"
post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by PowderJunkie:

Okay, I'll bite. How?

Ahhh, inquisitive grasshopper. But I can not tell you yet, in good time grasshopper.
As JimBobBubba say: "You can not be a doctor without patience."

rock in untracked powder - avoid
post #16 of 27
Why do you want to "get rated," Jim?

I understand what you say about thinking while skiing, but thinking about skiing is not at all a bad thing when you're off the snow. I find that people ski like they think they should ski. I can't get them to change their skiing until I get them to change the way they think about it.

For instance, today I borrowed heavily from the Guru, and asked the group why they turn. I got these answers: to stay in control; to slow down; because it's fun; to slow down. I gave "because it's fun" a kudo. I asked why they turn when they are driving their car. Because the road turns or because I want to go there, and I need to hang a right at the corner to get there.

Think about turns "to go there" instead of "to slow down" and it changes your skiing.

That kind of thinking is very helpful.
post #17 of 27
Thinking about skiing, even in great detail, is not necessarily a bad thing. The problem is thatthe thinking is usually too complex or contains lists of things to do in sequence.

Thinking need not always be in sentences or even in word language. The key is to have a word/sound/idea that represents and cues up a whole range of movement patterns that bring you to your technique. For me, for example, there is a certain gutteral sound that comes out of my throat in association with increased pressure to the edge in the middle of the turn. If I stop, I can describe all the pieces of the move. While skiing, however, the one sound invites or evokes the movement in an integrated fashion. Yet it is still a thought.

Furthermore, the thought alone won't work, because when I ski, or perform anything, the reality is that I am a body/mind/spirit system. (the CAP model: cognitive (thought), affective (emotional), pyschomotor (behaviorl)--knowing it, performing it, enjoying it, if you will). Only when these three elements of the system are integrated can I perform well. If I'm thinking "elaborately"--in complex language or in lists of things to do, my thinking is done to a fault at the expense of my other capacities. That's why thinking alone won't get you there. But that doesn't mean that thinking is faulty in itself. Just change how you think.

I think I think, therefore I think I am.

post #18 of 27
And with that thought in mind.......I think I'll go sking!
post #19 of 27
That's a better thought!
post #20 of 27
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by JohnH:
I tend to only have one thought as I'm skiing:

"Damn Gonzo, I can't believe he flamed me like that! I'm gonna have to go to Montana and kick his butt all over the place!"

this prompted an audible belly laugh - and I almost spit out the snack I was chewing on.

excellent, John! How are ye? How's the family? How's fatherhood treating you?
post #21 of 27
My "breakthrough" this year is due to the inspiration of this forum, and has only attitude and attention (thought) in it's make up.
I now turn to go some where. Some particular place. Some definite feature on the slope. Some spot I want my stance ski to pass over. Perhaps this has been my case all along, as I love to ski tracked up stuff. But now I try to attend to my moment to moment destinations.

I have been doing this while riding motorbikes for a long time. Trying to place the tires on a particular line through a corner.

This all conspires to make an enjoyable ride.

The "technique" keeps my eyes down the hill selecting new destinations!


post #22 of 27
Nolobolono said: Think about turns "to go there" instead of "to slow down" and it changes your skiing.

The "go there" concept is indeed better than the "slow down" concept, but that is because too many think of "turning to slow down" instead of "turning to control speed". The fact is that most of our skiing, especially in crowded areas does not fit the "go there" idea. Most of the time we turn to control speed. The turns are linked and they have absolutely nothing to do with going somewhere. Sure you could look at a given instance of the turn and say that you are going in a certain direction. But for linked turns down the fall line, you should not be thinking "going here, there, here, there". You should think about the rhythm - much like when dancing. Better yet, don't think but rather "feel the rhythm".

On the other hand, when skiing as described by CalG (destination to destination, so to speak), thinking about "going there" is the right approach.
post #23 of 27
most of my over-thinking is directly related to the fact that skis still feel to me like very foreign objects. i think with many, many ski days, one's skis become closer to extensions of one's own body and more apt to respond "immediately" to skier input (thought).
post #24 of 27
What I think about when skiing?

Ok, remember more hip and remember to edge the uphill ski.
Whoa, cool trench, these skies are awesome!
Hee haa steep head wall, great snow along the edge!
Gliiiiiide, Gliiiiiide

multiply as needed to get back to the lift

Whew, That was a great run! It doesn't get any better than this!
post #25 of 27

Linking turns without destination IS my former method. I found the results would not sustain my motivation. Getting to the level of skill to make rhythmic linked turns on a consistant surface was fun and is part of the learning progression. When that action become patterned, I needed somewhere else to go. I sometimes humm a tune and shape my turns to the tempo. It is my most enjoyable way on blue cruisers. Skiing in "crowds" makes "route selection" even more dynamic. (Thin cover may be the ultimate in tactics.)

This thread is on "thoughts while skiing" and started with the difficulty of paying attention to subtle physical sensations.
One "thought" I still do regularly is the numeric evaluation of where I have my support under foot. You Know 10 on the toe. 0 on the heel.


post #26 of 27
Thread Starter 
I started this thread with the idea of "teasing" about how I was going to become all-mountain "enlightened," "rated," and officially "blessed/certified" by a rather enthusiastic member of the board.

Ah, the plans of mice and men.

I was driving merrily along, thinking of what a beautiful day it was, how great the snow was going to be. About 20 miles from Breckenridge I start thinking "hmmmm, the accelerator isn't working, I don't hear the engine anymore." Sure enough, the crank angle sensor had been loosening and just fell out - dead engine. Call insurance company towing service, shop can't get to the car until the afternoon. No skiing today.

Further mischief (by me anyway) on this thread is done.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 16, 2002 08:46 AM: Message edited 1 time, by JimBobBubba ]</font>
post #27 of 27
Very good HarryO, my thoughts exactly. Only I'd need more technique tips thrown in there.
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