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The Mental Game


HMan66
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How much does your mind affect your skiing? Why is it that we can visually see the positions we want to be in on the water and in the course, practice them on land, but have a hard time achieving them? For instance, (I'm a lefty) I tell myself that 1-2 ball is just my gate pull out. 2-3 is my drop pull out. Easy right? Yet, I still suffer the same issues through the course...poor stack, getting pulled over the front of the ski at the 2nd wake, etc. Theres a youtube video of Seth Stisher running 32 mph @ 15 off that I've been trying to emulate for 3 years now. His position during acceleration is perfect. I can't seem to get anywhere close to that type of lean even though I'm physically able. So is it trust? Confidence? Lack thereof? Fear? 

 

Edited by HMan66
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Do you take video of yourself? IMHO, that is the single greatest tool/action one can implement for improving as a skier. It allows you to get video coaching, but even if no one but you ever sees it, it gives so much insight. I video every single pass I do and I find almost constantly that I think I look one way, but the video proves otherwise and shows me the places I need to improve.

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"Lean" is a part of the equation, and connected with the rest of what is done in the course.

I would venture in telling that trust, confidence or fear have little to do with not being able to the kind of lean, turns, technique, etc... that a pro like Seth can do in the video.

Edited by ral
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3 hours ago, MDB1056 said:

Definitely +1 for @SlalomSteve advice- video your passes and watch them back - over and over. Save and dates them and review to SEE if you’re improving or just repeating. This is IMO essential. Only way for you to get perspective of yourself . 

And I do take video and I see the same things. I guess my point is more: What keeps us from progressing when we know the problem and the solution? 

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Fear is a very real factor, at 68 I fight the fear of going out the front.

Confidence is also very real for me. Some days I have it, some days I'm lacking. 

But, that's all part of the challenge. The battle is still fun.

One of my favorite movie lines: "Of course it's hard. If it was easy, everybody would be doing it. It's the hard that makes it great."

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22 hours ago, HMan66 said:

And I do take video and I see the same things. I guess my point is more: What keeps us from progressing when we know the problem and the solution? 

@HMan66, I think one of the hurdles to progressing is finding the correct replacement behavior.  Often, we will look at our videos and see something we are doing and think (or are told) "Don't do that".  While that is technically the solution, I think it may be more difficult to adopt if you do not actively introduce the replacement behavior as something other than trying to resist not doing something.  I think the key is to ask what you should be doing instead and, many times, what you should have been doing well before you saw the issue.  Sometimes, the problem manifests itself in something you did or didn't do before the point in time you noticed the problem.

Edited by MISkier
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The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.

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Adding to what @MISkier is saying - a lot of times I hear/read "don't do that", "do this" with no explanation as to why you should be doing that, or how to do that.

For example for getting better stack/alignment, it's no good telling someone their hips are behind them and to get them forward. The how is focusing on one of a straighter back leg, squeezing glutes/core, or tensing legs. That's what builds the muscle memory. 

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