Better skiing is as simple as altering your mindset. Here are five exercises to increase focus and decrease stress.
Inhale This classic tension releaser works. Just take a long breath, hold it and exhale slowly. Repeat.
Visualize Close your eyes and watch your triumphant run down the slope. Now open your eyes and do it.
Take baby steps Ask yourself how many of the next 10 turns you can do well. Setting a specific goal narrows your focus and allows you to concentrate.
Follow the leader Watch a better skier as he skis the run. Follow his line, or just emulate his style to the best of your ability.
At ski school Request an instructor who teaches the mental aspect of skiing. There's sure to be at least one at most ski areas.
Suggested reading: *Smart Skiing: Mental Training for All Ages and Levels of Skill, by Dennis J. Selder & Tommy Moe; Jossey-Bass Publishers (1998) $22 *Inner Skiing, by W. Timothy Gallwey & Robert Kriegel; Random House (1997) $15 *Skiing Out of Your Mind: The Psychology of Peak Performance, by Leonard A. Loudis & Kenneth M. Singer; Human Kinetics Publishers (1986) $17.
For more great pointers, check out the September issue of SKI Magazine.