Some physical (and mental) tips for enjoyable skiing
There is a sense of well-being that is provided by skiing through exercise: fresh air, sunshine and magnificent scenery.
We must learn to be much more relaxed and uninhibited on skis. As a result, you will not only learn much faster, but have more fun in the process. A skier must be aware of the terrain they are on and the other skiers on the slope. Every turn will be different according to the nature of the hill. When a skier selects a path to go down the hill, the skier moves his torso, legs and skis in that direction.
It is important to be balanced on your skis and when you execute a turn, you unweight your balance to the downhill ski. This unweighting of balance from one ski to another allows the skier to turn with less effort and maintain their upper body squarely downhill. Remember, this should all be done with a positive thought, without worrying how you look or any of the many self-critizing thoughts that come into the mind. Think of this as fun and it will show in your performance.
Many skiers equate falling with failure and try to avoid any type of fall. Instead, one should accept falling as part of the role of skiing. Try to examine what you did to bring about the fall and try to eliminate the problem by practice. Experience is our greatest teacher. It sometimes hurts, but we learn from it.
Skiing the steep slopes presents many challenges, even for the most accomplished skiers. Sitting back and leaning into the hill, makes turning very difficult. To remedy this problem, try reaching further down the hill for your pole plants. In addition, this technique will also place the weight squarely over the downhill ski while increasing the skis edge angle. This will advance your ability to a solid platform from which to step, hop or pivot into the next turn. At this point, your upper body is in an anticipated position, automatically creating a turn even before the turn begins, thus making the skis move properly into position.
If this continues to be a problem, there is a possibility there may be foot biomechanical imbalances. This creates an ineffective and inefficient position and inability to gain proper control to execute the proper form to get a good cutting edge. Corrective inserts have helped many skiers to improve balance and efficiency in their skiing with an improved cutting edge, and therefore, a more relaxed positive thought while skiing for fun.
Dr. Robert F. Weiss is a podiatrist. He was a member of the Medical Advisory Committee of the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Marathon Trials. Dr. Weiss is a veteran of 35 marathons. For more information go to www.facebook.com/drrobertweiss