You’ve been skiing — and, let’s admit it, oftentimes flailing — at Mt. Wannabe for years, and you still can’t seem to make that next step that will up your game.
And though you thoroughly enjoy puttering around the hill, skiing over the same old, same old day after day, there’s a nagging voice inside your brain that’s telling you that there’s a whole lot more of the mountain to explore.
But how, you wonder, can I get into the frame of mind and expertise to make the leap.
Well, short of taking a lesson or two from a fully certified ski instructor, here are three suggestions that may help you on your journey.
Flexibility and Balance
You can only go as far as your body can take you, and a finely tuned body can take you a lot farther than you expect. Improving flexibility and balance is a key to getting your ski corpus in better form. Yoga is a great way to limber up the body, and stretching exercises that focus on the hips, hamstrings and calves will further enhance your flexibility. As for balance, which is must asset for skiers of all abilities, the one-legged ones work the best for off-slope training, while skiing on one ski on easy terrain will further enhance your balance quotient.
Get out of your comfort zone … but don’t go too far.
It’s axiomatic that if you’re not challenging yourself, you’re not going to improve. But it could also lead to a Catch-22 situation: I need a certain level of ability and confidence to send that run but I don’t have that ability and confidence so I can’t gain the ability and confidence blah blah blah.
Perhaps it’s time to narrow the horizon. Choose a run that you can practically ski blindfolded in perfect conditions, but wait for unfavorable conditions — the worse the better — to ski it. Even this seemingly small boost in difficulty will improve your skill set and give you the confidence of being able to maneuver through and around even bigger challenges the hill will throw at you.
Join the Crowd
If you want to join the big boys and girls on the hill, why not tag along?
Hanging out on the hill with other skiers who are even slightly better than you is an excellent way to push yourself and, as a hoped-for by-product, improve your skills.
Watch and learn, Padawan. Observing the way they negotiate the difficulties the mountain presents can only give you inspiration to do the same.
And don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. Not all of it will be helpful or aimed at your specific needs and skill-set, but there often will be a nugget of wisdom or insight that will assist in your progression up and down the mountain.