Ski Tip from the Pro: Train Your Brain

It’s almost December and I need to get moving. Other than squats and ski tune-ups, what can I be doing to improve the likelihood of having a great ski season? I consulted my friendly CSIA Level II ski pro and he told me I should start skiing now. Well, a handful of snowflakes is not going to get me far. What he meant was start the season in my mind: visualize to improve performance.

Many elite athletes routinely use visualization techniques as part of training and competition. There are many stories of athletes who’ve used these techniques to cultivate not only a competitive edge, but also to create renewed mental awareness, a heightened sense of well-being and confidence.  All of these factors have been shown to contribute to an athlete’s sports success….With mental rehearsal, minds and bodies become trained to actually perform the skill imagined.             source: sportsmedicine.about.com

I’m not in the elite athlete category, but the benefits sound great so I’m happy to try. According to the pro, this is how you do it:

First, create a mental picture of what you want to achieve. The more detailed the picture, the better, so involve your senses and hear the sound of skis on snow, feel the wind on your face etc. (It’s been a while since I had a ski day, so thank goodness for CSIA and YouTube. Watching the technical reference clip refreshed my memory.)

Second, visualize frequently and consistently. Pick a time to take a ski run in your mind, before you go to sleep or right when you wake up.

That’s the very brief overview. If I do this right, these simple steps may help to train my brain (by creating new neural pathways, which I learned a bit about at the CSIA conference) and improve my self-confidence before the season even starts. They may also provide the basis for some very sweet dreams.

I’ve posted the clips I’m using to get a head start on my season.

  • CSIA’s Technical Reference
  • CSIA’s John Gillies & Natural Balance

  • CSIA’s John Gillies & Adding Skating to Your Skiing

Do you think it can work?  Can visualization make the difference?

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9 thoughts on “Ski Tip from the Pro: Train Your Brain

  1. Thank you for providing all the instructional/inspirational videos. I am going to work on visualizing proper ski technique. No matter how I actually appear, in my mind I will look tremendous on the hill. First ski a week Saturday. Yeh

  2. I’m with jessardanaz….. I would end up visualizing myself on my butt and fulfilling that image! 🙂 But if I were to apply the technique to something I actually have some talent for I believe it would really help.

  3. This technique sounds very interesting and is probably very useful for athletes. I’m sure it can be used to enhance many performances: academic such as studying for an exam; ‘training’ for a job interview and probably lots of other tasks that we perform in life.

  4. WOW WOW WOW !! The videos have so much braining in them I do not need to ski any more. Just let the skiing happen. I think my skiing in the spring summer and fall and ski all winter.

  5. ALRIGHT … Jim Morris is wearing head covering, .. . and it is a helmet!
    Really liked Jim’s tip: minimum terrain, max speed.

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