Dan Egan

Founder of the flow
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Visualization is a great tool. I use it all the time to reinforce both the physical and emotional side of skiing, and I like to visualize a skier ripping through it.

One of the benefits of this visual exercise is it allows for flawless skiing which in turn will let you to break through bad habits and poor body positions that may have plagued you in the past. Also if used correctly you can change any fear-based patterns into positive emotions that will significantly enhance your future skiing experience.

The idea is to reprogram the connection between your mind and body. To accomplish this be prepared to be wholly engulfed emotionally and physically in the setting of your vision.

First set the stage for the location. Where are you skiing? What’s the temperature of the day? How are you dressed? And what equipment are you skiing on? Answering these questions will anchor the vision.

Then embrace the emotions generated within the vision. How are you feeling standing on your skis in this place? What emotions are swelling up within you as you anticipate your descent? Answering these questions provides an emotional attachment to the vision which will reinforce the exercise.

Equally important, what are you seeing? Are you on a freshly groomed trail or shredding fresh tracks in powder?

Now think about why you ski and then state the purpose for this vision, use a phrase such as…

“I want to ski the ultimate run with the goal to improve my ski skills. I’m going to make long smooth turns with dynamic body movements throughout the arc and feel light and free in the transitions.”

When you are ready to push off down the mountain take a deep breath, exhale and go.

Once you are in motion feel the wind in your face, feel the snow under your skis, balance yourself over your feet and tip your skis into the first turn. Now sink into the arc and as the skis build up pressure to carve, drive and bend your knees to the inside of the turn and pressure the front of your ski boots with your chins.

Feel the arc of the ski generating power and precision as it rips through the snow.

Absorb the ski flexing as it vibrates over the terrain and brace for the acceleration generated in the last third of the turn.

Then actively move your body down the hill and over your skis floating through the transition and into the next turn.

While this is happening to you embrace the emotions of the moment, are you excited, relaxed, and joyful or are you intense, focused and determined?

Visualization has worked for me since I was a young skier and today when I partake in this exercise, I start by looking around the snow-covered peaks and then allow the visions of tracks and turns to flood my mind.

As the images of my skiing start to take shape in my mind, I feel deep inner satisfaction that results in a wide broad smile.

In these visualizations, I embark on a journey that delivers the emotions of the moment, a mixture of anticipation, excitement, and joy that can only feel when skiing especially after a long off-season.

As I visualize these ski runs I allow my body to sway, my hands start to mimic the angle of the skis and duplicate the arc of the turn. Feeling the momentum build both emotionally and physically I start to reproduce my movements and adjust my breathing in anticipation of a long powerful run.

I see myself as the skier that rips through it. Even as I write this, I am smiling, enjoying the experience of skiing and enjoying how the mental vision of the ultimate skiing daydream will find its way into reality one day on the slopes.
 
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Scruffy

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Nov 16, 2015
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Upstate NY
Great post, Dan. I’ve been experimenting with this myself on and off. Your post reminds me to do it more and continue the mindful journey. Thanks
 

Tricia

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Feel the arc of the ski generating power and precision as it rips through the snow.

Absorb the ski flexing as it vibrates over the terrain and brace for the acceleration generated in the last third of the turn.

Then actively move your body down the hill and over your skis floating through the transition and into the next turn.

While this is happening to you embrace the emotions of the moment, are you excited, relaxed, and joyful or are you intense, focused and determined?
All of the above.
 

Wilhelmson

Out on the slopes
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May 2, 2017
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I do this as well and sometimes it comes true. For some reason my visualization of the superpipe includes a lot of blood so I stay away.
 

mister moose

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May 30, 2017
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Killington
I'm looking at

A) The deep ankle flex Dan is generating.
B) The vertical angle Dan is at relative to the slope. (yellow angle) Likely the apparent angle is slightly distorted as he is not directly abeam the camera, I'm guessing he's actually at about 90 degrees to the surface.

Egan Angles.jpg

C) His shins appear nearly horizontal and his right hand appears lower than his foot. (blue line) Something to look at for skiing steeps.
D) The wide embrace of his arms, he's in the moment.
 

James

So much better than a pro
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Lots of forward lean in those boots.
Be wary of generalizing from one photo about "skiing steeps".

I don't think ma is the point of his post. On that note I wonder if he visualises himself in the air. I shot some video of him ten years ago in moguls. His skis are off the surface and redirecting more than on it. On video in slo mo it was very apparent, live it just looked fast.
 

mister moose

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I don't think ma is the point of his post.
"How are you feeling standing on your skis in this place?"
"As the images of my skiing start to take shape in my mind,..."


You visualize the way you like, I'll visualize the way I like.
 

Uncle-A

In the words of Paul Simon "You can call me Al"
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The descriptive writing in Dan's post is wonderful and I have tried the visualization tool when skiing. The terrain was not as steep but it does seem to work, the technique goes out the window when you hit the first patch of ice. That is when I get in survival mode, and a lot of the bad habits return. That is what we mere mortals have to deal with.
 

SallyCat

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Beautifully written!

I had a basketball coach who was very serious about using visualization to improve free-throw technique, among other aspects of the game. In my experience, it was a powerful tool create "muscle memory" of a sort as you developed or refined techniques.

Agreeing with Uncle-A, though, it's just a tool to enhance practice, not a substitute.

Tricky for ski duffers like me, because I don't really have enough of a grasp on good form to put it into mental practice!
 

armed&dangerous

Booting up
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Apr 20, 2019
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Now I know what Makela Shiffrin is doing up there.Well written. I'll try it. if it works for you and it works for her maybe its work for me.
 

Suzski

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I adopted visualization in the 70's when it was still considered "woo woo." Albeit it was in another sport, but I've carried it forward to skiing. It is the only way I can ski in the off season and I treasure it. Thank you for the reminder to "just visualize it," @Dan Egan
 

ssh

Steve "ssh" Hultquist
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Apr 25, 2017
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Boulder and Copper, CO USA
@Dan Egan, thanks for this. I love your vision. I expect you don't remember me from the time I skied with you and your team (and Bob Barnes, Annie Black, and other friends), but this is *exactly* what I had to do to survive that run on North Pole (the "Couloir" for video). I needed to see it first in my mind. I had to rewind that "tape" a half-dozen times before I could see myself making that first turn instead of pulling a Glenn Plake and dropping a ski.

I made it.
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See it and rip it.
 
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