Featured Be the skier ripping through it

Discussion in 'Ski School' started by Dan Egan, Mar 18, 2019.

  1. Dan Egan

    Dan Egan Founder of the flow Hall Of Fame Member Instructor

    Jul 17, 2017
    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.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 18, 2019
  2. Chris Geib

    Chris Geib cgeib Skier

    Nov 12, 2015
    Dillon, CO
    Hi Dan, great post and topic! Hope you are doing great:)


    KingGrump, Dan Egan and Tricia like this.
  3. Scruffy

    Scruffy Getting off the lift Skier

    Nov 16, 2015
    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
    Dan Egan likes this.
  4. Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

    Nov 1, 2015
    All of the above.
  5. Wilhelmson

    Wilhelmson Out on the slopes Skier

    May 2, 2017
    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.

  6. Kneale Brownson

    Kneale Brownson Out on the slopes Instructor

    Nov 12, 2015
    Mental Cybervision.
  7. mister moose

    mister moose Instigator Skier

    May 30, 2017
    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.
  8. James

    James Skiing the powder Instructor

    Dec 2, 2015
    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.
  9. mister moose

    mister moose Instigator Skier

    May 30, 2017
    "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.
  10. Uncle-A

    Uncle-A In the words of Paul Simon "You can call me Al" Skier

    Dec 22, 2015
    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 likes this.
  11. SallyCat

    SallyCat Getting on the lift Skier

    Jan 1, 2017
    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!
    Uncle-A, geepers and Philpug like this.

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