So, you’ve booked your skiing holiday. Great! But being paralysed by fear isn’t fun, whether you’re a newbie learning to ski or an expert trying out a new challenge. While there’s no “cure-all” for overcoming anxiety on the slopes, here are some techniques to use to curb your fear.
So, you’ve booked your skiing holiday. Great! But being paralysed by fear isn’t fun, whether you’re a newbie learning to ski or an expert trying out a new challenge.
While there’s no “cure-all” for overcoming anxiety on the slopes, here are some techniques to use to curb your fear.
1. Brace Yourself, You’re Gonna Fall…
If you’re a skiing newbie, be prepared – you’re going to take a tumble, whether you like it or not. Once you’ve toppled, you’ll realise it really isn’t the end of the world. You’ll be totally fearless by the end of it, so fret not. It’s all part of the fun! Just relax and go with the fall rather than tensing up and it’s far less likely to hurt.
2. And Breathe…
If you want to annihilate your anxiety, just breathe. Let’s face it, stiff, tight muscles just aren’t going to help. The fastest way to slay fear is to change your physiology and relax the body by breathing deeply. By breathing in deeply, this sends signals to your brain that everything’s fine and that you can relax. Even better, just focus on breathing out.
3. Think Positive Thoughts
Did you know? By linking fears of confidence with a physical anchor – like clenching your fists – you can bring about positive feelings. Otherwise known as NLP (neuro-linguistic programming), all it takes is a little prep.
With your eyes closed, remember a time when you skied brilliantly. How did you feel? What did you hear? What did you see? Notice all the niceties that made the trip good and how wonderful it felt to ski. Now, attach these feelings by clenching your fist tightly. Every day, practice these thoughts before hitting the slopes. Next time you feel a pang of uneasiness, clench your fist to prompt feelings of self-assurance and control.
4. Focus on the “Can Dos”
Ditch the “I can'ts” and focus on what you can do. What are you focusing on to feel afraid? Is it the steepness of the slopes? The thought of toppling over? As soon as you turn your focus to positive thinking, everything changes.
5. Take Lessons
Lessons can make a dramatic difference when trying to leave your comfort zone and take your skiing skills to the next level. What’s more, they’ll build your confidence, so make sure you opt for a pro and ask questions before choosing an instructor. Suss out how experienced they are, their enthusiasm, and certification. Using a professional instructor (especially one who’s highly qualified and recommended) is the way to go.
6. Don’t Be Influenced by Peer Pressure
If your pals are egging you on to try a pistol flip and you’re a beginner, this can be distressing, not least scary. While we might love skiing with friends, when we find ourselves considerably below the level of people we’re trying to ski with, it can be intimidating and darned embarrassing.
7. Take it Slowly
Perhaps one of the most important skiing tips of all would be this. Practice the mantra, “Slow and steady wins the race.” Sure, you might’ve taken a few lessons, but you’re not going to move to black runs straight away unless you’re incredibly lucky. Take time to build confidence and skills on green and blue runs first. Skiing is all about having fun – it’s not as competitive as you might think.
When you learn a new skill, introduce yourself slowly by taking it one step at a time. For example, when you try moguls, start off small so you get a “feel” for them. Then move on to larger and more challenging moguls. By taking things gradually and repeating exposure, not only will you build your skills, you’ll build your confidence so things don’t seem so scary.