In this blogpost I will give my take on how you can become a better, supportive ski buddy, when skiing with a person, who doesn’t have the same skiing level as you. But first I will give an example of the opposite, so you know what i’m talking about and how to avoid situations like this.
The man teaches the woman to ski. He is an experienced, skilled skier. She is lightly trained, but hasn’t been skiing for a long time. Her feeling on skis is almost like being completely new to the game. The couple starts together at the beginner’s area in the ski resort. It goes well. The man sees that she can easily get down here. He takes her up on a steeper slope. He tries to teach her what would be good for her to do in the current situation, but she doesn’t listen. He tries his best. He likes her and wants only the best for her. She doesn’t listen because she is already frustrated! She doesn’t have the ski skills to handle this steep and bumpy slope, which results in her being pressured and unable to keep up. She gets way too much out of her “comfort zone”. This causes her to be challenged so much that she panics, starts yelling and screaming and crying. The tension between these two persons is now high. The man doesn’t know what to do and looses patience. This leads to a huge argument out on the slopes. She takes off her skis and takes the ass ride down the slope. Afterwards, she does not want to talk to the man for several hours. The whole day is ruined. Maybe the holiday is ruined or the relationship! Next time she goes skiing, she probably has more fear & anxiety when skiing, just because of this experience.
Situations like this should be avoided. You can not always say it’s the man’s fault or who’s to blame, because he is pushing her. BUT of course taking a person on a very steep slope, which she is not capable of doing is TOO MUCH. Then you are to blame. People mostly want other people the best. It’s good to think one extra time before skiing with “sensitive” skiers. Like some people have to think one extra time before talking. *LOL*. It’s al about human psychology.
JUST AN EXAMPLE
Perhaps you have tried similar situations?
Remember: Above is just an example. It doesn’t need to be man/woman situation. It could also be woman/man, mum/son, dad/dauther, friends, but this MAN TEACHING WOMAN TO SKI. I have seen this way too often out on the ski slopes.
WHAT TO DO?
1) FIRST SKI SCHOOL
In cases like this above, the best advice is always to send the “not so good skier” to a professional ski instructor or ski school. Achieve private lessons or group lessons. Depending on the person. It’s less stressful for you and the investment worth it.
One of my ski client’s once told me it’s cheaper to send his wife to me as getting divorced!
2) SKIING TOGETHER AFTER THE SKI LESSON
After the ski lesson and lunchbreak you could ski a bit together. The person, who went to ski school, could show what he/she has learned in the lesson. When this is going to happen, there are just some small things you could have in mind while skiing together. It will give the skiing experience together a much better energi flow.
HOW TO BE A SUPPORTIVE SKI FELLOW
Don’t act like her/his ski instructor. People who knows each other too well, doesn’t always want to listen to each other as if it was a stranger, who listened. It can create frustration. That’s also a reason why don’t teach your wife, but Support!
On the person’s terms. Don’t ski over level. Then the bad circle will start…
Be present. Don’t always wait 100 meters down the hill. Not that “The slow person” always has to feel slow or think “F…” they are always waiting for me”. That’s bad for the head.
Think of where you make breaks or meeting points on the slope. Do not stand near the edge of the piste far away down, as people with anxiety think they cannot turn or stop in time – and on a bad day, they might crash
If you MUST to go on a red slope (no other option) and the person only likes blue, then it’s very important to ski down the red without the less experienced skier notice it
Less is more. If too much tension is building up, then stop skiing. Enough is enough. Go for a drink or beer. Less is more. Enough is enough. Skiing should be fun for everybody. Skiing experience together creates great bonds with each other as well.
I hope you got some inspiration. Let me know if you can use my advice. Also if you have more good things that I could add to the written above.
Do you suffer from fear and anxiety while skiing ? Or maybe you know someone, who does? The thought of falling and not being able to control the speed is scaring. The stepness of the slope is terrifyring or something else? Especially the “unknown” of what’s going to happen & “loss of control” while skiing creates anxiety in some people’s mind. Read the post below if you want inspiration for what can be done to minimize fear & anxiety when skiing – and what to do and consider to achieve a better and funnier skiing experience.
By Anne-Louise S. Jørgensen. Professional ski instructor & off-piste SkiGuide in St. Anton am Arlberg, Austria. MSc. Sport psychology (cand. scient)
Fear & anxiety is human
You are not alone. From my many years teaching experience, there are a lot of people, who automatically gets anxious, when they go skiing for the first time. Also those who goes several times each year. Had breaks, weeks or years of no skiing. There are also those, who has developed anxiety due to bad experiences & accidents on skis. They all need to feel comfortable with skiing and build up their skiing confidence again. That’s totally normal.
The skiing confidence is essential
The coolest thing is, if a person achieves the feeling of self-confidence, “Yes I can do it”. I can ski down here. I can actually control my self on skis. I can ski! The feeling of anxiety will then automatically be reduced. The person gets the courage to do more… And then it usually comes naturally that you want to and feel ready for other slopes… But the most important thing is NOT TO FAST. It’s always good to get a little out of your comfort zone, but in moderation. Your comfort zone can get pushed a bit as your confidence grows. If a person is given too many challenges in relation to skills, anxiety occurs. The person also lose confidence and gets into a bad circle! Then the ski motivation also gets decreased.
Overcoming fear & anxiety while skiing can take time – depends on the person.
HOW to build this skiing confidence?
SKI lessons with an experienced instructor
I would always suggest private lessons with an instructor for a better skiing experience. Find a ski school with an experienced instructor or book an independant one, if you know one. The skiing technique will get improved during skiing & exercises.The experienced instructor can normally combine a person’s physical and psychological skill level quite well. Here I mean, the instructor will not only look at the sequence of exercises in relation to the skiing development, but also to look at the person you are dealing with. And find the person’t optimal comfort zone. An experienced instructor, can see strait away in a person’s body language, when a person suffer from too much fear while skiing. And beside teaching, the ski client can receive tips and tools on how to get down the dirrerent slopes in the ski resort. And there are of course much more a ski instructor can offer. Further more the ski instructor will help you develop to the better ski version of your self.
Skiing on your own – some advices for less fear & anxiety on the ski slopes
Experiences of success give confidence
Practise on easy terrain, where you feel confident. When it’s start getting boring, speed up on the same run. When it’s too boring for you, then you’re ready for next level. Another slope.
Be patient. Less is more. Enough is enough. Be satisfied with what you already done.
Be honest about your skiing level, when skiing with friends. It’s important you don’t feel or get pushed, otherwise your fear will grow even bigger!
Supportive ski fellows is the key. What is a good, supportive skiing buddy? Read my blogpost about it next week!
Especially February month is busy. School holiday period as well. All Ski-schools in St. Anton am Arlberg – The whole Arlberg region – are getting very busy. It can be difficult to get a certain private ski instructor or off-piste guide, if you don’t book in advance. I just want to inform you…
There are several ski schools in St.Anton.Of course you can just show up in one of the bigger schools’ office in town and book for the day – private or group lessons. They will probably always have some (holiday) instructors available. It can also happens, if you are too late with the booking, that they are “sold out” for the day.
You can also book an independent ski instructor or a ski guide online – (like me) through their own webpage. Often they are fully booked weeks before february.
BOOK YOUR FAVORITE INSTRUCTOR
Just have in mind that it can be more difficult to get the instructor you want in high season, if you don’t book in time: Who speaks your language or an experienced/ higher qualified instructor etc., because they are simply fully booked (peak week is from 10 th of february 2024 etc).
Also good to know is that the group lessons in the big ski schools for kids and adults can be quite crowded in Tirol, Austria (max. 12 people).
But when people first get the experience, that it’s difficult to get the instructor they want. Or they went in a too big group the year before, they learn – next time – to book long time in advance or to book private lessions.
Life with a pre booked ski instructor / ski guide gives less stress.
On a holiday it’s important not having stress, but pleasure, togetherness, joy, fun and eat and do things that makes you happy 🙂
I hope it was good information or a great reminder.
I was born in Denmark, in December 1985. It was snowing a lot, when my mum & dad went by car to the hospital to give birth to me. I’m a real winter child 🙂
I started to ski in the age of 3. Ski holidays 3 times a year with my family to Sweden, Norway and The Alps (France, Switzerland, Italy & Austria). When I was 17 years old, I went to St.Anton am Arlberg with my family, and it was love at first sight. After High School I had a gap year. A part of it was of course a season as a ski instructor in St. Anton am Arlberg.
Afterwards I had to study. That’s what’s some would say “a good citizen” does in the Danish society. Though, in the winter holidays I went to St.Anton, to work as a ski instructor. After I finished my university (bachelor of Sport Science & Health & master degree in Social Sciences & Sport Science with specializing in sports psychology) I felt free. Especially I felt the freedom of expectations from society, family etc., to get an university degree. Ok DONE!
Next thing was work. I was not interested in a typically 9-16 job. During making my master, I felt in love with an Austrian guy, which was good and bad at the same time. Through him I learned to be more aware of doing, what felt right for me, and we found out how to combine work & life between Austria & Denmark. I also decided to get the highest level of ski instruction certification in Austria, Staatlich geprüfter Skilehrerin. I finished this education in 2017. In December 2020 I became an austrian ski guide as well (Staatlich geprüfter Skilehrerin). The way to the top level was not always easy for me, but I follow my dreams. If I want something, I go for it. Now I’m independent. That was the best decision in my life until now!
When people are stressed, then do different things. People have their own methods. Some use a therapist, a friend, sex, elevated alcohol intake, read books, exercise, spend time in nature or use a coach or psychologist, when they have some challenges or crises in their lives. Not all ways are appropriate. It may also depend on what challenge you have in your life at the current moment. Gradually, over time, you find out what help & bring you in mental balance.
We can all be stressed. Sometimes I use mindfullness meditation & exercise to reduce stress and be in mental balance. Therefore, this blog post is about mindfullness training & meditation.
Mindfullness – What is it?
Mindfullness can be described as a specific, bodily, intentional orientation in relation to focusing one’s attention on something specific. The focus is to be open, curious and present in the present in a non-judgmental or judgmental way (Bishop et al., 2004; Germer, 2005). Mindfullness originates originally from philosophical traditions, but is often associated with Buddhist philosophy and psychology (Bikkhu Bodhi, 2000; Nyanaponika, 1998). Studies show that mindfullness meditation has positive effects on eg. stress, chronic pain, depression and eating disorders etc. (See Baer, 2003; Melbourne Academic Mindfulness Interest Group, 2006).
Mindfullness – Where & when can I do it?
In principle, you can practice mindfullness in all places and times of the day – in different lengths and contexts. You don’t necessarily have to sit in a particular position or get up a certain place with a yoga mat. Beautiful, idyllic places and places where you feel comfortable may give you a better general experience of the meditation – the feeling of well-being and the landscape etc. When you make more effort out of something, I also think that it mentally gives a better effect. Mindfullness can also be exercised when cycling, running or hiking alone or with others in the forest. As you run, you can focus on the breath. When you eat an apple, you can focus on the taste. When walking in crowds, you can also choose to focus only on the breath. The fact that you focus is the main essence. The essential thing about meditation is, that your awareness of a particular point is gathered. The thoughts are focused on what you are currently doing.
Mindfullness – examples in practice?
SHORTER SELF-TRAINING UNITS EVERY DAY
As you understand what mindfullness is, try to do the following at least once a day. Here are a few examples: • Brush your teeth and only think about brushing your teeth • Drink coffee and think only of the coffee; how does it taste, is it hot? • Eat a piece of fruit or cake – focus on the taste. In addition to focusing on bringing awareness to a particular point, you are also training the presence in the situation.
Mindfullness Meditation Training
You can “go” to mindfullness classes as you go to a yoga – or other classes. It can be motivating for people, who can’t get along on their own or need to get started. It’s just to find out who makes such hours close to you. Online you can also google “mindfullness meditation classes” and you will find different directions and avenues. Online classes as well. On youtube, there are also many examples of guided mindfullness meditation.
EXAMPLES OF 1 HOURS OF SITTING MEDITATION:
Once in a while, I do a kind of meditation called “informal mediation”:
10. min. breathing exercise
30. min. Body scanning (awareness of different body parts)
20. min mountain / sea meditation
The meditation can be at home, at the beach or the sea. Or where you find it cozy. Personally, I prefer to practice this kind of meditation somewhere in the mountains or at the beach – if possible. If the weather does not allow it, then a warm, cozy room with a pillow, candles and a blanket can also be the case. It is important to have a good time.
Mindfullness during sports activities
Not all people can or want to practice mindfullness meditation sitting somewhere, because it doesn’t make any sense. For them I will suggest doing it during sport activity: Unconscious – I also do mindfullness training when I’m out skitouring up the mountain/ back country skiing, cross country skiing, cycling or running longer distances. Sometimes it can be so hard or challenging that I focus only on every step and breath I take. Then I’m doing Mindfullness training as well. Mindfullness training is comparable to being in a state of flow, which provides the same positive psychological effects as mindfullness meditation. Like mindfullness, the experience of flow can gather awareness, thoughts and awareness of a particular point (Csikszentmihalyi (2005)). This can help you automatically reduce your stress level, because you become better at concentrating on what you need to focus on.
Mindfullness – The ability of concentration in daily life improves
Mindfullness training makes me better at focusing on everyday tasks – without eg. to look at my phone 10 times an hour or other things that take my concentration. It makes me less stressed, because I learn to be present in the moment with things that I’m doing – I get more effective …
If you want to have mindfullness training coaching from me – ONLINE or IRL, then contact me .