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!