Updated: Nov 20, 2019
Lessons I've learned from 25 yrs of coaching senior skiers has to be headed-up by the issue of belief change.
The hardest challenge for me is convincing older skiers that you can change your skiing dramatically for the better no matter your age or gender. Not everyone wants to, but if you do, you can.
What's the key to advancing your skiing as a senior skier?
LESSON 1: The key is belief change.
My most recent pupil – a man of 80 – has powerful imagery skill, considerable confidence, and knows how to relax and reduce anxiety. He's fit for his age. He also has years of skiing behind him: but not quality skiing – “getting down things”.
But he didn't know what to DO. In our first session he found two small actions that reaped big changes. In all those years no instructor had ever told him how to hold his hands for best results! From that moment on his self-belief, his hopes for the future, took off. He ain't done yet!
Skiing lessons from older skiers
LESSON 2: You will improve faster if you ski slower. Provided you know what you intend to do – what movement you will make, and you know how you will know what you actually do, do (feedback). Don't try to “ski”. Decide to make one movement only.
If you ski fast you'll have too much to think about. You won't be able to focus and you'll be back to “getting down things”. Ski slower, improve faster.
LESSON 3: Patience Pays. Be non judgemental. The more patient you are the sooner you'll reach your goal. Being in a hurry slows you down. So does cussing yourself. Even old skiers with years of life experience still call themselves names they would sack me for if I used them!
What else has teaching skiing for older skiers taught me?
LESSON 4: Your learning curve will be steeper when the slope isn't.
Once I have convinced my older skier that it isn't “baby-ish” to work on your changes on beginner slopes we make faster progress. It's an intelligent approach to do so; it's stupid to work on new things on steep ones.
Learn your new techniques and become skillful with them on the easy slopes, where you have less to think about and “survival” is not an issue, and only then take them up the hill.
LESSON 5: What has worked best in every instance for over 25 years has been what we ski coaches call “The Intention/Attention Feedback Loop”.
It works for everyone, but for my older skiers who for the most part are higher educated, mature and thoughtful, it has worked even better. It has been a revelation for them.
It goes like this:
Decide before you set off precisely what movement you will practise. Decide which of your senses will give you the best feedback. Will you feel it, see it, smell it …..? When you stop, after only say 50 yards, mentally review it. Ski only very short distances at a time when you're training.
The results ALL my older skiers get is the sheer satisfaction of finding they're not washed up, and they are becoming more controlled skillful skiers than they ever believed they could. It pays huge dividends.
You can read more about the above in my books on Amazon. And gather further information from my Youtube Channel where you will find FREE video lessons on how to Ski In Control With Bobski. Or you could pop over to my training videos page and see the series there.
For more interesting and unique information on becoming a senior skier or advancing as a senior skier why not pop over to seniorsskiing.com and take a look.
All the best for now!