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Major skiing wobble- help!!

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Apologies if i've posted this in the wrong place....

I'm a skier and have skied since I was little (am now 29). I used to ski quite happily down anything, but a few years ago had quite a nasty accident (tore lateral ligaments in my knee- ouch!)

Since then I seem to have regressed. My confidence has hit rock bottom. I will ski a blue or nice red, but anything steeper and I go to pieces. I'm scared to turn (that's when I did my knee) and leave it til the last possible second and almost come to a halt when I turn I go so slowly

I have tried everything- private lessons (which helped, but not that much), building up my confidence bit by bit, which works to a point, then I get to a steep bit and it goes again

Any suggestions?? Any suggestions for turning on steeps to make me feel more secure? I feel like giving up Sad

Thanks

Lucyx
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Hi Lucy, welcome to snowHeads! snowHead
One thing you can do to start your turns is make a pole plants, and commit to it. If you put the pole in the snow, and just lean on it, you will turn.
Another thing to try is pivot slips. Start off by sideslipping down the slope. Once you have mastered that in a controlled way, then practice sideslipping with a forward motion, then with a backward motion. The final step is to flatten the skis and turn.

Of course, the place to learn this is at the EpicSki Academy, but you'll have to wait until 29th January next year, and come to Snowbird, for (IMHO) the best lessons you'll ever get. Very Happy
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Lucylou, Welcome to SnowHeads!

I have no specific advice except what you have been doing sounds right, lessons to get your technique right, and skiing a lot of stuff you are happy skiing.

It sounds like you are trying to get back on the blacks fast, maybe you should force yourself to have a holiday where you DON'T go anywhere near the steeps. Just enjoy cruising around, the swish of ski on snow, and the fantastic views to be had. Every time you think of going up a chair to a bit of steep think NO I am going to stay on the gentle slopes.

Don't be cross with yourself for being scared, your body knows it was hurt before you have to be gentle in building it up to believe it won't be hurt again.
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Hi Lucy
And another welcome to snowHead

I'm sure you'll get some good answers here - also have a look at old threads in this section - there's lots about steeps and confidence...

I can't give skiing advice - but what you are saying sounds like 90% of the problem might be in your head?
Have a good think about what your fear is...
If its related to the practical side of repeating your injury, talk to a specialist who can confirm to you that your muscles and ligaments are completely recovered. With that knowledge take heart that the risks are exactly the same as when you first started the sport, and what everyone else on the slope faces - injuries happen but they are very rare.
If its more internal - e.g. worries about your technique, what people will think of your technique, will people laugh if you fall... etc. then address that fear. (Usually you know you can get down a mountain - you can see other people doing it - you've even done it before - you've had the lessons etc... its something else inside that holds you back)
e.g. i can freeze when i think people are looking at me - so I found that going on runs on my own helped - I had to get down... and it was much easier for me than having lots of well meaning friends around who just put me under even more pressure - also i didn't tend to wait at the top of a slope as much looking down - just get off the lift, sort poles out and go...
There's all sorts of tricks that i've picked up over time to help with confidence, e.g. visualising a time when everything went well and then bringing up that memory at the times when you most need it. So try and work on the mind bit as much as the skiing technique!

I'd also echo fraggle - if you don't like the steeps then don't do them until you want to - e.g. after a lovely fresh powder dump on a groomed black, so that if you fall it doesn't hurt!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
You could try skiing for a while with an elastic knee support, to build confidence. Also use low DINs on bindings (well not TOO low, but at the low end of a reasonable range). It helps to know they'll give way before your ligaments.

I'd recommend private lessons with easiski (Charlotte), in Les Deux Alpes, if you can get there. I know someone else who she managed to help back on skis after an ACL tear.

And yeah, same thing, don't do steeps for a while, focus on learning really good technique on gentler runs. We all should do this, every now and then. You learn a lot more in conditions which don't overstretch your technique, or feed your fear. I believe you'll find in a while that the confidence is coming back. (Ok, I'm not speaking from experience here, but I did read this piece of advice from many really good skiers).

Oh, and of course, always keep your leg muscles in shape (including the femural biceps, at the back of the thighs).
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
My advice is two-fold. First, continue practice turning on the blue runs, especially carving turns; you will have to gradually increase the steepness of runs you feel comfy turning on. Second seak out some runs with steep sections where you can get used to the steepness without needing to turn. Many resorts have a steep groomed section at the top of a blue run that only lasts 30 or 40 feet, and then becomes very gently sloped. Get used to the speed and steepness by going straight down this section. Eventually you will be used to the speed and steepness and not notice that the run is steep enough to upset your confidence while turning.

Be patient and don't rush it; it will come back unless you push yourself too fast.
snow conditions     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I agree with everything said here: especially mountainmad and ghost. First get it verified that you are not under particularly increased risk, then continue carving on blues and getting used to the speed of steeps again through the short sections/no turning thing. Eventually you should have confidence again on reds, and then on blacks.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Lucylou, hi. 1) Don't give up skiing! 2) Find a good therapist who deals with post traumatic stress disorder and/or phobias.

Before your accident you had sufficent skill and experience do ski pretty much everything, so it's fairly likely that the rest is, as they say, in your head. You're not insane. The point about a therapist is that s/he can help you find a way to reduce whatever fear that was caused by your accident, and which is now stopping you from enjoying a sport you want to enjoy. We can post helpful things on this site until the cows come home, but it won't be anywhere near as effective as a real-life therapist.

Lessons at this point are just going to frustrate you (because your instructor can't feel your fear) and frustrate your instructor (who can't appreciate why you're failing to ski up to your apparent standard).
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Lucylou, Don't know if this will help, but.... When you ski, take care to visit the steeps at the best time for you. The snow needs to be soft, you need to be fit and as confident as possible. If the snow is hard/icy - don't go.

Try to get some practise at your nearest slope, so you're turning efficiently and correctly on gentle snow, and with the help that Manda suggests, you'll get through it.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
I am no expert, but a friend of mine with worries about his knee switched to snowboarding.
Seems to still enjoy himself so it could be an option.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Quote:
Apologies if i've posted this in the wrong place....


Lucylou, You probably realise by now you posted in exactly the right place!

Welcome to snowHeads snowHead

I've nothing to add to the excellent advice above - I hope the wobble steadies soon.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Lucylou, One more "welcome to Snowheads". I do agree with most of what's been said. The main thing is not to allow this problem to make you give up. Why do you want to ski reds and blacks anyway? Is it because you used to? Is it because you think you should? Several posters have suggested that you give them a miss for a while - good advice. If you know a resort well that has easy runs with one or two very short steeper bits, go there. Those very short steeper bits will help your confidence - especially if they're followed by a flatter bit. However I disagree with Manda, (I would, naturally) when she says:

"Lessons at this point are just going to frustrate you (because your instructor can't feel your fear) and frustrate your instructor (who can't appreciate why you're failing to ski up to your apparent standard)"

This is not always true, it depends on the teacher (and I don't say instructor)! Cedric, thank you for the kind words.

Lucylou, I've suffered from vertigo most of my life - I know it sounds daft for a ski teacher - but true, and have had some dreadful attacks in the past. Totally unable to stand up, hyperventilating, nauseaous, dizzy, you name it. Hypnotherapy helped.

Cheer up and keep going. Little Angel
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Mark Lehto, snowboarding, especially a forward stance, is pretty easy on the knees, so that is actually a good option. However, if you already have many years of skiing under your belt, it can be a little hard to go back to being a begginer again (something I experienced).
ski holidays     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Check out this book:

"In the Yikes! Zone: A Conversation With Fear by Mermer Blakeslee"

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0525946381/qid=1107505133/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl14/103-8984961-7096633?v=glance&s=books&n=507846&tag=amz07b-21

As I recall, she talks about a number of individuals like yourself. I'm usually the first one to call "psycho-babble" on most books that attempt to deal with the psychological aspects of skiing, but this one is really good. It discusses much of what was already covered in this thread.

HTH,

Tom / PM
snow conditions     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
ponder my friend found snowboarding relatively easy to pick up. It might even have some psychological benefits - you are learning something new which may mean you dont associate the turning with the injury and can relax more. A possible downside is that you will feel the urge to leave polite society behind, talk in a strange manner and avoid bumps Very Happy
ski holidays     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I recently attended a coaching week run by Bobski (www.bobski.com) iT was advertised as being particularly good for nervous skiers and I had a fantastic time. Bob takes you right back to basics, strips away all your previous learning and takes you on a voyage of discovery about how to ski and more importantly how it feels to ski well. We never went off the blues as his opinion was that you only develop the skill to ski steeps when you have mastered the approrprite technique on lesser slopes. Bob gives you 100% in the week and constantly gets you to set achievable goals and targets for your skiing. He does a lot of work (both before and during the programme) that specifically focuses on why you feel frightend or scared. This combined with developing a ski style that feels safe and secure and controlled has really brought my skiing on. I still don't want to ski steeps, but boy do I enoy skiing easier slopes!!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Nah they’re all wrong.

Don’t be a namby-pamby
Get yourself up to the top of a steep black preferable with big bumps late afternoon so that it’s a bit icy and the soft stuff has been scraped off during the day, launch yourself off and don’t turn for the first fifty metres.........................


You’ll soon find the courage to put in a few turns
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Oh and welcome to snowHeads Lucylou,
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Lucylou, I don't have any advice to offer .. but I am basically in the same boat as you ... have skiied for years, was not afraid of any run, and loved the adrenalin buzz from skiing steeper slopes Toofy Grin

But after a breaking a leg last year, I'm not going skiing this year, even though the leg is better !! I do still check out webcams, last minute offers .. but just couldn't face another 2 months in plaster on crutches !! I can still feel the moment of the 'break' in my head ... and that is enough to stop me hitting the slopes again Sad

Maybe next year !! Anyway, you're not alone !! And Welcome to Snowheads snowHead
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