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Locating my lost confidence!

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
So today, true to form, my skiing skills did their normal midtrip backwards step. I'm having group lessons in a small Austrian village called Rauris. The resort has two main gondolas up the hill with runs down from each of them, and between them. Before lunch we headed across to the 'other side' for the first time. Our instructor took us down a red to start with, which for many in the group was their first red. To be honest, it wasn't really any steeper than the blue off the top, so I skied it fine, but then for one section he gave us an 'out' of a blue track round, true to form, my habit of never taking a harder piste when an easier option is available won out, and off I headed round the blue track. I was pretty happy, I skied it fine, nicely parallel and told myself I was relieving the peer pressure on the rest of the group, making sure no-one had to ski the steeper section who didn't really want to. On the way back across to 'our side', another blue track... I started it parallel as before, but got a bit too much speed on one section and gently collided with the snow bank at the side as I tried to scrub it off - oh well, no harm done, got up and skied the rest of the track, but this time a bit more cautiously with a lot of snow plough in there. When we got back onto the wider main piste, I'm not sure what happened, but I overbalanced, and ended up on the floor again - lovely wide, flat piste - no idea how! Then we stopped for lunch.

After lunch, my confidence was shot, everything I skied seemed much harder than it had before. So many old bad habbits were creeping back in, that I lost count of them. And suddenly all the runs seemed busier than before with many more people flying past me at high speed. I was at the back of the group all the time, instead of the front where I'd been before and several times got momentarily stuck on a piste, leaving the rest of the group waiting for me to find enough courage to ski down to them.

Now normally I'd take myself off to an easy piste I have good memories of skiing and remind myself I can ski - but I've not found any pistes round here which fit that description. All the blues at the top of the mountain are at the harder end of blues (nice challenge for me most of the time as I need to push myself), and the lift on the nursery slope is the hardest list I've ever tried, so I can't even lap that.

So anyone got any suggestions to help me find my lost confidence.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
- If you like the instructor, could you book him for a private lesson?

- Skiing is all about confidence and when that goes, then the ability to make the appropriate actions (which don't come naturally) also seems to vanish.

- To get confidence back usually requires going back to basics on easy pistes.....check out Darren Turner Videos:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLUUxXnjXLOb1cllAIlI3MjBp5HJVkTNOf
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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?
One step at a time. Do a snow-plough turn, there isn't a problem with that and then when you see a nice place to put in a parallel think yep doing a parallel turn and hold it for 1-2-3 and then think about the next one and if it needs to be a snow plough then do that. There isn't any pressure on you the than what you bring yourself. Everyone else can go do one. Its only you and enjoying the mountains that are important. Take your time. Have a breather. Just tell yourself you need to do this one turn at a time. If you need to stay to the side and stop because everyone is flying past then do it. You'll soon see its perhaps not quite as busy as you think or there is an obvious gap. You were doing it, your body does know what to do, if the brain can be tricks into thinking its just one thing at a time, then you'll manage and get your confidence back when you look back up the slope. Other trick sI've use include going back to practising lifting one leg as I traverse etc, so my brain is thinking about that instead and so on....
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No stunningly great suggestions, but lots of sympathy.
You said it, anyway: the "normal midtrip backwards step". Day 3, was it??? Laughing
Best suggestion? Sleep on it, forget about it, have a good evening, have a laugh or nice hot sauna or an extra pudding or several stiff drinks or whatever takes your fancy, and be surprised when you go back out there tomorrow how well you can ski again. And how everyone else'll be saying the same thing, sooner or later.
It'll come back, don't worry. Just enjoy it anyway.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Relax
Empty your mind

On a gentle slope:
Bend ze ankles, good posture, Side slip, weight/unweight your skis smoothly.
Feel the snow through the skis.
Be the ski.

#zenskiing

Do this:


http://youtube.com/v/wNbEp1SRVag
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You'll need to Register first of course.
...and F**k snowplough Madeye-Smiley
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I used to get mid trip difficulties, which I now realise was down to tired muscles not working after 3 days’ skiing. This then had a knock on effect with confidence and the whole experience got harder and more confidence sapping...a downward spiral ensued.
Echo the suggestion of a private lesson or two, as it sounds like you need some technical improvements which will make skiing easier, less strenuous and thereby build confidence.
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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!
From your description, it sounds like a narrow blue zig-zag alternative to the more direct, steeper and wider red that you were already on. IMO these narrow zig-zags are nearly always trickier and less enjoyable to ski for a learner. Don't beat yourself up about it and maybe try the nice wide red option next time?
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@AL9000, that really is perfect! A pleasure to watch.
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Also, did you have a coffee at lunch? It csnake you more apprehensive because it stimulates the nerves/heart.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Just look at all the marginally in control bellends blasting down that red piste on their heels and note that the majority seem to stay upright despite physics and justice. Remind yourself that, careful and considered as you are you're a much better skier than them technically. Then be a tiger and start getting forward and punching imaginary dwarves.
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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.
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
... Then be a tiger and start getting forward and punching imaginary dwarves.


Imaginary!? oh crap, now he tells me. rolling eyes
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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
alcohol
ski holidays
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Thanks everyone for the encouragement, hints and tips. So, an update... Today I skied the whole lesson form the first time. I've been having all day group lessons and those 4 hours (10-12, 1-3) are more than enough to exhaust me completely. But I kept going, making sure to ask if I could go first behind the teacher whenever I was feeling unsure about a section. After lunch we went over to the other side again, I skied the whole red down, where yesterday I missed a section and then on the way back managed the blue track back across without issues. Almost followed the instructor into a small hole off piste trying to avoid the section where I fell yesterday, but managed to avoid that too! All in all a good days skiing, can't wait to get back to Montgenevre in a few weeks, after these tricky pistes I'm thinking everything's going to seem so easy there, or perhaps that's my memory playing tricks on me!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Rcav, glad to hear things went so well today for you. I have been following this thread with interest since I had a major loss of confidence myself last year. I was just getting things back when I developed a bad cough and could only ski a very limited time.

Just hoping things click for me on the BB in two weeks time.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Rabbie, I remember that. You did well to carry on at all.

Only 2 weeks Shocked Better start exercising!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Rcav, really glad you had a much better day. Reading what you said about exhausting, dare I suggest that you try and improve your fitness and lore specifically leg muscles strength ahead of the next time you ski?

I am currently working darn hard to try and get mine back as due to a shoulder impringement turned to frozen shoulder it got to the point that I couldn’t do more than walk and that was often really painful. I had surgery on 23rd Dec and went back to gym from 8 days post op... I now have 4 weeks left to try and get ski fit. It is improving and I really hope to be single leg pressing over my body weight by the time I go but I am not there yet.
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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?
I usually first take some rest, then go and do some standard drills, then do a run with transitions from short to long turns and back. Usually brings me back to my form. Hope it helps!
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AL9000 wrote:
@Rabbie, I remember that. You did well to carry on at all.

Only 2 weeks Shocked Better start exercising!


Oi I have been training hard. At least mentally
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@NickyJ, I know fitness and weight are issues, but although they sometimes interact with my confidence problems, they're also separate too. Eg. if I get tired and make mistakes it can affect my confidence, but on the other hand if I can attribute falls to something else - exhaustion, snow conditions, other people etc... then they tend to affect my confidence a lot less as I can reason about them. It's when plain fear gets the better of me, that I get annoyed with myself and spiral downwards in ability.

And to be honest, I'm perfectly happy skiing 3-4 hrs a day, and leaving the pistes and lifts clear for other snowheads to enjoy themselves the rest of the time.
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For confidence i found that buying new boots and new skis was a big boost, i felt so much better on upto date skis and fantastic fitting boots, ..anyway i worked for me..
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Rcav wrote:
@NickyJ, I know fitness and weight are issues, but although they sometimes interact with my confidence problems, they're also separate too. Eg. if I get tired and make mistakes it can affect my confidence, but on the other hand if I can attribute falls to something else - exhaustion, snow conditions, other people etc... then they tend to affect my confidence a lot less as I can reason about them. It's when plain fear gets the better of me, that I get annoyed with myself and spiral downwards in ability.

And to be honest, I'm perfectly happy skiing 3-4 hrs a day, and leaving the pistes and lifts clear for other snowheads to enjoy themselves the rest of the time.


Oh I understand entirely but they also interact with each other. I have had a good number of private lessons to help with mental demons. Having ruptured my ACL they are definitely there - and it is a multi pronged attack for dealing with those. Ie Private lessons, ensuring muscles are strong, hinged knee brace (as I have damaged half the reconstructed ACL) and kneebindings on my skis. There is no one element the combination is what has worked.

Best of luck and I (and I am sure MANY others) have been there.
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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!
Relax. Breathe. Talk to yourself - but only positive things. Say things you would say to a friend. You wouldn’t call them an idiot/stupid or tell them to try harder so why would you do it to yourself? If you are like me (sounds like you are)being in a group is not good. Worrying about looking daft, worrying about holding everyone up, stomach in mouth waiting for your blah blah. BY the time I actually ski I’m tense and make mistakes.

Be kind to yourself. Praise yourself. When you complete a run take a moment to look back up the slope and say “I just did that”. NEver lose the opportunity to feel how your stomach muscles are and if tense, let them go.

You’ve got this - you just need to believe it.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Rabbie wrote:
AL9000 wrote:
@Rabbie, I remember that. You did well to carry on at all.

Only 2 weeks Shocked Better start exercising!


Oi I have been training hard. At least mentally


I was speaking to myself in that last sentence. My vigorous exercise regime is going well - have a pizza or burger then go for a jog; trains me to keep the food in after lunch on the mountain Madeye-Smiley
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
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I am a cautious skier. I like to be in control. I witnessed a collision between someone who skis like me and an out of control skier. She was knocked unconscious and was airlifted off of the mountain. This was just in front of a ski lift, where no one should be skiing fast. It knocked my confidence no end, but lovely husband took me back to a lovely blue run, which we skied and skied until l was back up to speed. I was always the one at the back of the ski school class, and one time a fellow pupil lost confidence on a tougher slope, and l talked her down. She arrived back before me, she passed l didn't. Did not make me a better or worse skier. Just try to enjoy. I enjoy private lessons, the instructor is there for me.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Losing confidence all of a sudden happens to everyone. My favourite trick is to make yourself smile (even if it's totally fake) and pretend that you're skiing like you're having fun. It sounds mad, but it really works. I had to do it yesterday after losing it on a tricky (but easily within my capability) off piste run.
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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.
I used to be able to ski steep reds as long as they didn't have edges - because I am scared of heights I hate edges, even on greens! Now I am scared of other people getting to close - to the point at New Year I was f'ing and blinding at someone who was constantly crossing behind me until I realised it was my own shadow!

I need to work on my confidence, because I am now scared I get tense, and that actually makes me ski worse... which is mad! We are going again in March with the hope that the pistes will be a lot quieter than at New Year and therefore I might be able to get over what hubby calls my "irrational fear" of being wiped out (in my defense I was wiped out 3 times in a week at NY) . Hubby says I put way too many turns in - which means I'm unpredictable which is why people wipe me out, and that I make it a lot more tiring. He reckons I need to get over my fears and just go faster so that people don't need to avoid me! Whereas I reckon if you are skiing on blues you should be aware that people might be inexperienced/nervous/unpredictable and you should ski appropriately - ie. not like a bat out of hell.

Its been 25 years since I had a lesson though - so maybe that is something I should try too - knock the turning out.
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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
I think this is not about skiing but about self doubt. Do you have power music, that lifts your spirits? Try playing some music while you ski?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Skimumuk I could literally have written that post!!

Years of skiing at the back of the family group watching out for the kids, waiting to pick them up and making sure they didn’t get lost meant I didn’t get to refine my own skiing. I hate going fast and put so many turns in it has meant I’ve always taken so long that by the time I get down, they’re waiting politely and being encouraging but obviously bored. I’m knackered from all the turns, plus no rest because I don’t rest between runs as we’re straight off again. I also hate feeling out of control and realised this was because I’m not confident in my ability and therefore don’t trust myself. Have a look at my post above.

Are you near any sort of artificial slope because if you get the practice and preferably lessons in before you go, it’ll be so much more familiar on day 1.

If you’re like me, you go a year without strapping planks to the bottom of your feet, spend the week trying to remember how it all fits together and sometimes do by the end, then hang up the planks for another year. When you see it like that you realize that for some of us, it’s quite a big ask. Then we’re hard on ourselves, which makes us tense and not fluid then we fall over. I also worry about falling because I struggle to get back up so that adds an element of anxiety. I’m quite self-conscious and pretty overweight so I think how ridiculous I must look lying there helplessly in the snow

However, In addition to my post above, things that help me are:

Bach’s rescue remedy 30 mins before heading out
Fear of skiing app in the lead up
Maybe get someone to video you skiing - the chances are you will be pleasantly surprised

If things start going wrong, take a breather and go and have a coffee to reset. Meet your husband later and go and have a “play” by yourself. Partners mean well with their encouraging talks, but just telling someone to stop being frightened isn’t very effective, especially if you know they don’t really understand what is making you feel this way.

You are someone who is capable of skiing steep reds (I can’t) at times and that ability hasn’t left you, it’s just that you sometimes stop believing it.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
OMG - you have got me completely @bambionskiis - I think we should ski together LOL!

Its the getting back up as well - I never was any good at standing up with my skis still attached, even more so now that I daren't twist at all in case I dislocate my false hip. So a fall equals skis off (and I can't twist to unclip them so have to lie there till some kind soul comes and does it for me), stand up (normally have to get into a kneeling position first, again assisted by the kind soul) then try and get skis on (more difficult if piste is steep). I am overweight as well, and conscious just how ungainly the whole thing is.

Its not too bad if son is with us - he's 6'3 and skis behind me. Hubby on the other hand is less supportive (physically as well as mentally he's not got great balance so struggles to heave me up without falling over himself) - he's of the "get over it" school of motivation lol!

We are going again in March - first time in years I've done two hols in one year - by the end of NY week I was just about getting it again, so hopeful this one will consolidate that.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
One thing I have found helps is to pick someone who looks like they are skiing at a reasonable pace and follow their tracks. When my friend comes with us she is excellent at "leading". Really really hoping she comes with us in March!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@skimummk, Try a lesson with a sympathetic private instructor
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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?
confidence is a funny old thing, it dont take much to lose it, and then suddenly when all is lost something clicks and your off and running again, i"ve been through it, but the more you think about it the worse it gets, when it was at its worse for me i would stand at the top of what looked like a steep slope and just freeze, and finally i would slide slip down the top part, the trouble is the longer you stand at the top looking down at the slope the steeper it seems to get, so what i have learned from that experience is just go for it, dont stop and think about it, but if things do get on top of you, just take it easy, stay on the easy runs, take as many drinks breaks as you need, but remember it is supposed to be a holiday, so dont be pressured in to doing anything you dont want to, and just take your time.
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Definitely could be ski buddies skimumuk - although we’d have trouble if we both fell over at the same time!!

Not sure how my hubby would be as he’s always miles in front. He’s good at shouting “take your skis off” and “use your poles” though. Wish I’d thought of that


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Wed 29-01-20 11:42; edited 1 time in total
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
once you start side slipping you know you are in trouble don't you - you get so close to the edge of the piste that then a turn becomes nigh on impossible... so you take a few steps back so you can side slip again - it feels pathetic when you know that you have been skiing 35 years!

I used to have my own skis (185 grand slaloms) and I trusted them down anything even the occasional wide black - these days whilst the carvers turn easily I just don't trust their stopping power for someone my weight. This year I asked for longer skis and was given a really heavy pair of mens 172s - after a day I realised they didn't suit, I was really struggling to turn, so instead of sticking with them I went back - I changed them for 168 womens skis - thought they were really flimsy, but they turned out to be great - turned easy and the edges seemed sharp and once I trusted them I improved no end.
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skimummk wrote:


Its the getting back up as well - I never was any good at standing up with my skis still attached, even more so now that I daren't twist at all in case I dislocate my false hip. So a fall equals skis off (and I can't twist to unclip them so have to lie there till some kind soul comes and does it for me), stand up (normally have to get into a kneeling position first, again assisted by the kind soul) then try and get skis on (more difficult if piste is steep).


Very similar for me too. Certainly on flatter slopes I stand no chance of being able to get up with skis on. I have occasionally managed it on steeper pitches, but only just. Also have problems getting skis off, never seem to be able to do it with hands or poles (I can't exert enough force), need to step on the clip to get it undone. On one memorable occasion I tried to do this with both legs in the air (skis on), the instructor thought I'd gone mad, really didn't seem to get that this was the only way I could work out of getting a ski off from the position I was in. I generally only need to take 1 ski off though, so that at least helps a bit.
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Blimey that’s long - I’m only on 150’s as I’m only 5’2”!! I’ve been skiing for about 20 years and sometimes I think I should just stick to greens, which is ridiculous.

My nemesis is edges as well - I think I just have an overactive imagination.

I Definately think there’s a market for holidays and breaks for people like us starting with “getting up again” lessons. RCav that made me laugh. I wouldn’t have though you were mad at all actually - seems fine to me
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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!
I'm 5'9.

There are a few things I can't/won't do since the hip replacement - I can't no longer stand on the back of the clip - I rely on my poles to get the bindings undone and I can't buckle my right boot - as I can't exert enough force while twisting, and I won't risk trying to stand up in case I twist it.

Still - I can ski (after a fashion) so I should be grateful
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That’s completely understandable skimumuk and I can see how that would add to your worries. Nail the technique and you’ll be fine
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@skimummk, I think you need to give yourself more credit for keeping at it with the hip issues and the confidence waning. You don't let it stop you and you need to be applauded for that. I am like @bambionskiis, was fine, able to do most things and then spent years at the back giving the evil eye to anyone that came too close to the kids, able to with a ski under my arm on tough reds, but now I am often found skiing too slowly. I had a confidence lesson in Flaine to try and tweak my technique. My other half knows when I am 'on it' or not as I seem to dance when I am happy but lift my left ski when not happy - not logical as I need that ski on the ground for stability rolling eyes . I have found that being fitter has helped as the legs and lungs were better, but it doesn't make much difference to the butterflies in the tummy. I am now doing sessions to help with anxiety. The menopause is not helping either, anxiety is a well known issue it seems when you are in the middle of it but not something that we talk about before. My main target for the sessions is to get back to really enjoying my skiing! I will let you know how I get on after our Eater trip.
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