So You Want To Improve Your All-Mountain Skiing?

Many Snoworks guest ask us how they can move up a significant level in their all-mountain skiing.

In this blog Phil Smith Director of Snoworks Ski Courses and Emma Carrick-Anderson 4 time Olympic skier and Snoworks instructor lists their top 20 ways you can step up a level. (Not in order)

1. DESIRE
You need to have desire, drive, determination, a wish to get better and the dedication to put in the work required. We often get asked the question “can you teach me to ski off-piste?” Our answer is always the same. “Do you want to learn to ski off-piste?” If the answer is “Not really it’s just something I thought I should do” Then the only person that can help is a magician.

2. MEASURED GOAL
You need to have a goal which is measurable: Ski faster, ski steeper terrain, cope with ice, ski the fall-line on bumps, ski off-piste, ski powder, ski crud. Your goal needs to be challenging but achievable. You need to strive to achieve this goal and if you don’t reach it change it and until you can achieve it. Then once achieved, set new goals that are always measurable, challenging and achievable.
See Snoworks Blog: It’s All In The Goal

3. FITNESS
Your fitness counts for a minimum of 25% of your potential  and for some fitness can count for almost everything when it comes to improving.  Improve your fitness and you can inprove your all-mountain skiing massively. The fitter you are the more in tune you are with your body and the more you can cope with the rigors of all-mountain skiing. So less pizza and beer and more cycling, swimming and running!
See Snoworks Blog: Are You Developing Only 25% Of Your Potential

4. FOCUS
You need to have ‘focus’. Many skiers have a mind like an overworked radio antenna collecting huge amounts of information. The mind ends up like an untuned radio picking up only static and interference. Your mind needs to be like a focused spotlight illuminating only the important information for performance and blocking out all the irrelevant information.
See Snoworks Blog: The Future Is A Mystery, The Past Is History, Now Is A Gift

5. BELIEF
You need to believe in yourself and your ability. You need to have faith in yourself and know you can do it. You need a positive self-image.

6. POSITIVE THOUGHTS
Your thoughts need to be positive. The mind and the body are linked so whatever you are thinking will happen-it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you’re standing on a steep section of off-piste and thinking “This is steep, this is difficult, this snow looks tricky. I’ll give it a go but what is likely to happen is I’ll start to turn, my outside ski will get stuck in the snow, accelerate, I’ll sit back, lose control and crash”. It doesn’t take a genius to work out what’s going to happen! Instead assess the information then get some positive ‘task oriented’ thoughts going like “Get the inside edge of the outside ski, push the snow sideways and control my speed accurately” Guess what will happen!

7. SKI WITH LIKE MINDED SKIERS WITH SIMILAR GOALS AND ASPIRATIONS
You need to get ski with groups of skiers who have similar goals and aspirations. It’s no good skiing with a bunch of skiers discussing where the next hot chocolate stop’s going to be. You need to be skiing with other all-mountain skiers or skiers with the desire to become all-mountain skiers.
See Snoworks Blogs:
My Partner And I Are Different Ski Levels
Local Knowledge Makes All The Difference

8. BE CHALLENGED
You’ll only get better by doing it, not hoping or praying or wishing. Get stuck into the terrain, the snow, the bumps, the steeper slopes. As the quote goes “You have to be in it to win it”.

9. LOOK INWARD
Don’t look for reasons why you’re not improving. It’s down to one person and one person only…YOU! You need to take responsibility for your skiing and recognize that you are the only person who’s going to make it happen. As Po in Kung Fu Panda realized when he finally got his hands on the ‘Dragon Scroll’. There is no secret ingredient, just you, your ability and your self-belief.

10. EQUIPMENT
Get the right equipment. It’s no good trying to ski fast in a pair of wellies or in deep snow with some winkle pickers! You need the right tools for the job. Boots must fit and be comfortable. You can’t focus on your skiing if your bunions are throbbing, toes are cramped and arches are in excruciating pain. You need to have confidence in your equipment and you need to feel good.
See Snoworks Blog: How To Select Skis

11. OPEN YOUR MIND – NO PERCEPTIONS
You need to have an open mind. Not a mind fixed on some technical perception of how to ski. Your mind needs to be totally free to accept everything. The more open your mind the more you will develop. The more closed your mind, the more you stay where you are.
See Snoworks Blogs:
The Secret Of Snoworks Revealed

Open Your Mind

12 SKI FOR YOU
You need to ski for yourself, the thrill, the sensation, the freedom. Don’t ski for others, no-one’s going to hold up a card with your ‘score’ as you ski down.  Don’t worry what others think as it’s of no significance at all. Ski for others and your skiing becomes stilted, awkward and will plateau. Ski for you and you become alive, free and ready for development.

13 ACCEPT NEW FEELINGS AND SENSATIONS
Accept everything you feel, don’t look for the ‘right feeling’. In all-mountain skiing there is no ‘right’ sensation. The snow texture, the terrain is constantly changing, your feelings and sensations should also be constantly changing. The more you ‘accept’ the more competent you will become.

14 DON’T LOOK FOR PERFECTION
All-mountain skiing is not a ‘demonstration’. There’s no ‘perfect’ way of skiing. We are all different. Every slope is different. Accept mistakes as part of the sport. All-mountain skiing is about correction and adjustments. The search for ‘perfection’ will only hold you back.

15 CONNECT WITH THE MOUNTAIN
You need to be in tune with your connection with the mountain. Your skis are your ‘connection point’. All your control comes from the reaction between your skis and the mountain. Your skis need to feel like your ‘feet’. They need to be part of you – Your connection with the mountain.
See Snoworks Blog: Running Down Sand Dunes

16 SKI LIKE A CHILD
Everyone knows children learn so fast. They accept what’s happening, have no perceptions, ski for themselves, their mind is free, they don’t care how they look, don’t analyse. If you want to learn quickly release the inner child in you.
See Snoworks Blog: Ski Tips With Freddy Luca Zak – Free Skiing

17 SKI FOR THE NOW
Focus on the now, ‘what’s happening’ to you as you are doing it. Don’t focus on the future ‘what’s going to happen’ or the past ‘what has happened’. All-mountain skiing is about making adjustments as you are skiing, you can only do this by being aware of the present.
See Snoworks Blog: The Future Is A Mystery, The Past Is History, Now Is A Gift

18 HAVE FUN
Enjoy yourself, have fun. Skiing is one of the best sports in the world. You’re alive and in the mountains. What a feeling.
See The Snoworks Team – Look At Our Smiles – We ‘Live To Ski’ and love every minute of it.

19 CONTROL
Focus on ‘controlling’ your descent as your ultimate goal not reproducing some perception of ‘how’ you should ski, or ‘how’ you should look. Rule number 1 – ‘Ski In Control’. With this as your ultimate goal your subconscious can work out the millions of variations in your movements which need to occur in all-mountain skiing.
See Snoworks Blog: Blowing Myths On Speed Control

20 BE YOU
Be yourself, develop your own style of skiing, ski how you want, don’t try to be someone else or ski like someone else. Be yourself and be proud of how you ski.

That’s our top twenty tips of how to improve your all-mountain skiing. If you have any other top tips jot them down in the comment space below.

You can Join Phil and Emma and the rest of the Snoworks Team on any of the Snoworks Courses coming up.
For a full list of courses click here.

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Season 20/21 Your Questions Answered