There comes a time in everyone’s life when they plateau at something…whether this is their job or a hobby they enjoy, such as playing an instrument or perhaps a sport such as football. In this case, however, you might have plateaued at skiing. Unless you are a ski instructor and ski throughout the year, following the snow around the world; you are unlikely to be able to avoid this plateau.
It’s not your fault; it happens to the best of us. As humans, to progress we always need the extra push and challenge to get the best out of us. However, after going on skiing holiday after skiing holiday, year on year, skiing just becomes a natural activity. Most people, having got to an intermediate level, happily settle for the blue and red runs.
Those who do try anything steeper tend to quickly lose faith in their ability, as soon as the black run throws up anything slightly more challenging than they are used to. This is a real shame especially if you are normally a confident skier. If skiing is something you love, you should try to raise your game and keep improving each time you go away.
How to raise your skiing game:
1. Spend More Time On The Slopes
This seems quite obvious; the more you ski, the better and more confident you will become. Even the best skiers are rusty after not being on the slopes for 8 months! All those skiers you see gliding and winding their way down the incredibly steep, exciting slopes will be those who have more than one skiing holiday a year; those who dedicate a whole season to enjoying the snow; those who have their own ski chalet or apartment nearby.
Skiing is not cheap, however, it can be affordable and if it is something you love, you should definitely consider allowing yourself more time on the slopes. Giving up the annual beach holiday and heading to the snowy Alps instead would be a good start; some might even consider a second from work or their studying in order to take part in a proper ski season.
Alternatively, if you are able to, investing in a ski property is always an excellent option. The Alps hold many wonderful spots for properties and you will have no issue with renting them out on the occasions you are not there and then, when you are there, you have the flexibility to go out on the slopes whenever you like and get to grips with the best black runs in the Alps!
2. Be Prepared To Challenge Yourself
As previously mentioned, the problem many people have is that they aren’t challenged enough and so can’t progress. As with marathon runners, this is like hitting a wall, which you literally cannot get past, no matter how competent a skier you are. If you truly want to up your skiing level, you must be prepared to take a risk and, to be honest, scare yourself.
If you do not think you will be able to set yourself enough of a challenge, then there are plenty of ski centres dotted throughout the French Alps, filled with instructors who would be only too happy to help you develop your risk-taker side. They’ll soon have you filled with the glee and the challenge-taker attitude that comes with tackling a black run.
3. Invest In ‘Improver’ Lessons
Sometimes it takes more than simply an adjustment in attitude to push yourself to the next level. Even if you are a competent skier, you’ve probably picked up bad habits over the years which could do with being corrected. Who knows, it might be these bad habits which are preventing you from mentally taking the next step to improve.
Don’t be too proud to take more lessons. There are a range of excellent instructors throughout Europe who can literally do wonders to your skiing ability in only a few days; others in only a few hours! Getting your skiing to the next level will, more than likely, involve a few adjustments in technique; it is best to learn this the easy way, i.e. through an instructor, rather than the hard way, i.e. crashing on a black run.
4. Give It A Go Again And Again To Wipe Away The Fear
No matter how worried you are or how content you feel you are on your skiing plateau, it is important to force yourself to take the next step. Otherwise you will never improve. It is normal to be scared and fearful of the black runs if you have never done one before. If you think back, you were probably scared of the green runs when you had your first experience of skiing but look at you now!
Personal experience is always the best solution. The more you try, the less fearful you will be and the more you will be able to enjoy the ski runs of the beautiful French Alps, even the black ones!
- License: Creative Commons image source
James writes for Free Spirit Alpine. When not writing, he can often be found taking everything in his life to the next level.