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-- Downhill Skiing --
The Mind-Body Connection

The three essentials of a proper mind set for skiing is motivation, visualization, and focus. Get mentally tough in these areas and your confidence level will soar. In addition, you'll be able to jettison any anxieties you may have about downhill skiing.

The expert skier understands the virtues of building a strong body, but he or she also needs the right mind set for skiing. You need to be well-prepared for the mind games that are associated with skiing in the expert zones where the control of one's mind is often as important as the strength of one's body.

Yes, there is definitely a mind-body connection in downhill skiing!

You won't need a treatise on the latest breakthrough in the psychological aspects of fear to conquer steeps, trees, and moguls. The old adage, you have nothing to fear but fear itself, applies to expert skiing as well. The right mind set will serve to get you psyched up, keep your anxieties in check, and let you focus completely on the task at hand.

The Three Essentials of a Proper Mind Set
Motivation, visualization, and focus are three of the essential skills the expert skier needs to master the subconscious mind and become tougher mentally. Let's consider each one of these requirements in turn.

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Being motivated will put you in control of your thoughts. You need to tell yourself over and over that you're in charge, not the ski hill. This will help you to develop a positive attitude so you can reach your goals for the season.

Visualization is another technique that you can use to prepare yourself for that tough mogul run or steep slope. You need to learn how to visualize or form a mental picture of the complete run before you start. In addition, learning to relax will serve to keep a lid on your anxieties. Ski racers and aerialists often use these methods just before the beginning of a race or competition.

Focusing allows you to break up the run into smaller tasks so you can zoom in on the next two or three turns. This eliminates the fear of the complete run, and also serves to keep your head up and eyes looking ahead at the next obstacle in your path.

Summing Up
The lesson entitled The Right Mind Set in the Skills of the Expert Skier expands on the three essentials so you know how, when, and where to apply the techniques. Ski coaches, instructors and sports psychologists all agree that mental conditioning can go a long way toward making you the skier you always dreamed you could be. Now is the time to train your mind to keep your anxieties in check.

About the Author...

Jim Safianuk is a certified ski instructor and writer of the downhill skiing lessons in the course Skills of the Expert Skier.

More about mental training for skiiers around the Web:

Inside the Ski Racing Mind: Demystifying Sport Psychology

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