Have you given up on ski school lessons?
Feel like you no longer seem to be progressing with your skiing?
You're a good skier, right? You can ski most pistes and you love cruising on reds, but when it gets icy, bumpy, choppy, wet and heavy, do you start to lose technique? Fresh Powder is ok, but once it's tracked-out it becomes harder to ski and you struggle?
Well, don't worry! You're not alone! Like many recreational skiers, you have hit what is known as ‘the intermediate plateau’. And you know what, it happens to pretty much every recreational holiday skier at some point and most people will never get off it. The reason you ended up on the plateau is because; more than likely, you spent many weeks of your holiday time in ski school, and at some point you stopped progressing. Nothing was new. You were one of the best in the group and you went over the same old things each week, learning drills but not skills. In most cases young ski teachers work to a system that they learnt in their training. When they are given a group of people at the start of the week, they employ a ´one size fits all´ approach. Only when you get really experienced teachers, who can work with each person in the group as individuals, will you still progress. Even this is sometimes hindered by the group size.
If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got!
The reason so many people spend so long stuck, and never get off ‘the intermediate plateau’ is because they stop taking lessons and they start skiing on their own or with their friends. They do the same old things that they have always done. They still have fun, but find some conditions difficult to handle. Where in reality, if they returned to the right kind of lesson with the right teacher, with like-minded skiers in a group all with goals to move their skiing to the next level, they would indeed move off ‘the plateau’ and start to improve their skiing. By adopting this approach you will enjoy more of the mountains, whatever the snow conditions. Bumps will no longer be avoided but enjoyed, ice no longer slid over sideways but turned on with control and grip. Your skis will cut through tracked-out powder with ease, and heavy wet snow will no longer drain your legs of all their energy. You will start to progress your skiing ability faster than you think. Before you know it, ‘the intermediate plateau’ will be a thing of the past.
Many people think that skiing with a friend, who is better than them, will help. However, this normally results in you trying to keep up with your faster/better friend, while forgetting some of the core fundamentals of skiing. Result: your skiing actually becomes worse! You pick up bad habits that can be hard to get rid of. Unless your friend is a trained, qualified ski teacher, you will not progress off ‘the plateau’. You need someone who is not just a better skier than you, but someone who can push you beyond your limits, get you out of your comfort zone and challenge you in the right way. A ski teacher will be able to see what you are, and what you are not doing correctly. By giving you specific and easy to understand tasks, your skiing will improve.
When we work with people, whether on our camps or on a 1:2:1 basis, with the goal of progressing off ‘the plateau’, we find people are surprised when they start to fall over. Many people have been skiing for many years in what I like to call their ´Colgate ring of confidence´ (within their comfort zone). But the only way to get off ‘the plateau’, is to challenge yourself, be challenged and brake out of the ring.
I am sure you have sat on a chairlift and admired a ski teacher skiing down in front of their students, or maybe free-skiing under the lift, we all do it. They never seem to fall over! You know why? They are skiing right in the middle of their ‘Colgate ring’. What you never see is that same ski teacher in ski school training, being pushed by his or her chief instructor. Trust me, we all fall over from time to time when we are challenged and when we step out of our comfort zone. But like anything in life, this is how we learn.
If you're serious about taking your skiing to the next level, and saying goodbye to ‘the intermediate plateau’, then join one of our ski camps which are running throughout the winter. You will be skiing with likeminded people, with the main goal being your personal skiing development. So, are YOU ready to get off ‘the intermediate plateau’?
For more information on all of our camps click here
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