Anyone engaging in a sport needs to be both mentally and physically prepared for it. Runners not only stretch before they run a race, but also see themselves crossing the finish line long before the sound of the starting gun. Mental preparation is a crucial athletic habit, often requiring mental training just as rigorous as any physical training. Skiers, in particular, need to be fully mentally prepared for any obstacle they might encounter on the slopes.
Here are some reasons why preparing your mind for the slopes is an essential part of general ski preparation.
The Importance of Mental Ski Preparation
Some could reasonably argue that mental preparation is more important in skiing than in other sports. In basketball, for instance, it can be as easy as visualizing the ball going into the basket from the three-point line. In baseball, visualizing your bat connecting with the ball being pitched toward you can arguably make the difference between a strike, a base hit, and a home run.
These activities are fairly limited in scope, though professional athletes' mental training may also need to incorporate the fact that thousands of people may be screaming their name to either encourage or discourage them.
With skiing, you're not just trying to get from point A to point B with a singular goal in mind. You don't really have to deal with loud crowds the way other athletes do, but there are other things you need to be prepared for. Remember, when you go skiing, you're hurtling down a mountain at high speed, and any mistake can cost you more than a few points or runs.
The chance of encountering a hazard –– along with the risk of serious injury –– is higher in skiing in comparison with other sports. So, in that sense, mental ski preparation is of incredible importance.
So, What is Mental Ski Preparation?
What is meant by “mental ski preparation?” Is it just visualization? Yes and no.
On the one hand, you should be able to have a picture in your mind of what the mountain you're set to ski down looks like, anticipating where moguls are and where black ice patches might be. On the other hand, knowing and telling yourself you can do it is just as important as knowing the mountain.
Rather than getting lost in your imagination, see yourself in those images of the mountain in your mind, handling whatever it might throw at you with confidence. See yourself use your whole body (arms, legs, glutes, lungs, etc.) in a coordinated way to reach the bottom, whether you're on an easy run or a black diamond.
Don't Forget About Physical Ski Preparation
Of course, physical preparedness is also a key aspect of ski preparation that you cannot overlook; it goes hand-in-hand with mental ski preparation.
As mentioned before, you have to use your whole body intelligently when skiing. To make it down safely, and/or beat out an opponent's faster time, you should know how to balance yourself on skis while using the combined and coordinated strength of your arms and legs to handle turns and jumps, and speed up or slow down.
Unless you're an Olympian, you don't necessarily need to be in peak physical form before you go skiing. Even so, leg workouts, cardio/endurance workouts, and balance training will come in handy before you hit the slopes. Combine the physical with your mental ski preparation, and you're ready to go.
How To Mentally and Physically Prepare for Skiing
Preparation of both the mental and physical sorts for skiing begins long before you arrive at a ski resort. If you've never gone skiing before, take lessons. They can help you master the physical and mental basics of skiing, including how to use your legs and arms to stay balanced when hurtling down a mountain. Your body doesn't need help staying cool when skiing, but your mind does, and ski lessons can help strengthen your ability to focus on what you need to.
If you've gone skiing before, but only in a limited way, take the time to get physically and mentally fit once a future ski trip is added to your calendar. You'll thank yourself when sipping a hot chocolate to warm up from your time on lifts and slopes.
It's Time To Finalize Your Ski Trip Preparations!
Mental preparation is a crucial part of ski preparation. Being mentally and physically prepared for whatever lies ahead for you on the slopes will help you easily handle any obstacle you encounter.
Speaking of preparing for what lies ahead, once you're mentally and physically prepared to go skiing, how will you get to any ski destinations you want to visit? The answer, if you didn't already know, is in a Cruise America RV rental.
Cruise America's fleet of rental RVs is perfect for your next ski holiday. By day you can hit the slopes, and warm up at night in your RV. To get your next ski weekend off to a great start, get in touch with Cruise America today!