We see a lot of nervous skiers on the hill. Whether it's someone who's recovering from an injury or from a bad learning experience in the past, it's genuinely understandable why people may be feeling nervous about skiing.
After years of helping nervous nellies build confidence on the hill, we've come to learn that the approach to overcoming nervousness on skis can be applied to other aspects of life. Whether it's a bit more practice or perhaps someone to help you along the journey, here are a few ways to help calm your nerves in any challenge you face.
How to Get Over Nervousness
1. Don't fight it
Step 1: If you feel nervous, don't fight the feeling - just accept it. It's only natural to feel nervous in new or challenging situations, and once you accept the fact, you can start taking action to get through it.
This may not always be possible, but practice whatever makes you nervous. Have anxiety about public speaking? Practice in front of a mirror or in front of a friend. Feeling nervous about skiing? Go out for a day on a dry slope or an indoor slope before your holiday where the terrain is gentle and the environment is controlled.
The more you do something, the more likely you are to overcome nervousness that you had about it. You'll inevitably get better with each time as well, and hopefully feel more comfortable and confident.
3. Prepare in advance
A bit obvious, but doing anything and everything to prepare in advance will set you up for success and help calm nerves ahead of time. We've found if you are well organised and mentally prepared, versus frazzled and not in a good mindset, you'll be able to push that nervous feeling aside much easier.
Can you prep the night before? Get your ski gear laid out and all prepped, so that's one less thing you have to stress about in the morning. Or just do something you enjoy beforehand to make sure you're feeling your best.
4. Positively visualise the experience
Visualising can be a powerful tool when you're feeling nervous. A bit woo-woo, but a worthwhile exercise that can help shift your emotional state if you visualise everything in a positive light beforehand.
Sit or lie quietly and close your eyes if you'd like. Picture your whole day from start to finish going perfectly. The weather is great (blue skies with a fresh dusting of powder) you have all your things organised and ready to go (ski gear is laid out, no time wasted searching for the lost sock), then you go on to tackle the challenge swiftly, in the best possible way (skiing perfect turns, never slipping or fall) and end the day on a high.
Visualisation actually works because neurons in your brain interpret imagery as real-life action. You're telling your brain to take action, and it creates a neural pathway essentially making memories and learned behaviours and primes your body to act in the way we imagined. All this happens without actually doing the activity!
5. You're your own harshest critic
It's unlikely that anyone will be judging you as harshly as you are. In skiing, most people are too busy worrying about their own technique on the hill to even take note of yours. And those people who are whizzing by seemingly effortlessly? They were in your boots once as well.
So don't worry about small blunders and mishaps that seem massive in your eyes. Cut yourself some slack because no one is as critical of you as you are.
6. Don't be scared to ask for help
In our experience, a nervous skier with instruction ends the week in a much better place than a nervous skier going at it on their own. Don't feel as if you need to brave whatever you're feeling nervous about alone. Whether you can get a coach, some advice or some training, someone to help you build confidence and improve will ultimately get you to your goal quicker, and hopefully more effectively.
Don't feel like you need to take on challenges solo. Get some support.
7. Focus on courage, rather than confidence
Confidence can be hard to muster up when you really don't believe it. Courage, however, is something you are capable of finding in yourself, especially when there's a challenge ahead of you. This proactive mindset can lead to a positive psycho-physical response that will help you tackle your challenge.
Put on those skis with courage. "I might feel nervous, but I am going to do it!"
8. Tell yourself you're excited
Often, feeling nervous means that something exciting is ahead. You're likely taking on a new challenge or opportunity, and that's something to be eager about. We as humans need to do things that make us nervous in order to step out of our comfort zones and grow. If you never try anything new you'll stagnate. And if you never get past the bunny hill, you'll never get to see the views from up top.
Whether you're trying to overcome nervousness in skiing, public speaking, or something else, tap into one - or all of - the practices above. And keep in mind it means you're growing and evolving and moving onto something bigger and better.
And if you're feeling nervous on the hill? Let one of our instructors help you get past that, and make the most of your holiday.
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