DIY TRAINING RULE ONE:
“MAKE DOING THE RIGHT THING EASY AND DOING THE WRONG THING DIFFICULT”
Far too many people on the DIY path do exactly the opposite. They make doing the right thing hard and the wrong thing easy.
I’ve trained horses, dogs, cats, kids and, even a squirrel. No matter what creature you may try to train, RULE ONE ALWAYS APPLIES. It’s a broad concept so, let me unpack it for you.
Before you ever get close to the mountain think about what it is you want to accomplish and set everything up so that being successful in that session is easy. Also, think about things you could do to make failure difficult.
Before you start a DIY session, have a plan. If you haven’t decided what you want to practice, where you will practice, when you will practice, who you need with you at practice, how you will practice or, what parameters define success. WHOA! Hold it right there! DON”T MAKE DOING THE RIGHT THING DIFFICULT.
Stick to your plan and MAKE DOING THE RIGHT THING EASY
WHAT to Practice? Remember, in a previous article, when I said you should have a Lesson Plan? That wasn’t just to give you busy work. Does the exercise you want to work on next fit into your lesson plan? If it doesn’t STOP. Stick to your Lesson Plan. The plan is there to build you from the feet up and in the right sequence.
WHERE you are going to practice? And I will make this one REALLY easy for you. If you start a new exercise on anything but a Green run, you are about to MAKE DOING THE RIGHT THING DIFFICULT.
If you can do it at low speed it, you can do it at any speed. Speed masks a lot of really bad habits. So slow down. Be a surgeon. Think slow, steady highly precise movements before you ratchet up the speed.
HOW will you practice? You have to get out of the vertical-feet-per-hour frame of mind and think more about maximizing repetitions per run. It takes about 300 PERFECT repetitions of a movement before perfect movements are embedded in your core memory. That’s after who-knows- how-many repetitions it takes to first perfect the movement.
Make EVERY turn in your drill at 90 degrees across the fall line. Shallow angle turns don’t force you to implement the new movement to its fullest range. If you can do it at 90 degrees to the fall line, you can do it at 5 degrees. MAKE DOING THE RIGHT THING EASY.
WHO are you going to practice with? If you have a friend who has mastered the drill, you need them with you! If nothing else, skiing with a friend is more fun and it’s always good to get 30-60 seconds of video here and there to make sure you have the movement right.
Only YOU can decide what equals success with a session. Refer to the goals you have for your Senior Lesson Plan and set goals for each session and then decide how you will know when you have succeeded then, VISUALIZE success. If you have a video of an expert, study it, then visualize yourself making the new movement exactly that way.
If you haven’t taken you and your boots to a master fitter, DO IT!! Trust me. You will be amazed at the difference it makes in your performance.
Finally, always..ALWAYS keep your bases and edges tuned and have THE RIGHT WAX for the conditions of the day. Nothing makes learning more difficult than edges that won’t grip or skis that stick to the snow. Why? Class? Bueller? Bueller?
MAKE DOING THE RIGHT THING EASY AND THE WRONG THING HARD.
Here’s a link to a SWIX ski tuning video that will take you to a whole series of videos on ski tuning, care, repair and maintenance. https://youtu.be/CaovoNdVN04
Happy Trails, Pardner!