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Many of us recognise the situation of being on the mountain and just not feeling it. Something doesn’t click, and that little voice starts to creep in, warning us of injury, failure or maybe even looking silly. And for some, that voice can become so loud that it puts us off all together. However, this feeling is totally normal, and absolutely does not need to hold you back.
We caught up with Billy from Billski ski school to chat about his experiences, and get his top tips on how to build confidence on the slopes. His fourteen years as a ski instructor here in Morzine makes him a bit of an expert, and he’s worked with skiers of all ages and abilities.
Billy explains that there are many reasons skiers may feel nervous to start skiing, or lose confidence after a while. ‘I have taught so many people who have lost confidence, or never really had it in the first place’ he says, ‘and I think injuries and life changes can affect people a lot more than they think.’
He explains that he himself felt a shift in the way he felt about skiing when he became a parent – events like this or injury can have a profound effect on our sense of danger, and the potential consequences of enjoying sports which come with a certain level of risk. As Billy says ‘your brain needs to be in the right frame to learn and to relax’ – a lot of factors that reach beyond the slopes can affect how we feel and react.
The good news is, although you might feel like you’re the only person on the slopes who’s not effortlessly gliding down on one leg – you’re not. Most of us don’t just hop into a pair of skis and hit the blacks; it’s natural and normal for you to learn slowly, and feel more comfortable as your technique develops. As Billy says: ‘The best way is to build your confidence slowly and don’t be afraid to repeat the same runs over and over again.’
We asked Billy to share with us his top 10 tips on how to begin the process of building your confidence, and it’s just as much about treating yourself kindly as it is about training your body.
And finally, if you take nothing else from Billy’s list, keep his final piece of advice in your mind: ´You do you! This is my favourite motto’ he explains, ‘You know yourself and your abilities more than anyone else, so trust your instincts. Whatever your ability. Your limit on one day may be completely different the next, so be kind to yourself and learn at your own pace, in your own way.’
We hope Billy’s list of golden rules will help you find or rekindle some confidence to get back onto the mountain, learn some new skills and, most importantly, have fun! For more information about BillSki and the services he offers, check out his website here.
With lots of cruisey blues, progressive reds and a huge variety of terrain to practise on, the Portes du Soleil is a great place to enjoy skiing and build up those skills. If you’re looking for a beautiful chalet to retreat to after your days on the slopes, AliKats have a range of Morzine catered chalets.
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