Inside the Ski Racing Mind: Racers, Last Season in Review


Hopefully, you heeded my advice from my second to last column at the end of last season and spent the summer getting ready for this winter of racing. If so, you should be stronger, better technically, and more mentally prepared than ever before. You’re now entering the final stage of preparations for the upcoming race season with a final period of conditioning followed by getting back on snow and tuning up for your first races.

As I did last week with your parents, I wanted to begin this new season of writing by giving you a refresher course on what I wrote about last season. As all of my ideas built on the previous ones, you can’t just leave those from last season in the past. Rather, you have to make sure those tools are still in your toolbox before you can add to it with the psychological information and strategies I will share with you in the coming months.

1.  Prime Ski Racing should be your goal: Skiing at a consistently high level under the most demanding conditions.

2.  You need to have the right attitude about competition and success and failure before you can begin to achieve your goals.

3.  Just like with the physical side of ski racing, you can use Prime Profiling to better understand your strengths and weaknesses.

4.  Motivation is the foundation of all of your efforts to achieve your ski racing goals.

5.  Confidence is the single most important mental factor in ski racing.

6.  There are five keys to Prime Confidence.

7.  There are five things that you absolutely never do in training.

8.  You need to know the five themes to live by on race day to ski your fastest.

9.  Learn to master frustration.

10.  Know what you need to do to prepare for this season’s biggest races.

11.  What you need to do before races to ensure that you’re totally prepared to ski your best.

And for a little inspiration, these two articles about Bode and Julie and Lindsey.
So, now that you’re up to speed on what I talked about last year, let’s look ahead and see what we can do get you even more mentally prepared this season.

And I welcome your article topic suggestions. Questions? Feel free to email me at jim@drjimtaylor.com.

Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube. Watch my 2010 Winter Olympics Discovery Channel interview on fear in high-risk winter sports here.

Dr. Jim Taylor knows the psychology of ski racing! He competed internationally for Burke Mtn. Academy, Middlebury College, and the University of Colorado. For the past 25 years, Jim has worked with many of America’s leading junior race programs as well as World Cup competitors from many countries. He is a clinical associate professor in the Sport&Performance Psychology graduate program at the University of Denver. Jim is the author of Prime Ski Racing: Triumph of the Racer’s Mind and his latest parenting book is Your Children are Listening: Nine Messages They Need to Hear From You.

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