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Skiing, fear + mental blocks, and frustration

fgor

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#1
I'm hoping others have had these experiences and can possibly empathise or share tips on how to get over mental blocks with skiing. Really I'm just getting frustrated at how my fear in a lot of skiing scenarios is stopping me from being able to ski more of the inbounds ski area. I have always skied "scared", I ski quite stiff and flexed (still do...) but it's somehow only got worse over time. I was never a fan of cat tracks and instead of that fear easing over time, it just intensified after I had a stupid fall on a cat track one time. That was over a year ago and I haven't gone back to that particular track since - however that just closes off a huge amount of terrain for me. It's not technically that difficult, I just can't mentally do it. I'm too scared of falling off the edge. I see a lot of people who are technically worse at me than skiing (not tooting my own horn, and I don't think I'm a good skier, but seriously) doing these runs, cat tracks, and traverses just fine. I've taken hours and hours of lessons but I can't seem to improve my overall confidence level. I've definitely improved at "easy" runs (wide blues) but anything even slightly narrow just flips a switch in my brain.

The other day while skiing, I was encouraged by someone who I'd done a few runs with over the season to try a somewhat technical black run. I feel that I was undersold on how narrow and rocky it was, but regardless - although I probably had the ability to get down it (I saw quite a few people go down it while I was standing, frozen with fear, halfway down - all they did was sideslip/pivot/jump turn down the part I was in, and allegedly it widens out a bit after that) I couldn't mentally do it. After side slipping down about half of it, I just hit a point where I couldn't physically force my body any further down the run, and I ended up side stepping back up the entire way to the top, where I was able to pick a different and easier route down. After some time spent side stepping, a ski patroller found me while doing a sweep, and got me to take my skis off and walk up, by kicking their boots into the snow so that I could step into their tracks. Overall it was a sh*tty, embarassing experience, and, completely ruined what had otherwise been a great day of skiing. It didn't help that it ended up being my final run due to wasting so much time being stuck + the mountain closing slightly early due to incoming lightning storm. This run that I've now failed at is actually a pretty popular run at my local mountain, and I seem to frequently share a chairlift with people who are talking about doing it or have done it that day. Added insult to injury was that the off-piste snow condition was fantastic that day (spring corn), so it's not like I could have picked a better day this season to try it.

Who else has had these types of experiences? or maybe had students with an excess of fear? did anything work for you to get over it?
 

fgor

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#2
Photos of the mentioned runs.

Cat track I haven't been on in over a year.

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Technical black run. (already part way down it when taking this photo)

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The point at which I completely gave up on the technical black run. The line goes around the right hand side of the rocks directly below me, and then across to the left, under the other rocks. I never actually saw the rest of the run. I was promised it got better/easier and I was nearly through the hardest bit but I couldn't make myself continue. Considering how far I got, it's really frustrating that I couldn't just finish it off.

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For comparison, non-technical black run I did multiple fun and successful laps of, on the same day:

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ski diva

Administrator
Staff member
#4
This isn't unusual at all. A LOT of people have fear issues. So much of skiing is mental. It doesn't matter if we have the skills; if you can't get through the fear, you're going to shut yourself out from a lot of great skiing..

You might want to check out Mermer Blakeslee's book, IN THE YIKES ZONE. She's an instructor who specializes in dealing with fear issues, and she has some very good tips.

I wrote a blog post about skiing with confidence last year, and you might want to check that out, too.
 

Après Skier

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#5
It sounds like you are being hard on yourself. They way I see it, you found youself in a potentially dangerous situation and successfully navigated yourself out of harm’s way without injuring yourself. Rather than beating yourself up you should be proud of yourself for avoiding a potentially debilitating and painful orthopedic injury.
 

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#6
@fgor, when I see that cat track, my stomach does flips. I would probably be willing to force myself to ski it, but I would not be having fun if there were a crowd on it. I'd also be worried about catching an edge or being crowded over to the edge by inconsiderate skiers. Just sayin'.

Do read Mermer's book. She gives specific things one can do to help get over the fear when it's unwarranted.

Technical proficiency certainly has an impact in creating warranted fear. I have a few questions about your side-slipping on that part of the black run when you decided to quit and walk back up. Being able to side-slip through scary parts of a run when things get hairy is absolutely necessary when you head onto terrain like that. There is no shame in sideslipping without making a turn in such situations. It sounds like the side-slipping failed to give you a sense of security.

Your worries about what might happen.
These questions are about what you worried might happen if you continued down the run.

1. Were you worried that your side-slipping skis might send you into the rocks even though you were telling them to take you down a path that was away from the rocks?
2. Were you worried that your side-slipping skis might decide on their own, without your permission, to point downhill and take you down at warp speed?
3. Were you worried that your side-slipping skis might do something else?
4. Were your worries non-specific?
5. Did you want to side-slip the whole thing but felt compelled to do what others were doing, making turns and jump turns? If this was the case, was it the turning, not the side-slipping, that was causing your worries about running into rocks or heading straight down the hill?
6. One more question about side-slipping: can you sideslip backwards to get away from nearby rocks with confidence, or does going backwards while sideslipping cause you to worry the skis will misbehave and take you into rocks or downhill?

Your observations of what was already happening.
Now some questions about what you knew was happening. I'm looking for facts that could have made those worries above legitimate.
7. Did you FEEL (but not see) your sideslipping skis being wobbly, out of your control?
8. Did you SEE your sideslipping skis wobbling, out of your control (meaning you looked down at the skis to check)?
9. If you confirmed the skis were actually wobbling, did one ski do one thing and the other do another thing, or did they wobble together as a unit?
10. If your worries were about turning, not side-slipping, would you have been OK if you'd continued down just side-slipping?
11. If you tried to side-slip backwards, did you have trouble turning your head to look behind you while controlling what your skis were doing? In other words, did turning your head make your skis turn without your permission?
12. Oh, one more. Did your skis refuse to side-slip? Just REFUSE?


If you had any of these observations, the worries would have been legitimate and there are things you can do to fix things so your skis behave better and give you a sense of safety. I don't worry about skiers who stop when they feel unsafe. I worry about those who have too much confidence and do unsafe things cluelessly.
 
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marzNC

Angel Diva
#7
I see a lot of people who are technically worse at me than skiing (not tooting my own horn, and I don't think I'm a good skier, but seriously) doing these runs, cat tracks, and traverses just fine. I've taken hours and hours of lessons but I can't seem to improve my overall confidence level. I've definitely improved at "easy" runs (wide blues) but anything even slightly narrow just flips a switch in my brain.
Are you mostly skiing solo? Reason I ask is that I didn't start doing "adventure runs" nearly as technical or difficult as you are doing until I found ski buddies who were willing to be a sweeper. Required a friend with plenty of patience as I worked my way down slowly and with stops to re-group. Ten years ago that meant one adventure run per day, usually in the morning when I was fresh. There were some days when I was up for a challenge and some days when I went my own way on terrain I knew better.

Mermer Blakeslee's book is a good read. Even though I don't really have major fear issues related to skiing, I've re-read parts of it a few times. It made more sense after I did rehab for a major knee injury (not from a ski accident).
 

ski diva

Administrator
Staff member
#8
@fgor, when I see that cat track, my stomach does flips. I would probably be willing to force myself to ski it, but I would not be having fun if there were a crowd on it. I'd also be worried about catching an edge or being crowded over to the edge by inconsiderate skiers. Just sayin'.
Yep, I hate cat tracks, too.

And @fgor , looks like a lot of rocks in pictures #2 and 3. Not fun. And if it's not fun, why do it?
 

Abbi

Angel Diva
#10
I hate cat tracks! I am not fond of heights in the first place. And when I look and see nothing but straight down I am not happy! I don’t know who convinced you to go down that technical run but I might not be forgiving! I am older and find I have gotten more tentative with age. The realization that I might break is with me. So I ski easier trails than I used to and I ski slower than I used to. I still like being outdoors on the snow. And that’s what it’s all about!
 
#11
I have been known to "walk" gingerly on skis to avoid a rock garden. Kind of side slipping one ski at a time. Another time late spring I literally had to take off my skis and walk across a "huge log." Hogsback at Heavenly if anyone is wondering....... Not a marked trail but not out of bounds either.
 

fgor

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#12
Thank you so much for your replies everyone, I feel a bit better about these dumb runs now. I've always been scared of pretty mild stuff in skiing all the way down to just doing turns on blue terrain with if the snow surface isn't 100% smooth (I'd end up hitting the side of the run sometimes out of "inability" to turn, and finally got past a lot of that turning hesitation this year with lessons), but it's nice to hear that at least I've worked my way up to being fearful of legitimate things!

I will definitely check out this book - sounds like a lot of divas have read it and found it useful!

This isn't unusual at all. A LOT of people have fear issues. So much of skiing is mental. It doesn't matter if we have the skills; if you can't get through the fear, you're going to shut yourself out from a lot of great skiing..

You might want to check out Mermer Blakeslee's book, IN THE YIKES ZONE. She's an instructor who specializes in dealing with fear issues, and she has some very good tips.

I wrote a blog post about skiing with confidence last year, and you might want to check that out, too.
That's a great blog post, thank you for linking that (and writing it). Interesting comments on men vs women mindsets when it comes to skiing, too. I'd say that definitely tracks with my experience. Of course, the person who attempted to lead me down the rocky chute was a man who, once I froze, just kept telling me to just stop being scared and stop thinking and get out of my own head. Typical!

@fgor, when I see that cat track, my stomach does flips. I would probably be willing to force myself to ski it, but I would not be having fun if there were a crowd on it. I'd also be worried about catching an edge or being crowded over to the edge by inconsiderate skiers. Just sayin'.

Do read Mermer's book. She gives specific things one can do to help get over the fear when it's unwarranted.

Technical proficiency certainly has an impact in creating warranted fear. I have a few questions about your side-slipping on that part of the black run when you decided to quit and walk back up. Being able to side-slip through scary parts of a run when things get hairy is absolutely necessary when you head onto terrain like that. There is no shame in sideslipping without making a turn in such situations. It sounds like the side-slipping failed to give you a sense of security.

Your worries about what might happen.
These questions are about what you worried might happen if you continued down the run.

....
Yes, the fall I had on that cat track last year involved catching an edge. Not fun at all! I'm kind of glad to see so many ladies here comment that it looks scary. So many people at my mountain will ski that cat track with no second thought so I start to feel silly for not wanting to go back to it. It's got some good runs off it but it hasn't been worth it for me. If I tried it again, I would take it extremely slowly...

To answer the questions about worries

I was definitely worried about turning, I was being told to turn a couple of times and I was worried that it would take me too long to slow down after turning or that I'd cross my skis and I'd end up in the rocks. I am actually reasonably comfortable with side slipping but I would have needed to have side slipped backwards to avoid turning and although I can do that I'm a bit less comfortable with it. I tried to side slip backwards a bit but it didn't feel comfortable. I also had a weird fear that I'd somehow cause one of my skis to detach and then I would fall into the rocks. I think that is also because I run quite low DINs (set to level 1 skier/4.5 DIN @ 5'3/110-115lb/265BSL, have not had a pre release, have had some well earned releases though). When I demo skis sometimes rude demo techs tell me that my skis will just fall off when I tell them what DIN I want. I've had them occasionally set the DIN higher than I told them, too. (One set it to 6!!!!!) Most of them are fine but the ones who doubt me really get in my head. Probably I should bump it up a nudge at this point but still.

6. Definitely concerned about the skis misbehaving while side slipping backwards

7 - 9. The skis actually looked ok while I was side slipping, I didn't have any uncontrolled slides, they might occasionally slide a few more inches than I meant over the slightly uneven terrain but they felt basically within my control while I was going forward. I was still worried about them losing traction for some reason though I didn't observe any of this.

10. I think if I could have kept side slipping down either straight down or "forward" I would have been ok

11. In retrospect, I think the point at which I really had to either side slip backwards quite a lot, or turn around, was the point at which I declared defeat and decided I couldn't go any further, I didn't want to do either and felt pretty stuck. I can do falling leaf slips but I guess I haven't done much of that, and it's always been on wide terrain where I didn't need to have any accuracy. Everyone else was just jump turning/pivoting but i didn't feel able to do that.

12. only once my brain told my legs to stop and freeze up :smile:



Are you mostly skiing solo? Reason I ask is that I didn't start doing "adventure runs" nearly as technical or difficult as you are doing until I found ski buddies who were willing to be a sweeper. Required a friend with plenty of patience as I worked my way down slowly and with stops to re-group. Ten years ago that meant one adventure run per day, usually in the morning when I was fresh. There were some days when I was up for a challenge and some days when I went my own way on terrain I knew better.

Mermer Blakeslee's book is a good read. Even though I don't really have major fear issues related to skiing, I've re-read parts of it a few times. It made more sense after I did rehab for a major knee injury (not from a ski accident).
Mostly solo yes! This "adventure run" was with a skier I vaguely know who is much more advanced and has done a couple of runs with me. Not an actual friend or anyone I know outside of the mountain. I'm mostly pretty happy doing my own thing. I do feel like the adventure aspect of it was kinda undersold to me. I didn't see what the top of the run actually looked like until I was on it :/

Ah, I had to do rehab for a major ankle injury (not from a ski accident) two years ago. It wasn't a great experience and definitely increased my overall fear levels for a long time!

I hate cat tracks! I am not fond of heights in the first place. And when I look and see nothing but straight down I am not happy! I don’t know who convinced you to go down that technical run but I might not be forgiving! I am older and find I have gotten more tentative with age. The realization that I might break is with me. So I ski easier trails than I used to and I ski slower than I used to. I still like being outdoors on the snow. And that’s what it’s all about!
Fellow cat track haters!! Yeah, I have to admit I was a bit annoyed at my ski companion after that whole thing. They didn't seem to understand my fear on the run so I just felt bad about it. I didn't know what to say to them so once I escaped the rocky chute and was back on terrain I was comfortable with, I just skied off without saying goodbye. The mountain was closed by then so I just made a beeline for my car! :tongue:
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#13
10. I think if I could have kept side slipping down either straight down or "forward" I would have been ok
This comment made me think of another survival skill . . . have you ever learned how to do a kick turn? Somewhere @liquidfeet has a great written description. But it's a lot easier to learn after seeing someone do a few in person. Has to be learned and practiced on mellow terrain first, then best to practice on increasingly steeper terrain. The idea is that you end up facing the other side of a trail, without sliding down the fall line at all.

I learned side slipping and a kick turn long ago as a teen the two winters I was skiing on straight skis that were over my head. It was absolutely necessary as a survival skill. The hill I learned on was a small private mountain (rope tow) with no terrain that would be considered beginner terrain in 2020. Took me a year or two after I started skiing more regularly with my daughter in 2004 how much I still remembered of those skills. Makes it much easier not to be worried when going to unknown terrain.
 

fgor

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#14
This comment made me think of another survival skill . . . have you ever learned how to do a kick turn? Somewhere @liquidfeet has a great written description. But it's a lot easier to learn after seeing someone do a few in person. Has to be learned and practiced on mellow terrain first, then best to practice on increasingly steeper terrain. The idea is that you end up facing the other side of a trail, without sliding down the fall line at all.

I learned side slipping and a kick turn long ago as a teen the two winters I was skiing on straight skis that were over my head. It was absolutely necessary as a survival skill. The hill I learned on was a small private mountain (rope tow) with no terrain that would be considered beginner terrain in 2020. Took me a year or two after I started skiing more regularly with my daughter in 2004 how much I still remembered of those skills. Makes it much easier not to be worried when going to unknown terrain.
The person I was skiing with on the difficult run could do those kick turns! They asked if I could (once I was already stuck) but the answer was very much no. I was vaguely aware that they existed as a way to turn around but hadn't seen anyone do them in person before. It really looks like a skill that requires more hip mobility than I have - my hips don't turn out anywhere near that much - but maybe it's deceptive. I've never tried one. It looks like a very useful skill though.
 

Tvan

Angel Diva
#15
That cat track is terrifying and the railroad tracks on it tell me that people straight line it. I would avoid it completely if I didn’t think I could make turns without getting plowed into.
 

Abbi

Angel Diva
#16
That cat track is terrifying and the railroad tracks on it tell me that people straight line it. I would avoid it completely if I didn’t think I could make turns without getting plowed into.
and that is another reason I hate cat tracks! Not enough margin for error when someone wants to fly by. Really annoys me since there are runs I would have taken if I weren’t so traumatized about dying to get there! :eek:
 
#17
@fgor it's always okay to get scared, but yeah that is some no joke terrain so I hope you don't get down on yourself about it!! You are doing amazing!! Your fear will lessen as you progress and feel more confident in your skills in all different types of terrain (should you choose to pursue them), but there will likely always be something bigger and scarier eventually! :smile: Terrain can also vary day to day by conditions obviously, so you might get used to this type of thing when conditions are fabulous, but then scare yourself on it in the future when conditions are more dicey one day. I think it's ever evolving and you just have to be kind and understanding with yourself as you go along.

I went on this one steep bump trail last season a ton of times at my home mountain.. Most of the times it was awesome, even when conditions were less than perfect. Then there was this one day where I ventured over thinking nothing of it and realized when I was already committed that it was bumps encased in hard ice the WHOLE way down. I thought they would have softened by then, but not the case. At that point I think trying to backtrack would have been more dangerous. It was a deserted weekday and I had a ton of butterflies in my belly that I haven't had for a good long time skiing. I'm not the best bump skier, and usually avoid icy bumps, only having been trying to practice on really easy ones in icy conditions this past season. Well, I slowly made my way down one bump and stop one bump and stop, heart thumping the whole way. I was scared that if I did more than one turn I'd pick up too much speed on the ice and end up in the trees as the trail has a double fall line and I was right down near them. Point being, it was my 13th season skiing and on a trail I've skied many times before, and I froze up something awful before talking myself down. There will always be things that scare you, but you will learn more and more coping mechanisms as you feel more confident.

Also, we don't have a lot of crazy cat tracks in the Northeast where I ski, but they definitely take on a different meaning when I've been out West and there are crazy drop offs on the side! I always picture myself going over the edge.
 
#18
I also hate the cat tracks. One day I just got so frustrated with the pitch and speed, I made a hard right and purposely skied through a mogul field. THIS is how and why I began skiing moguls. I'll take a (reasonable) mogul field over a cat track any day, thank you.
 
#19
I also hate the cat tracks. One day I just got so frustrated with the pitch and speed, I made a hard right and purposely skied through a mogul field. THIS is how and why I began skiing moguls. I'll take a (reasonable) mogul field over a cat track any day, thank you.
Haha love this! :rotf:
 

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#20
Below are my comments in black. Your quotes upon which I based my comments are in blue.

Context: This was steep ungroomed terrain with big, threatening rocks. You were led there my a casual acquaintance who did not know your skiing, who was not a friend who you knew would have your best interests in mind, and his responses to your fear were belittling. Any anger you feel towards this guy's cluelessness is definitely justified!
Screen Shot 2020-09-08 at 10.13.23 AM.png
1a. You were concerned about precision control of backwards side-slipping, and of doing falling leafs. Precision side-slipping forward, backwards, and straight down, and falling-leafing with precision is absolutely necessary on this terrain.
...I am actually reasonably comfortable with side slipping but I would have needed to have side slipped backwards to avoid turning and although I can do that I'm a bit less comfortable with it. I tried to side slip backwards a bit but it didn't feel comfortable....Definitely concerned about the skis misbehaving while side slipping backwards....I think if I could have kept side slipping down either straight down or "forward" I would have been ok. In retrospect, I think the point at which I really had to either side slip backwards quite a lot, or turn around, was the point at which I declared defeat and decided I couldn't go any further, I didn't want to do either and felt pretty stuck. I can do falling leaf slips but I guess I haven't done much of that, and it's always been on wide terrain where I didn't need to have any accuracy.
--You can practice precision side-slipping - forwards, straight down, and backwards, and doing precision falling-leafs, on gentle non-intimidating terrain, on your own. You can diagnose easily whether you are succeeding at precise control or not, and use trial and error to adjust. Work up from gentle blue groomers to doing these precision side-slips in all directions on that steep ungroomed slope you posted a picture of.
--If you are unable to control your side-slips on unintimidating terrain, your boots may be loose. Your liners may have packed out and the looseness may have snuck up on you. Diagnosing if your boots are too loose is difficult. Feel what's going on inside. Is there "give" in there above the foot, to the sides of the foot, around the ankles, or at the bottom of the lower leg where it meets the foot?

1b. You were confident about your forward side-slipping (congrats!). Your good control of forward side-slipping helped you stay in control for as long as you stayed on that terrain.
...while I was side slipping, I didn't have any uncontrolled slides, they might occasionally slide a few more inches than I meant over the slightly uneven terrain but they felt basically within my control while I was going forward.

2. You were worried about precision turn control. Precision short-turn completion-control is absolutely necessary on this terrain.
...I was definitely worried about turning, I was being told to turn a couple of times and I was worried that it would take me too long to slow down after turning or that I'd cross my skis and I'd end up in the rocks.
--You need to be able to finish a turn completely, with ski tips pointing uphillish. Completing your turns will stop you before you end up in the rocks. You need to be able to do this with long turns, medium turns, and short turns while keeping your skis parallel.
--On this terrain, fully completed short turns are especially needed.
--If you are turning your skis by turning your upper body, completing turns on demand is difficult. If you are turning your skis separately from your upper body (skiing with separation), using your legs (skiing with separation) to turn them, it's no longer difficult.
-- So how's your separation? Do you successfully keep your hips and shoulders and head facing downhill as you ski blue terrain? Do you maintain this separation successfully on that steep, wide slope you posted a picture of? If not, a lesson focusing on separation and fully completed short turns may be called for.

3. You were concerned about precision control over traction. Precision traction control while side-slipping is absolutely necessary on this terrain.
...I was still worried about them losing traction for some reason though I didn't observe any of this.
--You need to be able to depend on your skis holding their edge and gripping the snow when you tell them to. You say you were worried about them losing traction, but didn't know why. Here are some reasons that traction (edge angle and grip) may have been compromised on that steep slope.
--You may have been facing the rocks, not downhill, and leaning your body uphill. Uphill lean puts too much weight on the uphill ski, so the downhill ski can slide away. This uphill lean may have been unconscious. It happens easily when the skier does not have hips, shoulders, and head facing downhillish.
--You may have been facing downhill but still leaning back uphill, which was tempting since downhill looked extremely steep and involved threatening rocks in your path.
--You may have tipped your feet into the hill, but the boots would not obey that command and tilted more downhill than you wanted, thus threatening to losen their grip on the snow. This can happen if the boots are not snug enough. There needs to be no air and no elastic "give" above the foot's instep as you tilt your feet, no give along the bottom edges of the foot where it sits on its footbed and touches the side of the boot, and no give on either side of each ankle. These issues can stem from shells not optimally sized for your feet, and/or liners packing out. The inexpensive fix is shims glued to the outside of the liners to fill the air spaces. See your bootfitter if you think this is going on.
--Your grip may have been iffy even though you were facing downhill and were leaning out over your outside ski to weight it, and even though your boots were snug. You may simply have needed to move your body farther out over that ski, and generalized fear prevented you from doing that.

4. You were concerned about Pre-Release. Concerns about pre-release need to be absent on this (and all) terrain.
...I also had a weird fear that I'd somehow cause one of my skis to detach and then I would fall into the rocks. I think that is also because I run quite low DINs (set to level 1 skier/4.5 DIN @ 5'3/110-115lb/265BSL, have not had a pre release, have had some well earned releases though). When I demo skis sometimes rude demo techs tell me that my skis will just fall off when I tell them what DIN I want. I've had them occasionally set the DIN higher than I told them, too. (One set it to 6!!!!!) Most of them are fine but the ones who doubt me really get in my head. Probably I should bump it up a nudge at this point but still.
Get your DIN set appropriately and stop this worry before you actually have a pre-release. Get thee to the ski shop and have the DINs reset. Claim yourself honestly as a Level II skier; you are not a Level I skier. Are you doing that to get the DIN set inappropriately low?

5. Your overall fear level has been elevated since a major injury. Justified fear reflects the specific threat before you, not something that happened in the past). Elevated overall fear from previous injury can be managed by a strategy that works.
...I had to do rehab for a major ankle injury (not from a ski accident) two years ago. It wasn't a great experience and definitely increased my overall fear levels for a long time!
--Read Mermer's book. It specifically deals with left-over fear from previous injuries. She is a very smart lady and goes into managing generalized fear in detail.

6. Your response to justified fear is turn hesitation and/or freezing. Fight, flight, or freeze responses during fear are all generated by adrenalin rush. Its purpose is self-preservation. When the fear is justified, as in this situation, and one of those responses keeps you safe, then it's justified. Congratulations on getting safely out of there!
....I've always been scared of pretty mild stuff in skiing all the way down to just doing turns on blue terrain with if the snow surface isn't 100% smooth (I'd end up hitting the side of the run sometimes out of "inability" to turn, and finally got past a lot of that turning hesitation this year with lessons).
--You can teach yourself to do precision side-slipping and falling-leafs. You can figure out if your liners are packed out and see a bootfitter for shims. You can get your bindings set properly at a ski shop. You can develop ways to deal with the accident-induced overall fear after reading Mermer's book. If you already have strong separation, you can teach yourself to fully complete your turns for speed control. You will probably need the help of an instructor to learn the separation if it's not yet embedded in your skiing. You may also need the help of an instructor to learn to do fully completed short radius turns, then to take you to steep terrain to get them to work there.
 

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