Thursday, January 19, 2012

Using video to create an accurate mental image of skiing

When I was training as a junior racer, I had the opportunity to ski with Team Gilboa at their intensive Mt. Hood summer camps. One of the things that left a big impression on me from these camps was the dedicated time for visualization practice. After I incorporated visualization practice as a racer, I felt like it was easier to grasp the concepts described by my coach.
When speaking with many skiers, including instructors who are pursuing certification, it seems like there is a struggle in creating a mental picture of accurate, effective, and functional skiing. One solution: Add visualization practice. First, watch accurate skiing. Watch elite racers and freestyle competitors. Watch PSIA Examiners and Demo Team members. Second, "see" yourself make the same movements. Following is a sample of accurate skiing imagery:

This isn't a current or comprehensive list of the PSIA Rocky Mountain Division demos but it will help those trying to create an image of successful skiing. Those in a PSIA development track will benefit from the captions describing ski performance and body performance.
Numerous studies have shown the efficacy of visualization in sports performance. It has proven benefits in physical and psychological performance. I posted this video to help some students and instructors create a more accurate mental picture of what they may want to accomplish on the snow.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

5.13d on trad gear at Ceuse

Here is a video of French climber Arnaud Petit sending a 65m 5.13d at Ceuse. The route is Black Bean, previously rated 8b+ (or .14a). On gear, Dave Macleod figures it's an E10 (!) 7a. With 30m fall potential on gear in suspect rock, that seems justified. One of the cooler aspects of this video is how Petit stays composed on some huge runouts over horizontal cams and wires. Not only does he keep it together mentally, but he continues to use momentum in his movement, rather than climb statically. It's also cool to see the huge arcs of rope draping in the air between the pro and his belayer, as well as the nice long whipper at the end.

It's a longer climbing video for one pitch, even at 215 feet, but it's great visualization for efficient, composed climbing over huge runouts. Critics might complain about the bailout option of bolts on this "retro-trad" climb. The point of posting this is to show the composure and committed movement on challenging terrain - 5.13d. It's likely that Petit is pumped, but he doesn't really show it. He climbs with confidence and clean movement. Pretty impressive with 100 foot runouts.