Are you in the zone?

By Bob Winter Nov 3, 2008
Are you in the zone?

kristen_smile-300x241 (kristen_smile-300x241)Check out this article in the Salt Lake TribuneKristen Ulmer, a Zen instructor, former top extreme skier and member of the U.S. Ski Team's moguls squad promotes a strategy focusing on the mental aspects of skiing as well as the physical.

Here are some of her tips for getting in the zone physically and mentally.  Click on the link above for more tips.

The physical
1. Strengthen quads by cycling, doing squats and weight training.
2. Strengthen hamstrings with weight machines in the gym. This will counteract the quads and help avoid blowing out a knee when skiing.
3. Mountain bike downhill: This strengthens the legs and quads but also helps improve hand-eye coordination, reaction time and the need to look ahead that is required in skiing.

The mental
1. Breathing: Take three deep breaths with your eyes closed before every run. This will help you shift mentally.
2. Consciousness: Recognize when you are stressed, anxious or feel fear in the moment. By being aware of these emotions, a skier has won half the battle.
3. Practice: It takes mental practice to become a great skier. Attend a spiritual workshop or seminar, meditate about the sport, or write a journal about it.

This ski season, Kristen Ulmer will offer three Ski to Live Clinics, a combination of ski and Zen clinics. She bills them as "a profound and powerful exploration of different levels of consciousness as accessed through the sports of skiing and snowboarding." They are Jan. 29-Feb. 1 at Snowbird; Feb. 26-March 1 at The Canyons; and April 2-5 at Alta.