Dave Morris Sam Pickup Skiing Orange Uniform

How to Train Smarter

Ce sont les choses qu’on construise…..

I was watching the Men’s World Cup before Christmas and ex French team skier and World Championship medallist Gauthier de Teissieres spoke about the run of current French team skier Victor Muffat Jeandet.

He was speaking about how there was still some work to do and some changes to be ironed into Muffat Jeandet’s skiing. He used the phrase ’les choses qu’on construise’.

In essence, this translates to these are the things that we must construct or build into our/his skiing’. He was talking about details, little things that would make a difference; little things that would tighten his line, that would allow him to attack a turn with more security and confidence. They may be little but they may make a big difference, and those little things need to be built in.

This idea of building things into your skiing is an important one. To be good at changing your skiing, particularly as an adult, you need to have this process clear in your head.

Applying The Mindset

When you receive feedback on a performance or you look at your video, you are at the start of a journey; at a cross roads. At this point you can keep going and tweak what you are doing but tweaking is only good if things only need a tweak. If we try and tweak when we need to make a seismic shift then a tweak will not do the trick. It is like buying a new towel rail for your bathroom when you need to revamp the whole thing. Essentially your skiing will look the same bar a sprinkle of window dressing.

At the crossroads, you need to make a decision and a tweak is often the wrong one. A tweak is an easy decision but less satisfying. The other choice is a harder decision but it is more satisfying and longer lasting.

If you see your video run and cringe, it is almost foolish to expect that you can go round and change things next time. Some people can, but more often than not you need to expect that what you will do the next time will be very similar….unless you start a real journey.

Real changes involve understanding where you are and then comparing it to where you want to be. You need to compare the movement that you don’t like with the one you prefer; the one you want to put into your skiing.

Then the hard work begins. If you know the move you want to eradicate and you know the move you need to make then you need to make a plan of how to change it. A coach, instructor or peer can help you with this as it may involve a drill or a plan of practice. This is essentially your map that you need to follow.

Two instructors and trainee skiing in tandem synchro

PIC © Andy Lloyd www.alpictures.co.uk

Train Smarter, Not Harder.

The next bit is to follow the map unerringly as to eradicate a move and replace it with another move. It demands a belief in the eventual benefit of that ‘better move’. You need to be willing to go through all the steps that are part of building in unfamiliar movements. These are well documented in various skill acquisition models but invariably involve ‘un-jumbling’ and re-coordinating new orders and sequences. This almost always involves starting in very easy, unchallenging environments (the best way to learn a new pattern) that gradually become more complex.

This takes repetition [les choses qu’on construise…]

This takes patience.

This takes failure and being prepared to fail.

This takes constancy.

This takes planning or at least guidance to know what level of difficulty and challenge you need depending on robustness of the skill you are training.

This takes a stubborn belief in the benefits you will eventually reap

This takes tunnel vision to stay on track and not lose focus or confuse focus [ one thing..not loads]

This takes time…


But this is how you get better. As an adult, knowing how to ‘make a change’ and how a change ‘happens’ can help you train intelligently.

Good luck!

Written by BASI Trainer, BASI Level 4 ISTD and New Generation Technical Director Dave Morris. More information on our Level 3 and Level 4 Training Programmes in the links.