A coach and friend of mine recently blogged on “Adaptability or Versatility” in the context of recreational skiing, and pointed out that while racing is obviously ‘measured’, usually by a stop watch, Recreational skiers and skiing is typically ‘judged’.
Ski School instruction is an good example, where as a learner you are set a task by your Ski Instructor. You attempt the task, skiing down to your Instructor who gives you their judgement on your performance. This approach has it’s place, but an undesirable result can be a focus on “How do I look?”, rather than “How effective was my skiing?”, or to put it another way, Style over Effectiveness!
Instead I’d suggest that many recreational skiers would benefit from viewing their skiing like racers do, ‘measuring’ the outcome of a given run rather than relying on someone else to judge it. For example at it’s most basic your desired outcome might be “get down the run safely and having a good time while doing it”*
It doesn’t matter what it ‘looked like’ when you have achieved the outcome you wanted. As you gain more control over your skiing you can aim for more specific outcomes. The next step could be “get down the run safely, have a good time, AND maintain a constant speed.” and so on, adding more specific measures as your skill develops. Importantly by using these are ‘measured’ outcomes you can assess for your self the success (or not) of your skiing, and if you want they give you the means to learn from every run of the day.
One of the key benefits of the Coaching process is that your coach can provide you with the tools to be able to ‘assess’ YOUR own performance, which in turn means that you can take more control over your ski learning, feel better about your skiing and change it as you need.
*borrowed from the link above.