Ski racing is, of course, the most fun you can have on the snow. Or in our opinion, the most fun sport overall. But once you embark on the journey to become a great ski racer, there will inevitably be hard lessons to learn in addition to all the positive experiences you have. These lessons will be hard fought but will make you a better racer or better person in the end:
1. Sometimes, you fall down (or finish last)
You may be a superhuman athlete, in perfect shape, and you may have practiced for hours on end each day. Sooner or later, however, you’ll fall down and embarrass yourself. You might even finish last in a race. The clock doesn’t lie. The first time this happens is disheartening. I promise that it will humble you and make you a better person, though. And when you persistence and correct your mistakes, you’ll become an even better racer.
2. Talent isn’t enough
To be an elite racer, talent helps you get in the door but pretty much stops at the gate. From there, it’s work, work, and more work. So listen to your mentors and coaches, be open to feedback, and tirelessly work on getting better. Put in your 10,000 hours and direct them toward the right things, and you’ll be an elite athlete.
3. Ski racing is demanding on all fronts
No joke, it takes a strong disposition to be a ski racer. As Dr. Jim Taylor said, ski racing contains “levels of uncontrollability and uncertainty that are rare in sports or even life.”
Races are decided in terms of fractions of a second, practices and racers are held in extremely cold and bitter weather conditions, and mental game is in high demand. Not to mention that, according to Dr. Taylor, “alpine ski racing requires a rare combination of strength, agility, fine motor skills, stamina, and even flexibility.”
Put together, it’s clear that ski racing is one of, if not the toughest sport out there. It takes a lot to excel in it, so you should be proud to be a ski racer.