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Thread: Any Sports Psychologists On the Forum?

  1. #1
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    Today it happened. I was beat (by raw time and handicap) by a 12 year old girl. I don't mind getting beat by a girl (although I do mind getting beat by a 12 year old) but I was racing flat out - as fast as I think I can go and she was smokin' fast.

    So here is my dilemna - how do you know when to call it quits? I am really unhappy with silver but if I am honest, I don't have the time or the resources to really work at improving. Anyone have a suggestion on how you continue to run Nastar even if you don't have any expectation of progressing? What can you do to balance the thrill of racing with just being happy to compete? To me, the two don't mesh - you can't compete and be happy with status quo.

    I appreciate the insight. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Senior Member ChiTownChick's Avatar
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    Der411,

    I am not a sports psychologist, and we women see things differently from men, but I will say that the age category you are in is a tough one for men, the handicaps are very difficult. There is a reason we all move into easier handicap bands as we age each 5 years - we slow down as we age. Also, these handicaps are all relative - your silver handicap would be a platinum handicap in my division.

    Warren Miller wrote a wonderful article in the February 2008 edition of Ski Magazine that I keep hanging in my office to help me keep a good outlook about aging and skiing/racing. The title is "Don't Keep Score" I quote a passage from it here:

    "...There is a lesson, however: As you age, recalibrate your values to reward joy, not physical prowess. No one keeps score on what you are doing except you.....As I get older, I measure my athletic achievements by the width of my smile. This won't give you bragging rights at the dinner table, but it does keep life interesting. Don't give up on athletics; just reset your standards - and definition of success."

    I can honestly say that the first time I raced Nastar at Copper Mountain eight years ago when I did not even know what Nastar was and was on skis from the 1970's because I had not skied in close to 30 years I got a better handicap then I regularly do now...and that's just the truth. I was eight years younger. As Warren Miller says, we have to recalibrate our expectations and by doing so we recalibrate our satisfaction level with our results as we age. We also have to work harder to stay in shape to do the sport the way we want to. Love of the sport fuels the desire to keep working out and stay in shape.

    What is the alternative? Not to ski or race and wake up at age 50 sitting on your couch in the front of the TV weighing 350 pounds? Trust me - that can happen in your 40's. Find pleasure in the fact that you are getting exercise, loving the sport and respecting your body by sticking with it. Handicaps and even raw times don't matter much, but the good we do for our bodies and souls by keeping going makes a huge difference in our lives.

    CTC :cool:

  3. #3
    Senior Member putterman's Avatar
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    You are SO right, CTC... men and women think differently. What der411 needs to hear is:

    NOW GO CRY IN A BEER OR SCOTCH AND KICK HER BUTT NEXT TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I drink, therefore I am!
    CRU145

  4. #4
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    I can only agree with what's been said above. usatoday.com or some similar site had a photo gallery of Lindsey Vonn when she was a kid. Most were off-hill, but they had one of her racing at age 12, and man, she had good form and looked like she was going really fast. I would not feel ashamed one bit to be beaten by 12-year-old Lindsey. Or 12-year-old Bode, or whoever. No way to tell for another few years if that's who happened to beat you.

    If you're having fun, keep doing it. If you're not, stop, and do something else.

    That being said...I raced at Bittersweet yesterday. They had 2 side-by-side courses, and most people, but not all, were starting at the same time as the person on the other course. I was next to a 12-year-old girl. I let her get a couple seconds head start (not to toy with her, I just needed the extra time to get mentally prepared), and then I started down the hill. Now, I'm only barely at the line between bronze and silver, but by the second to last gate, I had caught her. Then I hit the last gate, slid through the finish on my belly, and hit a fence beyond that. Today I have a very angry red bruise on my right hip. I *wish* I had just let the 12 year old beat me ;)

  5. #5
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    putterman ^^^ ROFLMAO!
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    Remember that the 12-year-old has several advantages over you. (Please bear with my generalizations and assumptions - I'm trying to make us all feel better here. :smile: )

    1. Youth and all it implies - flexiblity, reflexes, recovery time from injuries, etc.

    2. Time. You have (ostensibly) all the responsibilities of an adult - earning a living, feeding, clothing, housing yourself and possibly a family (possibly even a 12-yo of your own!), etc. The 12-yo has school and homework, and is free to ski, (freeskiing is practice), play other sports (cross-train), etc. whenever else the parents are cooperative.

    3. Experince and Repetition. In my experience, a 12-yo who is racing Nastar is likely in a training/racing program, or runs Nastar a lot - perhaps with his or her family. Most of the other 12-yos are in the Pipe or Park, or bonding with their friends. Few of them seem motivated to jump in the Nastar course (unfortunately).

    4. Intimate familiarity with modern equipment. While you may be on the latest and greatest presently, it is likely you learned to ski on straighter skis and old boots with all their limitations.

    5. Modern Technique. See 4, above; you needed (or still need/may need) to shake the "old demons" out of your game. The 12-yo grew up using modern technique, and knows no other.

    For Nastar motivation in the face of individual limitations, try to only compete against yourself. Strive for a better handicap for you. Go for a personal record. Work toward the next medal. But pay no attention to others.

    Can you tell that I have had much experience rationalizing being spanked by younger faster skiers?! :neutral:

  7. #7
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    Remember that the 12-year-old has several advantages over you. (Please bear with my generalizations and assumptions - I'm trying to make us all feel better here. :smile: )

    1. Youth and all it implies - flexiblity, reflexes, recovery time from injuries, etc.

    2. Time. You have (ostensibly) all the responsibilities of an adult - earning a living, feeding, clothing, housing yourself and possibly a family (possibly even a 12-yo of your own!), etc. The 12-yo has school and homework, and is free to ski, (freeskiing is practice), play other sports (cross-train), etc. whenever else the parents are cooperative.

    3. Experince and Repetition. In my experience, a 12-yo who is racing Nastar is likely in a training/racing program, or runs Nastar a lot - perhaps with his or her family. Most of the other 12-yos are in the Pipe or Park, or bonding with their friends. Few of them seem motivated to jump in the Nastar course (unfortunately).

    4. Intimate familiarity with modern equipment. While you may be on the latest and greatest presently, it is likely you learned to ski on straighter skis and old boots with all their limitations.

    5. Modern Technique. See 4, above; you needed (or still need/may need) to shake the "old demons" out of your game. The 12-yo grew up using modern technique, and knows no other.

    For Nastar motivation in the face of individual limitations, try to only compete against yourself. Strive for a better handicap for you. Go for a personal record. Work toward the next medal. But pay no attention to others.

    Can you tell that I have had much experience rationalizing being spanked by younger faster skiers?! :neutral:[/b]
    I agree. Those are great points. If we get smoked by a 12 year old, or even a 9 year old, we should make a big deal out of it to that kid by congratulating them, telling them what a great racer they are, and otherwise getting them excited about the sport of Nastar ski racing. Those KIDS, not us old folks are the future of Nastar racing and we should all be having fun while getting more kids into it. On the other hand what kid wants to race against an adult and get smoked every week? That's not exactly encouraging more kids to get into this sport.

  8. #8
    Senior Member putterman's Avatar
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    Or, you could take the Tanya approach... Where would you conceal a 2 X 4 in a speed suit, though.... :roll:
    I drink, therefore I am!
    CRU145

  9. #9
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    Or, you could take the Tanya approach... Where would you conceal a 2 X 4 in a speed suit, though.... :roll:[/b]
    Putterman, you need some kids. I think you've been hanging around the horses too long!

  10. #10
    Senior Member putterman's Avatar
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    Heheheheheheheheheeheheheheheehehe :mrgreen:

    I drink, therefore I am!
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