How to conquer those nerves and love your skiing

We’ve all had ski lessons and know how to ski, that’s not the problem here.

Our challenge is to overcome that fear factor which holds us back from relaxing into it and having a great day.

Louise Pode, the UK’s leading Ski with Confidence Coach,  shares her tips to change your mindset and have a great day.



The skiing holiday is booked, the family can’t wait, but as it gets nearer that inner dread starts to build.

How can they be so excited, yet you feel so anxious?

You are not alone – anxiety on the slopes is more common than you may think. It can create emotions of isolation, humiliation and fear to name but a few, for literally thousands of skiers.

It’s December 2016, we are on a Christmas skiing holiday in Val D’Isere – the children have been excited for months and I am putting on a brave face.

Day 4 I find myself at the top of Le Face – committed. Here I am looking at a steep, icy expanse; heart racing, pitted feeling of deep dread, rigid.

Voices of encouragement – “you can do this” “you’ll be fine” “follow me down”.   I urge everyone to go on ahead to take away that feeling of pressure and focus of attention.

Finally, I set off gingerly, too slow and lurch into a turn, leaning back, out of control, …. down I go.  Tears of frustration start to flow – “I can’t do this” “I knew this would happen”.

Fast forward to 2023– we are staying in Val Claret for Christmas.

We’re skiing all four corners of Tignes and Val D’Isere and once again I find myself committed to Le Face.

It’s as steep, icy and intimidating as before. I arrive at the far side perched on an icy mogul, crusty off piste in front of me, cursing myself for not pausing and creating a plan – the feeling of déjà vu sets in. This is really going to test my skiing strategies.

I take a moment, look up at the stunning view “wow”….deep breathe …I can feel the cool mountain air.  “I’ve got this” I tell myself, “I love my skiing”.  My mind is clearing and I’m making a plan. I slide down into the middle of the run where there is a smattering of snow. I look around at how other skiers are managing – there’s someone coming down with caution, she’s got a good line. I step in several turns behind and follow, focusing on her turns and before I know it, I’m out of the worst of it and on my way. As I reach the bottom I feel elated “I’ve conquered the world”; finally that run is no longer my skiing nemesis. The difference in those two experiences is testament to the power of our mindset – I now love my skiing with a passion. Let me share what I wish I had known in 2016 to create that shift from anxiety to liberation.


Control the Controllable

Create an environment which will enable you to nurture your skiing and build those positive experiences by planning ahead.

Aim for a suitable resort so you can build your confidence, ensure you have a ski buddy to enjoy the slopes with. Be open with your group about your skiing level so you don’t find yourself out of your depth.

Own your anxiety

Anxiety is an important emotion but not when it’s overwhelming and stops you from thinking clearly.

Understanding your anxiety is key. Those symptoms of heart racing, deep dread, feeling rigid were my physiological stress responses. Take a moment to think about when you were at your most anxious when skiing? What were the 3 key signs for you and which came first? Recognising the first symptom and understanding how it manifests itself, puts you back in control. It enables you to use the following strategies to calm yourself before anxiety overwhelms you.

Calm your mind

When your mind runs away with anxiety it’s like white noise which stops you from thinking logically. It is well recognised that slow deep breathing techniques, such as box breathing, promotes a state of calmness reducing that strong physiological response, so you can think more clearly.

Switch your Focus

When we are stressed, we focus on everything that reinforces it, creating our own reality of fear.

Manage that inner voice which creates havoc when we’re anxious, doubting us and castrophizing. Be kind to yourself. Tell yourself “it’s ok”, “you’re fine”, “you’ve got this covered”.

Pull your focus away from those thoughts that build anxiety and focus on the things that calm you; stunning views, coolness of the air, freedom from daily routine, special experiences you are creating.

Make a plan

Rather than skiing with high stress levels take control and make a plan.

Use your deep breathing at the top of the run, look up and focus on the beauty and clarity of the mountains. Avoid stopping on the brow so you’re looking down, instead turn on the brow to wipe off steepness and give yourself continuity. Observe other skiers, what can you learn from how they are skiing? Look at the line they are taking on the slope and make your plan.

If you feel yourself being overwhelmed stop and reset – just because it starts off a bad run it doesn’t need to end that way. Change your mindset.

These are just some of the strategies which will enable you to regain control. With a strong inner motivation and the right coaching, you can overcome those barriers which are holding you back. If you recognise yourself in this article and would love to feel liberated from your skiing anxiety, find out more at  Let’s create that skiing magic together.

Imagine how proud and liberated you would feel to be able to look forward to all those future experiences with friends and family!




How Happy Is Your Workplace?


How do you know when your teams are in a happy place?

What do you notice?

What difference does it make?



Employee happiness is not just a feel-good concept; it’s a crucial factor that contributes to your businesses success. Happy colleagues tend to be more engaged, motivated, and productive, which ultimately leads to higher levels of customer satisfaction and business growth. Everyone wants to be happier in the workplace. And there’s lots of reasons why building a positive culture and putting the right processes in place to create a happier workforce is good for your business performance.

  • Contented employees are 12% more productive than their unhappier counterparts
  • Companies with a happy workforce outperform their competitors by up to 20%
  • 77% of adults would check an organisation’s culture before applying for a job there

Given these statistics, it’s easy to see how nurturing a happier work environment is good for existing employees, as well as attracting talent. Yet, despite the benefits that can be gained by increasing staff happiness, contentment at work is still the exception, rather than the rule.

It is great to have initiatives such as  International Week of Happiness at Work to raise awareness of the many benefits of a happy workforce.

Let’s explore what more you can do to create a workplace where happiness thrives.

  1. Prioritise Employee Well-Being:

Employee well-being should be at the forefront of your efforts. Ensure that your workplace promotes physical and mental health. Offer wellness programs, flexible work arrangements, and access to resources that support a healthy work-life balance. Invest in coaching and resilience to develop their coping strategies in work to ensure they do not become overwhelmed.

  1. Provide Learning and Growth Opportunities:

Invest in your employees’ professional development. Encourage continuous learning through workshops, training, and opportunities for skill enhancement. When employees feel like they’re growing and advancing, job satisfaction naturally follows.

  1. Foster a Positive Company Culture:

A positive company culture is essential for a happy workplace. Encourage open communication, transparency, and a sense of belonging. Celebrate achievements, big or small, and create a culture where employees feel appreciated and valued.

  1. Encourage Work-Life Balance:

Promote a healthy work-life balance by offering flexible work hours or remote work options. Recognize that employees have personal lives and responsibilities outside of work, and provide the flexibility they need to manage both effectively.

  1. Create Opportunities for Collaboration:

Encourage collaboration and teamwork within your organization. Foster a sense of community by organizing team-building activities and projects that allow employees to connect with their colleagues.

  1. Listen Actively and Seek Feedback:

Take time to listen actively to your employees. Provide opportunities for them to share their ideas, concerns, and suggestions. Act on their feedback to demonstrate that their voices are heard and valued.

  1. Lead by Example:

Leaders play a crucial role in shaping the workplace culture. Lead by example, demonstrating qualities such as empathy, integrity, and a commitment to employee well-being. Your actions set the tone for your business.

  1. Celebrate Milestones and Special Occasions:

Mark important milestones and celebrate special occasions within your organization. Whether it’s work anniversaries, birthdays, or achievements, showing appreciation during these moments creates a positive and happy atmosphere.

Creating a happy workplace requires ongoing commitment and effort, but the rewards are well worth it. Happy employees are more likely to be loyal, innovative, and dedicated to the success of your business. As you celebrate International Week of Happiness at Work, consider how you can invest in your employees to cultivate a workplace where happiness thrives, benefiting both your teams and your business.


Anxiety ….is it your Friend or Foe?

Examining Anxiety - Free online GAD-7 Generalised Anxiety Test

As we continue to navigate an uncertain world, our mental wellbeing is constantly being tested, which has led to levels of anxiety increasing around the world. In the UK, anxiety is among the most common mental health disorders.

Research also shows that employee anxiety is a challenge for organisations as well, with anxiety accounting for a significant percentage of all work-related ill health cases.

With anxiety becoming part of our daily conversations, understanding how it impacts us and knowing that it can be both friend and foe is important.

Anxiety as a FRIEND:

  • It is our flight or fight mechanism.
  • Our internal warning signal.
  • Raises our level of alertness to a situation.
  • Makes us aware of risks.
  • Motivates and energises us.
  • Inspires us to think clearly and logically.
  • It can help us feel prepared when we face challenges.
  • Improves our performance.
  • Enables you to be more empathetic with others.

Anxiety is a natural human emotion –  our body’s alarm system.

It occurs in response to situations where we may be in danger and anticipate that something unpleasant may happen.

It puts us on our front foot. For example if you have an important presentation your raised anxiety will ensure you are focused on being prepared, giving  yourself time to get there, double check your slides and ensure your laptop is compatible with the projector.

Anxiety as a FOE

  • When it overwhelms us.
  • Takes us from our stretch to our panic zone.
  • Overtakes our mind making it hard to think straight.
  • Causes us to catastrophise.
  • Pulls our mind into a negative place.
  • Creates a strong physiological response such as high heart and breathing rate, sweating, shaking, feeling sick.
  • Paralyses us with a fear of uncertainty.
  • Ongoing anxiety can have a negative impact on your mental and physical health.

It is when our anxiety overwhelms us that is becomes our foe. We feel out of control, unable to think straight, overwhelmed by uncertainty, focusing on the negatives and our inner voice reinforcing our anxious emotions.

Managing  your own Anxiety

  • How do you know when you’re feeling anxious? What is your first symptom?
  • Once you have acknowledged this, it is time to explore strategies you can use to stop the anxiety developing.
  • Know what triggers your anxiety so you can reduce your exposure to them.
  • Explore strategies that will enable you body and mind to feel calm.
  • Deep breathing, meditation and yoga can quickly calm your mind, especially if you use visualisation techniques
  • Distraction techniques will pull your mind away from anxious thoughts – talk to a friend, listen to your favourite playlist, plan your next holiday whatever it is that will immerse you in something that makes you feel good.
  • Immerse yourself in an activity that puts you in the flow – such as playing a sport, a musical instrument or some other absorbing hobby.
  • Focus on helping others and going out of your way to be kind.
  • Surround yourself with people who help you feel calm and relaxed.
  • Manage that inner voice that catastrophises and draws your focus onto those things that build your anxiety.  You can’t eliminate this voice but you can manage it.
  • Be mindful, keep yourself in the present and focus and enjoy what you have in that moment rather than vexing about what has just happened or could be about to happen.

Take a moment to reflect on your anxiety does it serve you well or hold you back?

If you would like to manage your anxiety so it serves you well rather holding you back and impacting on your performance we are here to help and happy to talk.

Be assured you are not alone and you can overcome it with the right tool kit of coping strategies.


Feel @FreetoSki:

10 Top Tips for Nervous Skiers

Are you already worrying about how to survive your next ski holiday?

Does the very thought of skiing create a feeling of anxiety?

Imagine how good it would feel if you could overcome those nerves!

Here are my Top 10 Tips to enable you to take those first steps to build your confidence and fall in love with skiing.

  1. Create your own tribe– make sure your skiing group has mixed abilities with someone of a similar standard for you to buddy up with on the slopes. There is nothing like feeling alone in your group to add to the anxiety.
  2. Choose a resort which has a great variety of runs for you to ease into. Green and blue runs are a great way of getting back on the slopes and building your confidence.
  3. Avoid the crowds– even the calmest of skiers can become anxious on crowded slopes. If you have a holiday booked for peak season why not use a ski guide to take you to the quieter parts of the resort.
  4. Don’t compare your progress with those of your children – they don’t have your years of life experiences to raise their anxiety and fear. Inevitably they will pick it up really quickly.
  5. Build your confidence with a ski instructor who can ensure you ski on runs aligned with your ability and support you to overcome your nerves.
  6. Skiing in poor light increases anxiety so when planning your holiday consider which times of the season are better for sunshine and great visibility.
  7. Create small achievable goals every day and don’t be too ambitious. Make sure you take time to stop for a break to reflect on your achievements
  8. Be in the moment. When you’re feeling anxious remember you’re here to enjoy yourself and calm your inner voice with techniques such as deep breathing and mindfulness.
  9. Remember where you are– the beauty of the mountains and exhilaration of being in fresh air. Use the positivity of the moment to overcome your anxiety.
  10. Don’t be hard on yourself. Enjoy each run for what it is, manage your expectations and live in the moment rather than worrying about what is ahead of you.

If you would like to take the next step in overcoming those nerves and falling in love with skiing, whatever your level, please drop me a message at and let’s have a chat about how we can create your skiing magic.


Would you love to build your confidence on the ski slopes?

We’ve all had ski lessons and are familiar with the concept of how to ski – that’s not the problem here.

Our challenge is to manage that fear factor which holds us back from relaxing into it and having a great day.

Imagine how good that would feel!

At last there is a great solution….

In 2017 I launched The Coaching Course for Nervous Skiers and the programme has gone from strength to strength. I was once that nervous skier and nearly hung up my ski boots after an accident that left me on crutches for 4 months. However, with so many friends and family who love their skiing, I didn’t want to be the one left behind missing out on all those experiences by stepping away.

Reverting to fundamentals which I utilise daily as an Executive Coach, I knew I had to find a way of changing my perspective and overcome my anxiety. It is a testament to the power of our mindset that I now love skiing so much that I am running Ski Coaching as part of my business.


The Bespoke Coaching for Nervous Skiers is a series of coaching sessions to enable you to overcome those nerves so you can relax and enjoy your skiing, whatever your level.

I have also partnered with industry leading New Generation Ski School, coaching since 1998 with18 ski schools across resorts in the French, Swiss & Austrian Alps to ensure you will have the best coaching both on and off the slopes.

This programme is aimed at skiers of any level and experience who are constantly frustrated at the negative emotions skiing creates leaving them feeling upset, isolated and anxious on their holiday.

For those that really want to overcome their nerves we can make it happen together.

What to expect:

The focus of the Bespoke Coaching for Nervous Skiers is to shift your mindset from one that associates skiing with anxiety and fear to one where you feel calm and happy.

We’ll be using various coaching techniques to enable you to have a vision of your skiing goal and become the skier you dream of.

You’ll understand your fear and how to manage that inner critical voice and negative focus that has been so disruptive in the past.

Most importantly you’ll know how to create your positive, happy skiing self and look forward to putting it into practice. To quote one client:

“So excited to put my new found skills and anxiety free approach into practice on our next family holiday” Julie H

We will work together coaching over a series of 4 one hour online sessions, over 4 weeks leading up to your holiday.

It is an exciting and empowering journey which will give you great strategies and techniques you can use across all aspects of life.

As another happy client put it:

“The coaching sessions were so useful for many areas of my life and I gained some valuable insight” Wendy E

Consider this coaching to be a gift to your family and friends … a gift of those many fun, shared experiences ahead of you.

There are various options to choose from but bespoke really means we can tailor your experience to enable you to achieve your goal:

1. Personal Coaching: Have bespoke sessions to create that shift you’ve been looking for
Weekly, online, one to one bespoke coaching sessions over 4 weeks leading up to your holiday. Cost: £500.
If you are skiing with New Generation you can link with a ski instructor in your resort who is trained in the strategies and techniques I use, to create an all-round experience.

2. Group Coaching: Team up with like minded friends 
Weekly online bespoke coaching sessions over 4 weeks with 3 – 6 people from £200pp – this is a great option if you would like to team up and create your own group with friends or family.

3. Ski with Confidence Experience in Courchevel 1650: Let’s do this together

Are you ready to fall in love with skiing?       This is the perfect opportunity for you.

Join us for a Ski with Confidence Courchevel Experience week, in partnership with New Generation Ski.
You’ll be with a group of like minded skiers – those shared experiences, laughter and support create a great learning environment. This consists of online coaching sessions in the UK followed by a week at Courchevel 1650 with ski instruction aligned with daily coaching with Louise.

Location: Courchevel 1650, accommodation at Chalet La Pierre, B&B with a wealth of fabulous restaurants on our doorstep for evening meals

Transfers: Our own minibus transfer from Geneva Airport

Bespoke Coaching: 4 group coaching sessions in the UK followed by twice daily coaching in resort with Louise – she will be with you every step of the way.

Ski instruction: 10.00 – 12.00 and 14.00 – 16.00 daily to enable you put your great techniques and strategies in place.

What’s not included: insurance, flights, equipment hire, lift pass, lunch and dinners


Let’s create some skiing magic together!

4. A la Carte: Create your own ski party!
For those who prefer a fully tailored option for a Ski with Confidence Experience week to suit your group, you can choose your group of friends, your resort and accommodation and we can work together to design your very own bespoke ski coaching package (poa).

5. Corporate: Develop confidence and resilience skills in a fabulous Alpine environment!
In collaboration with New Generation, we are developing corporate courses to enable teams to build confidence, communication, and resilience in an Alpine environment, giving a fresh perspective with skills and strategies for the workplace. If you’d love to develop confidence in your teams and arm them with a toolkit of coping strategies for building resilience please drop me a message and we can tailor accordingly.

To find out how we can work together to overcome those nerves, build confidence increase resilience and enable you to love your skiing please drop me a message and check out my ProAbility website and Ski New Generation.

All my coaching starts with a free 15 minute conversation so we can explore together how to create the outcomes you are looking for before you commit.

 ProAbility Ltd

 Ski New Generation

Imposter Syndrome

Have you ever felt you’re not good enough at your job and you’ll be found out?

Despite being successful do you think you aren’t as capable as others think you are?

No matter how much evidence there is that we are successfully navigating our lives many of us hold these false beliefs.


This is called Imposter Syndrome:  a pattern of thinking that can have a powerful negative impact on your feelings of worth and lead to self-doubt and missed opportunities.

Recognising it and having the tools to overcome it can stop you from limiting your own success.

Do you recognise any of these symptoms?:

  • Crediting your success to luck.
  • Fear of being seen as a failure.
  • Feeling that over working/over delivering is the only way to meet expectations.
  • Feeling unworthy of attention.
  • Down playing accomplishments.
  • Holding back from reaching attainable goals.
  • Feeling burnout, unfulfilled and stressed.

Who are the likely contenders for Imposter Syndrome:

  • Hard workers
  • High achievers
  • Perfectionists

Even Einstein once said that he thought his research got way more attention than he thought it deserved.

Overcoming  Imposter Syndrome starts with recognising your own potential and taking ownership of your achievements:

  • What are your achievements? Create a journal of them as they happen so you can refer back and acknowledge that you have some great accomplishments.
  • Separate your feelings from the facts. Recognise that just because you think these things it doesn’t mean they’re true. If your mind says, ‘I don’t know what I’m talking about,’ remind yourself that you know more than you think you do.
  • Stop comparing. Focus on measuring your own achievements and don’t compare yourself to others. Remind yourself that it tends to be bright, high achievers who have Imposter Syndrome, which says a lot about you.
  • Talk to others. This can give you clarity that your emotions are normal but also irrational.
  • Take action and move forward. Seek coaching to enable you to recognise the feelings associated with Imposter Syndrome and create new beliefs and  behaviours to overcome it and allow yourself to flourish.

Remember success doesn’t require perfection. True perfection is practically impossible, so failing to achieve it doesn’t make you a fraud.

Offering yourself kindness and compassion instead of judgment and self-doubt can help you maintain a realistic perspective and motivate you to pursue healthy self-growth.

If you would like to learn more about Imposter Syndrome and how coaching can enable you to overcome it please drop me a line at   We are here to help.


Nurturing your teams in a growing business

As businesses are expanding the focus is often on developing the business processes to create operational efficiencies and a competitive edge.

But how do you nurture your teams to ensure they too are performing at their best?

Jason Kenny in the The High Performance Podcast talks of the challenges of joining a small team which quickly expands into a large organisation and the importance of continuing to nurture the teams,

This has resonated with 3 conversations this week with SME leaders who are recruiting, growing their customer base and refining their systems but struggling to fully optimise their teams potential.

We are all aware that it is the people in your business who take it to the next level – it’s their enthusiasm, commitment, resilience and energy that gives you the edge over your competitors.

The challenge is having time to focus on nurturing when you’re taking risks and expanding to gain that market edge.

At ProAbility this is the heartbeat of our business and I would like to share my top 5 tips for ensuring you bring your teams with you on your journey of expansion and optimise their talent ….

1. Company Values and Culture
Really understand what your company stands for at its core. Outline each value and the behaviours which show the value is being demonstrated throughout your business. Consider how to embed these values in your recruitment, staff development, reviews and the working environment. Make those values come to life to create a company culture which retains and attracts talent.

2. Listen
Give your colleagues a voice and listen to their perspective. Encourage them to contribute to focus groups, listen to their views and empower them to make decisions. They are your most valuable asset and a rich resource of skills, strengths, initiatives and values.

3. Promote Emotional Wellbeing and Resilience
We never perform at our best if we’re feeling overwhelmed and anxious. Create a positive culture around emotional wellbeing and resilience. Invest in resilience training and coaching to enable your colleagues to develop strategies so they feel energised by challenges rather than overwhelmed.

4. Create a working environment they can thrive in
Giving your colleagues flexibility, design their job so it plays to their strengths, consider how you train and develop your staff. Invest time in coaching and mentoring rather than generic courses. Understand the value of cultivating a growth mindset in your colleagues.

5. Leadership
Invest in your own leadership skills so you can be future focused, inspire and motivate your colleagues and enable them to feel connected to you.

How are you nurturing your colleagues?

At ProAbility we’re here to help – we specialise in creating your values led culture for your business to thrive in and work with your teams and colleagues to enable them to have the resilience and mindset to fulfill their potential.

Does Employee Happiness Energise you as much as Customer Happiness?

More businesses have developed their online presence over the last 2 years with a focus on reaching more customers and optimising their digital ratings.

Customer satisfaction is king in the competitive business world.

A piece of research by Oxford University’s Said Business School found that happy workers are 13% more productive. They found that happy workers do not put more hours in they are simply more productive within their work time.

Imagine if your teams performance improved by 13%.

What difference would that make to your business?


Your employees are as important as your customers.
It is their values, skills and behaviours that can take your business from being good to outstanding.

Creating a culture where your teams can thrive, where they can be

  • themselves at work
  • happy
  • focused
  • energised
  • motivated
  • agile
  • resourceful
  • resilient
  • feel valued is key to enabling your teams to excel.

At ProAbility our focus is on creating strong cultures in fast growing SME’s which are values driven.

Imagine if your teams happiness and performance was matched with your great customer ratings – how much of a difference would that make?

Please drop me a message if you’d like to explore how to build values into your business and create a culture which promotes a happy, thriving team – our role is to enable you to take your business to the next level.

#culture #happiness #values #performance #wellbeing #resilience #business #agile #motivation #energy


Are you making redundancies?

How are you supporting the mental health and wellbeing of employees exiting the business? How much better would you feel if those employees leaving could move onto future employment feeling positive and resilient?