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!




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