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!




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.


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.


Are you feeling stressed or burnt out?

Are you feeling stressed or burnt out?

Working under the constant pressures created by COVID can create chronic stress and burnout and have a long term impact on your wellbeing. Stress creates feelings of hyperactivity, emotionally fragility, from being tearful to short tempered, and anxiety.