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The key to any athlete’s development is to maximise their enjoyment and help them achieve success whilst minimising any risk (particularly of injury). This should take place in an appropriate environment for their level of skill so they are inspired to emulate their sporting heroes and train or compete with their peers without feeling out-of-their-depth or lacking stimulation. Achievable goals and small steps on the ladder of success help an athlete avoid situations where they may be over-awed or disillusioned. Before you can learn to win, you have to learn how to lose.

An aerial skier requires skiing skills, spatial awareness and the ability to perform gymnastic and acrobatic skills whilst in motion; which is considerably different to performing them in a gymnasium. Being an amateur meteorologist is a big help too!

Any one of these skills takes time and patience to learn and there will be more frustration and disappointment than success on the way to greatness.

Like every sport, aerials requires many years of training to achieve the highest levels of competitive ability. Confidence plays a big part in sporting performance and no matter how well prepared an athlete is, we do well to remember it’s an outdoor sport with mountain weather to contend with. The conditions are almost never the same two days running, with wind, snow conditions, temperature and visibility all having a marked effect on performance. Consequently with so much to learn, an athlete’s development can be a complex process. Dedication and training will pay off in the end as there is no substitute for having a wealth of experience to fall back on.

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