How to Build Your Mental Toughness Through Skiing

How to Build Your Mental Toughness Through Skiing

Derek Tate

Derek Tate has spent over 35 years involved teaching and coaching. The sport of Alpine skiing has been both the passion and the career over this time. His qualifications include the British Association of Snowsport Instructors International Ski Teacher Diploma BASI Level 4), PG Diploma in Sports Coaching and MSc Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP). In addition to teaching skiers of all levels, he educates and examines snowsport instructors, and offers mental skills and mental health coaching to individuals online and in person. He has also authored ‘Learn, Enjoy, Flow & Grow’ and ‘Six Steps for Training the Mind’.

Our guest today is Derek Tate, an experienced ski coach and author.  We go on to discuss his book Six Steps for Training the Mind as well as mental toughness in snowsports.  Derek goes on to share insights into differences in mindset between recreational and elite skiers, the role of fear, pushing boundaries and comfort zones, the impact of self-talk, getting into a flow state and a whole lot more. 

  • Fear is a common emotion for both recreational and elite skiers.
  • The environment and weather on the slopes changes frequently making for unique challenges.
  • Mental toughness when skiing is the ability to navigate, manage and overcome self-doubt, worries, concerns and circumstances that prevent you from succeeding without compromising your well-being.
  • If mental skills were trained in the same way as physical skills or technical skills, there’d be a lot more people who are better prepared when skiing.
  • Many people are distracted by the conversation they have with themselves.
  • Mindfulness meditation and gratitude are very helpful skills skiers can benefit from learning.
  • Getting into a flow state is hugely beneficial for your mental health.

Connect with Derek Tate:


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Helpful Podcast Episodes

Ep046: Kate Mackay – Why Snowboarding is a Metaphor for Life

Ep048: Natalie Hurdley – How to Build Mental Toughness through Powerlifting

Ep066: Marilyn Okoro – Mental Health and Resilience: Lessons from an Olympic Medalist

Ep110: Dan Steele – How to Increase Mental Fortitude: Secrets from an Olympian

Ep140: Chris Cook – How to Improve Your Mental Strength: Secrets from an Olympian

Other Useful Resources

Blog – Make Better Decisions to Help Your Sport Performance

Blog – Coach Development: Helping Athletes Overcome Fear of Failure

Blog – Do You Really Want to Succeed

Blog – 12 Reasons Why You Won’t Achieve Your Potential

Blog: 9 Tips for Children from Olympians



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David Charlton

Best Wishes 

David Charlton

Global Sports Psychologist who is located near Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK and willing to travel Internationally.  David also uses online video conferencing software (Zoom, Facetime, WhatsApp) on a regular basis and has clients who he has supported in USA, Canada, South America, UAE, Australian and New Zealand.  

Managing Director – Inspiring Sporting Excellence and Founder of The Sports Psychology Hub.  With over 10 years experience supporting athletes, coaches, parents and teams to achieve their goals, quickly. 

T: +44 7734 697769

E: [email protected]

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