Julia Mancuso on training with Kristen Ulmer

Julia Mancuso tells us about training with Kristen Ulmer and how her mind powers her body.

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Kristen Ulmer’s Ski to Live clinics (featured in our October issue) have helped skiers like like Julia Mancuso hone the mental aspects of their skiing. The Olympic gold medalist and burgeoning big mountain skier told us about training with Ulmer and how it helped her focus on the course.

Is this training, with a basis of mind over matter, similar to anything you’ve tried before?
We do a lot of visualizing, and focus on key words, but this is different in the way that you are asking yourself to also forget everything else, and use the power of one part of your mind to take over.

Was there anything from Kristen’s clinic that stays with you today?
Before every run, I still think about one focus, or voice, as she calls it. It helps weed out any thoughts of doubt.

You worked with Kristen for 3 days before the 2010 Olympics, would you credit any of your success to what you learned in Ski to Live?
Working with Kristen really helped me go into the Olympics with a positive attitude. She helped me refocus on the positive, forget anything that was bringing me down, and to leave it behind me when I got to the hill.

These are some really abstract concepts. Were her instructions easy to grasp and apply?
Kristen is very open and easy to understand. I understood her concepts, then she helped me fully understand and change the way I expressed certain things.

How did you link mind and body using Ulmer’s teachings?
Ski races are decided by hundreths of a second, so obviously everyone out there can ski. I think that the mental side of the sport can make or break your career. I like experimenting with the different stuff Kristen taught me on the hill; it was all about finding the right thing to focus on that would bring my body into harmony.