Social Media is just like Ski/Skier Cross. Popularity is exploding. Rules are evolving. Training is not quite mainstream: but everyone is doing it OR wants to do it.

Ever since the introduction of Skier Cross in the Vancouver Olympics, its popularity has risen. I always thought of Ski/Skier Cross as being similar to roller derby on snow, until I researched some links for roller derby.  Skier Cross is more like a steeplechase on snow:  lots of individual racers braving many dangers and obstacles hoping to out survive ‘the pack’ of the other racers.

Here is a great video showing all the action of World Cup Ski Cross.  [Turn down the volume as the tunes are loud!]

Media has promoted the drama of the sport that MANY have unofficially engaged in for years. Typically these unofficial races started with a challenge such as, “Race you to the bottom: loser is buying!” (Typically this is when your buddy had already established a healthy head start down the slope.)

But as a parent of a ski racer, some of that footage reminds me of the old intro to ABC’s Wide World of Sports:  I always cringed at the end. But, as a young skier, that didn’t stop me from trying ‘The Jump’ while visiting Holimont. That was a lesson I had to learn the hard way. (Ouch!)

WHAT’S YOUR MOTIVE?

Like a mom, asks her child “Why you are doing that? What are you expecting to prove?” I am asking you as your coach or mentor, “What are you expecting out of social media?” Are you trying to win something, prove something, improve something or just have fun? Your social media future will involve lots of effort and learning, some disappointment and a bump or bruise on occasion. For more on thinking through your objectives, here is a link to a blog post which may help.

OBSERVE: LISTEN

Just like great racers observe other great racers and try to shadow them while racing Skier Cross, you can learn by listening and following the ‘lead guy’.

Watching and listening is a great step to get started. This will help you find out what works, what doesn’t.  You can determine what you need to be good at and what you need to be great at. You will observe what topics are the most relevant and what content is uncompelling.  And you may determine some methods to get your audience engaged.

JOIN IN: CREATE

Starting out is a leap of faith, especially when you face a wu-tang on a Skier Cross Course.  According to Ski Cross Canada,

A “Wu-Tang” is a very difficult feature to navigate, consisting of a near vertical ramp of 10 feet or more , with a flat top and a near vertical landing, most often placed at the start of a Ski Cross course.

Personally, I think adding a wu-tang it is meant to intimidate skiers and weed out the skiers that don’t have a lot of experience. But everyone has to start somewhere. So the first time facing one, it may seem big, but it is downhill from there.

This is just like social media. No matter how simple the post, the video or the tweet it may appear to be a huge hurdle when you do it for the first time.  Take your time, be yourself.

Next time, adjust as necessary. Learn from your bumps, spills. Accept that you won’t always be right and you won’t always be slick. Accept your mistakes, acknowledge the opinions of others and move on.

If you don’t want to create content, you can always curate content. Find compelling articles, videos or pictures. Comment on them and share them with others. Everyone is always looking for great content!

ACCELERATING YOUR START

Whether you are racing Ski Cross or you are using some form of social media,

  1. Remember what your intent was in ”entering into it”.
  2. Learn from others: their successes and mistakes.
  3. Try it and learn from your own experiences.

As for Skier Cross, I think it is a great spectator sport. It is great, if it isn’t YOUR child, teen or spouse who is racing…

Don’t miss my next blog post which continues exploring the similarities with ski/skier cross and social media. Subscribing is easy, just click the button below “Free E-mail Subscription” on the right hand side of this page.

Until then, enjoy (safely) the last few days of the season!

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