Have you ever seen skiers seemingly mesmerized by their skis, staring down as if to make sure their tips aren't crossed? Oftentimes these folks like to follow so closely on the tails of a friend's skis that stops often lead to a clash of equipment and bodies. Sound familiar?
Balance and efficiency in our skiing are assisted greatly by looking ahead along the line that we want to travel. Looking ahead offers a sense of level and facilitates better balance: whenever I walk a log that bridges a stream, I look at the far end of the log rather than down at my feet to increase my odds of staying dry. Better balance boosts confidence, which invites us to let our skis travel fast enough so they produce turns easily, with minimal physical effort on the skier's part. Such efficiency---turns with minimal effort---is my mantra.
Looking ahead also increases safety. Consider how blind you are to your surroundings and nearby riders and sliders if you fixate on your ski tips. Looking ahead allows quick glances to a larger field of view so you can readily spot nearby hazards, moving or otherwise. Having the full picture helps in planning a route and making adjustments accordingly to achieve it.
TIP: Look where you want to travel, with particular attention to where you will be in a second or two. Avoid looking at obstacles; instead, look beside them so your skis are more likely to carry you safely past them. See the gap rather than the tree.
Look where you want to travel, rather than where you don't, and you'll be more likely to reach your destination in one piece!