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How to get a new skier out of the "ready to pounce" position and into a relaxed stance

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hi, my fiance is on her sixth time out, riding down blues comfortably, making semi-parallel turns.  What is a good way to train keeping her facing down the hill while making turns.  I notice shes using her upper body to initiate the turn with her arms out wide.  Just more practice, or do you instructors know of any drills or verbal cues to bump up to the next level.  Looking for a more relaxed comfortable stance, and starting to trust what the skis can and can't do

post #2 of 13

Welcome to EpicSki.  First of all do you want to keep her as your fiance?  If so, follow the first law of Ski Instructors.  Never teach your own.  Follow this simple law and life will be sweetness and roses.  Violate it at your own risk.  There's a reason for this.  You really can't easily teach someone you are emotionally wrapped up with.

 

The way I work with what you describe is to get the individual feeling their edges.  We do parallel runs across the fall line without turns.  During these runs we tip our skis uphill.  Then we progress to a garland across the hill.  (Stand tall let your skis seek the fall line.  Then tip your skis up the hill to bleed of speed.)  Do this many times in both directions.  Don't lead it into a turn yet.  As you do these garlands dip closer and closer to the fall line, however, don't cross it.

 

Finally find a wide gentle slope.  Here you do a single patience turn to a complete stop.  (Stand tall, wait for gravity to pull you to the fall line, then tip to complete the turn.)  Do this one direction several times.  Cross to the other side of the slope and do it in the other direction several times.  Then link them together.

 

After you get the feeling of just letting gravity do the work, you can start tightening up the turns by adding some foot twist.  (Not upper body twist, but twist from the hip socket to shape the turn.)

 

I highly recommend you get a lesson for her with a good instructor to help her with this.

post #3 of 13

In the Modern Family episode called "Fifteen Percent", Claire asks her daughter to teach her how to use the remote control. When the daughter asks why she doesn't get the dad to teach her, Claire says, "Because we're married." 

 

biggrin.gif

 

Even as a ski instructor I'd be hesitant to give my imaginary partner much in the way of teaching... 

 

...If your fiancee were in my lesson, however, and there are no overarching stance issues, I'd start by working on delay turns. Facing across the hill, start the turn by turning the legs. Keep the shoulders facing across the hill--and delay turning the shoulders and chest until you after starting the turn. Pretend you have headlights on your shoulders and you're lighting up where you've just been. We would probably go to green terrain to do this drill, then take it back into the blues. On delay turns you can expect wider radius turns to start with, and a slight traverse between turns. 

 

We don't actually keep our upper body facing down the hill all the time. You really want your body to face the direction of momentum, or where your body would be falling if you weren't deflecting it with your skis. This applies in all turn shapes. That said, to take counter-rotation to the extreme, I would work on either the tray drill (holding your arms in front, poles horizontal balanced on top of your arms as if they're a tray--you must not spill any water) or bracquage (skiing in a corridor the width of your skis; body facing down the hill; turning only by flattening and pivoting your skis). But... such a drill needs to be blended back into normal skiing too. (and again, you don't really want to ski with your body facing down the hill throughout your whole turn.)

 

Best of luck in your marriage! I hope you two have a long skiing life together :)

post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Square View Post

Welcome to EpicSki.  First of all do you want to keep her as your fiance?  If so, follow the first law of Ski Instructors.  Never teach your own.  Follow this simple law and life will be sweetness and roses.  Violate it at your own risk.  There's a reason for this.  You really can't easily teach someone you are emotionally wrapped up with.

 

 

 Please listen to T-Square, I lost a very special gf due to me trying to teach her how to ski, yea... big fight HUGE fight

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

Haha, lessons it is.  She needs lessons for sure, just getting it to a point where she is functional and not wasting money in a boot buckling course

post #6 of 13

Sounds like she is well past the 'boot-bucklin lesson' (and I think you're smart to have gotten her a level of mobil competency on the hill in order to get her to a more productive 'above novice' lesson).

 

I have one thought (having recently done this with some others)-most beginners---and many non-beginners- have no idea how they are standing or what they look like when they ski---and when you tell them they don't believe you or just can't reconcile reality with what they picture themselves doing.  

 

Film her on a run next time out and show her the video, discuss her stance and what you'd like to see he do...that is, if you're going to continue to be her ski mentor.  It works for some couples...and can be disastrous for others (as noted above).

 

Good Luck!

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks, I'm trying not to bombard her with too much ski crazy type of stuff. (watching videos of carving and other technique daily, reading posts at work on epicski, etc.)  She's already on the brink with waxing and tuning on the kitchen table.  She is an athletic trainer, so she's well aware of developing the correct technique to maximize performance in a sport setting.  I think that she will really benefit from a professional lesson at this point.  I'm actually new to modern skis so I am in the process of re-learning myself, admittedly not the best teacher.  Liam I will hunt you down at b-east my next time out.  Heading to wildcat tues and wed this week and work this weekend so maybe next weekend sometime

post #8 of 13

Metaphor hit it directly as her need looks to be learning to separate the upper body from the movement of the hips and feet and to understand that the skis turn the skier and not to rely on a locked body to get movement of the skis in an intended direction. His side facing patience turn demonstrates the possibilities to her of finding ways to get the ski to produce a turn force with out added rotary manipulation of her upper body.

The goal of getting the body unlocked can be achieved by  some  good pivoting and  by learning about skiing into counter and out of it.  How she moves her hips through the turn also can establish a quieter rotary skill.

 

x3 on the get her in a lesson suggestion. The price is cheap in the peace and joy it can provide. Marriage is a beautiful thing until they begin schooling the other . Leave this to another of your choosing.  She sounds like a great student most would love to spend time with.  Good luck and good skiing to you both.

 

Your title suggests one question and your text points in a different direction.  More reasons to pass this task on to another.


Edited by GarryZ - 1/24/11 at 4:00pm
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

Soon to be Mrs yinzer takes a lesson today at b-east.  I bump into her after her lesson and she says "LOOK AT MY RAILROAD TRACKS"!  

post #10 of 13

You're going to be needing lessons to keep up with her.  wink.gif

post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by yinzerinmass View Post

Soon to be Mrs yinzer takes a lesson today at b-east.  I bump into her after her lesson and she says "LOOK AT MY RAILROAD TRACKS"!  


Girlz got skilz.  Hooray for you both.

post #12 of 13

Yinzer

 

Good to get her movements corrected before they get locked into memory even more.

 

There are several way to do what you want.  Here's one--

--Take away her poles.  Have her put her hands on her hips with the thumbs forward (tends to get the upper body forward).  On an easy run, have her practice turning her feet to make the turn while she turns her hips and upper body the other way.  The easy run is critical so she can concentrate on something new.  Repeat this and any drill many times to get it into muscle memory.  If she is doing very well, gradually increase the difficulty of the terrain.

--Another...With a firm grip on the poles, the arms outstretched, and poles pressed hard into the snow, make turns dragging both poles tips in the snow all the time.  Gott'a be a firm grip, arms out, pressing down hard.  Next step, counterrotate the upper body (hips up to shoulders) so the inside pole swings forward as the turn progresses and the outside pole drags back as the turn progresses.  Repeat, repeat, repeat.  As before, start on very easy terrain, and if the drill is a success, gradually increase the difficulty of the terrain.  Note that rotating the hips toward the outside of the turn (driving the inside hip forward) does NOT equate to pushing the inside foot forward.  Have her try to keep both toes side-by-side all the time.  Can't be done, but have her make the effort.  This alone will improve anyone's skiing.  The old technique of inside ski tip lead by pushing the inside foot forward is one-of-those-things-we-don't-teach-any-more.

post #13 of 13

Expanding comfort zones through developing a broad set of balance and edging skills is the best way to shed the tension and relax into a good stance.  Have a look at some of the articles at the following link to get a better idea of what I'm talking about.  http://www.yourskicoach.com/YourSkiCoach/Online_Ski_Instruction.html

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