ESA Aspen uncovered some common threads worked on amongst the groups. Interestingly there was no coaches meeting before the camp outlining the material content to be covered during the camp, yet somehow we all had very similar focuses as evidenced through the mingling of groups among coaches with the looser format this year.
One focus was on "Centering" or focusing on our center and moving it fluidly down the hill! While some of us were focusing on a checklist in our minds and others focused on their feet and the sensations coming through the soles, all the coaches at some point tried to bring that focus to our centers or that center of gravity just below our belly buttons. We found that keeping this focal point moving down the hill really helped release the old turn and begin the new in perfect balance. Having a strong focus on our cores or centers without a necessary tension but simply a change in focus facilitated better dynamic balance allowing our legs and arms more freedom subtly adapt to the kaos between the snow and our feet.
Charlie Macarthur and Weems offered an evening session on centering focusing on the martial art approach to a zen like awareness of centering for strength and balance. Attendees were amazed how this refocusing changed their awareness and strength!
THE "GO" FACTOR
The "GO THERE" intent was another common thread of the camp. Recognizing our psychological intent for turning skis and choosing to turn to "go there" rather than "don't go there" or turning to control our line rather than turning our skis to slow down, is a major paradigm shift to offensive skiing. Embracing the sensations of playing with gravity rather than fighting it. It became obvious to attendees how holding onto a platformed ski until the new outside ski was engaged causing a slight stemming movement is a defensive movement, while releasing the platform and permitting our "center" to move fluidly into the turn is an offensive movement. RELEASING EDGES to begin a new turn and keeping the ski moving forward rather than sideways was our intent! In the words of Bob Barnes, "Intent dictates technique".
Perhaps some of the attendees of this camp will share their take-aways or epiphanies from Aspen????