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A-Frame- Feet too far apart?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

My 7 year old has improved her skiing a lot in the last year winning a Nastar Gold yesterday, but it seems she is having an A-Frame problem at times with her outside ski getting on a nice edge, but her inside ski staying flatter.  In general, I have tried not to get overly technical with her, but she will try to listen if I give her 1 or 2 things to work on. 

 

I think a number of things could be contributing to the A-frame including:

  feet a bit too far apart

  inside knee not getting inside of ski

  hip not getting inside of turn

 

I have talked to her a bit about the first two recently and about the hip in the past.

 

Here are some links to photos taken last weekend...any suggestions appreciated.  Thanks

 

http://erikakrainz.smugmug.com/Alpine-Ski-Racing/3-19-11-Summit-Foundation-Cup/16209351_AUHzH#1221407878_r5hgf
http://erikakrainz.smugmug.com/Alpine-Ski-Racing/3-19-11-Summit-Foundation-Cup/16209351_AUHzH#1221407763_bev7G
http://erikakrainz.smugmug.com/Alpine-Ski-Racing/3-19-11-Summit-Foundationcuppm/16209378_TS7CQ#1221300131_FfxdJ
http://erikakrainz.smugmug.com/Alpine-Ski-Racing/3-19-11-Summit-Foundationcuppm/16209378_TS7CQ#1221300340_jJevy
http://erikakrainz.smugmug.com/Alpine-Ski-Racing/3-19-11-Summit-Foundationcuppm/16209378_TS7CQ#1221300349_ym4NU

post #2 of 14
The main problem you have is that she has too much weight on her inner ski.
Learning how to carve outside the gates is your best bet.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

she has spent very little time in gates, but having her run gates is one way to get her on some groomers- otherwise she tends to prefer trees and bumps.

 

So how should she get more weight on her outside ski? 

post #4 of 14
Javelin turn, arc to arc on really flat slope.

Thousand steps.

Lifting inner ski up and down during turns.

'n stuff.
post #5 of 14
If you know how to do it yourself you can always introduce starting the turns by tipping the inside knee instead of the outside. That will definitely rid the a-frame, but not neccesarily the weight on the inner ski.
post #6 of 14

Cool,,, mefree30,,, a gold daughter.  Congrats to her.

 

Sounds like she's using her inside ski as a training wheel, keeping it under her for security.  Try the hands on knees drill.  Use the hands to tip the knees, with the goal of keeping the shins at the same angle as the skis are tipped on edge.  Narrow the stance to make it easier to do.  

 

After practicing that for a while, make a couple hands on knees turns, then lift the hands off the knees for a couple turns, focusing on still keeping the shins parallel, then hands back on knees again for a couple more turns, and keep alternating off/on.  

 

Also, as her lateral balance skills improve, she will feel more comfortable allowing her hip to move further inside both feet.  Play with drills that promote lateral balance skill development.  

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

thanks guys...I talked to her the other day about starting the turn with the inside knee, which is something that has helped me, but it didn't really click for her.  We also spent a bit of time with the hands on knees as you described Rick, but probably need to spend more time with it.

 

As far as lifting a ski goes, she felt really uncomfortable with it earlier in the year, but was much improved the other day- not much turning action yet, but getting more comfortable with the balancing on one ski aspect.  She was copying me as I tried to turn both ways on one ski- will have to focus instead on just lifting the inside ski during the turn and see how she does.  I've done a drill where I traversed on my uphill ski and then (fell into a) turn- does this make sense to try this or do you think it is better to just start lifting it for a second or two during the turn?

 

What other drills promote lateral balance?

 

I am not familiar with the 1000 steps drill, so I tried to look it up...I found this thread http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/19627/what-s-1000-steps and appreciated the various descriptions, but still don't think I have a full grasp of it...someone in that thread (from 2004) asked if there is a video anywhere and it didn't seem so at the time...I found this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWwfI52HCBM but realize that there are lots of variations...is this a good one to have her try?


Edited by MEfree30 - 3/27/11 at 7:58am
post #8 of 14

Thousand steps requires a degree of already developed comfort balancing on the outside edge of the inside ski.  Without that sense of comfort, people are hesitant to commit to that edge to the degree a well executed 1000 steps drill requires.  That's why I save introducing the 1000 steps drills in my Building Blocks DVDS until after covering lateral balance extensively, and students are comfortable balancing and turning exclusively on their inside ski.  

 

In this video you'll see a demo of two versions of the 1000 steps drill, starting at 4:15.  You'll also see a batch of lateral balance drills in there, though be aware, most are more advanced skills that are progressed to with a series of stepping stone drills.

 

post #9 of 14

Here, I dug this montage up.  It shows pretty well that commitment to the outside edge of the inside ski a spoke about.

 

 

Thousand-Steps-Montage,Web.jpg

post #10 of 14

Considering she owns a NASTAR gold , I'm not sure I would worry about her stance right now. It is likely that her stance is far more correct for her age* than a more adult like stance. If she was sixteen I might be a bit more concerned but even then you need to remember she is still going through so many profound physical changes and a stance that worked well for her a week ago might not be so good next week.

 

We did a lot of great focus drills for our staff a while back just to help them realize how different children experience the world.

  • Put on some mittens and try to pick up some pennies (physio-psycomotor differences)
  • Sitting on the floor, put on a ten pound helmet and try to stand up without putting a hand down onto the floor (approximates their body proportions)
  • While bindfolded and still wearing that heavy helmet allow someone to lead you through a maze using only voice commands. (ability tounderstand and  translate verbal directions to accurate body movements)

 

The short version is children are not small adults, so asking them to perform adult like movements doesn't make much sense.

 

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 

Impressive video Rick...I had Ali look at the one I posted the link to and do the hands on knees you recommended to start the day- she continued to make progress, played around with some one legged skiing and had a great day.  I will have her look at yours before we hit the slopes next weekend.

 

JASP, I understand what you are saying about kids and agree that they have certain limitations and differences, but also think that they are capable of learning and progressing at an amazing rate- some of the kids who raced in the Summit Cup last week are really impressive skiers...they may not always hear/listen to everything you have to say, but if you keep the talking simple, show them the correct visuals and give them enough snow time, they start to blow away most adults...

post #12 of 14

 

Great, Mefree30.  She must be pretty keen to learn, to be putting up with Dad and his silly drills.  One leg drills already?  Wow!  You think she might have any interest in joining the Summit race team at some point down the road?  It would do amazing things for her skiing.  It's great she's gotten such an early start.  

 

BTW, I'm working on my next DVD, (Introduction To Racing).  Here's a piece of media I made up for it.  Thought you might like to have a look at it.  Perhaps find essence of Ali in there somewhere.  

 

 

 

Parallel-Progression,Web.jpg

post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick View Post

 

Great, Mefree30.  She must be pretty keen to learn, to be putting up with Dad and his silly drills.  One leg drills already?  Wow!  You think she might have any interest in joining the Summit race team at some point down the road?  It would do amazing things for her skiing.  It's great she's gotten such an early start.  

 

BTW, I'm working on my next DVD, (Introduction To Racing).  Here's a piece of media I made up for it.  Thought you might like to have a look at it.  Perhaps find essence of Ali in there somewhere.  

 

 

 

Parallel-Progression,Web.jpg


Thanks Rick...she is probably somewhere between Wide Track and A-Frame, but showing good improvement over the last year.

 

I agree with you about Team Summit...Our neighbors have raced with Team Summit the last few years and Ali enjoyed doing the last two Summit Cup Races with them, but she hasn't been interested in joining up yet...in fact, she hasn't even wanted to take a lesson as she would rather have dad teach her and/or ski with her girlfriends...I haven't pushed her to join Team Summit as she has been a bit inconsistent on when she wants to go skiing- she almost always has a good time once we get out, but skiing isn't always her first choice for weekend activity as she is just as happy hitting the Rec Center pool.  I'm fine with it as long as she doesn't want to stay home and watch TV.

 

post #14 of 14

Quote:

Originally Posted by MEfree30 View Post

 

What other drills promote lateral balance?

 

 

Skiing trees and bumps works pretty good.

Little kids like gullies and jumps too.

Bobsled "like" Woods trail work real good too.

 

No A-Frame that's a stem.

 

Kids are such visual learners the best thing you can do is get her skiing with some faster kids or some young fast skiing coach.
 

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