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USST B-Team Athlete Freeskiing Mt. Hood

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Shiffrin.JPG

 

Below is a YouTube link to a short clip I made of Mikaela Shiffrin freeskiing at Mt. Hood, summer 2011. She was just trying some new skis out and working on movement. On this day the snow was rock hard. During the 2010/2011 season Shiffrin won the NorAm slalom title, and as a 16 year-old had her first two World Cup starts. She has been nominated to the US Women's B Team for 2012. The key elements worth noting are: ankle flexion through all phases of the turn, athletic stance in the neutral position (transition),  positive weight shift onto the new ski immediately prior to initiation, slight abduction of the inside knee at initiation, full-body inside topple followed by early upper-body counter tipping, long outside/short inside leg through middle and bottom of the turn, good parallel inside/outside halves through the turn, aggressive recentering after turn completion, moderated extension in the sagittal plane between turns. Discuss.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nkwr9Dglf0

post #2 of 11

This is the epitimy of the carved turn.

Hands are pushed forward and stay forward.

If there is a  pole plant it is a double and wrist action action only.

Body is prettty square to skis exept at initiation,

She is adapting her body positions to maximize the use of the ski characteristics to make the turn, not forcing her will on the ski.

 

We all love doing this freesking and wish it would be possible all the way down a race course.

post #3 of 11

Thanks George!

 

That's great skiing just watching for fun and to make a mental image of. There also is a lot to talk about. The two things that jumped out for me was the relatively wide stance and how Mikaela kept her upper body stable while the skis bounced around on the snow (e.g. 42-45 seconds). 

 

At 14 seconds, you can see an exaggeration of the stance width compared to the shoulder width because of the angle of the shoulders. Still, this just looks wide. I'm not saying this is bad, but I know some who would. At 22 seconds, you can see why she likes a wide stance. With the hips that low to the snow, you naturally need a wider stance. Can you see the step forward of the new inside at 26-27 seconds? Or would you call that "pulling the outside foot back"?

 

I wouldn't call this weight shift onto the new inside ski prior to initiation, but I know what you mean here. To me a literal interpretation of your statement means > 50% of weight on the new inside skis before edge change. What I see is a increasing percentage of weight on the new inside ski prior to initiation. This is actually pretty common in average skiers. What's uncommon (for average skiers) here is the smoothness of the weight shift and the early timing (e.g. 44-46 seconds).

 

I don't see slight abduction of the inside knee at initiation, but I do see it after initiation (e.g. 14,28 and 40 second) . I do see the new inside knee start moving across the skis prior to transition, but if this was abduction, one would get the impression of the knee leading the body movement across the skis. I see the lower body moving with the upper body here.

 

I would call "extension in the sagittal plane" "the dreaded up move". When one gets their hips this low to the snow, avoiding any vertical movement would look pretty comical. The lower one gets, the harder it is to eliminate inefficient vertical movement. From 22-24 seconds you can see Mikaela "hanging on" to the old turn a bit. This is followed by more vertical rise than I'd like to see (and the step to catch up to making the next turn). The rest of her turns in this clip don't get quite as low to the snow and have much more "moderated extension". She is certainly not displaying "pop" in her turns.

post #4 of 11

 

From the FIS official page:

 

 

According to the Oxford Dictionary a prodigy is “a person, especially a young one, endowed with exceptional qualities or abilities.”

The word, according to the fine etymologists who put that dictionary together, is taken from the late 15th century Latin word for “portent” prodigium which denotes “something extraordinary considered to be an omen.”

There is no official ski racing dictionary that I know of – but if there was, it’s most current edition, if it was illustrated, would very likely have a photo of 16-year-old US slalom phenomenom Mikaela Shiffrin next to a definition of the word “prodigy”. The results she has obtained so far are very possibly an omen or portent of great things to come from a young skier endowed with exceptional qualities and abilities. Shiffrin may very well one day turn out to be the best skier of her generation.

Shiffrin’s meteoric rise up Alpine Skiing’s ranks began as soon as she was old enough to compete with the bigger racers up the FIS food chain. Just last December at the ripe old age of 15, Shiffrin won a Nor-Am Cup super combined race held at Panorama, BC – it was only the eighth FIS-level race she’d ever competed in. She followed it up by taking a 2nd, 3rd and 1st again in her next three Nor-Am races, a super-G, a GS and a slalom respectively. A couple of weeks later she won a pair of Nor-Am slalom races held at Sunday River, Maine. A month later she captured glory on the international stage by taking a slalom bronze at the FIS Junior World Ski Championships held at Crans Montana, Switzerland (after having been down with a stomach flu the day before). Then in early April, just a few weeks after her 16th birthday and a few weeks after competing in her first World Cup race at Spindleruv Mlyn, she made history when she won the US National slalom title at a race held at Winter Park, Colorado becoming the youngest US skier to ever claim a national alpine crown.

Well-grounded, extremely humble and mature beyond her years, Shiffrin is flattered when compared to US alpine superstars Julia Mancuso and Lindsey Vonn, both of whom also made big ripples at an early age. Shiffrin, however, is quick to say she’s still got tons of work ahead of her if she is to be deserving of such high praise.

 

 

She an excellent tech skier... Her skiing is awesome and pleasure to watch..

I had that vid and few others already already bookmarked.

post #5 of 11



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRusty View Post

 

I wouldn't call this weight shift onto the new inside ski prior to initiation, but I know what you mean here. To me a literal interpretation of your statement means > 50% of weight on the new inside skis before edge change. What I see is a increasing percentage of weight on the new inside ski prior to initiation.

 I suppose you mean the the new outside ski, i.e. the inside ski prior to edge change?

post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by uboom View Post

...

She is adapting her body positions to maximize the use of the ski characteristics to make the turn, not forcing her will on the ski...



Excellent point.  She's letting the turns power up the skis and basically feeding them turn to turn. 

 

It's also relevant to note, as I think Rusty already did, that for the most part her hips don't get that low, relative to what she could have done if she wanted.  This is awesome skiing, of course.  Awesome skiing is a bundle of lots of little things done well, and not something artificial like flopping the hips down.

 

The way she uses inclination, as the o.p. noted, is also super-smooth, and would result in most people highsiding who don't have the same timing. 

post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by georgert View Post

Shiffrin.JPG

 

Below is a YouTube link to a short clip I made of Mikaela Shiffrin freeskiing at Mt. Hood, summer 2011. She was just trying some new skis out and working on movement. On this day the snow was rock hard. During the 2010/2011 season Shiffrin won the NorAm slalom title, and as a 16 year-old had her first two World Cup starts. She has been nominated to the US Women's B Team for 2012. The key elements worth noting are: ankle flexion through all phases of the turn, athletic stance in the neutral position (transition),  positive weight shift onto the new ski immediately prior to initiation, slight abduction of the inside knee at initiation, full-body inside topple followed by early upper-body counter tipping, long outside/short inside leg through middle and bottom of the turn, good parallel inside/outside halves through the turn, aggressive recentering after turn completion, moderated extension in the sagittal plane between turns. Discuss.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nkwr9Dglf0


What a comprehensive list of things to look for when analyzing turns - thanks, georgert.  

I'll add one more thing no one has yet mentioned.  I've been looking for this move lately in videos of racers doing GS turns, and it's certainly there.

 

Mikaela hoists up her new outside shoulder, elbow, and arm just after initiation to help get the inclination and edge angles she's aiming for.  You can see this move clearly at :04, :25-:26, :39-:40 and at especially at 1:13-1:15 where the stop action makes this move clearly obvious.  I'm wondering if there is a term for doing this?

 

post #8 of 11

Yep, she's all that.  I saw her win the SL at the US Nationals last spring, on a cold, snowy day with garbage snow for a base, and she schooled all the other racers...

 

cool.gif

post #9 of 11

I was at a masters race that she foreran 6 years ago, she spanked the field.  I was like nothing I'd ever seen.  A SL that she made GS turns thru. 

post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by andy4g63 View Post

Well-grounded, extremely humble and mature beyond her years, Shiffrin is flattered when compared to US alpine superstars Julia Mancuso and Lindsey Vonn, both of whom also made big ripples at an early age. Shiffrin, however, is quick to say she’s still got tons of work ahead of her if she is to be deserving of such high praise.

 


 

Better comparison might be Diann Roffe. 

 

Diann was a prodigy from Rochester NY. Skied out of Brantling and I raced against her a couple times a year.   She was a great “big race” skier won world championship in Bormio in 1985 at age 17 and probably well-under 100 lbs.  She also won silver medal in Giant Slalom in 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville and Gold in Lillehammer in the Super G.  She also won her last World Cup race in 1994 at Vail (Super G).  Good person also.

 

post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post

What a comprehensive list of things to look for when analyzing turns - thanks, georgert.  

I'll add one more thing no one has yet mentioned.  I've been looking for this move lately in videos of racers doing GS turns, and it's certainly there.

 

Mikaela hoists up her new outside shoulder, elbow, and arm just after initiation to help get the inclination and edge angles she's aiming for.  You can see this move clearly at :04, :25-:26, :39-:40 and at especially at 1:13-1:15 where the stop action makes this move clearly obvious.  I'm wondering if there is a term for doing this?

 

Whoops, here is the official term for this movement, which I simply missed in georgert's list of things in the original post:

"full-body inside topple followed by early upper-body counter tipping."
 

 

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