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The Warm-up Run

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

Do you spend the time to do a warm-up run with your students? Why? What do you (and they) get out of it? How does it support/inform the rest of the lesson? In what situations would a warm-up run be unnecessary or a waste of time?

post #2 of 27

Always do, go down around a safe out of the way spot do some stretches, talk about their week, the kids will get old someday. Do wide stance, narrow stance, shuffle feet turns to get centered and balanced. Good way to get them to feel the texture and snow for the day as most have not been out skiing yet as they just go to the hill......get them thinking about position and skiing for the day.

post #3 of 27

I always do at least 1 warm up run on a green circle trail for any skiers who I have never skied with even if they say they can handle the blacks, I've been burned too many times believing what guests say is their ability. I want to see it, gives me a chance to assess them, they get a feel for the conditions and then we can ramp it up or down from there. All sorts of things I play around with in a warm up run from skating, side slipping, hopping, long turns, arc to arc, short round turns,hockey stops, get the blood flowing and loosen them up . How it supports the rest of their lesson is that we can see if their reality of what they want to accomplish is practical given their skill level, conditions of the day , snow surface, traffic, how they feel after warming up etc.

 

The only waste of time I see in a warm up run is if I have all the same returning guests and they have taken a run or 2 before class as I always suggest to them and I know their ability level then we go. Usually we have stragglers in our weekly group lessons and we have a small lift that is quick (6min), I take whoever is there and have the stragglers meet up with us at the bottom of the lift, supervisors send them over about 40 yards from our meeting area. Most of the time I have kids (that is mainly what I teach) that are taking warm up laps on that lift and I meet up with them.

post #4 of 27

Always. If it's my first time with student(s), it's a green or easy blue to make sure that they are actually at the level they say they are at.

 

For a group, it's a way to keep the class on schedule but also allow for latecomers (same run each time so they know they can meet us at the bottom of a specific lift if they are a bit late.

 

In general to get people's body ready for the day/evening ahead, to get a feel for the conditions, and to shake off excess baggage they brought to the hill. 

 

I am also a fan of an actual pre-run warmup to get the body ready. Something like this:

 

post #5 of 27

Nice video Elsbeth,  I was exhausted just watching and had to go to the fridge and grab a beer! biggrin.gif

 

Just kidding.  Some stretches in there I want to try for sure!  Thanks for posting.

 

post #6 of 27

Of course.  "Warm up run" is a euphemism for "can they survive Blue?"  One time I had a 1-hour assigned private, and didn't want to burn one third of the lesson on a warm-up.  Went to the guy's favorite run.  Found out, he had serious fit and alignment issues, unable to effectively ski the terrain. Boots too big and in need of a canting adjustment.  Moved to much easier terrain, and still had very difficult time with anything beyond rudimentary edge control.

 

I learned a lot in that lesson.

 

 

post #7 of 27

SOP for us is (in a group lesson) is at least one run with the group above and below. That allows us to mix and match students with like mindedness and like ability. The task is usually to make some round small radius turns to the bottom of our short beginner hill and check in with the SSS before heading off to one of our three mountains. No teaching allowed, just do the run and get the groups set. That usually takes about ten minutes.

 

In a private lesson I still start with that ten minute run but the focus may change to something like awakening the learning and proprioceptic parts of their brains. I want them mentally engaged in their learning before thowing out any suggested technical or tactical changes. It's not alway an overt thing but it's always there and it takes next to no time to set the stage for whatever else we end up doing.

 

 

post #8 of 27

How can we develop a lesson plan without seeing the student ski first?  The warm up run gives us a chance to see what they are doing without any pressure to perform by the student and helps us match their goals with our lesson planning for the day.  

post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 

 

 

Quote:
The warm up run gives us a chance to see what they are doing without any pressure to perform by the student and helps us match their goals with our lesson planning for the day.  

 

As I recall from being a student, I usually tried to "show off" on that initial run, so I put some pressure on myself to perform. I suppose that only emphasized my weaknesses.

 

What kinds of instructions do you give (if any) before the warm-up run? In other words, do you tell them to do a task or keep a mental focus, and if so, what?

 

 

Quote:
The task is usually to make some round small radius turns to the bottom of our short beginner hill and check in with the SSS before heading off to one of our three mountains. No teaching allowed, just do the run and get the groups set. That usually takes about ten minutes.

I would call that a ski-off. I wouldn't substitute that for a warm-up, because the warm-up has more reasons behind it than group selection. I think an important reason is to see the student skiing on their own, to observe them at play -- exercising their repertoire of tactics and technique without (my) interference. I learn a lot from careful observation that I then can check with the student on the ride up for the next run as we plan the lesson. 

 

I love Captain Zembo's mantra for a good (child's) ski lesson: Play, Drill, Adventure. I believe that the warm-up run is the Play part, and sets the stage for the Drill part. Adventure is when you  anchor the learning in target terrain.

 

post #10 of 27

Warm up runs for my lessons depend on the lesson type and timing and are greatly influenced by our mountain layout and lesson timing. Because our private lessons are one hour and a run on our lower intermediate (rated green) trail takes 15 minutes and just getting over and back to our expert terrain takes 20 minutes, a hard and fast rule on warm ups can kill lesson productivity. With privates, I can get most of the guesswork eliminated by talking with the guest and have tricks for dealing with "over-terrained" students. Some of my privates come straight from their car to the lesson and need a warm up run before coaching can start. Most privates are already warmed up before class. For expert lessons, we have to do a warm up run to get to the expert terrain.

 

Last year, we had the option of leaving the group lesson line up area by riding up a magic carpet to avoid a long schlep to the upper level lifts. This gave us a short 30 foot elevation drop run to do a quick sanity check before committing to a lift ride. This year, upper level lessons start at the top of the carpet so we'll get a peek at all of our students before hopping on a lift. Does a ten second traverse and 2 shallow turns count as a warm up?

post #11 of 27

I prefer to allow warm up runs to be unconfined by tasks or directives other than perhaps where to stop.  I want to see how they normally ski, this offers a more accurate view of where their head is at, their tactics, their skill level, and perhaps fitness levels, which all helps me understand where we need to go to address their weakness(s) or develop their skills.  If I place restrictions on their run I immediately limit their self expression and normal movements.   Once we have skied a bit, I may then ask if they can modify their movements to fit my tasks which will further verify or deny my suspicions.  Are they offensive or defensive?  Turning to GO or to brake?  is their skill blend balanced or are there specific skills lacking which need development? Are there possible alignment issues causing impediments?  (TAPP!)  

 

The warm up period for me is also a chance to get to place the student(s) at ease, get to know them and their backgrounds a bit, and set the tone for the lesson!

post #12 of 27

Nolo, I think you're right that some folks see a ski off as a test. The job of the coach is to explain that our policy is to use that slope to refine what we discovered in the interview process. For returning clients it's an opportunity to get in the right mental frame and to warm up their mind as well as their body. I'm sure you've read all the material out there about not stretching until you have warmed up doing the activity at a slow to moderate pace. Beyond that, skiing in the beginner zone means it's like going through a no wake zone in a boat. As their guide it's our job to get that idea communicated and to avoid conflict, a simple task that limits both their speed and the width of their path is simply the safest option. If they can't perform that simple task, well the next lower group may be a better fit.

As far as taking a second warm up run, well, within reason that is up to the class / client. Our mountain is laid out in a way that allows us to choose a variety of terrain immediately after that warm up / ski off. So we're lucky. Even so I don't set a full throttle pace until a few runs later, if ever. Again that is determined by the weakest skier in the group (even if it's one on one). Why raise the level of challenge before they show they are ready? That's setting them up for failure, not success.  

post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 

Okay, here's another wrinkle: do you yourself take a warm-up run before starting your day of skiing? What is the purpose of the warm-up run for yourself? Do you have a sort of "pre-flight checkoff" going on?

post #14 of 27

Trick question! When you make that run you are already skiing. How hard you charge on that first run might be a better question... 

post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

Okay, here's another wrinkle: do you yourself take a warm-up run before starting your day of skiing? What is the purpose of the warm-up run for yourself? Do you have a sort of "pre-flight checkoff" going on?

Sure I do. I need to know what the snow is like, you can only trust a ski report so far. I need to get loosened up myself. I want make good demos if I'm not warmed up that probably will not happen. I also want to see and feel the snow for the type of lesson I might have semi planned out ahead of time if I have a returning weekly group and we were going to do something particular but the conditions just threw a wrench into that. Plus I like to ski I'm not waiting around for a lesson I'm out at the first chair might as well scope out the trails and warm up.

 

post #16 of 27
Thread Starter 

It's not a trick question. I do one groomer a day: on my warm-up run. The only days I don't warm up are on powder days. On the warm-up I am fine-tuning stance and balance and feeling a little wind on my face. It's the only blue run I'll do all day. At 10 Slushman's opens and that's demanding skiing. 

 

Warming up is a European thing, I guess. I remember an Austrian instructor telling us at a PSIA clinic that Americans are crazy about skiing, because they head right into the hard stuff without a warm-up and risk ruining an entire season because of their impatience.  

 

 

post #17 of 27

I do a warm-up.  If I don't, my skiing suffers.  It's not like the old days for me.

 

I also like to do a little mobility as well.  It helps get the joint juices flowing.

post #18 of 27

There are some who would argue my entire home mountain is all warm up runs. Although I rarely take an official warm up run, I never go 100% effort on the first run, even on powder days.

post #19 of 27

I always do a warm up. Rightly or wrongly, I view it as an important preparation: I find out how I am physically, I get to see what the snow is like, and it helps to focus my mind on the skiing instead of whatever thoughts would be in my head normally. If something is way off I do a second warm up.

post #20 of 27

I was in a clinic this weekend and we did something for a warm up run that I had never done before.  We were asked to start our run skiing only in a wedge and slowly work our way up to our current ability. I though it was pretty neat and a good way to fine tune things quickly. Since your basically using the same skills in a wedge and higher level skiing, as an instructor it makes it easy to see where students problems may be coming from.

post #21 of 27

I've definitely been guilty of charging on the first run on powder days. And I always regret it. My feet hurt in my boots (that are usually pretty comfy if I 'ease' into them as the day progresses). I can't seem to ski well that day and I don't really understand why except that a warm up run seems to prevent it from happening. 

post #22 of 27

Usually I do warm up run... the students think it is for them...  but really I just can't think until I've had some wind in my face!wink.gif

post #23 of 27
Thread Starter 

Do it for you, do it for them -- I'm sure it prevents all sorts of bad juju! 

 

I had a coach who used the warm-up run to establish his position as alpha in the pack. He would set a fast pace on purpose, so the students would be pushing to keep up because, as he said, "I like them to be a little bit scared. They respect me more and pay more attention to what I have to say." 

post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

It's not a trick question. I do one groomer a day: on my warm-up run. The only days I don't warm up are on powder days. On the warm-up I am fine-tuning stance and balance and feeling a little wind on my face. It's the only blue run I'll do all day. At 10 Slushman's opens and that's demanding skiing. 

 

Warming up is a European thing, I guess. I remember an Austrian instructor telling us at a PSIA clinic that Americans are crazy about skiing, because they head right into the hard stuff without a warm-up and risk ruining an entire season because of their impatience.  

 

 


Don't they stop for a schnitzel, coffee and a smoke too?rolleyes.gif

 


Edited by bud heishman - 12/21/11 at 10:48am
post #25 of 27
Thread Starter 

Haha -- skiing is a pastime, not a sport, for some...

post #26 of 27

great warm up elizabeth (i already have her very good ski conditioning courses, too btw)

 

i'm trying to send it to my blkberry to be able to upload for when i need it

 

cheers and happy skiing this new season

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by evaino View Post

Always. If it's my first time with student(s), it's a green or easy blue to make sure that they are actually at the level they say they are at.

 

For a group, it's a way to keep the class on schedule but also allow for latecomers (same run each time so they know they can meet us at the bottom of a specific lift if they are a bit late.

 

In general to get people's body ready for the day/evening ahead, to get a feel for the conditions, and to shake off excess baggage they brought to the hill. 

 

I am also a fan of an actual pre-run warmup to get the body ready. Something like this:

 

post #27 of 27
A great thread. I always shuffle around a bit as soon as I get off the chair, see what the snow feels like. Then when I take off, I hop a bunch until I feel a bit better centered. Then I shake my arms out/down. I make a few slow smeary turns and a few engaged turns and see how the snow's behaving or how I'm behaving. That's my routine. If I'm feeling cold or stiff as I load the first chair, I stretch on the first chair ride.

I encourage all students to try to feel the snow and their skis in the snow, and so I get them to pay attention to the snow as soon as they get off the chair and again once underway. Depending on their level I will add some suggestions for seeing how they feel and how the snow feels on that day. Multi-week students it's easier to see if they're tense or relaxed on a given day and help them accordingly.

I like to do a groomer warmup run most days. Sometimes with the cuff unbuckled, or without poles. I think it's good to start the day feeling centered and balanced.
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