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Horizontal pole ski drill

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

I often see instructors at my resort having people ski downhill while holding a long pole horizontally in front of them. The instructors seem to try and get them to keep it mostly held so it's always horizontal to downhill.

 

Anyone know what this drill is meant to teach?  I think it's more than keeping the body pointed downhill, from what I could eavesdrop in on :) (and I'm not even sure if it had anything to do with keeping the body pointed  down hill).

 

I'd say I'm an intermediate level skier, I can get down anything on the mountain though it may not exactly be graceful on the harder stuff. I've been looking around for various drills here and elsewhere to try, is why I ask.

 

thanks

 

post #2 of 13

Well,if you read the Harald Harb instruction books, you will find the horizontal pole drill is a way to learn to initiate turns with your hips and not with a snowplow-upper body rotational method. I can't speak for the methods those instructors are using, tho..

post #3 of 13

Upper/lower body separation and angulation. Take a lesson and ask the instructor to show you how to do the drill. You don't need bamboo, you can do it with a pole.

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

thanks for the replies, out of curiousity googled the Harald Harb stuff looks pretty well acclaimed I may check some of his stuff out.

 

thanks for the info on the drill

 

cheers

post #5 of 13
I personally dislike any drill that limits your hands/arms/body movements such as grasping your poles held across the front of the body. That type of exercise makes the whole body stiff when it should be relaxed.

Bootwork, pivoting the skis when standing on a bump or a log, etc., hockey slips or pivot slips, etc., are superior ways to develop separation between upper and lower body.
post #6 of 13

IMO, Harb's a bit of a nut. But there's some good stuff in what he teaches.

 

Personally I don't like too many drills, period. But standing on a log would definitely take the cake for one I wouldn't want to spend time on. Get people out skiing. Time spent not skiing is (mostly) time wasted as far as I'm concerned. The worst of the worst are the instructors who tell you "I don't like to spend a lot of time standing around talking, I like to ski." and then proceed to talk for 75% of the clinic. One of these days I'm going to use a stopwatch on one of our prime offenders. I've never shadowed him in a lesson, but if his lessons are anything like his clinics, I feel bad for the clients.

post #7 of 13

Pole drills like this can be used to address a number of issues; rotation; upper body stability; separation/ angulation; turning effort from the legs; level shoulders.....Like lots of drills they have their place. My concern would be to make sure the instructor understands the purpose of the drill, it's valid for you as part of your progression and you understand what you are trying to acheive. I like drills as a means of isolating skills but they have to be put back into your skiing and contribute to your development to be worthwhile.

post #8 of 13

This drill helped me learn to keep my hands forward, in my line of vision.  I used to have a bad habit of letting them drift behind me, until they drifted so far back once that the basket got caught in the ski tail and I went flying.  (Nothing like pain to teach a lesson.)

post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinecure View Post

But standing on a log would definitely take the cake for one I wouldn't want to spend time on. .


A couple minutes of pivoting the feet/skis with nothing under the tips and tails and poles to stabilize the body can give you a feeling for upper/lower separation faster than any other drill you can do.
post #10 of 13

NC

 

The drill is to represent the position of the upper body, not how the pole can be moved by hand & arm movements.  The poles allow you to see what your body is doing better than you can feel it at this point.  Try this--hold your pair of poles together across the body with the hands toward the ends of the poles, palms up.  Keep your elbows near your hips.  Twist your torso from the hips so the body, and the poles, are no longer square to the skis but turned toward one side (the outside of an imaginary turn) without shoving the foot forward.  Now tip from the hips in the same direction--better, tip by lifting one heel so the hips and body and poles tip.  Ski in a gentle right turn with the hips & body turned toward the left and the hips & body higher on the left.  Ski in a left turn with the hips & body & poles turned & tipped right.  Do this so many times that it now feels automatic, then keep the body movements and arm positions with the poles used normally.

 

Gardenmary touches on an important point---hand position doesn't make good body position, but hand position can make poor body position.  The right position for the hands is about the same position that the hands automatically are put into when balancing while walking across an icy parking lot, for example.  The natural balanced position.

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

; Ski in a gentle right turn with the hips & body turned toward the left and the hips & body higher on the left. 
.


If you raise the left side of the pelvis while turning to the right, you're going to skid a lot.
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by csavage View Post

Well,if you read the Harald Harb instruction books, you will find the horizontal pole drill is a way to learn to initiate turns with your hips and not with a snowplow-upper body rotational method. I can't speak for the methods those instructors are using, tho..


a proper wedge turns has no upper body rotation or inclination.

 

post #13 of 13

Trying to perform a drill without putting it into context of both the skier's ability and the drill's purpose can be detrimental. There are many variations of different drills with poles in front. They are all used for correcting different movements. Without analysing your skiing and giving you a specific drill for your skiing, it could be a waste of time trying to perform any drill. 

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