Originally Posted by nateteachski
Here are four things to make sure you are teaching your students. After that it is just creating games to get them to feel/see/do these.
1. Center of Mass is over our feet. Most CoM is around the navel. In younger children it moves up to the chest do to their larger heads in proportion to their bodies. This is CoM, not hips. by trying to bring our hips too over our feet we lock out the hip flexor muscles and so lose their range of motion to complement the knees and ankles.
2. Legs turn more than our hips. With balance comes the ability to turn the femurs inside the hip sockets. We want our hips on up to face in the direction of the new turn. In a longer radius turn that might be more towards the edge of the trail. In a short radius turn it would be more towards the fall line. When we release the ski into the new turn our legs will naturally realign with our hips assisting entry into the new turn. Then by continuing to turn our legs we can shape the turn to control speed and direction.
3. Keep an active inside half. This goes right along with #2 in that we want the inside hip/shoulder/hand leading into the turn.
4. Selectively direct energy from outside ski to outside ski. Key words are selective and energy. Selective means I dictate how much energy goes. In a open track parallel on low angle terrain I'll direct some energy to the outside, but still stay fairly evenly weighted on both feet. The more I tip on edge and become dynamic the more energy I need to direct to the outside ski to counter act the forces pulling me down the hill. Energy is different from weight. I don't want to just push weight to the outside ski. That often brings out chattering and/or breaking away. Instead I am taking the forces I built up in the previous turn and actively moving into the new turn.
Experiment with what you do to promote those four things in your own skiing and some simple drills may arise. Then create a game that emphasizes that drill. I'd love to hear what you come up with.
I've been presented this same foursome recently in a training clinic at my mountain. It was a detailed and informative presentation, full of all kinds of explanations of what these four things mean. I didn't get the chance to ask this question then, but I'll ask it now. How come these four things don't directly address doing anything with the new inside ski as the new turn is initiated?
#3 is an excellent opportunity to talk about releasing the inside ski at the very start of the turn, but #3 in your post and in the presentation I got just specifically addressed only the hip/shoulder/hand. #3 also is the place to talk about leading the turn by making sure you turn that new inside ski actively as a steered turn begins, and to make sure you actively edge that inside ski as a new carved ski begins. Ways of "getting the new inside ski out of the way" of the new outside ski could be addressed here too, but no. No mention of the foot, the ski, the turning, the edging, the new inside knee. Nothing below the hip is mentioned.
#4 is an excellent opportunity to talk about what you do with the new inside ski/foot/leg as you are "directing energy from outside ski to outside ski early." [In our presentation, the word "early" was there at the end of the sentence, and our presenter made a big deal of the "early" part.] This fourth directive comes mighty close to saying "push" on that new outside ski. So close, in fact, that you have added the disclaimer "I don't want to just push weight to the outside ski." We all know what the result of this is, and how common it is for recreational skiers to "push" on that outside ski. If #4 had also included what you do with the new inside ski as you "direct that energy" to the other one, this problem would be gone. But no, no mention of the new inside ski, leg, knee, foot. Without that, #4 can easily be mistaken as a suggestion to "push." Actually, in clinics taught to instructors at my mountain, they just go ahead and say "push." Several trainers have likened this "directing energy" thing to pushing off the ski, as we do in skating. That's fine, if the new inside ski is out of the way, if the new inside knee is flexed, turned, tipped, etc, if it's done early in order to create a top for the turn. "Directing energy to the new outside ski early" is equivalent to extending forward/diagonally off that ski. But doing this is not so good if the skier hasn't done what they need to do with the inside leg.
Does anyone who has encountered this four-focus list know why the people who put it together were so particular about not mentioning the new inside leg/knee/ski?