or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Best Exercises for Good Skiers -- Part 2
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Best Exercises for Good Skiers -- Part 2

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 

Do we have consensus that the following 20 exercises should be on a list of the Best Exercises for Good Skiers to Improve Their Game?

 

  1. Straight Run, both feet and each foot
  2. Traverse
  3. Straight Sideslip
  4. Forward Sideslip
  5. Falling Leaf
  6. Hockey Slides
  7. Pivot Slips 
  8. Patience Turns
  9. Uphill Christy (J-turn)
  10. Sidehill Garlands
  11. Thousand Steps
  12. Shuffle Turns
  13. Railroad Tracks
  14. Tuck Turns
  15. Javelin Turns
  16. Leapers
  17. Hop (Spiess) Turns
  18. One-ski Turns
  19. White Pass Turns
  20. Bumps Without Poles

 

Here's your chance to advocate adding or subtracting exercises from this list.

post #2 of 30

This is a list that could get quite long, so I will only add a few that I have used with success both for myself & others, that don't directly relate to those already listed:

 

 

*Outside pole drags

 

*Slow as you can go turns, with boots unbuckled

 

*Whirley Birds (surface 360's in both directions)

 

 

I would also add to #2 above that traversing could be done on both skis, downhill ski only & uphill ski only.

 

Thanks,

JF

post #3 of 30
Thread Starter 

Thanks, JF. You're right, we don't want the list to get too long. Are there any on the current list you might remove?

post #4 of 30

One of my favorites is the Up and Over drill. Once you master that, try it with your boots unbuckled!

 

Karl
 

post #5 of 30
Quote:
  • Straight Sideslip
  • Forward Sideslip
  • Falling Leaf
  • Hockey Slides
  • Pivot Slips

These are all pretty similar in the skill pool, even though they are all important.  I would leave Pivot Slips assuming that if you can do those you would also have the ammo to do the others.  For that matter, my Whirley Birds could be eliminated for the same reason.

 

There are a plethora of Garland drills that can be adapted to anchoring many different movements, maybe just leave it as Garlands.

 

One-ski turns can also be adapted & used in many different forms, ie:  Tracers, inside ski to inside ski, outside ski to outside ski, left ski only, right ski only, one ski railers, tail off the snow, tip off the snow etc. & yes, they would also include Javelin Turns.

 

JF

post #6 of 30

Agree with 4ster and can you see how, when boiled down these exercises come back to the three imperatives: stance, balance on outside ski, turn feet below stable upper body?  Just sayin...

post #7 of 30

Since straight running is not really a drill as such, I assumed it was meant as straight running in all its forms i.e. various drills in straight running. If so could we not add, traversing in all its forms and side slipping in all its forms. Sideslipping would therefore include such as falling leaf, uphill ski side slips, downhill ski side slips and so on. It reduces the list but increases the scope.

post #8 of 30
Thread Starter 

I agree with you, Adie, that variations of a task should be grouped together. 

 

Quote:
Agree with 4ster and can you see how, when boiled down these exercises come back to the three imperatives: stance, balance on outside ski, turn feet below stable upper body?  Just sayin...

 

Once we agree on the list, we might denote how they relate to Bud's Imperatives. Would it make sense to use a convention that we've seen in teaching behaviors where Big-T denotes a bias toward directive teaching behaviors and little-t denotes more student-directed teaching behaviors. For instance, the imperatives of Stance, Balance on outside ski, and Turn feet below stable upper body could be represented as S/s, B/b, and T/t. So, for example, 

 

Straight runs are Sbt

Pivot Slips are SbT

...

 

Would this add value to the list? 

post #9 of 30

I think Dolphin Turns need to be added to that list.... unless they already are under an unfamiliar name. 

post #10 of 30
Thread Starter 

Can you describe dolphin turns for us?

post #11 of 30

Dolphin turns are basically leapers with a fore/aft component to them.  The skier leaves one set of edges with the tips in the air and lands on the new set of edges with the tails in the air.  Certainly more challenging than plain ole leapers!  They create a back pedaling leg action like used in bump skiing.  The PSIA website has a good video of Mike Hafer performing this task.


Edited by bud heishman - 6/28/12 at 7:01pm
post #12 of 30
I'd expand "shuffle turns" to include a "shuffle" of both feet together. That is, slide both feet forward, slide 'em back while making a turn. Probably good entry to Dolphin turns.

I'd add static pivot on a high spot for upper/lower body separation. Top of a hard bump works, but it that usually involves an intimidating environment. A shallow or even flat area is best using something like a 4X4 of wood or a piece of plastic pipe.
post #13 of 30

Adie, could you expand on why you think straight running isn't a drill?

post #14 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post

Adie, could you expand on why you think straight running isn't a drill?

JASP I see what you might call the mainstream of skiing as the things you do when you're out on the mountain to get around it; you go down it, you go across it and you make all kinds of turns of all kinds of radii. Then there are times when you take skiing out of the mainstream to work on something specific; to break down a skill, a turn, a component part. Your skiing goes into a tributary of the mainstream and this is where you develop and improve by a variety of means including using various relevant drills.

 

Straight running is used in the mainstream; you want to carry some speed down across some flats for example.Then you decide you need to work on some aspect of balance or to become more agile on the skis for example so you go away and do some straight running with hops, shuffling, stepping etc. etc. This is out in the tributary. When you're happy with things or just bored of doing the drills, you put it back into the mainstream and hopefully have improved whatever it was you were working on.

post #15 of 30

Actually, I was thinking about when we introduce a straight run for the very first time. It's in a drill setting. It might include a J turn finish, it might include terrain like a baby half pipe where the skis will stop on their own. The intended focus being mostly on balancing on a moving platform but it does take a specific skills bias to make the skis go straight. Without that basic ability those folks will not progress very far.

post #16 of 30

I think that only instructors think in terms of drills being needful things. I never do exercises as such, but in the course of my season on the mountain I utilize, and therefore practice, all of the needful techniques to be an improving skier, and I've gone from an intermediate groomer skier to being comfortable in most conditions and on terrain that I never would have imagined even skiing eight years ago. I just seem to get better every year because I do what is truly needful, I ski often, and by doing so the various manners of movement become second nature, like walking or eating.

 

I think the best exercise for skiing is skiing, and skiing often enough that one encounters all types conditions and terrain, so all types of movement see their opportunities for application.

 

Sorry, no consensus.

post #17 of 30

If it works for you then why change. I think, however, that if you look at coaching in any sport there is a consensus that some form of skill breakdown is essential to optimise progress. Soccer players don't train by just playing soccer, they work on skills, they work on tactics etc. Similarly I believe skiers will improve optimally by looking at the technical and the tactical etc. elements that make up the sport.

 

How you choose to address these elements will vary depending on how best you learn. Some people just get bored doing drills and hate them, so don't do them. I spend a lot of time during the Summer months skiing on a small indoor snow slope near where I live. It wouldn't help much just skiing my 5 or 6 turns top to bottom. I work on different aspects of my skiing and do loads of drills. I feel the benefit when I return to the mountains. It works for me. I also spend some time when I'm in the mountains working on the same kind of things. I have certain trigger drills that address certain skills. I know if I'm not feeling good in for example my short turns that 1/2 an hour spent on a couple of these drills will really make a difference when I get back to my skiing.

 

While it doesn't work for one person it is somewhat short sighted to dismiss it for all and pigeon hole it as some kind of irrelevant quirk. It really isn't.

post #18 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by volantaddict View Post

I think that only instructors think in terms of drills being needful things. I never do exercises as such, but in the course of my season on the mountain I utilize, and therefore practice, all of the needful techniques to be an improving skier, and I've gone from an intermediate groomer skier to being comfortable in most conditions and on terrain that I never would have imagined even skiing eight years ago. I just seem to get better every year because I do what is truly needful, I ski often, and by doing so the various manners of movement become second nature, like walking or eating.

I think the best exercise for skiing is skiing, and skiing often enough that one encounters all types conditions and terrain, so all types of movement see their opportunities for application.

Sorry, no consensus.

For the most part I agree with you, but the one BIG difference between you and MOST skiers is the days on snow. I believe you've stated you get over 100 days a season. Many skiers will have to ski for several years to get the amount of days you get in a season. So in order for them to improve each season, it is helpful to introduce things to them that you will experience due to your mileage.

Where would your skill level be today if across the last eight years you only skied 10-15 days per season?
post #19 of 30
Thread Starter 

I would wager that VA is a self-starter who is self-taught in most things. I will attest that he skis all conditions, all terrain with a signature style that is very similar to the guys who ski the Ridge at Bridger Bowl nonstop (and not the instructors who train in the ski school). Just sayin'.  

post #20 of 30

The list of really great skiers who also teach in ski schools is pretty long. It includes past WC stars, world extreme champions, and even Olympic gold medal winners. Just sayin'...

post #21 of 30

Heh, just being curmudgeony, I know that drills work to sharpen various facets of ski skills, and I took lessons back when I was twelve, that I still reference in my mind while skiing now. However, I don't see that noncompetitive accomplished skiers need to do exercises to maintain their skill set, they just need to use that skill set in the course of skiing, and ski often enough to prevent rust building up. wink.gif

post #22 of 30
Thread Starter 

Don't get your dander up, JASP, I'm just describing skiers who develop in the wild, so to speak, of which we have so many at Bridger that they have their own name: Ridge Hippies. Damn good skiers, but not ski instructor-like, not a bit. 

post #23 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

Don't get your dander up, JASP, I'm just describing skiers who develop in the wild, so to speak, of which we have so many at Bridger that they have their own name: Ridge Hippies. Damn good skiers, but not ski instructor-like, not a bit. 

 

Here we just call them "Bowl Skiers". 

post #24 of 30

It would be an interesting statistic to examine if we could see what percentage of the skiing population have any desire to take lessons, or improve their skills?  We may be surprised?!

 

Of these skiers who care about improving, how many are motivated enough to pay for lessons?

 

Of the skiers who take lessons, how many are on a continuous path to improve with multiple lessons or coaching environments?

 

Of those skiers, how many are ski instructors or become ski instructors?

 

I find the people most passionate about learning and improving are or tend to become ski instructors..... just sayin!

post #25 of 30

Sounds like we're mixing three different subjects - off the snow exercises for pre-season or infrequent skiers, drills for more frequent skiers that have the time on the snow to improve but do not want a full lesson and folks like VA, and me in another life, who learn by doing  like we learn to walk and talk..

post #26 of 30

Can't live with those anaolgies.

 

If you acquired your language in a void with pure experiential evolution then why do you speak English?You acquired language by, yes good modelling but also by instruction, albeit, unconscious, by those who brought you up speaking slowly and clearly, constantly repeating the stepping stones of that acquisition and reinforcing your successes etc. They were pretty good instructors who devised learning pathways for you and probably without knowing it speech drills that accelerated your progress.

 

When you learned to walk, you leaned to acquire the natural gate to which the species has evolved. You were probably helped considerably along the way with aids such as hands held, toys to push and people on hand to haul you up and encourage you when you fell. Skiing is most certainly not natural to us. Just watch how a first timer struggles to balance on her first slide. This is not a child developing basic motor co-ordination but a sophisticated practitioner learning a very alien movement pattern.

post #27 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by volantaddict View Post

Heh, just being curmudgeony, I know that drills work to sharpen various facets of ski skills, and I took lessons back when I was twelve, that I still reference in my mind while skiing now. However, I don't see that noncompetitive accomplished skiers need to do exercises to maintain their skill set, they just need to use that skill set in the course of skiing, and ski often enough to prevent rust building up. wink.gif

No one needs to do drills and exercises. They can be looked on as work or fun.

I use most if not all on the list to kill the monotony of crossing a flat spot or cat track. You can play with how you do them and experience the reaction of your skis.

At the end of the day the best skiers have the best feel of equipment, body position and terrain. The more you can isolate and alter these, the more control you will have to adapt to any ski condition.

post #28 of 30

In my 60years of skiing I have done many drills during coaching.

The  failure I have found is that the coach fails to explain the objective of the drill.

post #29 of 30

Uboom, I too have experienced this lack of explanation.  Drills for drills' sake are very common around here.  

 

The problem with not knowing why you are being asked to do the drill has to do with motivation.

A new drill is going to be hard to do right, and the skier will possibly feel inadequate because of failing to get it right at first try.

Most people won't actually spend time working with the drill to get it right after being introduced to it without some additional motivation.

It's frustrating, and they have friends to ski with who won't be doing any drills.  

Some people may be worried about how they look on the hill trying to do drills in public.

 

You, or your students, will need to know exactly how this particular drill will help improve personal skiing.

This involves trusting the instructor, unless the instructor stays with the student until the drill is successfully done and worked back into actual skiing.

 

With no explanation attached to the drill, it is a rare skier who will continue to work on it after the instructor stops watching.

But one more thing needs to be said; if someone keeps working on the drill, perfects it, and still doesn't know how to put it back into personal skiing, it often helps anyway.  

The new muscle pattern will be there when it's needed.  The body will turn to it unconsciously as the need arises.

post #30 of 30

How do drills and activities relate to the 4 stages of skill ownership? (UI, CI, CC, UC). It's been discussed many times before and studied many times. So I won't add much more about that beyond a suggestion that searching the archives if you are unfamiliar with that idea.

 

As far as The "Best Execises for Good Skiers", they are ones that follow that map towards the eventual goal of unconscious competence. Do those experiences occur solely in a lesson format? Hardly. Do more occur in lessons? I would like to think so, since that is the purpose of a lesson. Beyond that lies the reality that most recreational skiers want to do more than spend their entire vacation drilling. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.


Edited by justanotherskipro - 8/14/12 at 11:33pm
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Best Exercises for Good Skiers -- Part 2