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Getting better without Coachs or Gates.

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I've been racing for 8 years now. I feel like I've hit a wall with racing. I'm having more and more trouble getting pressure high in the turns on any amount of pitch. I've racing with my College's USCSA team and love the competition level, everyone is there to have fun, everyone rolls up B-Netting at the end of the weekend. My biggest problem is that we don't have any coaches or train at all. I have no problem creating nice arcs, but when the pants and jacket come off I instantly forget what I have been doing every winter for the past 8 years of my life. Maybe it's all mental. I dunno.

Anyone got any tips? We don't have any snow in the forecast, so that should keep me on race skis and on groomers and off of powder skis and the Bridger Bowl Ridge.

post #2 of 17

Train in your suit perhaps, will avoid the confusion when the pants and jacket come off ski.gif

post #3 of 17

Try some toe lifts outside of your boots. Heel lifts inside your boots may also be necessary. Otherwise look at Ron LeMaster's resources and try to emulate good skiers.

post #4 of 17

hard to say on so little information but take a look at your line to make sure you are not going too straight at the gate would be my first thought

post #5 of 17

Can your group go splits on hiring a coach for a few hours every weekend? 

post #6 of 17

Have a similar problem - warm up runs feel great, getting good edge angles, body position feels good, then I get in the actual race and everything goes out the proverbial window.  When I look at the video of my run, I'm always appalled at my technique.  Probably should get more video of my warm-ups, maybe I'm not doing as well as I think I am.

post #7 of 17

I'm having more and more trouble getting pressure high in the turns on any amount of pitch..........Upper/lower body separation.

post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post

Can your group go splits on hiring a coach for a few hours every weekend? 


Or even just taking turns shooting some video of each other?

post #9 of 17

I have the same problem...ski great outside the gates, then terrible in the gates.  It felt like I skid every turn.  Other people have told me I should be much faster based on how I ski.  Then it hit me....I'm really bad at looking ahead when in the course.  I was too focused on the very next gate, which caused me to wait too long before initiating the turn, and then throwing my skis out to hook around the gate.  Instead, I started looking at my next transition point past the next gate.  Immediately, I started getting on my edges earlier and making much smoother turns.  Other great side effect is that not looking at the gate meant I wouldn't try to "avoid" the gate, so my line was tighter and hitting gates feels more natural.  

post #10 of 17

I agree with Tag on the video. My college racing team had the same problem (no coach, no real practices). We watched each other ski down the hill without gates and giving each other feedback. We also video taped each other during races and used the races as training to get/give feedback and improve. I remember watching one of the videos of myself and thinking "What the **** are my shoulders doing? Am I really leaning into the gates!?". It was an old habit from years before that somehow came back. After seeing that, I focused on counter balance, which was enough to get my weight back on my downhill ski and start carving again. You might find watching yourself will give some good insight.

post #11 of 17

I feel I've got the same problem. On my warm-up runs, my turns feel great; I am putting down rails and exploding out of each turn. Put me in the gates and I ski like a total gaper. I've decided it has to be one of two things:

 

A.) I'm just fooling myself and without the gates and clock to provide feedback, I just convince myself that my crappy skiing is good.

B.) My errors are mostly tactical in nature, so that trying too hard to get back on line causes my technique to break down.

 

I haven't had access to video, coaching or training time in the gates; the only time I'm on a course is on race day. I don't think I'll be able to solve my problem without getting some coaching and some training time in the gates.

 

If my problem is A, I need to work a lot on my technique, and a coach will be able to give me some drills/progressions to work on. If it is B, only time in the gates will get me the experience I need to properly read a course and ski a fast-but-not-too-straight line.

 

I don't have the resources set aside to afford a full-time training program, but I've found a few race programs in my area that have drop-ins available for a reasonable rate. I plan to attend a few of those sessions this season before I enter any races, to see if this helps. I really don't think there is any substitute for coaching. Maybe there are similar opportunities in your area.

post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by CluelessGaper59 View Post

I feel I've got the same problem. On my warm-up runs, my turns feel great; I am putting down rails and exploding out of each turn. Put me in the gates and I ski like a total gaper. I've decided it has to be one of two things:

 

A.) I'm just fooling myself and without the gates and clock to provide feedback, I just convince myself that my crappy skiing is good.

B.) My errors are mostly tactical in nature, so that trying too hard to get back on line causes my technique to break down.

 

I haven't had access to video, coaching or training time in the gates; the only time I'm on a course is on race day. I don't think I'll be able to solve my problem without getting some coaching and some training time in the gates.

 

If my problem is A, I need to work a lot on my technique, and a coach will be able to give me some drills/progressions to work on. If it is B, only time in the gates will get me the experience I need to properly read a course and ski a fast-but-not-too-straight line.

 

A good coach can also help you improve your tactical approach

post #13 of 17

I'm in the same boat. To a greater or lesser extent most of us are, all of us amateur (in my case, VERY amateur) racers, aren't we?

 

I've had lots of conversations about this with my race league buddies, and one thing seems pretty clear and incontrovertible: If you haven't burned super-clean "High-C" arc-to-arc turns into your muscle- and mental-memory so you can do them "in your sleep" when free skiing, you are never going to do them in the gates, where you have so many other issues to contend with. Tough love here. Be honest with yourself. I know you can do them if you try. The real question is, "Can you do them if you don't try?" If not, then it's time for more free-skiing hours with that. It's like when I'm cooking a meal from leftovers at home after work: I need to focus on the overall plan and the timing and how things are going to come together for service at the same moment. If I have to stop and worry about how to blanch green beans or how to mince an onion or how to take the skin off of a salmon fillet, I'm lost before I start. I have to come into the race with the base skiing technique nailed.

post #14 of 17

I know this a really old thread...but hey its summer:

 

 

Falling apart in the gates is really common - and there are two common causes.

 

1) Its easy to carve a pure arc to arc turn on modern shape skis - lots of people can do it.  Problem is, most people lack steering skills - steering a ski that is carving takes alot more skill.  So without steering, sure you can carve, but you are locked into 1 radius for a particular pitch/speed...so for example that arc you carve might be say 17m radius...great...if every turn in the race course is 17m.  Problem is, it is almost certain that it wont be. some will be 17, some 14, some 22, etc.  So if you cant vary your radius on groomed while free skiing, you have no chance that you can do it in the gates. 

 

2) Ability to read a course on the fly.  As mentioned in some posts above, looking ahead and setting up is critical, and there is abit of skill to it, especially if you have never run gates before.

post #15 of 17

They put the poles in the wrong place for me. I think they do it on purpose too rolleyes.gif

post #16 of 17

Few thoughts: 

1. Disengage your brain when you ski in the course -> Keep your eyes looking 2-4 gates ahead, don't look at the ruts, and focus on good separation 

2. Be more honest with yourself on the free skiing -> I used to have the exact same condition, everyone was so shocked at the difference btw my free skiing and gate skiing -> turned out I just had nice style free skiing and that because I could turn where I wanted, the flaws in my technique were not exposed until I got in the gate 

3. Ski a lot more!! The muscle memory thing is huge, in a race setting you really need to get out of the gate and think about high level things. ("next few gates are a right foot fallaway," "drive through the breakover" "feather the first few gates of the pitch") There is just no time to think about the actual mechanics of the turn in the gates

 

Rational -> I was frankly not that good at racing, but I did drop from 140pts to low 90s in 2 years. I thought I could just keep cruising down from there, but it became alot harder to ditch 30+ pts a year. The big difference was the mental adjustment above and also a really impactful canting job 

post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Penguin View Post
 

Few thoughts:

1. Disengage your brain when you ski in the course -> Keep your eyes looking 2-4 gates ahead, don't look at the ruts, and focus on good separation

2. Be more honest with yourself on the free skiing -> I used to have the exact same condition, everyone was so shocked at the difference btw my free skiing and gate skiing -> turned out I just had nice style free skiing and that because I could turn where I wanted, the flaws in my technique were not exposed until I got in the gate

3. Ski a lot more!! The muscle memory thing is huge, in a race setting you really need to get out of the gate and think about high level things. ("next few gates are a right foot fallaway," "drive through the breakover" "feather the first few gates of the pitch") There is just no time to think about the actual mechanics of the turn in the gates

 

Rational -> I was frankly not that good at racing, but I did drop from 140pts to low 90s in 2 years. I thought I could just keep cruising down from there, but it became alot harder to ditch 30+ pts a year. The big difference was the mental adjustment above and also a really impactful canting job

 

As somebody who never got below the high 200s:nono:, low 90s sounds pretty impressive to me! :ski

 

I like your advice, particularly #3. Maybe you could write me a note for my wife.:ROTF

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