So having explored ankle flex and leg flex on dry land and skiing, The original post also included a question about transfer and how some movements can be incorporated in a positive way and how some can have a negative influence in a student's development.
Raising the forefoot has been discussed but how about standing on our tip toes. So many here poo poo the idea but long ago I created a progression where the students began exploring balance in ski boots by doing exactly that. The next step was to simply relax the calf and hamstrings and settle into the boots. The analogy of letting the feet relax and spread out like syrup inside the boot was one way I packaged that idea. Equal pressure across the bottom of the foot was an intended result but very rarely did I find the need to express that as a goal. The fluid "spreading" analogy did that quite well. In effect it forces the student to find balance at one extreme and slowly and progressively allow their body to settle into a lower but still well centered stance. It moved their focus away from the ultra specific advice of plantar flexing and then pulling up with the toes with the ATs and it avoided the same level of ultra specific advice to lengthen the soleus to allow their ankles to close. Additionally, the overarching requirement to remain balanced through that wide RoM is implied rather than clearly stated as a rigid goal. BTW, if you haven't tried this, try standing on your tip toes without actively seeking balance and you will "get" this idea.
All positive transfer but what about negative transfer? What movements inhibit our ability to "teach good dynamic balance"? As the thread starter I rarely exercise this sort of steering but I am going to do so because I feel that subject is often more important because overcoming those habitual movements is usually more difficult. Let's explore those road blocks and how to eliminate them, or at least how we can go around them!
Additionally, if any of you read the National Academy stuff about terrain teaching, that is also an area yet to be explored here and I would love to read some of your experiences using terrain as a spontaneous balancing skills development tool.
Shoe mentioned bringing all of this into real world applications and suggested we lacked the ability to explore these concepts into a real world easy to digest way. I for one do that every day and teach from a playful exploration type workshop and coaching a self help seminar mentality. There is always an underlying theme and skill focus but I save the technobabble for off snow environments like Epic and classroom settings.
Edited by justanotherskipro - 4/23/13 at 11:39am