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# Staying Forward - Racers - Page 5

Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp

I don't read anything much that you write.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NECoach

Not in LeMaster's language. It is part of the turn completion. See page 38 of Ultimate Skiing.
You don't need a book to figure out where the transition is. It's between one turn and the next. Skis before are on one set of edges and after they're on the other. Simple.

Frankly, I do not care what LeMaster, the Pope, or your hidden guru have to say about defining it. We are not discussing the exact nanosecond the tranny begins and ends.

Totally irrelevant, but you'll attempt to use some vague statement made somewhere by someone to distract from the issue. It could even be an exact statement. The article you quoted above is just more of the same cliched dogma latte. I do like her statement that the tranny is the entree if the turn is a meal.

With that article, LeM's Biblical phrase you've got etched in stone, Heluva and Sean W's videos, you got yourself a school.
Put down the book, articles, pamphlets, dvd's, audio tapes, and just look at the montages. Use the eyes they're under the lids.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog

You don't need a book to figure out where the transition is. It's between one turn and the next. Skis before are on one set of edges and after they're on the other. Simple.

Yes. And the feet slide forward before the edge change.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog

just look at the montages. Use the eyes they're under the lids.

Frame 1 - do you see ankle flexion?

In frame 1 the left leg has zero to negative
ankle flexion. The right leg, still coming out of a heavily flexed state at the bottom of the turn, has some flex. If you call that "knees to skis". I don't know what to say - we talk different languages. Even saying "he's flexed" is pushing it.
He most def is not "flexing" forward into the boot which is the whole point of the discussion - not looking for some element of micro vestigial flexing from the previous turn!

If you want me to make a gross oversimplification, which really isn't all that gross, He is Not flexing.

How do I know this? Frame one is roughly comparable to somewhere between 6 and 7. There he is letting the feet go, not flexing into the boot. I also suspect that this image is from several years ago ai think you'd see him even more behind the feet in transItion and the turn closer to the gate feet closer together there.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NECoach

Not in LeMaster's language. It is part of the turn completion. See page 38 of Ultimate Skiing.

even when faced with clear evidence (photos and a desecirpton from RL) - Tog is spot on- in 3 the skis are one edge, in 4 they are on the opposite....it IS the TRASNSITION by definition, anyones, and yes even RLs...yet you still argue.  Laughable.

FWIW - when you get to the upper levels, you will need to learn to assess skiing on its merits (ie reality), based on a solid understanding of ski physics and biomechanics - those are the only constants.  You wont be able to hide behind this statement or that article and take things out of context.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72

even when faced with clear evidence (photos and a desecirpton from RL) - Tog is spot on- in 3 the skis are one edge, in 4 they are on the opposite....it IS the TRASNSITION by definition, anyones, and yes even RLs...yet you still argue.  Laughable.

This is what I was commenting on.

Tog's Quote from LeMaster:

Getting early pressure in the tightly linked turns usually requires the skier to absorb the force at the end of the previous turn by flexing at the knees and hips, while subtly sliding the feet forward underneath the body. Then as the skier enters the new turn, he must extend to force the ski against the snow. Note that this is different from pushing the skis out to the side.

Feet sliding forward to release the turn is part of LeMaster's Completion phase. Explained on page 38 of Ultimate Skiing. For visuals look at Figure 3.5 that LeMaster talks of in the Completion definition. It should be evident that the feet move forward during a retraction. There is no way around that.

Frame 3 of the Markus montage linked by Tog is still in the Completion phase. The feet must continue to slide forward to release the turn. But what happens after the turn has been released? LeMaster did not capture a frame of skis at flat so we can only guess for that one turn.

But LeMaster is exceptionally clear that during the transition the ankles are flexed to move the feet back.  Ignoring what LeMaster writes will not change his descriptions. Does it not make sense to use his descriptions when commenting here so we have a common language?

Ankle flexion during transition is evident in the majority of images and video.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog

If you want me to make a gross oversimplification, which really isn't all that gross, He is Not flexing.

I see flexing of knees, ankles, and hips. You don't see the ankles. So we will disagree on that point.

Am I mistaken in thinking that anytime there is positive angle from knee to ankle (knee ahead of ankle) then there is some degree of ankle flexion?

Or Tog are you blind as a bat?

Have you ever actually skied gates, on a Race Stock Slalom, GS, Super G or DH ski or in a real Plug boot?

still discussing ankle flex?
all ski boots will force the ankle into slight dorsiflex therefore, by default all skiers will show "ankle flex" so yes in transition, mid turn, walking in the parking lot, ankles will be flexed.
the higher the forces generated throughout the turn the more ankle flex will show in the pics/videos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman

Am I mistaken in thinking that anytime there is positive angle from knee to ankle (knee ahead of ankle) then there is some degree of ankle flexion?

Or Tog are you blind as a bat?

I assume you being sarcastic, but in case you arent.

You are mistaken in your understanding of ski terminology.  As Tog and others pointed out, ski boots even with no one in them have some degree of "forward lean".  We experience this amount of forward lean even while essentially doing nothing at all, even just standing in a lift line, this is often referred to as "neutral".  In ski terms, to be considered "flexed" one must move beyond this standard "forward lean" angle.

Look below - you will note there is some variance, but all have some forward lean....when just standing in your boots, one is not considered to be flexed at the ankles, and it would be disingenious to imply that all was meant at this stage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NECoach

I see flexing of knees, ankles, and hips. You don't see the ankles. So we will disagree on that point

How can this be, are you guys not all looking at the same images? And this quote is just one of dozens of MA discrepancies in this thread. MA is objective, not subjective. The very basis of good coaching is the ability to understand what you are looking at, to "analyse the motion". The subjective part is what the skier thinks he is doing to achieve the motion and what the coach needs to suggest to change the motion. When the edge engages, when the ankle flexes, when the transition begins, every joint angle and aspect of weight distribution is measurable, observable fact. This is the very basis of coaching, in any sport

I've coached and judged martial arts for years. I can break down highly complex, high speed, moves to their basic components and understand what the motion was that resulted in the action. It's not hard, it just takes experience and familiarity. Can you top skiing coaches not break down a race turn, or are you just arguing for the sake of arguing?

not all coaches are created equal
not all the posters are coaches
there are different school of thought
Quote:
Originally Posted by jzamp

not all coaches are created equal
not all the posters are coaches
there are different school of thought

I agree with you.  But the bolded bit should only influence the "what it should be", it should not have any bearing on the "what is".  As Shoebag points out - you can either look at a skier and see what they are doing...or not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72

Quote:
Originally Posted by jzamp

not all coaches are created equal

not all the posters are coaches
there are different school of thought

I agree with you.  But the bolded bit should only influence the "what it should be", it should not have any bearing on the "what is".  As Shoebag points out - you can either look at a skier and see what they are doing...or not.
that goes back to points 1 and 2
Quote:

Originally Posted by Skidude72

In ski terms, to be considered "flexed" one must move beyond this standard "forward lean" angle.

False. The skier can be on the front or back of the boot. Being on the front is commonly called "flexed".

Quote:  I am totally aware of how ski boots work, thanks for the enlightment. But if your boots have 14-17 degrees of forward lean your ankle is hardly disengaged. Can it engage more or less than the default angle of the boot, of course. But to say that a skier with knees ahead of ankles has NO ankle flexion going on is ludicrous!
Originally Posted by Skidude72

I assume you being sarcastic, but in case you arent.

You are mistaken in your understanding of ski terminology.  As Tog and others pointed out, ski boots even with no one in them have some degree of "forward lean".  We experience this amount of forward lean even while essentially doing nothing at all, even just standing in a lift line, this is often referred to as "neutral".  In ski terms, to be considered "flexed" one must move beyond this standard "forward lean" angle.

Look below - you will note there is some variance, but all have some forward lean....when just standing in your boots, one is not considered to be flexed at the ankles, and it would be disingenious to imply that all was meant at this stage.

I think that skidude was saying that the ankle flex created by the boots is considered as the neutral/starting position, therefore not to be seen as flex which happens when you further increase that angle
Quote:
Originally Posted by NECoach

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skidude72

In ski terms, to be considered "flexed" one must move beyond this standard "forward lean" angle.

False. The skier can be on the front or back of the boot. Being on the front is commonly called "flexed".

Wow, you're back to the ridiculous micro argument.

So, for you this means that your racers standing in their boots cuff neutral in the lodge are "flexed"?

Ok, but that's not a choice one makes since the boot puts one in that position. It's certainly not "flexing" since they are doing nothing and it's certainly not "knees to skis" which is flexing towards the ski tip and which is your mantra that any 3 year old apparently can understand.

It is also certainly not what Heluva was doing and which you called a perfect turn.

(Amazingly Mikaela's parents used the phrase "when I was like 3" ! - have to give you points for finding that one but that's another ball o' wax)

If you really call standing neutral in a boot flexed, then when you say "flexed" in transition you are actually agreeing with our analysis of the montages other than the word games.

The thing is if that were really true,  you would've said it long ago instead of arguing since it's merely definitions that's your issue. There's some other agenda and that's the problem.

You seem to think there's some big deal with LeMaster and if you find some statement that contradicts what I or someone else is saying it proves something. Are you attempting to discredit him/us with some sort of courtroom drama where' you prove he wrote something that's incorrect?

We've already pointed out with the "early pressure" in slalom turns it's no longer correct. I'm sure he'd tell you the same thing. I don't view what's been written as some sort of inviolate law like Newton's Laws of Motion. You incessantly quote him and frankly misread him half the time.  The sliding the feet quote is a good example.

I'll just point out that one can't absorb enormous forces at the end of a turn and at the same time slide their feet forward. If you tried, you'd push your body back. It's as those forces dissipate and disappear (in...the....transition!!) the feet slide forward. That's what the "while" refers to. I'll admit it's poorly worded to be clear. But I'm also looking at the images and seeing what's there. Again, in some ways, I don't care what's been written. That's why I say look at the images and put down the book.

The paragraph is actually constructed like an S turn sequence with the transition in the middle.

So: Blue is the end of the previous turn, black is the transition, and red is the new turn.

Quote: (Is this really "my" quote? lol )
Tog's Quote from LeMaster:

Getting early pressure in the tightly linked turns usually requires the skier to absorb the force at the end of the previous turn by flexing at the knees and hips, while subtly sliding the feet forward underneath the body. Then as the skier enters the new turn, he must extend to force the ski against the snow. Note that this is different from pushing the skis out to the side.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman

Am I mistaken in thinking that anytime there is positive angle from knee to ankle (knee ahead of ankle) then there is some degree of ankle flexion?

Or Tog are you blind as a bat?

Have you ever actually skied gates, on a Race Stock Slalom, GS, Super G or DH ski or in a real Plug boot?

Technically no, practically yes.

Some degree of ankle flexion is presumably anything less than 90 degrees. Chad may come on here and tell us different, but let's assume that.

Most ski boots have at least 12 degrees of forward lean, and probably the race boots were looking at are around 17. Bode liked gobs of forward lean, he was probably 20 maybe even way more. So, let's just call it 15.  That means your ankle/shin is at 75 degrees. But then there's the ramp angle of the bootboard. Let's say that's 5 degrees. (prob more like 6 or 7), so that opens the ankle up, so we're at 75 + 5 = 80 degrees. So you could say that in our boot we have 10 degrees of ankle flexion- standing there doing nothing. (that's not range of motion btw. That's a whole other can of large but intersting worms we'd need some bootfitters to weigh in on )

No one, and I mean no one, I have ever encountered, has called standing in a boot doing nothing "flexing" or even "flexed".

You are doing nothing, therefore there's nothing to coach!

When one is in the shop trying on ski boots, at some point the fitter says "flex forward". Do you do nothing? No, you flex forward = reduce the angle of your ankle/shin.

Feel free to actually analyze an image instead of I don't know what. Have you actually read this thread?? It's not just a bunch of one liners.

In terms of gates etc, what, is this another "ski off" challenge to prove who's right? Totally absurd, but I'll take the challenge as long as it has nothing to do with analyzing these images.

Oh and a "real plug boot"? What, as opposed to those counterfeit plugs they're making in China??  lol wtf
Again, yes, but what does that have to do with the image analysis?  Tell it to Shoebag, he wants to know.

Edited by Tog - 5/24/13 at 10:59pm
Tog if we had 10degrees in the boot we would only have about 5 degrees of passive ROM left... some people would have 0 degrees left.
that's not a lot of flexing left...

I didn't see this one before.

Quote:

Originally Posted by NECoach

Feet sliding forward to release the turn is part of LeMaster's Completion phase. Explained on page 38 of Ultimate Skiing. For visuals look at Figure 3.5 that LeMaster talks of in the Completion definition. It should be evident that the feet move forward during a retraction. There is no way around that.

1) Frame 3 of the Markus montage linked by Tog is still in the Completion phase. The feet must continue to slide forward to release the turn. But what happens after the turn has been released? LeMaster did not capture a frame of skis at flat so we can only guess for that one turn.

2) But LeMaster is exceptionally clear that during the transition the ankles are flexed to move the feet back.  Ignoring what LeMaster writes will not change his descriptions. Does it not make sense to use his descriptions when commenting here so we have a common language?

3) Ankle flexion during transition is evident in the majority of images and video.

2) Stop with the LeMaster obsession. No where have we been arguing about what "completion" is, or what the phases of a turn are. It's irrelevant.

We are primarily talking about transitions and how turns start and thus end.

1) Here's the "Markus" image again (Markus Larsson):

Yes, frame 3 he is completing the turn. Then he lets the feet go. aka "slide forward" - that is the transition. I prefer the term letting the feet go, but whatever. He is not flexing the ankles closed there. He may hold the feet back slightly - your "foot containment", but they get pretty far out there. In the Hirscher image they really go out there, but that's newer and also it's Hirscher.

3) "Ankle flexion during transition is evident in the majority of images and video."

If this means the shin is just sitting in the boot by yours and Atomicman's definition, then yes. Congratulations we agree!!

Edited by Tog - 5/24/13 at 11:11pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by jzamp
Tog if we had 10degrees in the boot we would only have about 5 degrees of passive ROM left... some people would have 0 degrees left.
that's not a lot of flexing left...

I edited the statement to clarify. What I meant is, that standing there doing nothing, with the forward lean of the boot,  the shin to foot angle is 80degrees. Thus 10 degrees "flexed". What the Range of Motion of the ankle joint is for the person is another story. We'd have to get a bootfitter to weigh in here.

But look at the photos, they get the knees pretty far forward at the bottom of the turn.

Here, why don't we take a break and enjoy some music video:

Ted at Sochi

http://youtu.be/33MVJXUwjEY

Ted SloMo Soelden w/music

http://youtu.be/k1fQNiRgzA8

Atomic: We Are Skiing - mixed racing, free, park

http://youtu.be/mvN8SMXXGic

Edited by Tog - 5/24/13 at 11:29pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog

The paragraph is actually constructed like an S turn sequence with the transition in the middle.

So: Blue is the end of the previous turn, black is the transition, and red is the new turn.

LeMaster is saying the feet slide forward WHILE [meaning at the same time] the knees and hips are flexed. It is automatic and simultaneous. You cannot stop the feet from sliding forward when you flex the knees.

Feet sliding forward is part of the turn Completion phase. See Ultimate Skiing page 38.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog

Wow, you're back to the ridiculous micro argument.

Open or close the ankle by 0.5 degree and the average persons CoM moves 7.5mm. A micro movement with a meaningful result.

Time-out--good call, Tog!

This has been a great discussion, but I wonder if it's not nearing the end of its shelf life--unless we can get back on-topic of discussing skiing, rather than NECoach's need for a new eye-glass prescription. There have been many good points made, and I love the free "out-of-the-box" thinking and willingness (of most) to explore concepts beyond surface-deep. To me, that is always a good exercise that leads to deeper understanding.

I've been looking back at a few other recent and still-current threads, and find it impressive how often many of these same topics have come up. Lying at the heart of both balance and ski performance, these fundamental principles apply to discussions of "patience at turn transition," "ankle flexion," leg fatigue and "burning quads," and many others, along with the movement analysis of dynamic skiing. If this discussion is getting stale, these other threads are worth a read for the same points from varying perspectives. Lots of astute observations in there, if you're willing to sift through the usual Internet noise.

Not that we haven't had some lively and enlightening discussions of things like the "X-Move" (aka "foot-squirt") in past years as well. Here are a few montages from a while back, showing first the winner of this World Cup slalom race, followed by other top contenders who, for whatever reason, appear to try to "get forward" the wrong way in these particular turns:

Laure Pequegnot of France, World Cup Slalom, Winner

Hilde Gerg, Germany, World Cup Slalom

Kristina Koznick, United States, World Cup Slalom

It is follly to read too much about skiers into just one or two turns, even of World Cup racers. And it's worth noting that the other two racers have had their share of success as well--particularly Koznick, a main rival as a slalom specialist like Pequegnot, who actually won more World Cup races than Pequegnot in her career.

However, in this particular set of turns, there are marked differences in the transitions between Pequegnot and the other two skiers. The outcome speaks for itself, as Pequegnot has gained substantial ground in just a very short time--she is slightly behind the other two in the first frame (just at the gate), but well ahead of them in the last frame.

What is the difference? As Yogi Berra once said, "you can observe a lot just by watching." So just look. Keep an open mind, push aside your personal beliefs and biases, and forget the dogma for a moment. What are the differences in the movements?

Best regards,
Bob

edit: Didn't see your post Bob. Too busy editing out a rant!

Quote: Bob Barnes
What is the difference? As Yogi Berra once said, "you can observe a lot just by watching." So just look. Keep an open an open mind, push aside your personal beliefs and biases, and forget the dogma for a moment. What are the differences in the movements?

Ok. I see Laure Pequegnot coming out of the turn, straightening her back - ie unflexing at the hips a bit, letting her knees come up and sliding or letting her feet get out in front of her. She does this more than the others and gets her feet out there more. Koznick comes the closest in the middle turn, but in general, they are a little tighter in their body and do not get the knees up and out there nearly as much. They are, dare I say it, stuck too Forward for a moment.

Did Bode "invent" this maneuver? Was he really the first to make a go of it?

Originally Posted by NECoach

LeMaster is saying the feet slide forward WHILE [meaning at the same time] the knees and hips are flexed. It is automatic and simultaneous. You cannot stop the feet from sliding forward when you flex the knees.

Feet sliding forward is part of the turn Completion phase. See Ultimate Skiing page 38.

Open or close the ankle by 0.5 degree and the average persons CoM moves 7.5mm. A micro movement with a meaningful result.

Again, it doesn't matter what LeMaster is saying or not saying, will say or won't say in the future, now, or forever.

There are images on the table. That's what we're talking about. Not what's written on page 38.2567 which may or may not be relevant now, then, or in the future.

Just throwout an opinion. No LeMaster, the Pope of Greenwich Village, Prince, Lady Gaga or whomever.

I've never ever blocked anyone on epic. Don't even know what it means really. For the first time I've considered what it might mean. It's just going around in circles. Extremely boring and not helpful to others.

Let's throw out this.

How do you train your racers to "Get Forward"?

Edited by Tog - 5/25/13 at 11:18am

Here's the difference.  Screenshots from the montages Bob just put up.

I suspect all three are skiing VERY well.  Despite the differences between them.

.

Hey, now we're getting somewhere.

So let's look at those screenshots more closely. Either one would work, but I'll use the second set of images, because the camera angle is a bit more clear for what we're looking at. I've drawn my best estimation of where the center of mass is on each skier (somewhat difficult to show accurately on a 2-dimensional image; you could quibble, but not by much). And I've drawn a line from the CM through the center of the new outside foot. If the skier were balancing on that outside ski--which she is not in this "float phase," but will be later in the pressure phase--this line would indicate the degree of inclination, in both fore-aft and lateral planes.

Yellow lines indicate angle of inclination between center of mass and center of edge under new outside foot.

I suspect that much of the confusion or disagreement in this discussion depends on how you would describe the significance of those lines. Do they indicate that the first skier (Laure Pequegnot) is "back" and "in the back seat," compared with the other two--and thus making a mistake? Or do they indicate that she is inclining laterally into the new turn, as her feet move off to the side (or more accurately, what will be the side in the pressure phase, even though it may be "in front" of her temporarily)--and that therefore it is not a mistake (but, since the other two skiers are not inclining into the turn, it is they who are making the error)?

It's a question of perspective, for sure, in all four dimensions. It's a question of which direction you define as "forward." It may even be no more than a question of semantics. But because the outcome and the coaching you might give the skiers are diametrically opposed, it's a mighty important question.

Best regards,
Bob

Are we sure there are errors in these images, rather than tactical choice differences?

This is a serious question asked with respect.  I don't know as much as you guys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes

Yellow lines indicate angle of inclination between center of mass and center of edge under new outside foot.

The 3 images are not equal because they are not from the same point in the turn. Look at the differences in the angle of the old outside ski. The 2nd two are still engaged.

All 3 show foot containment.

True, NECoach.   Missed that.  Here you go; the earlier frame I've inserted below.

Looping back to the original point of this thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NECoach

Recreational instructors and skiers should not read this and conclude that racers stay forward 100% of the time. Getting back is a foregone conclusion during the retraction release making it impossible to stay forward all the time. The challenge is quickly getting forward again. That is why we see a consistent theme of "stay forward" in racing. It starts at the lowest levels and continues to the WC level.

Some here have doubts that staying forward is a common theme at the higher levels of racing.

A statement from the head coach of the USST men's team about Ligety's performance in a SL race. Notice the focus on staying forward.

Quote from USST Men's Head Coach Sasha Rearick.:
Ted skied well in the first run. I was stoked to see him bring the intensity and stay forward the whole way down. He actually had great body position in both runs. He's been leaning back on his skis in slalom and that's been holding him back. Today was a big jump forward and he gained some more ground in the the overall points.

Both courses were quite turny and produced a lot of straddles, unfortunately three of those straddles came from our guys.

Hats off to Hirscher. Both of his runs were amazing, but that second run was inspiring. It was full risk the entire way on a super turny course.