Originally Posted by RicB
Here is a direct quote from a PSIA official book published in 1986.
"We already know that counter-movement is a delaying action in the hip (and upper body in some cases), which keeps us from over rotating and overturning. When we discussed it you were warned not to confuse it with counter rotating. Counter rotating is a turning force. We rotate our upper body one way to make our skis turn the other way." There is more about counter rotation but this gives the difference that exists between these two terms.
+1 Ric. counter movement is synonymous with counter-action, ie a verb... In my view has to do with the muscle activations being made under the gortex.
its a very subtle distinction between counter-movement and counter-rotation in my view. I think people get all twisted up about the term counter-rotation because 50 years ago it was used to make large gross counter-rotational movements of the upper body which resulted in lower body pivoting.
The interesting thing there is the outcome, was pivoting. Rotation of the lower body or more specifically the skis, was the desired outcome. So calling it counter-rotation, kind of was embedding the desired outcome into the directed action. So to speak. It was saying rotate the skis by counter rotating the upper body.
By the way, I do happen to think that today in 2013 counter rotational movements are still being used during pivot slips, for the same desired outcome. And certain kinds of turns too! I see no reason not to call it counter-rotation except numerous people would freak out about it due to the historical use. Its not as obvious because its refined to appear like the upper body is stabilized relative to the fall line, making it look very quiet. But underneath the gortex, the same muscle activations are happening as the good ol counter-rotation...using counter movements. Its all the same...counter movements, which result in pivoting/rotating of the ski due to counter-rotation.
Arc to arc skiing, on the other hand, usually benefits from counter-movements, but for entirely different reason then stated above. The desired outcome is not pivoting. Therefore, in that situation I do NOT like to use the term counter-rotation, due to the history, and the embedded "rotation" word which seems to infer to an expected outcome of ski rotation. Rather counter movement or counter action, etc...is referring to muscle activations which are designed to position the upper body to the outside on purpose, not for reasons of pivoting the skis, but rather to provide angulation and countered stance for reasons of stacking and balance.
The counter-movements or counter-acting muscle activations are really the same in both situations, the outcome is a matter of intensity only. But I agree, I don't like to use the term counter-rotation because of the historical context more than anything. Most likely telling someone to counter-rotate would result in too much.
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro
Lf, sadly the average low level instructor uses terms erroneously with their guests. Or they use terms and must define them before that student can possibly grasp what they are saying.
we went through a phase where this practice was seen more positively and we saw the feedback that convinced us it was not. Even here at Epic definition debates abound and to be honest, that rarely leads to learning,just arguments over terms. The best communicators I know speak in regular language because it is easily understood.
+1, This is why I suspect that some of those terms were eliminated from the PSIA manual. More on that in a minute
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro
BTS, You suggested Harold improved the term counter by adding action. It still lacks specific context and thus is hardly an improvement.
As far as angulation early, exceed the range of motion where it is possible and another option must be used. One trick ponies lack that versatility.
I do not work for Harold Harb, I am not associated with him or his groups, I am not in any way defending him. He was mentioned by others and I clarified only some things that were said because I have studied his materials deeply. I simply am pointing out that he felt he needed to put "action" on the end of the word in his most recent book. I personally had never heard it stated that way before. As Ric has pointed out, PSIA was using counter-movement as early as 1986 and probably much earlier than that, which is the same thing.
Originally Posted by Shoebag
If you are going to claim familiarity with some one, try getting their name right, it's much more convincing.
It's Harald, not Harold.
How about Harry?
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz
This is why PSIA is broken. The attitude seems to be " if you we're good enough you wouldn't need us to give you clear progressions and definitions. ". And of course most of us aren't. So we're left with bags of tricks, stepping stones and told to make up our own lesson plans. What's left is the vast rank and file using simple words, and in your opinion using them wrong, while refusing to define them or give us any rules or lesson plans. I can't imagine any learning situation that leaves their teachers to dangle in the wind like this. It's why students turn to books and videos. It's just too random and inconsistent.
+1. Its ridiculous to think you can create great instructors by teaching them ignorance. Leaving things out intentionally is rendering them ignorant.
Originally Posted by markojp
I'd agree 110% with that, epic.
Again, the trouble with the word 'counter' is that it's undefined. It could be and shouldn't be all that difficult. The teaching manual has reference pages that are full of words defined simply, clearly, and explicitly.
Here is an alternative view to Epic and Mark.
First, it is quite well defined and has been for decades. It only seems undefined to some people because PSIA has created the ignorance by intentionally leaving it out of their materials.
Secondly, you can explain core concepts such as angulation, with long winded sentences and these long winded sentences are definitely more explicit and explain exactly what is desired. In fact the long winded sentences still need to exist also in order to define exactly what it is you want. And I also agree with your sentiments that a ski lesson needs to be explicit, not toss terms around the student may not understand.
But having a coined term for certain key elements of skiing raises our awareness of them as essential skills. It gives them an identity. You can say "its good sometimes to lean out and lift the inside and pinch the outside hip", etc.. or you can give this particular skill or movement pattern a name..... "angulation". Define it with a sentence or paragraph or a set of drills or whatever it takes, but giving it a name is a good thing too. Now it takes on an identity and becomes something that people can remember as being important and critical.
Counter is also one of those things.
This does shed a bit more light on the OP's original question. At some point the PSIA skills concept became the new way and still is. The skills are not specific things like angulation, counter and others, but 4 broader skill sets... balance, edging, rotation and pressure control. This was done in order to break away from the European final-form approach. I think some would regard angulation as a type of final form, well at least certainly back in those days the final-form approach would have been hammering that in as one of the aspects of the final form. Same with counter. That is exactly what PSIA was trying to break away from...and there are good reasons not to be locked into too much of a final form mentality.
However, I do feel that angulation and counter, for example, do not need to be viewed as strictly a final form. they are fundamental skills which involve specific muscle movements and are often very advantageous. By eliminating their identities from the ski instructor vocabulary, my opinion is that the very concepts and use have been lost to the cosmos through ignorance, even causing the terms to be misused inappropriately for ideas like "skiing into counter".
Originally Posted by L&AirC
How can there be "ski into counter" without a "ski out of counter"? If you don't have the latter, you can't change direction and we'll end up like NASCAR and only making left hand turns.
If I ski into counter on a turn, and I'm going to ski into counter on the next turn, presumably in the opposite direction, won't I come out of counter prior to going into counter?
hehehe depends on what you mean by the word counter. If you are skiing out of counter during the beginning of a turn, then you are not really countered, you are rotated. Technically speaking you ski into counter, then you switch edges, become instantly rotated and ski out of rotation. Do you understand the discrepancy?